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Old 07-13-2012, 12:23 PM   #1
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Is this Arthritis?

I am new to this board, and trying to find some answers.

For the past 12 days, I have been waking up with sore hands and feet in the morning...it's gotten so bad that I can barely grasp things. It feels like I've spent the previous day rock climbing, but I haven't. It feels like all the little muscles are sore and achey. My neck is somewhat sore on the sides, and weaker than normal. My hip joints feel strained, as do my shoulder joints.

I have hypothyroidism, and I've posted this query on their board, but not much feedback. Also, I am compound heterzygous MTHFR, which means my body has clotting issues and trouble absorbing folate.

I had a cousin with very severe (debilitating) arthritis, but I'm not sure which kind.

I went to see my GP for an ear infection yesterday, and he helpfully suggested that I am "probably sleeping with my hands clenched..."

Can anyone shed light on this? Thanks in advance!

 
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Old 07-15-2012, 07:15 AM   #2
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Re: Is this Arthritis?

Just saw another entry about someone else waking up with sore muscles and joints...she had 5ths disease. I suppose I might have too, but I never had a cold or fever. Just woke up with the sore muscles on a Monday, and it's been getting worse since! :-(

Yesterday, I took two Aleve, and felt like a normal person pretty soon, and today my hands and feet aren't as sore as they have been being upon wake up.

I hope this goes away soon!

 
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Old 07-15-2012, 07:34 AM   #3
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Re: Is this Arthritis?

If it doesn't I would suggest you go back and ask your Dr to do some arthritis blood testing. This usually involves an ANA for lupus, an RA factor for rheumatoid, a sed rate and CRP for general inflammation, and sometimes a uric acid for gout and ASO titer for strept related arthritis, if history or exam is suggestive. Xrays of the hands and feet can be done, but since this just started are unlikely to show anything. If any of the blood tests are elevated, it should be pursued with more specific tests and a rheumatology consult. If you can find out what kind of arthritis your cousin had, that would be helpful too. In the meantime, the Aleve should be fine to give you some relief.

 
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Old 07-20-2012, 11:14 AM   #4
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Re: Is this Arthritis?

So, I just got my test results back. The PA said I have "WAY high" Rheumatoid Factor but normal SED rate...

Meanwhile, the pain continues.

 
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Old 07-21-2012, 02:57 PM   #5
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Re: Is this Arthritis?

I would suggest you get the actual number from the RA factor and a copy of the test results. Then I would ask for a rheum referral and be sure to take your results with you so everything is not repeated. The rheum needs the negative results of anything else that was tested as well.

 
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Old 08-08-2012, 07:24 AM   #6
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Re: Is this Arthritis?

So here are the results of my lab tests that I got back from the rheumy. He said I have an autoimmune disease, but not sure what kind yet..."probably lupus," he said. HOWEVER, to be diagnosed with lupus, according to the Lupus Foundation of America and the American College of Rheumatology, you need to have 4 of the 11 symptoms ( I have TWO--arthralgia and a high positive ANA test)

Here are my other labs...hoping some of you might be able to shed some light on my situation.

Some background info: I have hypothyroidism--on meds and under control--but didn't show Antithyroid antibodies (TPOAb). Had my 1st pregnancy followed by miscarriage in March (5 months ago).

Here are the blood tests that, as far as I know, are relevant to autoimmune disease: (Sorry for the reading difficulty--when I typed it out, I put plenty of space between the columns of My Results and Reference Ranges, but when I posted it, it took it away--so I put Reference Ranges in quotations, to try to make it easier to read...)
Test: My Results: Reference Range:
WBC 5.33 (3.5-10.8)
RBC CNT 4.43 ( 4.18-5.22)
ESR 9 (0-20)
RF 17.1 (0-13.9) "slightly elevated" in the words of my rheumatologist
C3 104 (90-180)
C4 33 (9-36)
CH50 46 (22-60)
RNP antibodies 3.3 (0.0-0.9)
Smith antibodies <0.2 (0.0-0.9)
Parvovirus 19, IgG 5.2 (<0.9 Neg, >1.1 Positive)
Parvovirus 19, IgM 0.3 (<0.9 Neg, >1.1)
CCP Antibodies 1 (<20 Negative)
Anti-dsDNA 6 (<5 Neg., Equivocal 5-9, >9 positive)
ANA, IFA 1:1280 Speckled Pattern
Negative Lyme Test

The Rheumy started me on 20 mg/d prednisone for 2 weeks to control pain, and will put me on Plaquinil at the end of those two weeks.

Well, the prednisone did GREAT for all of one day--the 2nd day of taking it. I'm on day 6 of taking it; since day 2, which was AMAZING, my hands and feet/shoulders have slowly begun to get more and more painful in the mornings. I'm back to taking my prescription anti-inflammatory (which he said I could back off of), and my pain meds (tramadol) to TRY to get completely pain-free (and I'm not).

I am just wondering if I really have lupus. I am not sun-sensitive...I don't have rashes. The joint pain I described above is my only really bad symptom. I do bruise easily, but I've never had the rash, I don't have protein in my urine, kidneys are working fine. I do have brain fog...but it could easily be my thyroid issues.

Can anyone shed any light on this? Is there, by any stretch of the imagination, the possibility that I just picked up some horrid virus???? Or that it's RA?

Thanks for reading all this...I know it was a long post. I just have so many doubts and questions.

 
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Old 08-08-2012, 08:08 AM   #7
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Re: Is this Arthritis?

Your labs present a great opportunity for discussion. This is a pretty thorough work-up, so I am guessing your have a good rheumatologist. I also like the fact he is willing to treat you even though the diagnosis is not crystal clear yet. So I think you are in good hands. As for labs, several things stand out. Keep in mind that immune system is so very complex. Your ANA level is certainly high, and DNA is elevated (most people register zero). Those are tests for lupus. Your RNP antibodies are high, which are often elevated in people with mixed connective tissue disease, an overlap syndrome with features of lupus plus other autoimmune diseases. Your parvovirus antibodies show a past infection, not current, but it is one of the viruses that is thought to trigger lupus in some people. Your RF factor, being slightly elevated, would fit in with the MCTD, the overlap autoimmune category.
In essence, it probably is too early to get a specific diagnosis, but there is plenty of evidence of an autoimmune disease to explain your symptoms. I think since this is of relatively new onset, as your symptoms evolve, it will become more clear, and you may stay in the MCTD diagnostic category.
I am glad you got a good response to the Prednisone. Sometimes early on it takes a higher dose, then as the Placquenil kicks in (over 2-3 months) you will need less of it and hopefully can go off it. Keep in mind Prednisone tends to make you hungry and gain weight, so try to be careful with your diet. I hope you continue to feel better. With proper treatment, you should feel much better, but it will take time to get there.

 
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Old 08-08-2012, 08:39 AM   #8
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Re: Is this Arthritis?

Thanks for your encouragement, Ladybud...

I'm not sure if I'd rather have a diagnosis of MCTD or Lupus...I read online somewhere about people with MCTD having a life expectency of like 6-10 years past diagnosis. Then, on other sites, it made it sound like MCTD was less severe than lupus...I have no idea which is acurate.

It is a comfort to know that you think I've got a good doc. It's so hard to gauge these things when you're just starting out on a disease.

 
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Old 08-08-2012, 08:56 AM   #9
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Re: Is this Arthritis?

Thanks for your encouragement, Ladybud...

I'm not sure if I'd rather have a diagnosis of MCTD or Lupus...I read online somewhere about people with MCTD having a life expectency of like 6-10 years past diagnosis. Then, on other sites, it made it sound like MCTD was less severe than lupus...I have no idea which is acurate.

It is a comfort to know that you think I've got a good doc. It's so hard to gauge these things when you're just starting out on a disease.

 
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Old 08-08-2012, 09:00 AM   #10
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Re: Is this Arthritis?

I think that life expectancy is way off base for MCTD. Neither MCTD or lupus is less severe than the other-it just depends. Both categories can range from mild to severe. Good luck-I wish you well and better health going forward!

 
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Old 08-08-2012, 09:41 AM   #11
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Re: Is this Arthritis?

Afri,
Some women with lupus have anti-phospholipid syndrome, antibodies that can predispose to clot formation. These can cause miscarriage, as clots can form in the placental vessels. Since you just had a miscarriage,(sorry for your loss), I would ask your Dr to check you for that. You will want to know before you get pregnant again, so preventive measures can be taken to avoid another loss.

 
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Old 08-08-2012, 10:33 AM   #12
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Re: Is this Arthritis?

Thanks for that thought...we are actually being seen by a Fertility Specialist, and they did a Lupus Anticoalgulant Reflex test, which was normal, and an Anti cardiolipin test, which I believe are the norms for testing for Antiphospholipid syndrome???

 
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