What is considered a high level of R Factor in blood test?

Posted by maggie1960 @maggie1960, Sep 7 8:56pm

I recently had some blood work done with my R factor showing barely out of normal range with a level of 19. I understand that anything above 14 is considered high but is 19 really considered that high? I've read that some people's R factors are 100 or more. Now that seems really high! My PCP wants to rush me off to see a rheumatologist and I'm not that eager to go as I am having enough problems just getting in to see a good neurologist, which is a different story altogether. Any input? Would love to hear form you.

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Hi @maggie1960, Here's what Mayo Clinic has to say about the Rheumatoid factor test.

" A higher level of rheumatoid factor in your blood is closely associated with autoimmune disease, particularly rheumatoid arthritis. But a number of other diseases and conditions can raise rheumatoid factor levels, including:…"
— Rheumatoid factor: https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/rheumatoid-factor/about/pac-20384800

I think maybe your doctor is watching out for you with a referral to a rheumatologist who is the specialist that can determine if there are other conditions that are not yet diagnosed. Seeing a rheumatologist might just be another key piece of the puzzle?

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@johnbishop

Hi @maggie1960, Here's what Mayo Clinic has to say about the Rheumatoid factor test.

" A higher level of rheumatoid factor in your blood is closely associated with autoimmune disease, particularly rheumatoid arthritis. But a number of other diseases and conditions can raise rheumatoid factor levels, including:…"
— Rheumatoid factor: https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/rheumatoid-factor/about/pac-20384800

I think maybe your doctor is watching out for you with a referral to a rheumatologist who is the specialist that can determine if there are other conditions that are not yet diagnosed. Seeing a rheumatologist might just be another key piece of the puzzle?

Jump to this post

Yes, I was referred to a rheumatologist with a high rheumatoid factor and high anti-CCP. The rheumatologist palpated all my small joints as well as gave me a battery of questions which is used to diagnose and track progress. My PCP could not prescribe anything other than steroids and anti-inflammatory.
Its a good idea to rule out other conditions because some people have more than one autoimmune disease and its best not to overlook so you can get early treatment.

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To add to my earlier response, my R factor was 40 and anti-CCP > 250 but that does not generate a diagnosis. Some people are diagnosed with RA without elevated R factor or anti-CCP, which is called sero-negative. If you have elevated R factor and/or elevated anti-CCP and are diagnosed with RA, its called sero-positive. From what I’ve read online and told by the doctors, the tests alone are not enough evidence and it should be diagnosed by rheumatologist unless one is not available in a rural area.

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@johnbishop

Hi @maggie1960, Here's what Mayo Clinic has to say about the Rheumatoid factor test.

" A higher level of rheumatoid factor in your blood is closely associated with autoimmune disease, particularly rheumatoid arthritis. But a number of other diseases and conditions can raise rheumatoid factor levels, including:…"
— Rheumatoid factor: https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/rheumatoid-factor/about/pac-20384800

I think maybe your doctor is watching out for you with a referral to a rheumatologist who is the specialist that can determine if there are other conditions that are not yet diagnosed. Seeing a rheumatologist might just be another key piece of the puzzle?

Jump to this post

@johnbishop
Thanks John. After posting that question about my R factor I calmed down a bit and thought to myself, why don't you just pick up the phone and call your doctor and ask if he REALLY thinks it's necessary for you to see a rheumatologist, so I did, and yes, he does think it's necessary and told me why he thinks so.
During the appointment with him the day before, I was at the end of a very bad week, not feeling well, both emotionally and physically. I actually started to cry while I was in his office. So embarrassing! I've never cried during a normal follow up visit to a doctor before! All I could say was, "I'm so sorry. It's just been a really bad week." He's a kind, compassionate soul and he just kept saying, "it's okay, it's okay", as he handed me a box of kleenex. I can laugh about it now but it wasn't very funny at the time. Not really feeling well during that appointment, I didn't have presence of mind to ask him just why he thought it was necessary to see a rheumatologist, with my R factor not that much out of range, but we got it figured out in the end.
He sent off the referral and when the rheumatologist's office called to make my appointment they didn't have anything available until January 4th. Glad it's not urgent. In the meantime, I got online and found someone who I think will be an even better fit for me, asked my doctor to send a referral to the 2nd rheumatolgist, and with any luck I may be able to get an appointment with him in November. But if he's as good as I think he is it will be worth the wait. As we all know, getting in to see a specialist just ain't as easy as it used to be.

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Can die waiting! Or, at least, have a difficult life. And no one helps.

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