how do u get a dx of RA

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Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 67
   Posted 6/17/2008 8:33 AM (GMT -7)   
I was just wondering how the dr determines that you have RA.  I have joint pain and swelling associated with crohn's disease.  My ankles were swollen and painful for a year until i started remicade.   Just curious....
28 yr old female, diagnosed with crohn's colitis with stricture of the colon april 2007, first fistula- october 07 :(  
joint pain and swelling
current medications:  Imuran 50 MG, Lialda 1.2g, tramadol 50mg when needed, remicade every 8wks

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 2113
   Posted 6/17/2008 11:30 AM (GMT -7)   
Well, there are many different stories out their but here is one path.

I was really sick, fatigue, fevers every day,reoccuring sinus infections, eye inflamation-but no swollen joints and negative blood tests. My GP said I had RA-she was sure of it (actually stills disease). But, not enough for a diagnosis. Then one day I took a nap and woke up with my knee swollen up like a softball. That day all the tests came back positive for RA. She still sent me to a rhuemy though for the actual diagnosis.

Most doctors relly on both clinical symptoms and test results. There is this big caveat though in the differential "not better explained by..." it takes a lot to overcome that Chron's arthritis explains a lot of your symptoms it would take something like joint deformity to add a diagnosis of RA to that(for some doctors).
I hope I was able to provide at least one answer to your question-there are many more answers out there.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1331
   Posted 6/17/2008 5:38 PM (GMT -7)   
Sorry I really don't know anything about Chron's disease but it looks like you are on some of the same meds taken for RA??? Anyway, I was working with children and came down with a really bad virus but not parvo like we had originally thought, and I started having pain in both of my knees and it just kind of went from there and almost three years later I am still seeing the same rheumy I was referred to in the beginning because my pcp didn't know what was wrong with me.
All of my tests were and still continue to be negative.  Although I recently had x-rays to see if I had any signs of rheumatoid in my hands.  It took a long time for my doctor to finally diagnose me with RA and you don't have to have labs that are  positive, you can have the joint pain and swelling without them.  As for the x-rays my fingers are beginning to become crooked/curved but I showed no signs of joint damage.
If you are concerned please ask your doctor, I hope we were of some help to you.

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 99
   Posted 6/18/2008 10:51 AM (GMT -7)   

Well, I am apparently very very lucky: my first appointment with the rheummy got me a dx and meds; she said she could run bloodwork, etc and wait to see what it says, but she said "the most important part for me is the 'story' and you tell a convincing story, so let's get you some treatment".  When I read how many people have to to YEARS before getting dx'd it makes me realize how lucky I am.  I only had bloodwork after I had 3 doses of mtx; she ran the mtx checks, and the RA checks all in one shot.  And, my numbers all came back normal except for sed rate!



Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind doen't matter and those who matter don't mind.-----Dr. Seuss

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