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What tests were taken to diagnose your RA ?

  1. RAscreen
    ESR
    CRP

    1. All my blood work was more or less normal, but my Rheumatologist diagnosed me as a result of my history of joint pain, swelling and redness and stiffness, etc. However I had had joint problems for many years, and even though joints on each side would be involved, e.g. both shoulders at the same time, both hips at the same time, both knees at the same time, no one had suggested RA until my new PCP referred me immediately to my Rheumatologist, and the rest, as they say, is history! I was diagnosed in 2006 but had joint problems way back as far as 1995!

      1. Full Antibody screen initially ra Rate came back high so referred to rheumy then :
        Sedimentation Rate
        Crp
        Joint Exam
        Symptom check

        1. Other than a very elevated CRP and anemia, my lab work too was normal. History and physical revealed inflammed joints all fingers and toes and, 15+ year history of joint and back pain. What really triggered rheumatology seeing me was a recurrent trip to the ER for an episode of pericarditis (first episode of pericarditis was in my early 30s with no underlying heart disease). Immediately hospitalized in ICU and diagnosed by rheumatology within the hour with SLE vs RA. I had then, and still do today, a butterfly rash. Officially diagnosed RA 3 months later for insurance paperwork, but we're still unclear on differentiating the two. Personally, I thinks it's SLE because of the frequent bouts of pericarditis. Rheumatology leans towards RA, but privately won't rule out SLE. He's recognized internationally as an arthritis specialist based at the University of Minnesota and says to not obsess about which it is but rather on the treatment, which is the same for both. I often read in medical journals about the cardiac effects of RA but have not read on this site or seen in my practice any patients presenting with pericarditis or other cardiac involvement. I hope my unusual diagnosis story will be of help to others out there.

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