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Autoimmune disorder? food intolerance?

I feel like I may have a medical problem. Maybe some sort of autoimmune disorder. I frequently get swollen joints, and feel exhausted. I get numerous hive-like skin rashes; sores in my mouth as well as "mouth shedding". A few years ago i had some blood work done. My results showed positive RF and 1:4 ANA. I had found this out a few weeks before going to boot camp (i am in the navy) since i didnt want it to affect my enlistment i decided not to see a rheumatologist and address the situation later. I am still having the problems and have spoken with medical department, they have drawn blood but i dont have any of the same results. Now my RF is negative, and my ANA is lower. I have not addressed my previous test results because it would be a pre-existing condition. My big question is, can RF change like that? and what would that mean? I wondered if maybe it was some sort of food intolerance. I had some blood drawn to determine if maybe it was a gluten intolerance and that was negative. I have heard though that a person can have a food tolerance, and there is a possibility that it wont show up in blood work. Is this true?
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First Helper User Profile Gaelic

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replied November 19th, 2011
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An ANA titer of 1:4 is considered within normal limits. A titer has to be above 1:40 to be considered abnormal. It is also not uncommon for the RF testing which only does a positive/negative, rather than a quantitative amount to have false readings. So, it is not surprising that your testing is now normal.

If you had an inflammatory disorder, your inflammatory markers (ESR - erthocyte sedimentation rate, CRP - C reactive protein) would be elevated, even if your specific serological markers for disease are negative (which is not uncommon).

Yes, it is not uncommon for patients to have food intolerances. Most of these do not have blood tests for them. The only way to know is to eliminate the suspected food from your diet and see how you do. There are "detoxing" diets, where you basically fast for so long, then slowly add foods back into the diet and see how you react to them. But, if you are going to do that, you should probably do it under the supervision of a physician.

Good luck.
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replied November 27th, 2011
Oh yeah, I had forgotten to mention that my ESR and CSR-C were also elevated at that particular time when I had gotten my blood drawn.
That was in 2009. The lab results now in 2011 were RF negative, ANA was the same. ESR & CRP both elevated. But I still feel like crap. Just trying to figure it all out.
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