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Rheumatoid factor

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#1 warmheart


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Posted 03 February 2010 - 01:13 PM

Hi everyone,

Turns out my rheumatoid factor is positive (don't yet know how high the titer is, but from the sound of my primary care physician's voice on the message machine today I'm guessing it's fairly high--and she usually never phones personally). It was never tested before, apparently. From what I've been reading, it's positive 20-30% of the time in scleroderma. Is that correct? Anybody else RF positive?

I'm not inclined to stress out over this at this point; my hunch is that I don't have rheumatoid arthritis or some other new autoimmune disease. My fingers and hands are tight like overstuffed sausages in the mornings, but they don't particularly hurt.

Thanks, guys!



#2 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 03 February 2010 - 01:26 PM

Hi warmheart,

That's interesting that your RF factor is positive. It will be even more interesting to hear what your doctor concludes from it, won't it? It can be positive in the connective tissue diseases and even a few other types of diseases, and sometimes it occurs in healthy people. So it gives a clue as to what diseases to look at (including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, scleroderma, polymyositis, and various overlaps) and can assist with a diagnosis.

Here's hoping it helps narrow things down enough for them to pinpoint things quicker or easier for you!
Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
Founder and President
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)
Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099

The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

#3 enjoytheride


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Posted 03 February 2010 - 06:36 PM

One thing about this disease- it's not boring. Scary, frustrating, surprising- never boring.
I hope that it means something useful for you too.

#4 KayTee


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Posted 04 February 2010 - 09:26 AM

Hello warmheart:
My tests were positive for Crest (limited sclero), rheumatoid and lupus. However, I was told that was due to general inflammation from the sclero. (Not sure.) No subtests came up except for CREST so doctors don't think those other two are a factor.
And I agree with 'enjoy the ride"; never boring.
Good luck and hope everything goes well.
Kay Tee

#5 warmheart


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Posted 04 February 2010 - 05:50 PM

Thanks, Shelley, enjoytheride, and KayTee,

Never boring, that's for sure! Though the test results (which I've now seen) actually look fairly boring to me, so I'm kind of mystified by my primary care physician's multiple phone messages. The good news, according to the phone messages, is that I have a negative ANA (again) and that rules out lupus. She wants me to see (surprise) their rheumatologist.

I have a scleroderma esophagus. Look in any scleroderma textbook and you can see x-rays and CT scans that look like mine. My pressure reading on manometry was zero. The workup was done at one of the best GI clinics in the country, and the doctors turned every stone but were unable to find any alternative explanation.

D'ya think maybe, just maybe, just possibly, they might want to consider that I have...scleroderma? But no, that's obviously impossible, because my ANA was negative.

Really, I don't care what diagnostic label anyone wants to stick on me or not stick on me. All I care about is having my lungs and dropping DLCO monitored safely, and when that finally starts to happen I'll be more than happy.

Never boring...