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29 years old - RA highly suspected :(

I have been having pain ( more a constant ache ) and quite a lot of

stiffness and little swelling in both my hands for quite a few months, I

finally went to the doctor who requested X-rays of my hands which came

back clear (great news).

He then requested bloods, which to my surprise came back positive for

rheumatoid. He has referred me to rheumatology at Blackpool Victoria

Hospital and my appointment isn't until 12th April. I have searched the

disease but I'm unsure what I should be reading apart from early

diagnosis sections.

How likely is it that I have RA due to RF positive and symptoms? Totally confused :/

4 Replies

Hi have you visited the NRAS site ? it will explain on there what happens how your treatment starts. WHat your bloods mean. I'm not sure about the RF but i think it signifies how much inflammation is in your blood. I am zero negative and i don't have RF.

I hope this helps you a bit. Try not to worry yourself to much. Take care x


I answered your last question on this, but seems to have vanished! 10% of perfectly healthy people have a positive RF factor, and for the other 90% it indicates that you have something, but not what as there a number of conditions that go with +ve result and not all are incurable/permanent. The hospital will do more sensitive tests that GPs can't do, and will also be able to tell more from examining you.

Why don't you give the NRAS helpline a call as it sounds as if talking to someone might help you. 0800 298 7650, and there are people there from 9.30 to 4.30 Mon to Fri. Polly


Hello there!

RA is quite difficult to diagnose, so your rheumy will make his diagnosis on the base of blood tests, ultrasound images, x-rays, and your symptoms/medical history. I didn't test positive for RF or anti-CCP but based on the inflammation visible on the ultrasound, my account of my symptoms and very high CRP (inflammation levels in the blood) as well as other blood tests, he diagnosed me with RA.

Here's a quite useful site about the various tests used to diagnose RA:

There are also a few more useful links at the bottom of that website :)

It is common that RA manifests itself in the hands and small joints/fingers first. It certainly happened that way with me as well. I am glad your medical team has thought of checking for RA despite your young age. I was diagnosed at age 25 but had had the symptoms for about a year at that point. Nobody (least of all myself!) considered RA at first, just because I was fairly young.

I do hope this helps you a bit and let me know if there is anything specific you don't understand or would like to know more about :)

Take care and all the best, Christine xx


Ypur question has been answered magnificantly I Recommend NRAS too x


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