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Having RA, chronic spinal stenosis and very high ESR. Should I continue with a rheumatologist or a different specialist?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2012
Answered : 3187 Questions
I was diagnosed with RA 15 years ago and now have over 12 autoimmune diseases. I have connective tissue disease, chronic spinal stenosis, very high ESR and CRP 110 and 56. Also have neuropathy in left foot and complete numbness, no feeling in upper right thigh to knee, muscle spasms in left hand and foot. I have these little electrical impulses at times that are in my brain area. I often feel my diagnosis for RA was a little rushed. My blood work for RA is negative but they said that is normal in 20 percent of RA cases. So, my question is continue with a rheumatologist or a different specialist?
Posted Mon, 25 Nov 2013 in Medicines and Side Effects
Answered by Dr. Shafi Ullah Khan 9 hours later
Brief Answer: Triad of neurophysician, rheumatologist and physiotherapist Detailed Answer: Hello madam! If you have been diagnosed and treated for rheumatoid for 15 years, I am sure it was rheumatoid. They might have rushed a little though. Labs for ANA, Anti CCP, rheumatoid factors, radiographs, MR scans, Joint aspirations and a lot of follow ups are required before finally categorizing a patient as active rheumatoid. And as they said it comes normal in 20 percent of cases they are right about that too. And also medications which you might have used put remissions too. Your ESR and CRP are raised and it is not just because of Rheumatoid. They raise in many conditions. Now you asked about change of specialty; I would say stick to rheumatologist. You still got 12 more auto immune conditions to care for and no one better than rheumatologist knows how to manage them. And for your neurological symptoms like numbness and spasm you can always ask opinions from neurophysicians. In addition some physiotherapy sessions monthly they would help too. So follow the triad of Rheumatologist, Neurophysicians and physiotherapists and you will be in safe hands. I wish you very god luck and take some good care of yourself. If you have any more queries please feel free to ask,i would be glad to help, Otherwise kindly close the discussion and rate the answer as per your experience. Regards Dr Khan
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