Seronegative Rheumatoid Arthritis: Symptoms and Treatment


Seronegative rheumatoid arthritis is one of the common terms linked to rheumatoid arthritis; but what is its real meaning? The real meaning of seronegative rheumatoid arthritis is that patients who are diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis tested to have negative rheumatoid factor; or they simply present negative results in their blood tests. Blood tests are common for different body illnesses, including rheumatoid arthritis. Other tests conducted are x-rays, C-reactive protein, antinuclear antibodies, CBC or complete blood count and erythrocyte sedimentation rate.

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According to a group focusing on arthritis, known as the Arthritis Foundation, about seventy to eighty percent of the patients who are tested positive for the rheumatoid factor have, or will develop, rheumatoid arthritis. If results prove to have rheumatoid arthritis, it is called as seropositive rheumatoid arthritis. However, if the results are negative but there are symptoms of the disease, this is referred to as seronegative rheumatoid arthritis.

Signs or symptoms of seronegative rheumatoid arthritis

The symptoms of seronegative rheumatoid arthritis are flu, tender and swollen joints, stiffness early in the morning, muscle pain and a limit to range of motion. Common symptoms are general stiffness, fatigue and feeling weak. When resting or sleeping during the night, the symptoms attack, hence interfering sleep. Sometimes they attack during early morning, wherein pain comes from the different joints of the body such as in the wrist, ankles and back. Sometimes there are rheumatoid nodules that will develop. These are small tissue lumps that sometimes form under the skin.

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Monitoring seronegative rheumatoid arthritis can prove to be quite difficult. The test conducted to check the rheumatoid factor in the blood helps the doctor determine the progress and severity of the disease. Patients who have seronegative rheumatoid arthritis will not know the level of rheumatoid factor and the progress of the disease because the rheumatoid factor is not present in their blood. They will have to rely only on their observation of the symptoms they feel.

Treatment for seronegative rheumatoid arthritis

It is important to watch and record the time when the pain occurs with patients suffering the disease. One should keep a diary or a calendar noting the time that the pain happens in order for the doctor to have their reference.  This journal will provide the doctor with the patient information and the progress and the current condition of the disease. They will also be able to determine how severe the disease has advanced.

The medication given to treat rheumatoid arthritis focuses primarily on relieving the pain, lessening the inflammation and also reducing the damage of the joints. The common ones are drugs that are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory and anti-rheumatic drugs that modify diseases. If the seronegative rheumatic arthritis is severe, the doctor may resort to surgery. Read more about rheumatoid arthritis symptoms and treatment

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