Did anyone else have normal blood work?

Hiya Just wondering if anyone has been diagnosed with normal bloods. I have definite arthritis in both talonavcular joints which has been currently suggested as being osteo. However I am now getting the same pain in hands, knees and back. Some minor redness to joints on feet and swelling. Pain and stiffness that lasts all day regardless of rest. I’m utterly exhausted. RA has been queried a couple of times because of symptoms. Bloods are totally normal though, no rheumatoid factor but crucially no sign of inflammation. I have a rheumy app coming up but it has been 2 years since initial onset of pain and I’m keen to make sure everything is investigated and I’ve asked all I can to get to bottom of it!


Community Answers
  • aja1 author
    1 month ago

    Just an update for anyone reading. Saw rheumatologist. Been referred for dye mris to check for inflammation. I have signs in one joint and similiar pain in the others. If there is inflammation then he suspects i have inflammatory arthritis and this is likely autoimmune but it may be impossible to give any further name to it at present.

    Ive been given leaflets on sulfasalazine and methotrexate and option of starting one now or waiting for results of mri. One means getting a few weeks ahead for treatment if does end up being inflammation, the other means taking drugs for a few weeks I may not need.

  • Daniel Malito moderator
    2 months ago

    I was always seronegative, back before it was even called seronegative. Back then it was just called “you tested negative for the rheumatoid factor and other markers.” Bit of a mouthful, seronegative is def better. Thing is I’ve met a few doctors who take the test as gospel and wont treat you for RA if you don’t test positive. At least that was 10-15 years ago, hopefully it is better now.

  • aja1 author
    2 months ago

    Thanks, I haven’t seen a rheumatologist yet as for the last two years they have been convinced my pain must be some kind of muscular thing and the first gp just said that she was glad it wasn’t RA (based on blood test) as that would be a terrible illness. I was relieved and put it to back of my mind . It was only after changing docs, having spreading pain, being unable to continue in my job and the x-ray showing significant damage that I was referred. But least I have been now. I’m just hoping I get a good one! All of your answers are so helpful and now although I don’t want RA, I defo want to know what’s happening with my body and get.on some.form.of treatment sooner rather than later if it is.

  • Richard Faust moderator
    2 months ago

    Hi aja1. Great attitude about wanting to get a proper diagnosis and, if necessary, starting a treatment sooner rather than later to prevent further damage. I know you don’t have a diagnosis yet, but if you do get an RA diagnosis thought you might be interested in this article from one of our contributors on receiving the diagnosis: https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/living/no-1-its-just-a-diagnosis/. She notes “That an RA diagnosis is not the end of the world. It’s an opportunity to make things better.” Additional note: this article is the first in a series on things she would tell her newly diagnosed self – I recommend all of them. Hoping you get some answers soon. Best, Richard (RheumatoidArthritis.net Team)

  • Monica Y. Sengupta moderator
    2 months ago

    Hey aja1! In addition to the article Richard shared I thought I would also share this one that mentions the new Vectra test: https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/living/testing-testing-1-2-3/. This article is a pretty good read regarding all the tests and usually coming up negative.

    All the best and good luck. ~Monica

  • aja1 author
    2 months ago

    Thanks, this has been really helpful. It’s very frustrating- I feel Like when I look down my limbs should.be balloons but to others it doesn’t seem like I’m swollen and tests don’t show inflammation. I managed to get some photos of when my feet swelled quite a lot though (i had bloods done days later and again no sign). I will mention this test to specialist along with anti-ccp which I haven’t been tested for yet. Hopefully, will get somewhere soon!

  • KellyT
    2 months ago

    Im going through same thing. I have positive ANA but nothing else so they are not calling RA. However 25 years in medical field and my symptoms tell me it is. I have appointment with Rheumatologist soon my yearly follow up with him. He has never mentioned seronegative so i will be addressing that him. My advice to you is keep talking to your doctors about your pain and symptoms sooner or later they will get to root of the problem to help your pain.

  • aja1 author
    2 months ago

    Hi Kelly,

    Sorry to hear you’re.going through this. It’s so very frustrating and upsetting when you know your body. I hope that the conversation with your rheumatologist proves useful.

  • aja1 author
    2 months ago

    Thanks Richard, that’s really helpful. I understand completely the reasons you can’t give medical advise and appreciate the response. Im keen not to jump to conclusions but also to push for answers – I don’t think I did enough of that in the beginning and 2 years down the line, I so wish I had.

  • Richard Faust moderator
    2 months ago

    Hi aja1. Sorry you are having these issues. We have had some community members comment on having no positive blood work and hopefully someone will chime in with their experiences. In this article one of our contributors writes about seronegative RA, including the fact that up to 30% of those with RA are seronegative: https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/living/seronegative-ra-blood-tests-dont-tell-entire-story/. For your protection, we cannot give medical advice over the internet. It is good that you are going to see a rheumatologist. This article from the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine discusses the difficulties diagnosing early RA, including the fact that “Inflammatory markers such as the ESR or C-reactive protein (CRP) are normal in about 60% of patients with early RA:” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1079582/. Hope you get some answers soon and, if you like, please feel free to let us know how you are doing. Best, Richard (RheumatoidArthritis.net Team)

  • aja1 author
    2 months ago

    I should add Im 35 and gp feels without the inflammation markers then it’s unlikely. I feel like its just in my head but I struggled on with my feet til I couldn’t and when they finally xrayed me, the joints are both totally obliterated. I’m just keen therefore to get answers.

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