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Hi all, really glad to have found this place as you all seem very knowledgeable and helpful My situation is that I've recently had numerous Raynaud's episodes affecting multiple fingers. Prior to that I had less frequent episodes involving just one finger (always the same one). In the last few weeks my hands often look flushed/red and there is a marked blanching effect when I touch them - they turn white when touched and it takes a few seconds for them to return to normal. My hands are still changing, and right now they look mottled reddish with paler areas. My toes are a bit red too. I'm in the UK so I went to my general practitioner yesterday. She ordered some blood tests which will be done next week. She said a referral to a rheumatologist looks likely. I have to agree! The way my hands and feet look I am sure I won't come back with a clean set of blood results. In my mind I have scleroderma, or something very close, and it's worrying me sick. I am 55, but my family are still young and I fear for the future. I have a bit of general health anxiety. At the first sign of trouble I tend to google everything, and the results can be very frightening. That said, I am unlikely to stop researching online as gaining knowledge makes me feel a little more in control. There's lots more I could say but I'll leave it there as it's my first post. Stay well everyone Nick
Hello. My name is Elizabeth and I am a 36-years-old. I started experiencing joint pain in my hips 16 years ago. I was pregnant at the time. Over the years the joint pain has spread. My areas of most trouble are my wrist, knees, and shoulders. I also experience IBS symptoms quite frequently. I also have Raynauds which mainly affects my toes. My toes get numb when exposed to cold and get very pale. They never turn blue or purple. I guess I really should have gone to a doctor earlier but I thought I knew what the problem was. My daughter broke 3 bones by the time she was in Kindergarten. The orthopedic doctor told me that he thought she had a mild case of osteogenesis imperfecta (brittle bone disease). Brittle Bone Disease is hereditary so I assumed she got it from me. Since brittle bone disease affects bones in childhood and joints later in life, I thought I had my answer for my joint problems. There is no treatment for mild osteogenesis imperfecta so I never bothered to get tested. I managed my joint inflammation and pain with supplements because I don't like to take prescription medication with bad side effects. At my physical in December, my doctor decided to run a ANA test due to my daughter's suspected connective tissue disorder and my joint problems. It came back positive so she referred me to a rheumatologist. The rheumatologist ran more tests. I have an appointment to discuss the results next week. Since the results are already back, I requested a copy of them so I can research things on my own before my appointment. Maybe that was not such a good idea because the results are scaring me to death. My flagged items are as follows: ANA - 1:80 homogeneous pattern Antiscleroderma - 70 Antibodies: 1.3 Leuk estera: 1+ White Blood Count: 3.5 in December/5.2 in January (this is no longer out of range) Neutrophils: 1.8 in December/3.1 in January (this is no longer out of range) ALT (SGPT): 10 Vitamin D, 25-Hydroxy: 24.0 Ferritin: 12 ng/ml (Hemoglobin was 12.9, which is within range) I am new to all of this autoimmune stuff. From what I have read, this is what I think my results mean: The ANA titer is low, which is a good sign. The Homogenous pattern is most often seen in healthy patients who test positive for ANA. However, it can also indicate Lupus and Mixed Connective Tissue Disorder. While out of the normal range, the SCL-70 score is relatively low. I have no symptoms of scleroderma that I recognize. My ANA pattern does not indicate sceroderma. This indicates is that I am more likely to develop scleroderma in the future, but it may never happen. I am hoping all of this points to me NOT having scleroderma at this time. Am I interpreting this correctly? I started taking the following supplements after my December physical: Multivitamin Fish Oil Vitamin C Vitamin D3 (2,000 IU/day) I added the following since reviewing these new results: an extra Vitamin D3 (now taking 4,000 IU/day) Evening Primrose Oil Iron Probiotics with Fiber What other supplements would you recommend to regulate my immune system and take care of nutritional deficiencies? I would like to limit prescription medications as much as possible because I tend to have negative reactions to them. Are there any reliable websites or books that will help with choosing supplements and diet modifications? Are there any specific tests I should ask my rheumatologist to run? She already did testing for Celiac Disease and all of the results were within the normal range. I have made an appointment for my daughter with a Pediatric Rheumatologist who specializes in Connective Tissue Disorders. I am not so sure that she has Osteogenesis Imperfecta anymore. After seeing some of the horrible effects of different Connective Tissue Disorders and Autoimmune Disease, we need to know for sure what we are dealing with. They can't see her until the end of March so we have a bit of waiting to do. Thank you for any insight you can provide into all of this.