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Symptoms and Treatments of Seronegative Rheumatoid Arthritis

Symptoms and Treatments of Seronegative Rheumatoid Arthritis

Seronegative Rheumatoid Arthritis is a type of rheumatoid arthiritis where the patient actually tests negative for what is known as the rheumatoid factor.  This is a type of protein that is found in the blood stream of patients suffering from rheumatoid arthisitis.  About twenty percent of those with rheumatoid arthritis have seronegative rheumatoid arthiritis, which can be harder to diagnose since the test that is usually used to detect the rheumatoid factor is not useful.

The symptoms of seronegative rheumatoid arthritis are the same as any other rheumatoid arthritis.  It is by these symptoms that a diagnosis can be made in spite of the absence of the rheumatoid factor in the bloodstream.  Some experts believe those who have seronegative rheumatoid arthritis may have a milder form of the disease, but symptoms are still very similar.  

Seronegative rheumatoid arthritis symptoms include pain, redness, swelling and inflammation in the joints, joint pain that becomes worse when the joint is moved, a feeling of stiffness when waking in the morning or after being inactive for a long period of time, feelings of fatigue and general feelings of being unwell, symptoms that can be flu-like in nature, loss of appetite, and the appearance of firm growths near the joints which are not painful but very much present.  The joints in the hands, wrists, ankles, knees and feet are those most commonly affected by seronegative rheumatoid arthritis; unlike other forms of arthritis it is often spread throughout the body.

If left untreated, seronegative rheumatoid arthritis can result in permenant disfiguration of the joints caused by damage to the cartilage, bones being weakened and weakened tissue around the joints.  This can result in a bent appearance to the joint most noticeable in the fingers, and the appearance of nodules.  These changes can not be reveresed, so early diagnosis of seronegative rheumatoid arthritis is key to preventing them.

Much of the treatment for seronegative rheumatoid arthritis is changes in lifestyle and home care.  Patients are encouraged to do appropriate exercise as well as to get plenty of rest and attempt to reduce stress in daily life.  Seeing a massage therapist is a good way to reduce stress as well as deal with pain and inflammation.  The use of ice packs as well as heat to reduce inflammation is often recommended as well.  Taking care of the joints carefully every day is the best way to prevent the symptoms from worsening.

There are also some drugs and natural treatments on the market that can offer relief from the symptomes of seronegative rheumatoid arthritis.  You should be certain to speak with your doctor before you start any drug treatment, even over the counter or natural.

The biggest key to the proper treatment of seronegative rheumatoid arthritis is the proper diagnosis.  This can be tricky due to the fact that the traditional test can not be used.  Because rheumatoid arthritis can mimic some other serious illnesses, it’s important to see your doctor right away for the proper testing to eliminate these options before pursuing treatment.

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