Connected Care Blog | Dr Irwin Lim | Arthritis Care

Take this test: Do you have Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Written by Dr Irwin Lim | 04-Jun-2011 16:52:54

Lots of people have joint pain or other joint problems. Most of the time, there are not due to rheumatoid arthritis (RA). 

There is no single test to diagnose RA. The diagnosis is made from a combination of clinical symptoms and findings, supported by various blood tests (note that up to 30% of patients have completely normal blood tests).

However, you can try this arthritis screen to determine the likelihood of having the disease by this series of questions which may act as a rheumatoid arthritis test.

  • Do you have 1 or more painful and swollen joints. Which joints are involved?
    • Are these small joints: the joints of the hands and the joints of the feet
    • Are these large joints: wrists, elbows, shoulders, hips, knees, ankles 
  • In retrospect, how long ago do you think that you’ve had these symptoms?
    • Less than 6 weeks
    • More than 6 weeks
  • Have you had the following laboratory tests performed to assess the arthritis?
    • Rheumatoid Factor (RF). Is it positive or negative?
    • Anti-citrullinated protein antibody (ACPA or anti-CCP). Is it positive or negative?
    • Are the markers of inflammation, ESR and/or CRP in the blood elevated? 

The classification criteria used worldwide to help in classifying an arthritis as RA is the 2010 ACR/EULAR Classification Criteria.

I present this here to help you screen for rheumatoid & to help determine the likelihood of having RA. 

 
Accessed on 6th July 2016 http://www.eular.org/myUploadData/files/RA%20Class%20Slides%20ACR_Web.pdf
 

I'll make the point that the information I present here is obviously not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

But I’m hoping to help lead people who may have the disease to an earlier diagnosis and suitable treatment.

By the way, I've written many more posts on Rheumatoid Arthritis. Please have a read at this link.