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1st rheumy appointment


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Old 02-08-2008, 05:24 AM   #1
kw123
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1st rheumy appointment

DR ordered an x-ray of hands and tsh,ccp,crp, and hep c . Can anyone shed some light on these tests and what they mean? thanks kw

 
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Old 02-08-2008, 06:01 AM   #2
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Re: 1st rheumy appointment

Im guessing with the x-ray the doc is looking for any kind of degeneration of the joints. For the blood tests, TSH is one kind of thyroid test; CCP test can help to diagnose Rheumatoid Arthritis; CRP test is used to check for infections and/or inflammation; and Hep C is to check for hepatitis C.

I suppose you are having pain in your hands/fingers?

 
Old 02-08-2008, 10:57 AM   #3
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Re: 1st rheumy appointment

Yes- I have aching joints, fatigue, anxiety etc.. Very concerned it is RA. I guess lupus was ruled out. My fingers are the worst. I did have an elevater RA factor so my Dr ran more tests.

 
Old 02-08-2008, 11:48 AM   #4
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Re: 1st rheumy appointment

Ahh, okay...I'm sorry you're going through that. I've been through the gamut of tests over 20 yrs and i'm still not sure exactly what I might have. Lupus has been suspected in me and my rheumy once said lupus, but other times he didnt seem to know. But I think a positive RF test is more indicative of someone having RA, though maybe someone with RA can give you more info about that. It's not fun to have all the joint pain, fatigue, and other symptoms, but I do hope your doctor can diagnose you so that you can start treatment that helps.

 
Old 02-08-2008, 12:59 PM   #5
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Re: 1st rheumy appointment

wow 20 yrs. Do you have the joint pain and fatigue? I guess lupus can be similar to ra at first. No DX? any thoughts to what you may have? I also have low nomal b12 and ferritin and from what I gather that can also cause my symptoms. I hope they find out what is wrong with you. I hope it doen't take me that long for Dx.

 
Old 02-08-2008, 04:43 PM   #6
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Re: 1st rheumy appointment

Yes, I get flare ups of joint pains, swelling, fatigue, rashes, hives, bladder infections, vomiting, eye problems, what I think are migraines, other headaches, and various other weird symptoms over the years. Not every symptom happens every time necessarily. Then in 2003 I started getting back problems and I ended up having severe lumbar stenosis. I keep getting flare ups of pain & stiffness in my spine and seat areas, as well as my neck & left shoulder also. But even if I do have lupus, I am told the spine issues are a seperate issue. Either way, when I finally took prednisone, it resolved every single symptom I had. Even the lumbar ESI's I get, they not only help when I have nerve pain, but it relieves alot of my spine stiffness and after a week seems to help me feel better all over. I did have a high ana titer almost 20 yrs ago when I went to a derm about a red, raised rash across my face & inside forearms. That dermatologist suspected lupus, but I had no insurance, couldnt afford a skin biopsy or other testing. Finally when I had insurance I saw a rheum in 2004 ( i think it was). I had a flare that got so bad, even after trying various anti inflammatories, the rheum put me on prednison & plaquenil. Once the pred kicked in, I couldnt remember the last time I felt so well. So whatever I have, it must be inflammatory in nature.

 
Old 02-09-2008, 03:47 PM   #7
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Re: 1st rheumy appointment

Baybreeze- Still waiting on test results and today has been bad. Fatigue, body aching, headache, I feel like I have the flu but I know I don't. I have no energy and feel terrible. I hope to get to the bottom of this because I am a mess. I have no redness or swelling just aching. Weird?

 
Old 02-09-2008, 04:17 PM   #8
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Re: 1st rheumy appointment

Well, it's not weird to me because many times I have no redness or visible swelling anywhere either. But yet my whole body somtiems feels as if ive been broadsided on both sides by a freight train. The fatigue gets so bad sometimes it's difficult to get up one or 2 stairs. My problem is my rheumy will look at some of my joints & say he doesnt see any swelling, then that is that. I go home with him saying im a strong lady.

 
Old 02-09-2008, 04:40 PM   #9
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Re: 1st rheumy appointment

Have you had your b12 or ferritin levels checked? Mine were both low. I had a b12 shot today and I feel no better. I wonder if that can cause some of my problems. I hear that b12 can be low with an autoimmune disease. Have you ever heard of this? So do you recommend cortisone shots? My rheumy said he could give them to me to see if I felt better. That would be a clue if I was inflammed. Any thoughts?

 
Old 02-10-2008, 05:39 AM   #10
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Re: 1st rheumy appointment

hi k and bay.....have either one of you had your rheumy check for fibromyalgia? i've had that for many yrs. along with deg.joint disease, deg. spine, and osteo arthritis. you both seem to be having alot of the same problems i do.....hope you get a dx soon.........bevann

 
Old 02-10-2008, 11:22 AM   #11
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Re: 1st rheumy appointment

I will ask to be tested for fibro if RA is ok. I should know my results by monday. I will let you know the results.

 
Old 02-10-2008, 12:15 PM   #12
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Re: 1st rheumy appointment

I've had all sorts of blood tests, pretty sure my B levels have been checked many times. In what areas are you going to get the cortisone shots? I've taken oral steroids, which helped my entire body, but not gotten individual cortisone shots. I've also had epidural steroid injections into my spine many times, which helps my nerve pain & stiffness until the meds wear off.

As for the fibromyalgia, my rheumy had mentioned to this as well a few yrs ago. However, I have doubts that I have it. I ended up also being diagnosed with stenosis, which caused me severe muscle spasms everywhere...and that is probably why I had muscle tenderness (before I knew I had the spine problems). Also, I have read that steroids are the enemy of fibro...that if people with fibro take steroids, it makes them worse. In my case, the steroids make everything better. So with all this combined, I dont think I have fibro. Plus after years of taking plaquenil, it helps alot with the fatigue and my flares arent usually as bad as they were before taking it. I had a bad flare this summer, though, with lots of joint pains, new ones in my hands, plus low grade fever, but I didnt have the fatigue. But then I slowly got more pain & stiffness in my spine again, along with sciatica.

I should also mention that there's a med called Provigil that is being studied to help fatigue in MS, and many docs try it for Fibro as well. It's actually approved for sleep disorders such as narcolespy & night shift workers, but it seems to help others as well with fatigue. I had tried it but it didnt agree with me. I ended up not being able to sleep at all on it so I stopped it.

 
Old 02-10-2008, 01:22 PM   #13
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Re: 1st rheumy appointment

wow- You are so knowledgeable and I have learned so much from alot of you. My rheumy just thought to try the shots to see if they worked for inflammation. If I felt better with less aches he said he knew it was inflammation. This was just to try for the weekend before my tests came back. I said no to shots and I said I would wait to see my results and then worry about the rest. I don't want to take to much meds unless it is needed. I have started a ton of vitamins though. I am a queen at that right now.

 
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