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GuitarMama 08-21-2018 06:23 AM

Newbie here - Pos. ANA w/speckled pattern, constant pain! Help!
Hi everyone,

I am new here, and I'm a little bit nervous, so please bear with me! I appreciate your patience and insight.

I have been dealing with pain issues since 2012. It started with a severe upper right quadrant pain that resulted in my going to the ER. No results. Bloodwork was drawn and the only thing they found was an elevated alkaline phosphatase. They told me there was nothing to worry about.

I had pain in my chest and other issues. I have had cardiac workups, seen cardiologists for two years, gastroenterologists have done endoscopies, etc. and everything has come back normal, aside from a "bit of reflux". I am "healthy as a horse".


This has continued on with flare ups since. They last anywhere from 24 hours to 3 days. Right now, I'm on my longest flare-up, which has lasted since Saturday (today is now Tuesday). Stabbing pains, it feels like the right side of my body is going to protrude out from under my right rib cage. It's painful, and it causes vomiting of nothing but what feels like stomach acid, which alleviates the pain momentarily until it happens again.

I had gone into my doctor's office on Friday to get checked out because my hands/feet kept tingling and causing a lot of pain. I have also had a vein in my left upper thigh that has been getting progressively worse and it hurts to even touch most of my left leg. I have been regularly told by my GP that it is because I'm not exercising enough.

I have been eating 1200-1400 calories a day with exercise 4-5 days a week. At one point, I was walking 3 miles on my lunch break and then going to the gym at night! I have GAINED 55 pounds since last August, and when I have my flare ups, I look like I'm pregnant and the pain in my abdomen is unbearable. I can't even touch it.

I put my foot down and demanded that someone please run more bloodwork on me because I am tired of feeling this way. I am exhausted, I don't sleep, everything hurts, and now I can't even fit into my clothes. I'm 32, don't smoke, don't eat fried food, eat a balanced, healthy diet, and live a fairly healthy lifestyle. I don't even eat cheese. I'm Italian, so that's unforgivable! ;) I used to be able to run every single day and now I'm exhausted walking up three stairs.

They ran a panel on my blood and it seems that I have a positive ANA with a speckled pattern with a 1:40 titer. If that is the wrong terminology, I'm sorry. That's how it reads on the paperwork. She referred me to rheumatology, who can't get me in until October. I'm at my wit's end. I'm SO tired of being tired. Everything just aches.

Do any of these symptoms sound like something you've experienced? To recap:

Excruciating upper abdominal pain, right side upper quadrant only
Leg pain
Joint pain
Itchy fingertips/hands
Aching joints/hands/legs
Difficulty concentrating
Anxiety (debilitating)
Weight Gain
Issues with veins in leg
Gastrointestinal issues
CHEST PAIN (not cardiac related!)
Left side weakness/numbness/pain
Feeling of ants underneath skin

Thank you so much and I look forward to hearing from you.

VicLF 08-22-2018 07:40 AM

Re: Newbie here - Pos. ANA w/speckled pattern, constant pain! Help!
Yes, Yes and Yes! Your story sounds so familiar and I am sure, not just to me. You are not alone and it sounds like you are on the right path. I have several of the symptoms you listed. And same as you, I went to so many doctors and appointments, etc for all the various issues until finally, someone linked them together. It was my GI doc who finally did bloodwork for autoimmune stuff and it came back with positive ANA 1:160 homogenous pattern. I was referred to a rheumatologist and I remember it taking me a few months to get in to see her, but I am so glad I did. I finally had some answers. That was 3 years ago. My ANA was the only blood test that came back abnormal, everything else is normal. But, I have been diagnosed with UCTD (undifferentiated connective tissue disease). It sounds like it's not a "real" diagnosis, but it actually is. I am being treated for it and although some days are still rough, I feel better than I felt in a long time. I will warn you that some will say (even some docs and rheumatologists) that your titre of 1:40 is very low and may not even be "positive", but listen to your body and don't take no for an answer. You deserve to feel better. Good luck to you!!

ladybud 08-23-2018 11:26 AM

Re: Newbie here - Pos. ANA w/speckled pattern, constant pain! Help!
I would certainly pursue autoimmune problems for most of your symptoms. I would see a rheumatologist for that. Your right upper quadrant pain with vomiting episodes could be gall bladder related. A stone or sludge in the duct could raise the alkaline phosphatase. I would ask to have gall bladder checked out including a HIDA scan if nothing shows up on ultrasound. Because of the extreme fatigue and weight gain, I would also ask to be checked for Hashimoto's thyroiditis, an autoimmune destruction of the thyroid that often accompanies other autoimmune conditions, such as lupus. This requires blood tests for thyroid hormone levels as well as anti-thyroid antibody levels (anti-TG and anti-TPO). Your PCP could order the thyroid and gall bladder tests, but a rheumatologist would be best to check other specific blood tests related to the positive ANA. You have been ill a long time and deserve a thorough workup to identify what is wrong and get you treated so you feel better! Good luck and let us know how things turn out.

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