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Elevated RA Factor....what happens next??

I am new here and must say I am glad to have found this site! I have been feeling unwell for a long time and recently expressed to my DR that I knew something was wrong and needed her to please listen to how I felt. My DR was great and decided to run some tests. My CRP, ANA and Lyme blood work was ok. However, my RA latex turbid came back elevated with the reference range as 0.0-13.9. My labs were 17.9. Is this a postive RA factor? My DR did not really explain the results but simply said I needed to see a Rhuematogist and completed a referral. She felt that with my symptoms and new lab results that I would be diagnosed with RA and need to be cared for by a specialist. If this is the case, what are the next steps? I have called the Rhuematologist and they have yet to schedule me an appointment but stated it could be months. I am anxious and uncertain. I don't want to have RA, but if I do I want to best know how to deal with this condition. I am glad to finally be on the path to answers but all this is really overwhelming. Any advice or insight would be greatly appreciated.

  1. We are glad that you have found our site too karmacola and sorry to hear you have been feeling unwell for some time. While getting a definitive RA diagnosis can be frustrating, meeting with a Rheumatologist is the best bet. Sorry it will take months to see him/her. I hope that in the meantime you can research some ways to help manage your symptoms. What symptoms are you expereincing.
    I know you posted a question in our Q&A and I hope that the support others offered you was helpful!

    Please reach out to us anytime and keep us posted on your progress.
    Lauren ( Team)

    1. I have been experiencing extreme fatigue, lack of sleep, morning in stiffness in my hands and also in my ankles/feet. I also have an intolerance to heat and cold weather. Simple tasks like pushing a grocery cart, holding my hair dryer and helping to the my children's shoes have become laborious and painful. Everyday things that I used to do have also become challenging as I become so tired easily and experience pain. It's almost like my body feels like it weighs 1000 pounds. I am overweight which does not help matters but I have always considered myself active. For years I have been told that my weight was my problem but I always knew it was more than that. I have dieted and exercised and still felt like I constantly have a case of the flu. My current PCP has been great and really listens. She ordered lots of labs but did not order the Sed Rate or CCP tests. She is waiting for the Rheumatologist to follow up. My hands do get swollen and ache and my RA turbid test was 17.8 which is not very high. I have an appointment with my PCP to have her go over my results better as I am not sure if RA is the answer to a long and exhausting journey about my health situation. I finally have an appointment with the Rheumatologist in October so I am thankful for that. I just need answers. I'm tired of feeling like I'm crazy when I know I'm not. I have three young children and a demanding career. I need to feel better. So many people depend on me. An answer will at least give me a place to start and so many people here in this site have been great to respond and share experiences and for that I am grateful. It feels so good to know that I am not alone. My family doesn't understand and don't fully believe that something is wrong. I feel very alone in this and when you also feel so tired and sore it doesn't help ones state of mind. Thank you for your response Lauren and I hope I answered the question about my symptoms. In honesty I probably vented more than responded....even so, it just feels good to have a place where I can do that too.

      1. I could have written this post right down to having my first appointment with a rheumatologist in October. My GP diagnosed me in July :/ She said that based on the results of my RA factor test and my SED rate test along with my bilateral swelling and pain. I too have the fatigue and the general unwellness along with severe depression (I'm on a variety of antidepressant including Cymbalta which helps with pain as well).

        1. Update: went to my PCP Friday as I was feeling quiteunwell. She gave my a steroid shot help help me feel better, and I will admit it sis over the weekend, thank goodness! She also repeated some labs and added the Sed Rate and CCP test as well. My DR admitted that she was shocked the my initial labs showed a postive RA result of 17.8 as she was confident that my ANA would be positive because I do exhibit the classic "Butterfly Rash" associated with Lupus. Well labs came back this morning and my Sed Rate was normal, my CCP was normal and my ANA continues to be negative. My RA Factor did increase slightly to 18.7. My appointment with the Rheumatologist is October. I continue to be anxious about this appointment. I was surprised that my CCP was not elevated and now wonder if it's RA at all? I don't want to have RA or Lupus or anything else for that matter, but I know how I feel and I feel bad. I know my body and something just isn't right......if it's not RA then what could cause a positive RA factor? I've read that a few other conditions can cause hat result but none of them really seem to match my symptoms. This process of diagnosis is physically and emotionally exhausting..... continuing to pray that I will get the answers soon.

          1. I do hope you get some definitive answers at your appointment in October, karmacola. A number of autoimmune diseases have overlapping symptoms. Hopefully, at your appointment, the physician will be able to pinpoint exactly what's going on with your body. Hang in there. I know you are feeling pretty worn out by the whole process. I am glad the steroid shot gave you some relief this weekend. It sounds like you are doing everything you can to advocate for your health. Keep us posted! Best, Erin, Team Member.

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