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I've had issues with my joints hurting for several years now. My primary doctor in 2008, ran an arthritis panel and they said it was negative. They went ahead and referred me to a rheumatologist though and he did various pokes and prods and said that I had fibromyalgia. This same rheumatologist refused to do an ANA on me. He said that if an arthritis panel was negative that an ANA would be negative. I finally got a doctor to run an ANA on me. I got the results today and the ANA pattern is speckled with the antibodies titer at 1:320 with flag references A and H.


I'm glad that I have a little bit of info as far as my aches and pains, however, I'm really upset that the other rheumatologist I saw refused to do the ANA a year ago!

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Hello, Lotwell! Welcome to the forum. It's a great resource and I've enjoyed it for several months now.


Sorry to hear you have fibromyalgia. I have a friend who has suffered from it for 3 years now and I understand it can be so difficult.


Are you suspicious that you have scleroderma? I haven't been 'labeled' with it yet, however I have symptoms. I'm still going through a diagnostic stage.


I hope you are able to find some conclusive answers for your health concerns with your new doctor. Be sure to check out the "Medical" tab on the main page, where there's a wealth of information.



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Hi Lotwell,


Welcome to these forums!


I'm sorry to hear that you've been suffering with fibromyalgia and painful joints. I too suffer with painful hands and joints so can really empathise with you.


It's a shame that you had very little confidence in your first rheumatologist. We do recommend that if possible you consult a Scleroderma specialist as they are the best people to deal with such a complex and unusual disease. I've included another link to Autoantibodies but unfortunately it is very difficult to diagnose Scleroderma and other mixed connective tissue diseases simply from the results of a positive blood test. It is also necessary for the rheumatologist to undertake more tests and also take other symptoms into account and even then the diagnosis is by no means certain and can take a long time (I believe the average for some of our members is 6 years). Also we do have members with positive blood test results who never go on to develop full blown Scleroderma and yet others who have completely negative blood tests but certainly have the disease.


I'm very glad that you've found our forums and hope that you will continue posting and let us know how you're faring.


Kind regards,

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Hi lotwell,


I would like to welcome you to the forums, as well!

I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia many years ago, but feel fortunate, in that mine seems to be managed quite well, thankfully.


I was really glad to read that you had found a doctor who would run the ANA panel for you; what a bold statement the previous rheumatologist made :emoticon-dont-know:

At any rate, it's nice to have a doctor listen and realize we are working to advocate for ourselves, as you are.


Looking forward to hearing from you often!

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Hi Lotwell,


Welcome to Sclero Forums!


Generally speaking, an Arthritis Panel includes ANA tests, so your rheumatologist may not have explained that clearly to you. My guess it that what most likely happened is that your symptoms began before your blood work turned positive, which happens to many people.


That is why follow-up testing, like you aptly insisted upon, can be beneficial when symptoms don't subside or go away on their own. I've read that about half the time, initial symptoms of arthritis just fade away on their own, even without any treatment, which is why there often is a wait-and-see attitude on the doctors' part.


Hopefully this will spur them on to take your joint pain more seriously and get you an adequate treatment program for it. With any sort of luck, it won't progress to anything more than it already is, but you never know. And it's the uncertainty that most of us find the hardest to learn how to deal with.


I'm sending you lots of warm hugs, to try to tide you over until you learn something more.



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Hello and welcome


My tidbit, fibromyalgia means pain in the muscles, not joint pain. Joint pain is not a symptom of fibromyalgia, according to the rheumatologist that diagnosed me with fibromyalgia many years ago. He told me I was "fibromyalgia plus" because of the joint pain I was having. He just couldn't tell what the "plus" was since nothing was showing in my bloodwork at the time and he said hopefully I would never get sick enough to know. He was very good.

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Hi Snowbird,


I know what you are trying to get at with your post and I appreciate your effort to try to explain the difference between fibromyalgia and rheumatic diseases. The only thing missing is a single qualifier.


As I understand it, fibromyalgia is more commonly thought of as causing widespread muscle pain. However, it can also cause significant joint pain and stiffness.


The difference, though, is that fibromyalgia does not cause inflammatory joint pain. Although there may be substantial joint pain, it never leads to any deformity with fibromyalgia. However the joint pain can lead to significant damage and deformity when it occurs along with inflammation, such as with rheumatoid arthritis and scleroderma.


My guess is that you must have had signs of joint inflammation that inspired your rheumatologist to label you with "fibromyalgia plus".

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