Are you having Arthritis? Find out via Arthritis Diagnosis


Diagnosing arthritis requires the presence of more than one symptom as well as more than one test. This is because the symptoms of arthritis are such that they are also the part of some other diseases. Therefore, certain tests are done to rule out the existence of other diseases and to detect the arthritis type too. In reality, arthritis diagnosis is actually a difficult task even for the rheumatologist who is specially trained to combat this condition. This is also because of the fact that over 90 types exist making it difficult to detect the type. But, it is also true that the earlier is the diagnosis, the effective will be the treatment. So, the victim needs to remain very observable and knowledgeable about the disease so that he or she can exactly speak about the experiences.

The process of arthritis diagnosis starts when you start spotting the symptoms. While diagnosing, the doctor will hunt for particular symptoms as well as disease characteristics. During the process of arthritis diagnosis, the doctor will take into account the medical history, blood tests, physical examination, as well as the imaging studies.


Physical examination

This is done by the doctor to spot any of the following visible signs related to arthritis:

  • Fever
  • Redness
  • Warm joints indicating inflammation
  • Joint stiffness
  • Tenderness
  • Swollen joints
  • Bumps
  • Plan of diseased joints – symmetric or asymmetric
  • Limited motion
  • Fatigue

Laboratory tests

Blood tests aim at supplying even more particular information by monitoring the disease plans. As per the history and examination, the doctor might take one or more of these tests.

  • Rheumatoid Factor: This is actually an immunoglobulin or antibody located in 80% adults having rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR): Also called sedimentation rate, this test indicates the existence of unclear inflammation.
  • C-Reactive Protein (CRP): This protein is formed by the liver after tissue damage. If acute inflammation exists, then the CRP’s plasma levels hike rapidly. So, this is a better indication of the disease than the sedimentation rate.
  • Anti-Cyclic Citrullinated Peptide (Anti-CCP): This blood test looks for the presence of high levels of this anti-CCP in the blood to confirm rheumatoid arthritis. This is a better option than the rheumatoid factor.
  • Antinuclear Antibodies (ANA): These refer to the strange auto antibodies in the body, which are immunoglobulins acting against the nuclear elements of the cells. This test, as per the indirect immunofluorescence, detects the normal to high levels of the antinuclear antibody. If this is positive, then arthritis has struck. The test is positive in over 95% patients having systemic lupus erythematosus, 80% scleroderma patients, and 50% patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Complete Blood Count: This identifies the total number of WBC, RBC, hemoglobin, other red blood cells, and the platelets. In case, the white blood cells are more than required, it indicates the chances of a living infection. If red blood cells are less, then it suggests the presence of chronic inflammation. Low hemoglobin as well as hematocrit denotes anemia due to chronic diseases or bleeding due to medications. In patients with rheumatoid arthritis, the number of platelets is quite high.
  • Human Leukocyte Antigens (HLA) Tissue Typing: HLA refer to the proteins existing on the cells’ surface. Certain HLA proteins are actually the genetic factors in some rheumatic disorders. If these markers are present, then rheumatoid arthritis has hit you. HLA-B27 is the indicator of ankylosing spondylitis, while HLA-DR4 denotes the presence of rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Uric Acid: If high level of this acid exists in the blood, they can form crystals that get deposited around the tissues and in joints leading to gout attacks.
  • Biopsies: To detect those systemic rheumatic disorders that affect the organs, biopsies of the organs can help in arthritis diagnosis. Fluid samples can also aid in detecting the disease along with this test.

Medical Imaging

Herein, the doctor will opt for x-rays that offer images of the bones and joints to unveil the deformities. Further, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans offer cross-sectional pictures of the body via radio waves and a magnetic field. This provides exact information regarding the joints, bones, and soft tissues. With MRI, it is also possible to spot even the very tiny alterations in the body.

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