Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a commonly found form of arthritis in people. It is an autoimmune disease; hence, you won’t be able to cure it completely. However, you can control its symptoms for improving your condition. RA can affect your joints and result in pain, swelling, and inflammation of the affected joints. As these symptoms are common for many other diseases, you will have to conduct different rheumatology tests for diagnosing the condition that you are suffering from. The following are some of the common tests advised by doctors for determining whether you are suffering from RA or other similar conditions.
Your doctor will look for the rheumatology symptoms through a physical exam. This includes swelling, pain, redness, and inflammation, etc. in the affected area. He/she will also check your reflexes and muscle strength. Your doctor might also ask whether anyone in your family has the same condition. If any of your close relatives like your parents or siblings have this condition, then you are highly likely to develop it too.
A physical exam won’t be enough for determining whether you have RA. Therefore, doctors will ask you to perform different blood tests. Some of them are listed below:
Rheumatoid Factor (RF):
Rheumatoid factor is an inflammatory marker that is found in most RA patients. This factor is found in almost 85% of the cases. Hence, the presence of the RF factor can be a great indication that you are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. However, even if the RF test turns negative, it does not mean that you do not have this condition, as this factor is not found in all RA patients.
Anti-Cyclic Citrullinated Peptide:
Your body will produce antibodies when an injury or infection occurs. If you have RA, then your body will create an antibody known as an anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide in response to the inflammation created by this condition. Hence, detecting the presence of this antibody can be useful for finding out whether you have RA.
C-Reactive Protein (CRP):
This is one of the important rheumatology tests used for diagnosing RA. C-reactive protein can indicate the levels of inflammation present in your body that is caused by rheumatoid arthritis. It can also be beneficial for your doctor to understand the extent of this disease based on the levels of CRP present.
Different tests are used for detecting the presence of RA in your body. This condition needs to be diagnosed as early as possible. Otherwise, it may interfere with your normal living and general well-being.