Rheumatoid Arthritis Expert Forum
About This Forum:

This Rheumatoid Arthritis forum is for questions and information regarding Rheumatoid Arthritis. All questions will receive a personal answer from a medical expert.

Font Size:
This expert forum is not accepting new questions. Please post your question in one of our medical support communities.
Blank Blank


I was wondering if i had an elevated rheumatoid factor does this always mean, RA? I have only a couple symptoms of RA. my main symptoms are numbness in both arm, no tingling, i am dropping things, sometimes it feels like spiders crawling on my face, my hands burn like I have a cut on my finger/hand and someone is pouring salt on them.I can't get out of my own way i am so tired all of the time. my left leg goes numb and it has been so weak at time i have falling down.I am usually going to the bathroom at least once every hour and it is a full bladder, had a urologist already looked into issues with that and they said it was due to having 4 kids. I have muscle fatigue I was told. I have no reflexes in my elbows, knees or my left ankle. they can't do a full eval on my right leg as i have Neurofibromatosis 1 and I have tumors in my right foot.(No one touches my right leg below the knee, unless I am under some pretty heavy sedation) I can't have an MRI I have a spinal nerve stimulator for pain
My hands/fingers are not deformed in any way no family history of RA, no skin rashes. no fever,however my BP is usually 84/49 and I am always cold.
I honestly think I have MS as I was told it can go hand and hand with NF. I just want some answers so I can try to function. I was misdiagnosed with the NF for 16 years and I don't really want to be misdiagnosed again, i know I can't be diagnosed over the internet, but just want to know where I am headed.
i was told by one doctor i could wither have a brain tumor or MS, I know it isn't a tumor, i don't have headaches or anything like that or blurred vision.
Thank you for your time
Related Discussions
When RA is clinically suspected,testing for the presence of rheumatoid factor (RF, a specific antibody). A negative RF does not rule out RA; rather, the arthritis is called seronegative.
RF is also seen in other illnesses, for example Sjögren's syndrome, and in approximately 10% of the healthy population, therefore the test is not very specific.

Because of this low specificity, a new serological test has been developed, which tests for the presence of so called anti-citrullinated protein antibodies (ACPAs). Like RF, this test is positive in only a proportion (67%) of all RA cases, but is rarely positive if RA is not present, giving it a specificity of around 95%.
As with RF, there is evidence for ACPAs being present in many cases even before onset of clinical disease.Currently, the most common test for ACPAs is the anti-CCP (cyclic citrullinated peptide) test.

Also, several other blood tests are usually done to allow for other causes of arthritis, such as lupus erythematosus. The erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), C-reactive protein, full blood count, renal function, liver enzymes and other immunological tests (e.g. antinuclear antibody/ANA) are all performed at this stage. Elevated ferritin levels can reveal hemochromatosis, a mimic RA, or be a sign of Still's disease, a seronegative, usually juvenile, variant of rheumatoid.

Diagnostic criteria
The American College of Rheumatology has defined (1987) the following criteria for the classification of rheumatoid arthritis:

Morning stiffness of >1 hour most mornings for at least 6 weeks.
Arthritis and soft-tissue swelling of >3 of 14 joints/joint groups, present for at least 6 weeks
Arthritis of hand joints, present for at least 6 weeks
Symmetric arthritis, present for at least 6 weeks
Subcutaneous nodules in specific places
Rheumatoid factor at a level above the 95th percentile
Radiological changes suggestive of joint erosion
At least four criteria have to be met for classification as RA.

I think you have some fair idea about RA diagnosis and also about RF.Take care and come back to us with further queries.
sorry I forgot to say when looking up the symptoms, I have no nodules, morning stiffness, or there doesn't appear to be any swelling.
i also had the same RF test done two weeks prior at a different hospital and the doctors said that this was a sensitive test and wanted to repeat it. the first time I had no infection the 2nd time I have an infected ingrown toe nail, that I had only been on antibiotics for 2 days before having the tests, could this ahve affected the results any?
Continue discussion Blank
MedHelp Health Answers
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
RSS Expert Activity
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm-treatable... Blank
Oct 04 by Lee Kirksey, MDBlank
The 3 Essentials to Ending Emotiona...
Sep 18 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
Control Emotional Eating with this ...
Sep 04 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank