Skip to content


    Exciting News for WebMD Members!

    We've been busy behind the scenes building new message boards for you. You'll have new and easier ways to find messages, connect with others, and share your stories.

    And, this will all be available on your smartphone or other mobile device!

    What Do You Need to Do?

    The message board you're used to will be closing in the coming weeks. While many of your boards will be making the move to our new home, your posts will not. Want to keep a discussion going? Save posts you want to continue (this includes your member profile story), so that you can re-post them in the new message boards.

    Keep an eye here and on your email inbox, we'll be back in touch soon to give you all the information you need!

    Yours in health,
    WebMD Message Boards Management

    Includes Expert Content
    could use some help
    An_246691 posted:
    OK guys & gals. I'm counting on you.I'm a bit freaked out since my appointment with the rheumatologist's PA 2 weeks ago & I go back tomorrow.I started with feet, then hands, then elbows.I requested blood work results and saw that it's normal.I don't understand how the sed rate can be normal if I have inflammation (stiffness so I couldn't walk in a.m. or make a fist) Only had those symptoms and signs for about a month so x-rays were also normal.I took Prednisone since appointment and the second day I was normal & could wear shoes I hadn't been able to because of swelling for over a year.Do you think I can still RA or is it something else?
    Scott Zashin, MD responded:
    Patients may have normal measures of inflamamtion with RA. Unless a patient has high levels of RF or CCP, I often do not diagnose RA for at leaset 6 weeks as viral illness can cause pain and swelling of joints. Parvovirus is a common type of viral arthritis and can be confirmed by finding a positive Parvo IgM antibody in the bloood. The presence of a Parvo IgG antibody without an IgM antibody shows a prior infection and goes against Parvo as the cause.
    An_246691 replied to Scott Zashin, MD's response:
    Thank you, Dr. Zashin.My PA is saying it's really abnormal to not have a high sed rate but is still sure I have an inflammatory condition.Forgot to ask me if I had Raynaud's last time (which I do).Started me on Plaquenil and suggested low dose Prednisone, which I'm holding off for right now & I return in 6 weeks after getting new bloodwork.Some new tests ordered.Hopefully this time will get me a definite Dx.I know how hard that can be.I'm so glad I found this site.I think I will be needing the support of all these comrades.
    Scott Zashin, MD responded:
    I can't give you a number, but I have patients with active RA who don't have an increase in ESR or CRP, another measure of inflammtion. I feel the CRP is a better marker for possible joint damage than the ESR, but I use both to help me with my treatment decisions. Glad you are doing well.
    Scott Zashin, MD replied to An_246691's response:
    Raynauds is not common with RA. I will diagnose my patients with a postive ANA, raynauds and swollen joints to have an undefined connective tissue disease. I use Plaquenil commonly in this situation.

    Helpful Tips

    help with methotrexate side effectsExpert
    I recommend all my patients on methotrexate take at least 1 mg of Folic Acid daily to help decrease the risk of side effects. In those ... More
    Was this Helpful?
    30 of 33 found this helpful

    Related Drug Reviews

    • Drug Name User Reviews

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.