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rheumatoid factors

Messages
94
Location
NZ
Hi,

Just a quick on. I have had a recent test show positive for rheumatoid factors http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rheumatoid_factor

I do not have any joint pain / issues however rheumatoid factors can be positive for chronic viral infection, which may suggest a cause of my CFS. Does anyone else have a positive rheumatoid factor caused my a viral infection or other reason?

Gary
 
Messages
94
Location
NZ
Its quite interesting there is no reply. I'm guessing and RF marker is not common place for CFS. Given elevated levels can mean a chronic viral infection I thought this might have been a key sign.
 

ramakentesh

Senior Member
Messages
534
No but I wouldnt assume that its because of chronic viral infection although it may be. There are a whole bunch of autoimmune markers that occasionally pop up in CFS and Dysautonomia - ANA speckled is the most popular, Increased C-reactive protein, positive HLA-B27 and occasionally rheumatoid factor.
 

Merry

Senior Member
Messages
1,378
Location
Columbus, Ohio, USA
Hi, Gary.

In the 1970s when I was having a lot of joint pain, a doctor suggested I might have rheumatoid arthritis. A test for RF was, however, negative.

Years later when I was not having joint pain, RF did show up.

I haven't had any testing done for more than ten years.

One doctor in the late 1990s remarked on the "drift" (curve) in my fingers that is a sign of rheumatoid arthritis.
 
Messages
8
Location
Canada
My rheumatoid factor is positive as well, but I do not have rheumatoid arthritis. I don't know the connection between CFS/ME and a positive RF, other than it likely is a result of some bodily attempt to resolve the autoimmune aspect of it.
 

baccarat

Senior Member
Messages
188
Its quite interesting there is no reply. I'm guessing and RF marker is not common place for CFS. Given elevated levels can mean a chronic viral infection I thought this might have been a key sign.
My rheumatologist treats many cases of RA and other with antibiotics. It's a treatment option that few doctors know about but it's been around for ages. Unfortunately drug companies have no interest in funding doctors training to let them know that you can treat somebody with a cheap generic prescription. So you only hear of expensive drugs that have quite harmful potential side effects and help with symptoms at best but do not resolve the underlying cause.

There are studies of autoimmune conditions like MS, ALS and RA induced by bacterial and parasitical infections like Mycoplasma, Borrelia, Chlamydia Penumonia. There are plenty of individual stories (just google it) of people that have regained functionality after treatment with antibiotics. I don't know whether viruses can do the same but I'd look into it if I were you.
I can't comprehend how doctors can completely overlook or ignore the presence of chronic infections in CFS particularly when there some autoimmune disturbance and even more so when the illness was triggered by some sort of infections in the first place. It's just beyond me.

I'd commend the book Autoimmune, The cause and the cure, by Annesse Brockley. It's got a lot of helpful advice in it for autoimmune conditions. It looks at autoimmune disorders from a new different perspective but whether those can be cured for good I don't know.
 
Messages
18
I have seen rheumatoid arthritis blood work normalize in tick born disease patients after antibiotic treatment.
 

ramakentesh

Senior Member
Messages
534
So are all cases of RA caused by tick born illness?

Actually there is some evidence that some pathogens have the ability to produce proteins that can trick the innate immune system into attacking self proteins with similar histocompatibility. But there is also large volumes of evidence that suggest there may be more to autoimmunity than infection. The fact that the same infections dont cause autoimmune disease in all people suggests perhaps genetic abnormalities in innate immunity in some patients.

Its also just as likely that the off switches in autoimmune diseases for cytokine activation or b cell NF-kappa activation may be abnormal.

lastly, in POTS patients can have ridges on their fingernails from excessive vasoconstriction.
 

Charles555nc

Senior Member
Messages
572
I had several positive ANA tests, suggesting autoimmune issues, but that was just the "Screening" test. Ask for a more thorough test to make sure you have that particular issue.
 
Messages
94
Location
NZ
I have seen rheumatoid arthritis blood work normalize in tick born disease patients after antibiotic treatment.

I'm currently testing for other causes such as Q fever and Lymes and others.

Interestingly I also have a large horizontal ridge on my toenails which would correspond with the time fell ill. Its currently growing out so I assumed it was a mineral deficiency.
 

Gamboa

Senior Member
Messages
261
Location
Canada
A positive RF can indicate other things besides rheumatoid arthritis. It is also positive in Sjogren Syndrome which is apparently seen in people with ME/CFS. There are also other reasons for a positive RF test according to lab tests online:

http://labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/rheumatoid/tab/test


"Positive RF test results may also be seen in healthy people and in people with conditions such as: endocarditis; systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus); tuberculosis; syphilis; sarcoidosis; cancer; viral infection; or disease of the liver, lung, or kidney. The RF test is not used to diagnose or monitor these other conditions."

The level of RF is also important. Was yours low or high?

"While it is true that high amounts of this autoantibody are often found in people with active cases of rheumatoid arthritis, high RF levels may also result from Sjgren syndrome or other inflammatory conditions. Increased RF levels in your blood may also mean that you have endocarditis; systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus); tuberculosis; syphilis; sarcoidosis; cancer; viral infection; or a disease of the liver, lung, or kidneys."


"The frequency of false positive RF results (occurring in people who do not have RA or Sjogren syndrome) increases with age. "
 

ramakentesh

Senior Member
Messages
534
Interestingly I also have a large horizontal ridge on my toenails which would correspond with the time fell ill. Its currently growing out so I assumed it was a mineral deficiency.

and let me guess you get cold feet often?
 

SaraM

Senior Member
Messages
526
No but I wouldnt assume that its because of chronic viral infection although it may be. There are a whole bunch of autoimmune markers that occasionally pop up in CFS and Dysautonomia - ANA speckled is the most popular, Increased C-reactive protein, positive HLA-B27 and occasionally rheumatoid factor.

My ANA, RF, CRP, ESR test results were all negative when tested for the first time. I have no nails, but just ridges. Very cold hands and feet.Two cousins had RA as a child, and had monthly antiobiotic injections for years.
 

L'engle

moogle
Messages
3,173
Location
Canada
I've had borderline positive RF without any joint pain. Also have had positive lupus tests but a rheumatologist said that my symptoms were not likely caused by lupus. It's all strange, isn't it?