Are my symptoms related?

Posted , 6 users are following.

 Hello everyone!   I am 24 years old and life has been very tough for me recently.  For my whole life ive suffered from very back sacrum pain. Its off and on and that was all I had to deal with.   Now it seems that my whole body is feeling symptoms.

      At first I thought it was a heart issue.  I had bad chest pain, weird heart palpitations and just felt so fatigued.  I wore a monitor, did an EKG, ECHO, Stress test and all returned normal.  A few days after the test my knees started to hurt and swell up badly.  They were filled with fluid. I thought this might be something like heart failure, but the Doc said he thought it was rheumatoid arthritis or something similar.

      I started to feel worse and worse, and had really bad headaches. My neck is very stiff and hurts and I have sharp pain in both shoulder blades when inhaling.  I also was losing a lot of weight and still eating the same. Over the last 6 or so months ive gone from 185 Lbs to about 156. Lost about 30 pounds.   The doctor said those symptoms were very concerning and recommended a brain MRI to rule out the worst. The came back normal.

I went the the rheumatologist and took some blood test. I took my CRP and Sed rate, both were pretty high.  I also took the test to look for the rheumatoid factor, which came back negative.  I was positive for the HLA-b27 though which can indicate ankylosing spondylitis.  I took the CRP and SED rate tests again a few weeks later and they were back down to normal levels.   

The rheumatologist was concerned about weight loss and headaches and said thats not a common symptom in arthritis.  She recommended a CT scan of my abdomen to make sure nothing in there was causing my weight loss.   It showed inflammation and thickening in the lower part of my large intestine.    They said this finding was very non specific.  

I am truly lost as to finding a solution.  There was a problem with my insurance so I am waiting till I am covered again to see the Rheumatologist again.  Do any of these symptoms sound familiar to anyone?  Can weight loss, Headaches, and heart pain, palpitations be from AS or another arthritis like disease?I am at a point where my knees are so swollen it hurts to get out of bed and all day my heart is feeling so off and my head hurts.  It feels like it is full or something and is very strange.  THis has so negatively effected my life I really need some help. Does this seem like arthritis? Or something else?

Any suggestions, answers, feedback or any info at all would be so greatly appreciated.  I dont know how many people will actually read all that and answer but I truly appreciate anyone taking the time!

Thanks a lot.

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5 Replies

  • Posted

    Sorry to hear you have all this happening to you. 

    I have RA not ankylosing spondilitis so don't have any first hand experience to help. But arthritis research uk website has info on it and mentions chest pain linked to AS.

    But Doesnt  mention headaches as a symptom. 

    it seems like your rheumy is doing a lot to find a diagnosis. Hope they get there soon so that appropriate treatment can start. Swollen joints are so painful and debilitating. 

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  • Posted

    Connor, I'm sorry to hear of all your painful symptoms but there are also some reassuring things you mentioned. Firstly you have been cleared re. any heart problems, which is great. Next, your Rheumatologist has ruled out RA because of your blood test results. Then, very correctly, he further checked with a CT scan for. any more 'sinister' problems lurking - and found none. That's brilliant.

    SO - you're now waiting to see the Rheumatologist again for a  diagnosis from him, and hopefully you'll seem him soon.  In the meantime, can you get back to your family doctor with all your results and see what he has to say?  He will most likely have come across these symptoms before and should be able to help and certainly make you more comfortable. Don't just sit around worrying. . .  

    Kind thoughts,  J


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  • Posted

    I've had RA for 13 years and for most of that time have experienced regular chest pain, mainly in upper breast bone region, which has recently got a lot worse. It now seems to be linked with pain in shoulders and base of neck, but it's difficult to be sure when one is getting pain and stiffness in multiple joints with RA. During my most recent flare I was having sharp, quite severe pain in my chest, ribs and upper back when inhaling a little more deeply than normal. It was more of an uncomfortable dull type of pain otherwise. I've always thought it is a condition called costochronditis, but after mentioning to my rheumatologist for the first time last week as it was so bad. I don't think she was quite so convinced,  and thinks it might be related to RA related lung disease that I have. Anyway, it might be worth you researching costochronditis to see if the symptoms are similar to yours.

    Obviously, one can never be too careful with chest pain. I had a mild heart attack around 10 years ago and ignored the chest pain for a lot longer than I should have thinking it was my usual complaint mentioned above. Can you imagine my paranoia  every time I had chest pain,which I was getting on a regular basis, following the heart attack!  It was a very difficult time for me, and it took many months before I eventually learned to ignore it. That said, I'm still wary that one day it may turn out to be another heart attack. 

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  • Posted

    Could it be possible to get tested for fibromyalgia? My mam has this and her symptoms are very similar.
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