Yes. I still mostly rely on the patient’s history and physical exam. A few blood tests can help support a diagnosis of RA: anti CCP antibody, RF for example. If these are present it suggests a worse prognosis. Joint x rays with early symptoms are often normal. More studies are defining the role of musculoskeletal ultrasound and MRI of the joints in helping us diagnose rheumatoid arthritis early.
Yes. The anti-ccp antibody and rheumatoid factor are the best and are positive in 85% of people with rheumatoid arthritis. A good history and examination by a physician experienced with rheumatoid arthritis is the only real way to make the diagnosis.
Yes. The best tests are a thorough history and physical examination (h&p) by a rheumatologist. Blood tests such as the rheumatoid factor and cyclic citrinullated peptides are helpful but not as reliable as the the h&p. X-rays help less unless there is already joint damage.
None definitive. Rheumatoid factor, C-reactive protein and sedimentation rate are the most frequently ordered test but it is a clinical diagnosis only confirmed by blood tests. It rarely starts in the neck. Neck pain is very complex and the treatment and cure is well covered in my book, Stop Your Neck Pain and Headache Now.
See rheumatologist. There are many meds. You need a comprehensive program to lessen the damage to your joints. Included are nsaids, prednisone, Methotrexate, embral and many others. These are only given by a doctor that will monitor you long term to help lessen the bad side effects and change drugs when response is not good. Find a good rheumatologist!
None. So this answer may sound strange given all of the tests we have, but autoimmune diseases like RA is diagnosed based off of symptoms as opposed to lab tests. If you have small/medium joint pain and stiffness that is worse in the morning for several hours, then the tests help. We typically test for rheumatoid factor and anti-ccp antibodies. If these are positive without symptoms, I don't diagnose ra.
CCP antibody. The ccp antibody is the most specific test that is generally available.
See a rheumatologist. Rheumatologist can give you the best advice and treatment plan for ra.
Anti inflammatory. A whole food diet, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, legumes, lean protein and healthy fats like omega 3 fatty acids found in some fish like salmon. Avoid processed foods, too much sugar, simple carbs, like bread, cookies cakes and crackers. These cause your blood sugar to rise quickly and increase inflammation in your body. Some people do better avoiding nightshade vegetables.
Foodstuffs. Unless contraindicated with concurrent medications, no particular foodstuffs are contraindicated for rheumatic conditions.
RF and CCP. The most important element in diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is your history. The duration of your symptoms and pattern of joint involvement are important. Having someone experienced in examining your joints is critical. Although the blood tests (rheumatoid factor and anti-CCP antibodies), can help make a diagnosis, they must be interpreted in the context of your symptoms and exam.
Yes and no. Cross fit is a very intensive form of exercise. If you are not having a flare up of rheumatoid it could be a good way to get exercise. Just be careful to not use too heavy weight and stop when your body tells you to!
Crossfit scaleable. Anyone can participate in crossfit exercises. Workouts can be intense, but can be scaled to your abilities. Acertified crossfit trainer at an affiliate gym can help modify workouts to suit your needs/injuries. Strengthening your body can be helpful with ra. Make sure you allow for plenty of rest and recovery, however and emphasize form and technique over weight and speed during wods.
Possibly. I haven't seen any particular studies of Crossfit and RA. But there is plenty of data that exercise improves pain control, moods, bone density and longevity in RA patients. Be aware, that depending on the severity of your RA, you may require significant modifications of any Crossfit workouts to allow you to participate.