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Old 08-31-2011, 12:55 PM   #3
jennybyc jennybyc is offline
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Re: Can Ankylosing Spondylitis or other Spondyloarthropy Disease = debilitating fatig

Hi

the problem with the spondyloarthropathies is that #1....no blood work to confirm, #2, you have to wait many years for the syndesmophytes to form on the spine to confirm and #3, they can still affect the internal organs like Ra and others but then again, it could be a combination of OA and Ra. And you are right...about 8% of the population carries the HLA-B27 marker but that doesn't mean you have one of the disorders connected to it.

I recognize the fatigue you speak of...I have RA now after years of battling OA and at one point, being told I had Reactive Arthritis...another spondyloarthropathy. I had back pain. Finally, they made the determination that I had extensive OA all over, including my back and Ra had developed on top of it. My blood work was still negative for the specific tests for RA but they did an MRI of my wrist and that showed the type of inflammation that comes with RA...bingo.

I try to explain the fatigue of RA as feeling like you are so tired from sleeping all night you need a nap. Anything and everything you do....like breathe...and you get tired. It is overwhelming to the point of scary. I have fallen asleep while driving.

Keep seeing the rheumy. These disorders are best diagnosed by being watched and symptoms accumulated over a period of time. RA and the others form a pattern and if can be recognized with time and patience. The tests are very frustrating and often wrong but sometimes you get just one that shows you what you need to know...like my wrist MRI. Only Ra causes erosions in the bone whereas AS caused syndesmophytes. And OA causes bone spurs that are recognizable as well. Often the x-rays and scans do better than any blood work.

But in the meantime, the doc can still treat you and that can help to identify the disorder as well. A good baseline drug for any inflammatory disorder is methotrexate and if that helps, you know something is going on. They can then progress to a biologic and if that helps, it narrows it down further....disorders like lupus don't respond to the same biologics. Until they catch up with tests that actually show something in the majority of patients, it's hit and miss with the diagnosis and treatment.

Hope this helps and I'm sorry about the fatigue...I know it way too well.

Jenny

Last edited by Administrator; 10-02-2011 at 03:46 PM.