All posts filed under: Tests

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 …

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.

Tests for diagnosis of RA

There is a growing list of blood tests that help determine the diagnosis of RA. My Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ERS) and C-reactive protein (CRP) were off the charts. Both measure inflammation in the body. Yet, I was negative for the Rheumatoid factors, a variety of antibodies frequently present in people with RA. I was also negative for the anti-CCP antibodies, used to predict RA. I did have at least 15 joints inflamed for at least several months. Together the extremely high inflammatory markers plus the number of inflamed joints made the diagnosis an easy one.