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Lab Report

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Hiawatha922, Jun 4, 2021.

  1. Hiawatha922

    Hiawatha922 Peer Supporter

    So, I went to my doctor to rule out any "structural issues". He drew blood and took some x-rays of my back. My primary symptoms are: sciatica and muscle tightness (mostly hips and back...also occasional muscle spasms).

    The x-ray results came back and showed mild spondylosis (facet arthritis) in my low back. At 59 years old, I'm guessing this may not be unusual but I'm not quite sure yet.

    Bloodwork was ok, except for cholesterol. My cholesterol was high at 249. The doctor recommended starting medication. Muscle enzymes were normal. I may try to bring down the cholesterol with diet and exercise instead of medication but we'll see.

    I don't think anything in these labs explains tight hips, muscle spasms, tightness in left elbow, or tingling sensations.

    Maybe the spondylosis causes the sciatica...but I'm not sure about that.

    Any thoughts on any of this? My basic conclusion so far (I haven't talked to the doctor about any of this yet) is that TMS is likely behind many of my symptoms.
    Tennis Tom likes this.
  2. miffybunny

    miffybunny Beloved Grand Eagle

    It's TMS.
    Dorado likes this.
  3. Dorado

    Dorado Beloved Grand Eagle

  4. Hiawatha922

    Hiawatha922 Peer Supporter

    Thank you, miffybunny and Dorado.

    I received notice today from my doctor's office that I may have Ankylosing Spondylitis. Two things suggest this diagnosis; a blood test and the x-rays of my back (which I mentioned above). He said the diagnosis is not conclusive yet and he plans to refer me to a rheumatologist.

    Given my brother's lifelong struggle with psoriatic arthristis, I wouldn't be surprised if I was diagnosed with some form of arthritis as well.

    However, regardless of whether I receive this diagnosis or not, I believe I have TMS (based on my own history, my personality type, my symptoms, etc.) If I receive this diagnosis, I'm wondering if anyone has thoughts about focusing on both TMS AND treating the arthritis with medication. What is the best way to proceed with this?

    I am going to start a new thread with the name of this disease in the title...
  5. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi @Hiawatha922. I was checked out for AS many years ago in connection with severe thoracic back, hip and buttock pain and stiffness, but then, when my blood tests were found to be clear, I was give the dustbin diagnosis of 'fibromyalgia', which is imo usually TMS. I understand that approximately 80% of patients with AS experience symptoms at ≤ 30 years of age, while only 5% will present with symptoms at ≥ 45 years of age so, as you're 59, chances are you won't have AS. Although this is just one case, an acquaintance of mine has AS; he was diagnosed when he was in his mid 20s and he's worked for all of his adult life as a plumber / heating engineer and is now 63; he has a stiff spine but no pain to speak of and has lived and continues to live a physically active life both at work and in his private life. With AS I understand the wisdom/advice is to keep active as much as possible which, of course, is the same advice for TMS. (I'm afraid I can't help with what meds the plumber was or is on.)
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2021
  6. FredAmir

    FredAmir Well known member

    Hi Hiawatha922,

    So much to unpack here!

    1. Ever heard of the lipid hypothesis (also known as the cholesterol hypothesis)? It is simply a hypothesis. It is not even a theory. There is as much evidence that high serum cholesterol level is bad for you as there is for spinal abnormalities cause back pain. None!

    Take a look at this article titled, "A Reappraisal of the Lipid Hypothesis." published in 2018 by the American Journal of Medicine.

    https://www.amjmed.com/article/S0002-9343(18)30404-2/fulltext (DEFINE_ME)

    Dr. Nortin Hadler of University of North Carolina and others have written extensively on this topic. Here's my review of his book Worried Sick:
    Worried Sick: A Prescription for Health in an Overtreated America (fredamir.com)

    Our bodies need cholesterol to make hormones and is essential for many other functions. When we eat a diet low in cholesterol our liver makes it and dumps in our blood so that our glands can use it to make hormones.

    That's why when you change your diet to a low-cholesterol diet your serum cholesterol level actually goes up. Then they tell you that changing your diet has not helped and you need to take statin drugs, which further impede your body’s natural function. It’s ridiculous. Isn’t it? I guess as ridiculous of doing one million back surgeries fixing normal “abnormalities.

    If you eat enough eggs (yolk included!) and other wholesome natural foods high in cholesterol, your blood cholesterol level will actually come down because your liver does not need to make cholesterol and dump it in your blood anymore.

    I have seen it happen in my relatives, friends, and clients who have increased their cholesterol intake and test results come back great.

    2. As far as what to eat to avoid disease, see my post on disease-preventing diet
    Disease-Preventing Diet (fredamir.com)

    3. Regarding some of your symptoms, have they checked your B12 level? Some of your symptoms might be due to B12 deficiency. See more here and what tests you need to check for it.
    Could It Be B12? Numbness, Nerve Pain, Autism, Tremors, Depression, Dementia, and more (fredamir.com)

    4. I had sciatica in both legs and were given some of the same diagnoses as you and got rid of it 28 years ago and it never came back. Deal with it as TMS.

    5. As for Ankylosing Spondylitis, this was one of the diagnosis given for Norman Cousins’s symptoms in 1970s while he was in critical condition in the hospital. He decided it was all due to too much stress and went on a diet of Marx brothers movies (lots of laughter to counter stress) and high doses of vitamin C. He completely recovered.

    He explained it all in his book Anatomy of an Illness. Here is a movie starring Ed Asner made based on the book. Forward to min. 34:00 if you do not have time to watch all of it.

    Take care,
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2021
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  7. Hiawatha922

    Hiawatha922 Peer Supporter

    Thank you, Bloodmoon and FredAmir.

    Bloodmoon, when you say your blood tests were found to be clear, do you mean clear of signs of inflammation? I didn't have signs of inflammation either...however, I tested positive for the HLA-B27 antigen. From my very limited knowledge, I don't think this is conclusive of anything, particularly without signs of inflammation.

    FredAmir, I appreciate the information about cholesterol. I emailed my doctor to indicate I'd like to focus on diet and exercise, rather than medication, at least for now.
    BloodMoon likes this.
  8. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Beloved Grand Eagle

    I had no signs of inflammation in my blood (normal rheumatoid factor and C-Reactive Protein) or on scans of my thoracic back and sacroiliac regions and I tested negative for the HLA-B27 antigen. And you're absolutely right, testing positive for the HLA-B27 antigen is not a foolproof way of diagnosing AS. This is what the UK National Health Service website says about it https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/ankylosing-spondylitis/diagnosis/ (Ankylosing spondylitis - Diagnosis):

    "HLA-B27 gene
    Research has shown more than 9 out of 10 people with AS carry a particular gene known as human leukocyte antigen B27 (HLA-B27).

    Having this gene does not necessarily mean you'll develop AS. It's estimated 8 in every 100 people in the general population have the HLA-B27 gene, but most do not have AS.

    It's thought having this gene may make you more vulnerable to developing AS. The condition may be triggered by 1 or more environmental factors, although it's not known what these are.

    Testing for this gene may be carried out if AS is suspected. However, this test is not a very reliable method of diagnosing the condition because some people can have the HLA-B27 gene but not have ankylosing spondylitis."
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2021
  9. Hiawatha922

    Hiawatha922 Peer Supporter

    Thank you, BloodMoon. Over the weekend, I received additional lab results. None of them showed signs of inflammation. One thing it did show (and FredAmir, you suggested checking this out!), is that my B12 is low. I have begun supplementing B12, as suggested by my doctor.

    After receiving this information about B12, I found out that it's possible for a low B12 to increase cholesterol levels. I'm hoping my supplementation may positively impact cholesterol as well as some of my other symptoms.

    So, at this point, I plan to see the rheumatologist I was referred to (in a few weeks) and continue treating my symptoms as TMS.
    BloodMoon likes this.
  10. FredAmir

    FredAmir Well known member

    Yes, get that B12 level to optimal level. Make sure you have the urine test for Methylmelonic acid done. That’s the most accurate test.

    I know that after hearing for decades we need to fear cholesterol it is hard not to. Take a look at this cardiologist and results of a large scale study on cholesterol.

    Here’s more from the BMJ.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2021

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