Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is usually caused by unknown reasons where the immune system functions abnormally attacking its own body’s tissues, especially the joints. This autoimmune disorder generally begins after 40; however, cases of juvenile idiopathic arthritis are also seen where children as young as 16 years are affected by the disorder.
To dig out more information on it including the RA factor test, let us hear from the doctor’s mouth. Here’s Dr. Pratibha Karande!
What is rheumatoid arthritis?
It is a chronic condition associated with the bones. As the name suggests, it is an arthritis which means inflammation of the joints and bones. Now, when somebody suffers from rheumatoid arthritis, the main complaint that the patient will have is chronic and nagging pain in the joints. The pain is so intense that the patient is unable to conduct his day-to-day activities, which actually hampers his lifestyle and the work he performs.
If, over a period of time, an X-ray examination is conducted then not only the pain but also erosion of joints could be detected. It is essential that the doctor diagnoses the condition if it is so severe.
Why to diagnose rheumatoid arthritis?
It should be diagnosed because:
- There are multiple types of arthritis that exist. Osteoarthritis is a common type of arthritis
- There is a need to conduct a special test so as to diagnose and differentiate rheumatoid arthritis from osteoarthritis
What is RA factor test?
A special type of test is carried out for the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis which is called as RA factor test. RA factor is the presence of rheumatoid arthritis antibodies in the blood circulation. When a patient suffers from rheumatoid arthritis, the presence of these antibodies could be detected in the blood after conducting the RA factor test.
How to read the RA factor test results?
If the test results are positive, the patient suffers from rheumatoid arthritis. To further confirm the diagnosis, the doctor may want to carry out a few more investigations so that he could provide the required complete medical management for the patient.