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SeroNegative RA concern

Hi. I’m 52 and with a SeroNeg RA factor. Here’s my issue. I’m now disabled and do suffer everything I read. My concern is what exactly SeroNeg MEANS to me. When I say it, it makes me feel as though I don’t really have RA. Do I? I don’t get it. I have all symptoms. I understand it’s just a factor in RA, but I don’t understand if I’m supposed to be “not as bad”, even “not at all”. I’m pretty much surrendered to pain and all that goes with RA, and am legally disabled? Since my Rheumatologist can’t explain it, can anyone help me understand what I have here? The word “SeroNeg” makes me feel like a fraud. Can someone explain in a better way to me? I don’t exactly know what it’s supposed to mean as I read about it on the Internet. Amy help is appreciated.

  1. Sero negative RA means you have RA. It means you have RA just like everybody else that has sero-positive RA. It just means the antibodies the blood test is designed to look for aren't there, but you can have real, full blown, serious, painful, just as bad RA without those particular antibodies being present in your blood.

    Sero-negative RA do NOT mean 'just a touch of' RA. It does NOT mean 'almost' RA. It does NOT mean you don't really hurt so you should suck it up and suffer in silence. It does NOT mean you don't need treatment. Some doctors will treat you like that. I dealt with it for years because what I finally figured out was my first Rheumatologist didn't believe in making a sero-negative RA diagnosis, so he wouldn't treat it. The RA raged in my body during this time. It damaged my lungs.

    A significant percentage of patients are sero-negative and stay sero-negative. This does NOT make you a fraud. It makes you a hurting, frustrated person. Fighting a sero-negative autoimmune disease is like shadow boxing. You throw a bunch of punches and all you do is wear yourself out. Then someone comes in and turns on a light and there is progress. You need to find the right doctor who will turn on that light.

    1. Fantastic way to describe seronegative! You just made my day😃

    2. Thank you so much for adding this explanation it clarified my thoughts.

  2. Thank you so much for posting this question as I feel the same way. I feel like people who are Sero-positive look at a Sero-negative as not having RA even though we have the same symptoms and the doctors dx us with RA.

    1. I was recently diagnosed in September with seronegative RA, they were nice and explained to me what it meant.
      Started me on hydroxychloroquine in September. Is helping somewhat, but still have a lot of stiffness and pain, especially first thing in morning, and as soon as I stand up to walk.
      Anyone have experience with this drug in how long it takes to work? Or is this as good as it will get on this medication?

      1. As a terminology update, Sero-negative Inflammatory Arthritis is no longer in vogue diagnosing Inflammatory processes. If one fits the clinical picture of RA regardless of a positive or negative RF, one has RA.

        This change in terminology occurred in the last decade for exactly the reasons everyone stated. The confusion sero- negative terminology created was enormous. I was always waiting for the day I actually had enough symptoms to get the real diagnosis. My rheumatologist explained that SNRA is what it is. It doesn’t change into anything.

        Additionally, the advancements of recent years have expotentionally expanded medicine’s understanding of the auto-immune and auto-inflammatory processes. So too has the development of newer RA treatments and advanced diagnostic understanding and terminology.

        However, many physicians continue not to correctly understand advances in terminology and diagnostic developments along with new treatments. I an ideal world, healthcare providers would not attempt to rule in or out diseases if they are not experts in the specialty. In my experience, far too many folks go undiagnosed and untreated because of that old fashion concept of sero-negativity.

        The explanation offered regarding sero-negative RA is excellent. Now forget it and update your terminology use. Maybe the healthcare riviera will follow along.

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