Testing for Rheumatoid Arthritis


I have had RA almost 30years & can remember it taking a few years to get a formal diagnosis. I started to feel people thought it was all in my head, so it was a relief to finally have it show up in a blood test.

I wonder how much has changed, only my 21 year old son has started to suspect he too may have RA & came to me asking if he should get a blood test. I know from experience the ESR & CRP levels that are meant to show up inflammation aren’t always definitive. If my son books a blood test & by the time it’s done he feels ok, is there any point in getting it done?

Surely it doesn’t take years to get diagnosed nowadays, or am I kidding myself?


  • helpline_team

    Hi @MissA,

    Thank you for posting on our on-line community, we are sorry to hear that it took such a long time for you to get a confirmed diagnosis for your rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and hopefully things have moved on since then.

    If your son suspects that he also has the condition, then yes, it is important that he has the tests to confirm this, we are hoping of course that he hasn’t, but it can only be managed if he has the test.

    It often happens that a person can have the blood tests and that they can come back as negative so we often suggest other tests such as, MRI scan or an X-ray which can also confirm this.

    It is such a shame and no it shouldn’t take that length of time to get a diagnosis and we really hope that your son has a better experience than you had.

    Best wishes


    Helpline Advisor

  • MissA
    MissA Member Posts: 58

    Thank you for your reply. I hope he hasn’t got RA but agree if he has, it can only be treated if he gets tested.

    Dealing with the NHS on this is going to need the usual pro active approach, to avoid falling off their radar.

    Thanks again.