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Diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis


Why is a prompt and accurate diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis important?

A prompt and accurate diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) means your RA is more likely to be managed appropriately, which can decrease the likelihood of experiencing permanent joint damage and increase the likelihood of leading a more active life. But there is no single test to diagnose RA with certainty.

For this reason, your doctor will likely perform a thorough physical exam and ask you extensive questions about your symptoms and medical history. To confirm a diagnosis and determine the right rheumatoid arthritis treatment, your doctor may also use a number of diagnostic tests, including:

  • Blood tests to detect:
    • Anemia, a deficiency of red blood cells
    • Rheumatoid factor, an antibody often found in the blood of people with RA
    • Elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate (sed rate) is an indicator of the level of inflammatory activity in the body
    • C-Reactive Protein (CRP) is an additional test used to assess inflammation in the body
  • X-rays to detect:

On average, how quickly is RA diagnosed? ClickTap for answer

If you or your primary care physician suspects that you have RA, it’s important to make an appointment with a rheumatologist, a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating inflammatory diseases such as RA. Together, you can find a rheumatoid arthritis treatment that’s right for you.

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