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Hi, Im really concerned about my ra factor test. The nurse says my ra factor is high, does that mean that I have rheumatiod arthritis ? Does this disease hurt on a daily basis? Or can it mean I may have an infection/virus somewhere?

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replied December 22nd, 2011
Especially eHealthy

You should discuss the finding with your physician. An isolated test result has to be correlated with a patient's physical examination and history.

An elevated RA or RF (rheumatoid factor) could mean the following:

The RF test must be interpreted in conjunction with a person's symptoms and clinical history to make a diagnosis of RA, Sjogren syndrome, or another condition.

In those with symptoms and clinical signs of rheumatoid arthritis, the presence of significant concentrations of RF indicates that it is likely that they have RA (rheumatoid arthritis). In people with the symptoms of Sjogren syndrome, significant concentrations of RF indicate that it is likely that they have Sjogren's.

A negative RF test does not rule out RA or Sjogren syndrome. About 20% of people with RA and many of those with Sjogren syndrome will be persistently negative for RF and/or may have very low levels of RF.

Positive RF test results may also be seen in healthy people. It is not an absolute diagnosis for RA or Sjogren's.

It can also be seen in people with conditions such as: endocarditis; systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus); tuberculosis; syphilis; sarcoidosis; cancer; viral infection; or disease of the liver, lung, or kidney.

The RF test is NOT used to diagnose or monitor these other conditions.

So, again, you should not make much out of an isolated finding, you have to correlate it with what else is going on with you.

Discuss the finding with you physician.

Good luck.
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replied March 18th, 2013
ra facts
Rheumatoid arthritis is a caused due to thickened synovial fluid, systemic inflammatory disorder that may affect many organs, principally attacks flexible joints. Arthritis mean inflammation of joints, RA starts slowly, with pain and stiffness in one or more of the joints. This results in cartilage loss, joint pain and stiffness. In rheumatoid arthritis, the immune system attacks the synovial, the tissue lining the joint. RA affects women about 3 times more often than men and may affect other organs in the body. Symptoms contain tender, warm, swollen, and stiff joints, especial in the hands and feet.
Numerous treatments are available. Non-pharmacological treatment includes physical therapy, othoses, occupational therapy and nutritional therapy but do not stop the evolution of joint devastation.
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