How I was diagnose with RA my family doctor recommend me to a specialist such as an internist or Rheumatologist. A Rheumatologist is a doctor who specializes in arthritis and other diseases of the joint, bones and muscles.
Certain characteristics of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) will be looked for including swelling, warmth, and a limited range of motion in the joints throughout my body. I was asked about fatigue, stiffness in the joints in the morning and how long this lasts throughout the day.
My doctor recommend certain blood tests and x-rays.
One such blood test is looking for the Rheumatoid factor. An antibody generally present in patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis which is a special protein made by the immune system that helps fight foreign substances in the body. This factor may indicate RA however is not present in all cases, and, occasionally is found present in someone who has no symptoms of RA.
Other blood tests include a white blood cell count, a blood test for anemia, and an ESR, (elevated erythrocyte sedimentation) which shows inflammation or another disease may be present.
An X-ray can show any damage to the effected joints, generally not present at the onset of this disease.
So there you go that is the run down of my start of my journey with RA