Hi Ides, your information and opinions are always welcome! I have not had an MRI of anything yet; nor have I been tested for HLA-B27. Rheumatologist feels I have the enteropathic arthritis. If my colitis goes into remission, the arthritis should resolve itself. Interestingly, however, my colonoscopy of a few weeks ago showed a clean colon, no inflammation or ulcers. I also have very few lower GI symptoms right now. My arthritis continues to worsen, and at the very least, is persistent from one day to the next. I intend on discussing this with my rheumatologist when I see him in a few weeks.
I discussed the low positive RF with him. He says it is meaningful because of my joint pains and because of my age--I'm only 38. The only false positives he's aware of are with just a few older people (age 65+). I know that a low positive RF is implicated in other things besides RA (which I'm fairly sure I don't have)--SLE, Scleroderma, mixed connective tissue disease. It hasn't been lost on me that my mother also had a low positive RF and was eventually diagnosed with mixed connective tissue disease. But it took years of joint pains before she developed any other symptoms.
I was simply wondering if RF is implicated in IBD, although most IBD-related arthritis is sero-negative?
Thanks everyone for your input. Again, I haven't been tested for HLA B27 yet, but I'm not sure it's really necessary. I'm starting Enbrel today and that is used for RA as well as AS. I think the more important distinction is between AS and Enteropathic arthritis. If I have AS, then there's a chance I don't have IBD (even though I know that AS often goes along with IBD, it can exist independently). If I have enteropathic arthritis, then I most likely do have IBD.
I figure if I do have IBD, then the colitis is definitely secondary to the arthritis, which my GI doctor and rheumatologist claim is possible.