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Old 09-01-2011, 06:12 PM   #5
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Re: Can Ankylosing Spondylitis or other Spondyloarthropy Disease = debilitating fatig

AS with everything else in the rheumatological world, the rheumatoid factor test only helps when it is very high. 5% of the general population has a positive RF with no symptoms of RA and 25% of those with RA don't have a positive RF. So it's only good when high and I don't think yours quite qualifies as high enough. But it does deserve watching.

I guess the rheumy feels that your GP can watch you for now until they get something more "actionable". But that is strange. I'd ask your GP why and the plan is for treatment. I know my GP did this for years until I needed some more heavy duty drugs that the rheumy needed to supervise. I have to get blood work done every 4 weeks.

Your neck pain, burning type pain and numbish feeling and tingling in the extremities is probably a neck problem and that should be checked. All of those symptoms fit with possible nerve compression from a bulging disk(or several) in the neck. They call is cervical a search on it. I've already had 2 major neck surgeries for it. It can creep up on you with little pain but increasing nerve problems in the limbs including the ones you point to.

Were the eye problems diagnosed by an ophthalmologist? Foggy vision can be early cataract symptoms and iritis needs treatment. Many of the other symptoms are just the effects of aging. Get older is the pits! And that cracking sound in the fingers and feet is usually from losing the fat that is normally around the tendons of the hands and feet and it slowly disappears. You can then hear the snapping of the tendons and they get painful.

Trying to sort out what is what and what needs treating is tough. I have a primary doc, my rheumy, my ophthalmologist, my 2 orthos(knee and shoulder docs), my physiatirst, my neurologist, my neurosurgeon, my allergist and as of next week, my dermatologist. Was able to shed the neuro-ophthalmologist and return to "just" the ophthalmologist. With their help, I finally figured out what was what.

So hang in will get it figured out when the symptoms get bad enough they have to...unfortunately.