I have had symptoms for 10+ years, no diagnosis, looking for help.
Approximately 10 years ago I started have sore hips/back when sleeping. Activity helped, classic ankylosing spondylitis symptoms. Numerous tests and drug trials (Enbrel, Humira, Indomethacin) have failed to diagnosis or help. I exercise quite a bit and years ago heavy workouts would lead to intense back and neck pain. Over the past couple years, the pain has lessened in these areas (as I'm unable to strenuously workout) but have spread to my chest. I don't believe lung function is compromised as I am in excellent shape with low resting heart rate. The pain feels like what I imagine asthma feels like: dull, burning, not sharp/stabbing (though once in the middle of the night I had terrible stabbing pain). Physical and emotional stress seem to increase symptoms. Recently tried gabapentin for pain management but didn't help all that much. I have experimented with food triggers and found none. Tramadol is the only thing that offers relief at this time, though I take lose dose infrequently (only when desperate to stop hurting). The pain is constant and seems to get worse without cause. Playing sports leads to inflammation issues, such as bruised toes that take months to heal. Eyes have become inflamed and red, bumps in sclera are common. The pain is always there and I probably don't need to tell anyone on this forum what begins to happen to mental health after years of constant pain.
Looking for advice, related experience, suggestions...thank you much in advance.
You don't have a sensation of burning with asthma - well I don't anyway. With asthma you will get a tightness in the chest and difficulty in getting a breath, sometimes a persistent cough and attacks that can be triggered off due different things, like the cold for example.
It does appear that you have some osteoarthritic problems and although excise is a good way to say supple and not get very stiff, you can overdo things and then feel worse for it the next day.
I suggest that you should make an appointment to see your doctor with a list off all your symptoms (so that you do not forget). Hopefully, he will send you for some form of imaging (xray or other) to find out what is going on with the bones and take a blood test to find out if you have an inflammatory disorder.
Rheumatoid arthritis can affect the internal organs as well as the bones and joints.
And as you say, suffering from long term physical problems can make a person to suffer from anxiety and depression, which in turn makes the condition much worse. Again your doctor can help you with this if you are depressed. For pain, the doctor sometimes prescribes an antidepressant called Amitriptylene which is also used to calm down the muscle and nerves that can cause referred pain.
Unfortunately, the constant pain may be something that you have to live with, but you should pace your day so as not to overdo things which can then make you worse.
Some people use mineral salts in their bath to soak in and also take supplements specifically for joint problems. But, you really need to be given a thorough examination by your doctor before trying to treat yourself.
Thank you for your reply jemma. Unfortunately I have spent years with rheumatologists without being able to diagnosis the issue. There have been x-rays, MRIs, bone scan, bone marrow biopsy, countless blood tests (including a genetic test indicating increased likelihood of Crohn's disease), numerous medications tried, etc. I have a relative with spondylitis and a sibling with rheumatoid arthritis but I do not have any of the common indicators. The chest pain and eye inflammation seem to be unique to me among my family. I've finally gotten to the point of quitting with doctors, something I'm sure many people here understand. I was hoping someone with similar symptoms could share their experiences.
I agree that it is not asthma but that's the best I can describe the pain. NSAIDs do not help at all. If physical/emotional stress levels are very high, I will wake at night with a overall sickly feeling that absolutely awful and brings thoughts of "something is drastically wrong." It is difficult to explain.
If anyone has additional thoughts, I'd appreciate hearing them. Thanks much.
I know exactly what you mean about the medical profession.
I still feel that you do need your new symptoms looking into and definitely your eye problems examined. Inflamed red eyes can be a sign of infection and if that is the case, you would be prescribed with eye drops, or an eye ointment.
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