Seronegative rheumatoid arthritis is a relatively unknown form of RA. Arthritis is a collective name used to classify a condition that causes a certain set of symptoms. Of the various forms of arthritis that are known, this is considered one of the most common.
A patient afflicted with RA will generally have the factor for the disease present in their blood. The production of this factor increases as the disease progresses and it destroys the joints and muscles. However, this factor is absent in some people who display the other classic symptoms of arthritis, People who display other symptoms of arthritis but test negative are known to have seronegative rheumatoid arthritis.
While it has been suggested that people with this form of RA have a mild form of the condition, this is untrue. People with the condition often suffer just as much as people with normal rheumatoid arthritis do.
Seronegative rheumatoid arthritis often proves problematic. In a way, it means that patients test negative when subject to regular RA tests. This often leads to misdiagnoses. Doctors are reluctant to diagnose a patient with a condition as serious as RA if they are not absolutely sure of it.
The problem with this is that early treatment is essential with rheumatoid arthritis. Damage to the joints and bones can be stopped or at least slowed down using drugs. Once the damage has been done, however, it is permanent. Thus someone suffering from RA should start using such drugs as soon as possible. If a doctor does not diagnose the disease properly, however, then that patient is not likely to receive such medication until much later.
This is why it is important that you know the signs and symptoms well. You should also take the time and effort to find out if you have a family history of arthritis. This information will help doctors diagnose you with the condition if you have it. The worst possible thing is having rheumatoid arthritis and not receiving proper treatment for the condition.
Signs And Symptoms
The signs and symptoms of seronegative rheumatoid arthritis are identical to those of normal arthritis diseases. Most patients complain of swelling and inflammation in the joints. The knee and hip joints in particular are most often affected. Patients may also find nodules growing under their skin. These nodules appear on certain parts of the body, and greatly aid in the diagnosis of the disease.
In certain cases, rheumatoid arthritis has been known to affect other organs such as the eyes and the lungs. Some patients suffering from RA also experience extreme dryness in their eyes and mouths. If left untreated, dryness in the eye can lead to corneal damage, resulting in impaired vision.
If you find that you are experiencing any of these signs and symptoms, then you must be sure to inform your doctor. This will help greatly with the diagnosis, and your doctor will be better able to determine if you are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis or not.