Arthritis is a common ailment and one that typically presents with pain and stiffness in the joints. But what many people don’t realize is that it’s also an autoimmune condition. As such, it can show up in blood work as there are a number of factors that indicate it may be present in the body.
Understanding the Rheumatoid Factor
The Rheumatoid Factor (RF) is a measurement based on a group of specific proteins found in the blood. These proteins are only created when your body’s immune system attacks healthy tissues. Because of that, Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) can show up in the blood. Anytime these proteins are found at more than 20 units per milliliter of blood, they may be indicative of a serious problem such as RA. However, not all types of arthritis will show up this way, and that can be important to remember when checking with your doctor about proper hand treatment for pain and stiffness.
Peptides and the Sedimentation Rate
If you have hand pain that you suspect might be related to some type of arthritic condition, your blood may also be tested for a specific type of peptides, and for your sedimentation rate. These are both factors that can show whether you have a type of arthritis or not. These tests are not always conclusive, and sometimes people who have a condition don’t show it in their blood work in the same way that other people do. But certain types of arthritic conditions can definitely appear in the blood work, and that’s why your doctor will most likely order specific blood tests if your symptoms warrant a further investigation.
What You Should Be Asking Your Doctor
When you see your doctor, tell them about your hand pain. The more specific and descriptive you can be, the more it will help them decide whether blood work is in order and what you should be tested for. That way you get the proper diagnosis, and you may also shorten the time it takes to discover the cause of your discomfort. With the right-hand treatment for an arthritic condition, whether it shows up in the blood or not, you’ll be better able to work with your doctor to improve as much as possible. With less pain and discomfort in your hands and joints, you can focus on getting back to all the things in life you really enjoy, along with your daily life tasks.