What do you mean by seronegative rheumatoid arthritis? It occurs when a patient is declared by the doctor to have this arthritis but in the blood tests, he never tested positive for rheumatoid factor. What is this rheumatoid factor? It is basically an immunoglobulin antibody found in the body comprising around eighty percent of the sufferers of this arthritis. The disease is commonly diagnosed with the use of rheumatoid factor as the tool. However, there are some patients who do not have such rheumatoid factor but still experience the symptoms of the arthritis.
Approximately one to two percent of perfectly healthy people can have this antibody. More cases of this rheumatoid factor involve those adults aging above 65. More of the sufferers of seronegative rheumatoid arthritis are the ones who had the juvenile form of such disease probably acquired during childhood. The longer the time the patient suffers from the disease, the more they become susceptible to rheumatoid factor. Hence, the antibody may not appear to other people. Through a series of medical tests, it has been found out that there is a significant difference between people who have the disease and those who have the antibody.
Seronegative arthritis sufferers are less likely to have their joints eroded and damaged. On the other hand, those who test positive for the antibody are more likely to develop nodules under their skin.
Symptoms and progress associated with seronegative arthritis are the same in both groups. Testing positive or negative for the rheumatoid factor does not matter at all when it comes to going through symptoms like swelling, stiffness and damage of joints. Hence, all those symptoms are more intense in patients who test positive. Therefore, if you belong to the negative group, you should be grateful for the fact that you are still able to retain the functions of your joint. To diagnose rheumatoid arthritis, it is important to go through a series of laboratory tests. Based on Arthritis foundation, 70 to 80 percent of patient who have the antibody are likely to have rheumatoid arthritis.
When the diagnosis declares that you are positive for the rheumatoid factor and you have rheumatoid arthritis, it means that you are a seropositive rheumatoid arthritis patient or sufferer. On the other hand, if you test negative for the antibody and you have rheumatoid arthritis, it means that you have seronegative rheumatoid arthritis.
Seronegative rheumatoid arthritis badly affects the body of the patient. It makes them always feel weak, fatigued and completely stiff body. The onset of the ailment is typically experienced during rest time or in the morning when the sufferer wakes up after a long sleep. Pain is felt in wrists, ankles and back. The attack can also be characterized by a slightly swollen tissue under the skin. If you suffer from this disease, you need to expect to live a poor quality life.
The progress of the disease can hardly be monitored because the antibody is not present in the blood. The treatment of this disease is concentrated on easing the pain, lessening the inflammation and reducing damage to joints. A number of medications available for this ailment include non- steroidal inflammatory drug (NSAIDs), analgesic drugs, disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs and biologic response modifiers.
If all these medications do not work effectively for the patient due to the severity of the condition, the last option for the treatment is a surgery.