Originally Posted by tiff-cher
I am going to start a list and I would like to have some feedback if possible....
*Collagen Disorder* ????
OA in knees (Osteoarthritis)
Bursitis in whole shoulder girdle
Dry eye syndrome
Degenerative disc disease cervical and lumbar
Enlarged lymph nodes
Venous insufficency (I wear TED hose to work)
Rash on face
High Sed Rate
Irregular periods (before hysterectomy)
Problems with teeth...always
Benign heart palpitations
There's probably more but that is all I can think of at the moment...LOL
You might unfortunately have SS, or another auto-immune disease that is similar. Blood tests often give false results, but ANA, ENA and Sed rate are the standard starting blood test checks. A lip biopsy is not 100 % definitive, as it too can give false negatives, but it tends to be thought of as "the gold standard". This is a chameleon disease. It took over a decade to diagnose mine correctly. SS presents so differently from one person to the next. I have severe and often debilitating neurological symptoms (including brain lesions and vasculitis) but this is uncommon. I only recently noticed dry eyes and mouth, even though looking back on my health history, I think I may have had this disease for over 30 years.
Although I don't have arthritis symptoms, you have my empathy as I understand this can be very debilitating. I am strong advocate of exercise to tolerance. Are you able to embark in some form of regular exercise? All conditions will benefit from a "support care" perspective. In other words, strengthen the body, mind and spirit as much as you can. There are proven physiological benefits from exercise too, in that not only will it strengthen the rest of your body which will enable you to help keep you upright when the SS swacks you down, but it also serves to "reset" the immune system, so it behaves neither too high nor too low. Along with that I recommend a very nutritious diet (low fat, as fat causes our bodies to release prostaglandins which irritate nerves), modest amounts of healthy protein and lots of fresh fruit and vegetables; plenty of rest; refraining from consuming toxins such as tobacco products; stress reduction such as meditation and/or prayer; laughter (lots of it! this makes our immune systems work much better, too); and love. SS requires one to become tremendously accepting. I am very active, always "on the go" and somewhat of a control freak! It has been very difficult for me to rethink my life, prioritize and come to understand and accept that there are days when I simply must allow this disease to make me rest awhile. Other days, I'm "Miss energizer bunny" and no one can keep up with me. It swings back and forth.
Today seems to be a fairly good day, and as the spring sunshine is seducing me, I will jump on my bicycle (my first love!) and ride for about 40 kms. Since I might not be well enough to do that tomorrow, I've learned to "live to the fullest today"; that is what I mean by prioritizing. This disease has allowed me to analyze what really matters and what really doesn't.
I hope the sun is shining where you are, and if so, that you are able to get out and hear birds singing and smell fresh flowers blooming. That is my suggested prescription for you today. Very best wishes to you, and please keep me posted.