Hi - age of diagnosis?

Posted , 4 users are following.

This discussion has been locked due to a period of inactivity. Start a new discussion

Hello, I'm Jackie from the UK. Yesterday I went to the back pain clinic, talked to the nice lady, and was referred for an MRI scan. She was a little vague about the reason for this, just talked about 'inflammation' and that I should take ibuprofen as often as my stomach will tolerate while I wait for the results (normally my GP tells me I'm not allowed to take it as I have chronic gastritis). However I can read upside down and she had written on the form ?AS. Going home to google it I found that I had exactly the right symptoms except that I am "too old" - I'm 51. I have had back problems on and off for at least twenty years but most of those were in my upper spine and when I had a bout physio would sort it out; the constant lower back pain started a couple of years ago, which wasn't helped by physio or pilates. I have tendonitis in both hips, both elbows and both shoulders as well and that's been going on for a lot longer - ten years at least.

So: how unusual is it not to be diagnosed until you are in your 50s? And any idea how long am I likely to have to wait for an MRI scan? I was too startled to ask!

0 likes, 5 replies

Report

5 Replies

  • Posted

    I also had been getting pain for many years but was 56 when diagnosed. It took 3 months for the doctor to make his mind up despite the fact my brother had been diagnosed many years earlier and even then he agreed to xrays " just to satisfy my mind" he said.
    Report
  • Posted

    Hi Jackie,

    I'm told it's very common for older people to be diagnosed with AS, although it's likely that older patients will have had the condition for many years.

    I am 66 and I was diagnosed with AS this year although I am told I have had the condition for 45 years or more.  AS is typically diagnosed many years after the condition starts.

    Regards Ibuprofen, there are alterative anti-inflammatories which may affect your stomach less.  Tell the pharamacist about your gastritis and he/she may suggest an alternative.  Otherwise always take Ibuprofen with substantial food or get a stomach protector (such as  Omeprazole) from the chemist.

    AS is not necessarily a life changer. Just understanding  that inflammation has to be controlled helps a lot.

    How long you will have to wait for an MRI scan depends on resources in your NHS area.

    In the meantime  go back to your GP and tell him/her that the Pain Clinic suspects you may have AS.  Ask for a blood test to establish whether you have the HLA-B27 gene as AS is very often hereditary and the B27 gene is present in over 90% of AS patients (establishing whether you have this gene will form part of the diagnostic process).

    Good luck with it.

    Ray

    Report
  • Posted

    Thanks Ray, I'm already on Omeprazole for the gastritis. The back specialist said that I'd be referred straight o Rheumatology if it showed up any 'inflammation' so presumably they'd do the blood test? However I may have to go to my GP anyway as the back lady recommended I ask for some tranqs for the MRI (I am quite claustrophobic), so I can ask.

    You could have knocked me down with a feather, Trevor, I wasn't expecting anything like this at all. I'd heard of AS, but hadn't googled it (LOL) because I guessed that my problem was either osteoarthritis or just a chronic muscle weakness or something that the ordinary physio hadn't really got to grips with.

    My OH has pointed out that I should get the appointment letter soon, even if they actual appointment is some time away.

    Report
  • Posted

    Hi jackie , I am still waiting for an mri after bein in pain for more than 20 years I really dont no what is wrong with me but its definitely more than just a bad back . I just want an anwser , if you keep taking ibuprofen u end up with a bad stomach aswell as a bad back . I think it does take a long time to diagnose and feel that im just inearly stages at 45. Was wandering do you feel really tired with ure back and pain ??
    Report
    • Posted

      No, I haven't particularly noticed fatigue. However I had other health problems already which sometimes make me very tired and force me to pace myself -  so I may well have been unconciously slotting the back problem into that. 
      Report

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion

Report as inappropriate

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up