weird question has anyone with RA had a negative RA bloodtest

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Am I parnoid but I am convinced I have RA I have arthritis in both hips severe, moderate, and early signs in knees although they are very sore and now suddenly last month my hands feel like they have been in hot water with some joint discomfort one bent finger from early childhood and bump on top joint index finger, and aches and pains in wrist. All bloods came back normal except esr 26 I'v ehad this tested three times and first was high then it had lowered and then latest reading was 26. Mt dad had arthritis never diagnosed which type but my uncle has rhuemautoid surgeon thought it was OA as hips hadn't formed correctly. Getting nowhere  

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  • Posted

    heken I do empathise with you because trying to get a doctor or even a rheumatologist to admit you have RA is so difficult unless the blood tests are conclusive. I'm having the same problem and I'm just going around in circles. When I think I'm getting somewhere I then get an appointment cancelled and the rearranged for 5 months time! Have you seen a rheumatologist? If not I would insist on a referral. 
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    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply, No I asked to see one and the doctor said xrays show signs of oa so there's no point going to one I have been instead sent to a orthpedic surgeon to look at my knees as I woke up a few time in pain and they seemed locked for a second. It's frustrating because I feel they think I'm a pain and that I think I know better than them. But its just both sides are same which sounds like RA and at the moment I seem to be having a flare
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  • Posted

    There are people who have one or another form of arthritis but who test negative for rheumatoid factor - they are said to have seronegative arthritis. There do seem to be GPs out there who don't know that - nor that there are also forms of arthritis where the ESR isn't raised though obviously your body is able to develop the inflammatory response as it is called and that in itslef suggests ther eis something going on that needs to be investigated.

    If you have joint pains you should insist your GP refers you for an expert option as if you have RA (or any other inflammatory arthritis) the sooner it is treated the less long term damage is done.

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    • Posted

      thank you very much for your reply I have never heard of seronegative before I will google it. I will try with my doctor again, she just sent me to ortho for knee which I though was stupid as knees are just early signs of oa and if they wouldn't do my hips being severe I'm sure they'll not bother about my knees.
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    • Posted

      OA does not lead to a raised ESR - if you are having spells of raised ESR that coincide with your periods of inflammation it should be looked at by someone who knows about these things. On the other hand - your ESR will go up with a cold or other infection, it is very non-specific. 

      You could discuss it with ortho - they know the differences.

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    • Posted

      thanks for your reply do you mean the ortho surgeon  when I asked he said yeah it looks like it could be oa
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    • Posted

      The x-ray evidence is different so he probably doesn't see any evidence it is RA. 
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    • Posted

      so do you think that it probably is just OA and I'm overthinking the fact both sides are affected?
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    • Posted

      It could be something else. RA isn't always bilateral and there are other things that are similar when they start.

      What I'm saying is don't panic - someone will listen at some point. If the symptoms persist then keep reporting them and insist on being referred to a rheumatologist. I do know the feeling, I have an autoimmune vasculitis. My bloods were "normal" and it took 5 years to get a diagnosis - which I came up with! It is very common unfortunately.

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    • Posted

      thank you very much I worry though as I've had symptoms in my hips for 16 years and they say the sooner RA is treated the less damage it does. I haven't heard of that type of arthritis either, that's ridiculous you've had to diagnose yourself must have been very frustrating
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    • Posted

      It was a bit painful! But I survived - it was just unfortunate in some ways. One of the women GPs in the practice recognised it immediately but she had been part time and on maternity leave a couple of times over that 5 years so I never saw her because I am a strong advocate of continuity of care. It really does pay to see another GP if you get nowhere with the first. Change practice if necessary. And locums care often very useful too - they see things from a different perspective, new patient not the heart-sink patient.
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