? RA with low RF & CCp readings

Is it possible to have RA with high ESR 40, CPC 43 & IGA 4.15 reading but lowish RF 12 & CCP 3 readings. Rheum.not convinced RA as when scanned my joints showed little inflammation. Blood tests showing a Vit D deficiency also. My syptoms & family history point to RA. Just getting frustrated at time taking to get to the bottom of it all. Tajking more & more time of work due to extreme triedness & already on a 1st caution for my sickness with a final caution about to be serviced.

6 Replies

Hi, I am no expert but "possibly".

Mine was diagnosed by high ESR and examination of my joints (No X ray till later). I had had warm symmetrically swollen knuckles and wrists over a long period of time, and very painful feet. And chronic fatigue for years.

On the positive side, looking back, mine was a very slowly developing condition.

So maybe you have RA. But maybe not, maybe something else?

Meanwhile, I am horrified that your employer is being so cruel. Do you have any HR support, or a trade union to help you? Have you explained your illness to them. They have a legal duty to support people with a disabling condition.

You must get some advice about this as soon as you can.


Could be early sero negative RA Jazz? My RF was a low positive at 24 and my ESR was 60 at first reading - don't know about the other markers sorry - but there are plenty out there with sero-negative RA (where bloods are normal but symptoms still persist) and if you are feeling fluey and tired with family history of RA I hope they will keep a close eye on you and keep testing.

The ultrasound scans always sound to me like the most reliable tests for spotting inflammation but I've never been offered them where I live and rheumy only diagnosed me after about 10 months from referral as being sero-negative RA so hang in there and keep a written record of your symptoms and photos of any swollen joints to show GP and rheumatologist.

I suppose there's a possibility of it being something other than RA - there are other types of inflammatory arthritis and also conditions such a Fibromyalgia and the family history might be taking you in the direction of RA rather than other related autoimmune conditions - so just try to keep an open mind - as my consultant said to me at the last visit?

Good luck - I know it must be hard re your workplace but on the other hand the doctors don't want to assume RA and put you on toxic drugs unless they are more certain. Tilda x


I have inflammatory arthritis & OA but my ESR & RA markers don't show it at all. I don't present in the "normal" way but my hands, wrists & knees show it. My consultant gave me a steroid injection which reduced the inflammation proving I did have it. My Vit D levels were also low & I was asked if I was gluten intolerant as that can lower the absorption of Vit D. I do try & adhere to a gluten free diet & do feel that it helps, so it might be worth trying that. I do find that I get tired (well I'm always tired!) but it's worse when I eat gluten. It's not that hard to do a gluten free diet these days although I don't like the bread but don't miss it either!

Hope you get sorted soon Pauline


im a celiac which was diagnosed along with my RA ,, they say its very closely linked ...

i found this website for bread which is absolutly fantastic

i stick to the rolls which are seeded knotted rolls which i buy in bulk and freeze them and wen i want one i stick it in the microwave for 30 seconds ... i hated every single bread and decided i wont eat bread at all ... until i found this site .. if you would like to try



One of the many problems about this disease is that it can be a bit difficult to diagnose as there's not really a single absolute test that works for everyone (inflammation showing up on ultrasound is probably the best but obviously not for you!). Even tho' you have some symptoms it does sometimes it takes a long (and painful) time for the RA to actually show itself completely. And because the treatment includes some very strong drugs the docs want to be v sure before starting people on them.

So although it's quite possible that you can have RA with your set of symptoms/test results, it is also quite possible that it's not. So maybe the doc wants to wait a bit longer just in case there's something else causing your problems. So very sorry for you, but like others have suggested all I can suggest from my experience is to keep a record of your symptoms, keep going back to the rheumy to get checked, and keep asking your GP about other things it could be. But I wouldn't wish RA on anyone, so if there's a chance that it's not RA then do investigate that too! Good luck. Polly


With the raised inflammatory markers that you have, you obviously have an inflammatory disease of some sort! If it's recently started then you shouldn't have any damage to your joints anyway yet.

I have had over many years the same problem with a "diagnosis" - recently when I asked specifically whether it was RA, as several doctors called it by various other labels, the consultant said "Just think of it as an inflammatory arthritis, the management's the same whatever we call it".

I too have a family history and my elder sister, much to her annoyance, has now been told she has RA at the grand old age of 75, having played tennis to a high standard until 2 years ago and thinking she had escaped the family trait, whereas I started in my thirties.


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