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Suffering from joint pain. Could this be indicative of early signs of RA?

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Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 1999
Answered : 325 Questions
I have joint pain in my knuckles and fingers and wrists, big toe joints on both sides and a ESR of 27. I am a 59 year old woman, could this be indicative of early signs of RA?
Posted Sat, 25 Aug 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Rajeev Chavda 51 minutes later
Thanks for using the XXXXXXX I am happy to address your questions, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a long-term disease that leads to inflammation of the joints and surrounding tissues. It is an autoimmune disease, which means the body's immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue. RA can occur at any age, but is more common in middle age. Women get RA more often than men.
RA usually affects joints on both sides of the body equally. Wrists, fingers, knees, feet, and ankles are the most commonly affected. The disease often begins slowly, usually with only minor joint pain, stiffness, and fatigue. Joint symptoms may include morning stiffness, which lasts more than 1 hour, is common. Joints may feel warm, tender, and stiff when not used for an hour. Joint pain is often felt on the same joint on both sides of the body. Over time, joints may lose their range of motion and may become deformed. Nodules under the skin (usually a sign of more severe disease). Numbness, tingling, or burning in the hands and feet, sleep difficulties. Two lab tests that often help in the diagnosis are rheumatoid factor test and anti-CCP antibody test which needs to be done to confirm the diagnosis in addition to the symptoms mentioned above. Hope I have answered your query. If you have any further questions I will be happy to help. Thanks
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Suffering from joint pain. Could this be indicative of early signs of RA? 30 minutes later
Sorry but I know what RA is and it's symptoms, I was wanting to know if the ESR of 27 was a indication of a inflammatory response in a woman of my age.
I do not feel you have answered my question at all.
Answered by Dr. Rajeev Chavda 6 hours later
I am sorry I could not clarify your concerns earlier. Yes, your ESR is elevated and is suggestive of an inflammatory response. The most commonly method used for ESR determination is Westergren's method and in your age group, the normal is upto 20 mm/hr. This could be due to RA, connective tissue diseases, acute and chronic infections, vasculitis etc or it could be a non specific response as well.
I hope that answers your question.
Let me know if I can address any more concerns.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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