All posts filed under: Diagnosis

How is the diagnosis of RA determined?

The challenge of Feet

My rheumatologist sent me to a podiatrist, a foot doctor.                 Charming man. Once a client of mine.        X-rays were ordered, the podiatrist way. Standing. Weight bearing. Three views each.  For the third view I climbed steps  and was x-rayed  at foot level.   A  much better test than the standard foot  x-rays. Results: persistent degenerative changes with in the feet bilaterally. I admit that this was expected. What happens next?  My doc said surgery is not the answer.  As my feet get worse he feels steroid injections would be helpful. Now it is important that I wear shoes that fit  well and offer good support.  I should also wear special inserts (Motion Control performance insoles by Prothotics). I got the inserts first.  They are so much better than anything you will find at Target or Walmart. They have support for feet in areas that are thinning in RA. He suggested our New Balance store or REI.  New Balance was closer. They fitted the inserts and fitted …

Rheumatoid arthritis classification criteria 2010

An international test evaluation for RA.  I scored 7 and I am RF negative.                                                        2010 Rheumatoid Arthritis Classification THE 2010 ACR-EULAR CLASSIFICATION CRITERIA FOR RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS Score Target population (Who should be tested?): Patients who have at least 1 joint with definite clinical synovitis (swelling)* with the synovitis not better explained by another disease† Classification criteria for RA (score-based algorithm: add score of categories A – D; a score of ≥6/10 is needed for classification of a patient as having definite RA)‡ A. Joint involvement § 1 large joint¶ 0 2-10 large joints 1 1-3 small joints (with or without involvement of large joints)# 2 4-10 small joints (with or without involvement of large joints) 3 >10 joints (at least 1 small joint)** 5 B. Serology (at least 1 test result is needed for classification)†† Negative RF and negative ACPA 0 Low-positive RF or low-positive ACPA 2 High-positive …

RA Labs

 Labs Labs are tools to help diagnose RA, distinguish it from other forms of arthritis, determine its severity and monitor key body functions for the liver and kidneys during treatment. Rheumatoid Factor (RF) Rheumatoid Factor is an autoantibody that is produced by the body’s immune system.  Autoantibodies, made by the B cells, attack a person’s own antibodies. The presence of Rheumatoid Factor  is an indicator of inflammatory and autoimmune activity. Elevated in about 80% of those diagnosed with RA. Some link the severity of RA with the degree of elevation. The RF may also be elevated in those with Lupus, endocarditis, cancer and a variety of other disorders. My RA is considered sero-negative as my RF factor was not elevated.

How the docs diagnose RA

The course of RA is unique to each of us.  My RA announced itself  to me as  big and boisterous.  Initially, I had sharp pain in my left shoulder.  I thought it was from swimming as shoulders do get a workout in lap swimming.  Quickly hands, fingers, wrists, ankles, feet and toes joined in.  I was in total pain and largely incapacitated.  I sought salvation to my problem in the ER, the only solution at the time. In 2010 the American College of Rheumatology(ACR) and the European League Against Rheumatism(EULAR) formed a working group to replace the 1987 ACR classification criteria for RA with up to date classification criteria. RA is at its most destructive in the first 2 years.  It needs to be caught early and treated aggressively.  The 2010 Rheumatoid Arthritis Classification Criteria became a big diagnostic help. The group came up with a 10 point system that covers four RA categories:  joint involvement, serology, acute-phase reactants, duration of symptoms.  The target population for this scoring must be patients who have at least …