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HavaneseMom

A Question For The Blood Test Experts Regarding Rheumatoid Factor

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Hi Everyone,

 

I know some of you have been throught the ringer with a variety of health problems, so I was hoping someone here might be able to give me some insight on the test results I just received.

 

I was telling my doc about some long term pain I have, so he ran a blood test for Rheumatoid Factor.

My labs Reference range is 0-15 IU/mL, and my test came back at <10 .

No specific number was given for my result, just <10 . Kind of strange to me since that could mean anything over 10. Has anyone here had experience with this test and can help me interpret this result?

 

Thanks in advance!

 

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When I was diagnosed with lupus, an orthopedic surgeon had run a rheumatoid factor test before doing yet another surgery on a joint.  I brought the result to my family doctor and she said the rheumatoid factor test is out dated... but it can still be used as a tool.  I don't know what test is newer and better, but you may want to have more tests run.

 

Also, you are misreading your test result.  Unless you have made a typo, <10 means less than ten.  If it were greater than ten, it would appear as >10.  There is likely a minimum amount detectable by the test, which is ten, and you are less than that, but the test is unable to give the exact number.

 

If your family doctor is still unable to pinpoint anything, ask to be referred to a rheumatologist.  With celiac disease you already have a history of autoimmune problems and that should be able to get you in.

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OMG LauraTX!!! I can't believe I read that wrong - and posted about it!

So embarrasing! I remember that I did always have a problem with that in math class. Oh well...

They did run other test for Lupus etc, that came back fine also, so that is good news.

 

I went to my GI doctor yesterday and he suspects that alot of my ongoing issues are from my very low ferritin. It started at 2 and is only up to 9 after 8 months. He said I will probably feel the effects of low ferritin until it reaches 50 and said to plan on it taking a year to get up there. Hopefully it will be quicker than that cause this brain fog and pain can make it hard to function some days. At least my stomach ache is finally gone now and I can have a sense of humor about things.

 

Thanks for letting me know that test came back fine ;-)

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I think you may have had your "ah ha" moment already. 

 

Many labs do different testing methodologies.  Some are qualitative ( plus/minus - positive/negative) and some quantitative ( where you actually get a number).  When we tested for RF we had an initial screening test that was qualitative, and then if we got a positive result it required the quantitative.  Some doctors think the test is out dated but others use them also in conjunction with a ESR to see if any therapy you are on is helping.  Not only used as a diagnostic test but a therapeutic as well.

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OMG LauraTX!!! I can't believe I read that wrong - and posted about it!

So embarrasing! I remember that I did always have a problem with that in math class. Oh well...

They did run other test for Lupus etc, that came back fine also, so that is good news.

 

I went to my GI doctor yesterday and he suspects that alot of my ongoing issues are from my very low ferritin. It started at 2 and is only up to 9 after 8 months. He said I will probably feel the effects of low ferritin until it reaches 50 and said to plan on it taking a year to get up there. Hopefully it will be quicker than that cause this brain fog and pain can make it hard to function some days. At least my stomach ache is finally gone now and I can have a sense of humor about things.

 

Thanks for letting me know that test came back fine ;-)

It is not easy to increase ferritin and iron.  Iron is hard to absorb.  Some important information......do not take any iron supplement within 1-2 hours of drinking tea, coffee or alcohol.  These interfere with absorption.  Take iron with a meal or some food as that makes it easier to be absorbed. Take a Vitamin C supplement with your iron because this enhances absorption.  Eat good quality red meat once a week while trying to build iron because that is the best source of it.

 

I always hovered around the break point with iron and no matter what I did, the numbers were slow to rise or didn't rise much. Then I researched it and found I was doing it wrong.  Doctors never tell you this stuff. Following this protocol, my ferritin number jumped the highest it ever did. Went up by 40 points and I think that was in 6 months to a year.

 

For your reading pleasure.....http://www.parentingscience.com/iron-absorption.html     :)

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It is not easy to increase ferritin and iron. Iron is hard to absorb. Some important information......do not take any iron supplement within 1-2 hours of drinking tea, coffee or alcohol. These interfere with absorption. Take iron with a meal or some food as that makes it easier to be absorbed. Take a Vitamin C supplement with your iron because this enhances absorption. Eat good quality red meat once a week while trying to build iron because that is the best source of it.

I always hovered around the break point with iron and no matter what I did, the numbers were slow to rise or didn't rise much. Then I researched it and found I was doing it wrong. Doctors never tell you this stuff. Following this protocol, my ferritin number jumped the highest it ever did. Went up by 40 points and I think that was in 6 months to a year.

For your reading pleasure.....http://www.parentingscience.com/iron-absorption.html :)

Thanks Gemini for the great information on boosting iron absorption. I was going to start a topics about it, but know I don't need to :-) .

I'm not sure if you will come back to read my reply, but if you do I was hoping to ask you a couple of questions.

Do you know which form of iron you were taking? I was taking Iron Picolinate and was feeling brighter, but they stopped manufacturing it for some reason. I switched to Iron Bisglycinate because it is a gentle form of iron, but my hair is falling out again and I'm feeling really sluggish, etc. I'm wondering if I should try a different form of iron to see if it works better for me and am curious which type you were taking when your iron level increased?

Also, did you see a big improvement in how you were feeling once your ferritin level finally had the large increase? I'm a little concerned that my docs might be overlooking some other problem. I'm just curious from your experience if you did feel a major difference in your health once your levels were up compared to when they were low?

Thanks so much!

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Hi HavaneseMom!

 

This is the best iron supplement I have ever taken and the one I always take when needed.  I prefer liquid supplements for iron because of the better absorption and this one does not seem to cause constipation.  I have to admit that I have never been constipated...it is just not something I suffer from but I mentioned that because I know many people have trouble with iron and this one may help to avoid that in those who lean towards it when on an iron supplement.

 

http://www.iherb.com/Flora-Salus-Floradix-Floravital-Iron-Herbs-Supplement-Liquid-Extract-Formula-8-5-fl-oz-250-ml/3012

 

There are 2 versions of this and one is not gluten free so make sure, if you buy it, you have the one which is gluten free.  It is clearly marked on the front of the package in readable size lettering.....thank God!  I buy mine in a health food store so it's fairly easy to find.  It has a pleasant taste because of the fruit juices they add to the mix and there is no stomach discomfort with it.  After opening, store in your refrigerator and use up immediately because it has no preservatives so they recommend use within a month. Easy to do.  I can't say enough good things about this supplement....my thyroid doc turned me on to it because low iron is a problem if you have thyroid disease and I have Hashi's.

I have used it off and on for over 25 years. Much less now because I am actually absorbing my food and supplements! 

 

As far as how I felt, and I know this sounds weird but I never felt horrible when my iron was low. It never slowed me down as far as work goes. I push through everything...kind of a Type A person.  But since my ferretin was shown to be raised, about a year ago, I would say I just feel good. I have energy to work full time and work out in the gym twice a week. I do not get sick at all anymore and my allergies, although still there and a little bothersome, are nowhere near as bad as they were in years previous. If I start to feel tired, it usually is from my thyroid being a little off so it's sometimes hard for me to pin point because I have other things going on.  But, compared to what I was like 9 years ago when I was diagnosed with Celiac, I am 200% better.  It just took a while to get there.  I will never have stellar RBC counts but I am not in the anemic range and my ferretin was up by about 40 points after taking a couple of bottles of this over 2 months and doing all those pain in the ass things to make sure I was absorbing it well. Stupid me....I have a glass of red wine with my meal at night and I was taking the iron supplement with the meal and the wine.  Worked well for me but not my ferretin levels.  I never knew these things could interfere with absorption. It's tricky for me because iron interferes with thyroid hormone absorption so I can't take the iron within about 5 hours of my thyroid hormone.  I had to resort to a schedule for my supplements and that seemed to do the trick. It's enough to make your head spin, at times!

 

I will look up my ferretin levels this week-end.  I took this supplement about a year ago to get the ferretin up.  I just know that after doing all this, there was a big jump upwards and that never really happened before.

 

 

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Thanks for answering all of my questions Gemini!

 

I'm going to run to the health store today to pick up the liquid iron you recommended. Hopefully it will do the trick. I do think it will help to try a different form of iron, since the one I am taking doesn't seem to be doing a whole lot to increase my numbers. I'm excited to try this one and see what happens.

 

I'm also thinking maybe I am still feeling a little run down because I am probably still in the healing process. I am 8 months gluten free now, but only started to feel better about 2 1/2 months or so ago. I was sick for quite a while before my diagnosis (although not as sick as many of the others on this forum), but have felt run down for as long as I can remember. I'm going to give it a little more time before I get too concerned about it. I think I just have to keep working on all of the things I need to do to increase my energy and lower my pain, like eating healthier, loosing weight and exercising.

 

I'm not a Type A personality like you mentioned you are, but I aspire to be :-) .

I have to say, I have been really inspired and encouraged through this process just reading about how many people on this board have powered through terrible health problems and still have a positive attitude and outlook. It has been really helpful and keeps me chugging along.

 

Thanks Again!

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HavaneseMom - if it makes you feel any better I once posted a question about iron and ferritin saturation levels that were '-3' and '-3%' and how it was possible for me to have -3% saturation. Turns out the '-' was just to signify that they were below the normal ranges...

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HavaneseMom - if it makes you feel any better I once posted a question about iron and ferritin saturation levels that were '-3' and '-3%' and how it was possible for me to have -3% saturation. Turns out the '-' was just to signify that they were below the normal ranges...

Thanks for trying to make me feel better for asking that questions Katie!

I think I will just blame it on my anemia induced brain fog :-)

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