Blood results - confused

Posted , 9 users are following.

Hi all

In September I suffered pain in my index and middle finger knuckles for a couple of days and then one morning woke to swelling, they disappeared the following day but the pain continued on and off over the space of a couple of months with the pain going into all my finger joints on my right hand with stiffness too, my wrist and sometimes when it got bad, it felt like someone had put a blood pressure cuff on the top of my arm. The pain is now also in my left hand and my toes. I had bloods taken and called for the results a few days ago, the receptionist said my full blood count, ANA, CRP and thyroid were all ok but the doctor wants to speak to me about the result from my Rheumatoid factor.

My question is, if RA is an inflammatory disease and I tested positive for rheumatoid factor, how could the CRP be negative?

Also, I get really cold fingertips lately, is that normal for RA? My knees are also mildly painful and all my finger joints and shoulders sound creaky.

Lisa

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14 Replies

  • Posted

    I can't help on the bloods sorry. Your cold fingertips sound like something called Reynaud's Disease or "white finger".  I have it too, gets bad when I'm cold or stressed.  I've got Lupus and RA and it is quite often a common symptom in both conditions.  Don't buy their gloves, expensive and ineffective! 

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    • Posted

      Hi delphinium,

      Thank you for your reply, I have heard of raynauds but I don't get the white/red/blue fingertips. Hopefully I'll get more answers when I speak to the doc on Tuesday

      X

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    • Posted

      Hi, can I suggest write down any questions that come to you between now and then and should you get any swelling or redness photograph them! 

      ?Should there be any suspicion of RA you will need a Rheumatology referral - early diagnosis and treatment is crucial. Sincerely hope it's a false alarm!  Best wishes for Tuesday. Carol x 

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  • Posted

    Lisa,  your symptoms are similar to mine.   I was diagnosed a year ago with RA after twisting my knee while on holiday.  Along with the knee pain my shoulders were stiffening and sore so that I could not sleep on my side, then my fingers ached and began to swell.  At this point my RA specialist put me on Methotrexate, Hydroxychloroquine, all taken daily along with a folic acid pill.   Presently I am almost 100% the only complaint being my finger tips which turn white and feel like they are frost bitten even with good quality gloves and painful outside in this winters cold Ontario weather.  I am told that if I continue with the medication my finger tip condition will also improve. Originally my CRP was a little high but after two months of treatment became normal.

    I am in my seventies and have always been very physically fit.   Perhaps I am lucky and have good genes but also  have very good doctors.

    Good luck Lisa.

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    • Posted

      Hi David,

      Thank you for your reply. I'm hoping to get more answers on Tuesday. At the moment I don't know whether a positive rheumatoid factor test means I have RA or not. I'm still very new to this. Today I'm really struggling with energy but I don't know whether that's because I took naproxen earlier.

      Sorry to hear you're suffering too but I'm glad you seem to have it mainly under control

      X

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  • Posted

    Hi there Garlisjones,

    Can't really comment on the cold fingertips but just to let you know I'm being treated for Rheumatoid despite never having had a raised CRP or ESR.

    The RH factor and Anti CCP were very elevated though and it didn't seem to matter that the others were not. I,too, have had that tight feeling in my arms and legs that you describe. 

    It seems that Rheumatoid is a very complex disease and rarely do two people present with the same symptoms. It has also been found that people with a positive Rh factor may not in fact have the disease at all.

    My guess is that your doctor will carry out further blood tests and X-Rays, scans etc before a definitive diagnosis is reached.

    Good luck with it all confused

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    • Posted

      All I can tell you is that when I was referred to the rheumatologist he more or less told me that I didn't fit the criteria for RA.  However when the Anti CCP came back highly positive he changed his mind and began the treatment straight away.

      Overall, apart from the fatigue (which I had before ever being diagnosed or starting on treatment) I would have to say I feel lots better.

       

      I'm interested to see how you get on Garlisjones so please let us know and once again good luck on Tuesday. X.

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  • Posted

    Just wanted to say that like the previous response from goggi, I've never had an elevated crp, or esr, even when I was so inflamed I couldn't get out of bed. The only abnormal tests I had at diagnosis were the rheumatoid factor, and anti-ccp. I also am not one who swells much, so on the outside you wouldn't know how inflamed I am unless you look close and see the redness, and of course the nodules on my wrist. Once you see the rheumatologist they will order about 6 tubes or more worth of blood tests and hopefully get some answers.

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply justgettingby, fingers crossed for more answers soon then. I don't know whether the ccp test was done or whether that's the next step. I don't seem to have swelling or nodules, just pain and stiffness

      X

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  • Posted

    Hello,

    ?that's how it started with me, raised RF and normal CRP but with pain and swelling in hands and feet, but my CRP and ESR  soon started to rise, luckily I was sent to Rheumatology in the early stages, so my advice is to go and see a rheumatologist,

    best wishes

    Claire

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