I'm a 28 y/o female. Almost 5 weeks ago, I woke up with a sore throat and some (relatively) minor joint pain & stiffness. I thought I might have a virus or something, and brushed it off. The next day, I started developing red "splotches" on my arms. I waited it out a little, then went to the E.R. (I'm uninsured) a couple of days later. I was discharged with the diagnosis of a cold (I know really...). I had to wait another week and a half to see a doctor (uninsured clinic setting, much longer wait). The sore throat cleared up (and has come back twice for only a day or so), but the joint pain, fatigue, swelling, and rash never did. No real fever, maybe 99.5 at the worst. The doctor did some blood work, I went back in a week, my ANA was negative, my ESR (I believe that was the test) was elevated. So they wanted to test for Celiac Disease and RA (anti-CCP, no RF). I found out my results were all negative today, and I'm supposed to see an Internist early next month.
At this point I'm just dumbfounded, and wonder if there's anything else I should be researching, or suggesting to help the process along. I have some familiarity with AI disorders, learned a lot more trying to understand my current issue. I have morning stiffness (and stiffness after being seated for longer than a few minutes); joint pain in my feet, ankles, knees, elbows, wrists, and hands; horrible fatigue; and a rash that seems "hive-like" which is mostly on my arms and hands, and to a lesser degree my chest and legs. The rash is very strange because it's rarely there in the day, but begins in the early evening and usually leaves in the morning. It is red, raised, and itchy, and often leaves behind a bruise-like discoloration. I also get quite a bit of photosensitivity and sensitivity in the bones around my eyes like someone punched me in the face.
I had a horrible episode of inflammation and swelling that left my legs feeling like concrete and took 2 days for the swelling to subside. The worst and most constant joints would have to be my wrists and hands. Any sudden moves to my wrists (turning a door knob, etc.) feels like tendons are ripping. My hands are much more comfortable with the fingers bent because of pain and swelling (the right side is notably worse because the skin feels very tight when stretching out my fingers). The doctor prescribed Ultram and Vistaril, the pain medicine was not beneficial but was better when combined with the allergy medicine. After a week or two of constantly taking the Vistaril, I grew immune, now it doesn't touch the rash. So this is how it has been for the last (almost) 5 weeks.
I know there are exceptions to the rule and that there are some people who have certain conditions but do not test positive. For all intents and purposes, I don't have a characteristic "butterfly" rash (but experience a small rash on my cheekbones) and my ANA is negative, so it's probably not SLE (plus my WBC has been habitually elevated for the last 2 years which is the complete opposite of SLE). Most of the symptoms seem more like RA, but my anti-CCP is negative. Should I ask for a RF test? Should I be requesting a test for a mixed connective tissue disorder? Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!
Research "Leaky Gut Syndrome" also is called Intestinal permeability. It can cause / mimic allergies/rashes or other skin disorders. Candida or fungus/yeast of the skin. Allergies, joint pain, muscle spasams and parasites. I would recommend a stool test for parasites and find out if you are allergic to any foods. If you are, stay away from those foods and see how you feel as far as pain. Eating foods that you are allergic to can cause joint pain / muscle pain as well as hives. Testing for this syndrome is very difficult and a lot of doctors are not very familiure with it. Worse case scenerio, follow the protocol if you have any of the above issues and heal yourself. I know, sounds alittle far fetched but I have researched this for 2 years and believe this is the cause for many of my problems. Mine started when I had a steriod shot in my back for pain. That was my main trigger of a domino effect of issues. It wreaked havoc on my immune system. Good luck!!