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How can I tell which kind of rheumatoid arthritis I have?

ANSWER

There's no easy way to tell which kind of rheumatoid arthritis you have, but there are some general signs that suggest you might have the progressive type that can get worse over time:

�Flares that last a long time or are intense

�You were diagnosed at a young age

�Rheumatoid nodules -- bumps under your skin that most often appear on the elbows

�Active inflammation that shows up in tests of joint fluid or in blood tests

�Your doctor spotted a lot of damage on X-rays when you were diagnosed

�High levels of rheumatoid factor or citrulline antibody in blood tests

SOURCES: 

Breedveld, F., , January 2005.  Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases

Harris, E., , W.B. Saunders, 2005.  Kelley's Textbook of Rheumatology, 7th edition

Krishnan, E., , Oct. 1 2003.  American Journal of Medicine

Lee D. , Sept. 15, 2001. The Lancet

Reviewed by David Zelman on April 09, 2018

SOURCES: 

Breedveld, F., , January 2005.  Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases

Harris, E., , W.B. Saunders, 2005.  Kelley's Textbook of Rheumatology, 7th edition

Krishnan, E., , Oct. 1 2003.  American Journal of Medicine

Lee D. , Sept. 15, 2001. The Lancet

Reviewed by David Zelman on April 09, 2018

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When should I see my rheumatologist for rheumatoid arthritis?

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