I was diagnosed with fifths in February through blood tests. I was in AWFUL PAIN and they couldnt figure it out until my 6 year old was seen for the "slap cheek" rash. so they tested me and sure enough my numbers were through the roof. The only thing that helped me was prednisone. My rheumetologist really wanted me off it so I tapered down to nothing and went in for a check up. I am really achy all over, mostly my back, neck, wrists and finger joints. I am not as bad as I was in February, but still quite uncomfortable. My bloodwork just came back and my SED rate (previously 89) is now 10. That would have really frustrated me, but she also tested me for a gene called HLA B 27 and I was positive for carrying that gene. Here is what she had to say;
-----Comments from the Doctor's OfficeEnclosed is the results of the lab work.
Interesting, you are HLA B 27 positive. This is a gene that can be associated with spondyloarthropathies. I wonder if your Parvovirus may have triggered this in you. Your sedimentation rate is now back to normal. With this being positive, and the ongoing symptoms, I would suggest we place you on sulfasalazine to better manage the arthritis. Sulfasalazine is typically fairly well tolerated. We typically place patients on 500 mg twice daily and have them take this for 2 weeks, then increase to 1000 (2 tablets) in the morning and 1 tablet in the evening for 2 weeks, then go to 2 tablets twice daily. We will want to see you back in about 6 weeks to see how you are doing. Please schedule this now. I will send a prescription of the medication to the pharmacy. It will be written to take 2 twice daily, but I would like you to start out slow as above.Call or email if you have questions or concerns.-----
I now wonder if I had arthritis all along and the fifths triggered it and made it worse. I have had back pain and sciatic issues since my early 20's. When I googled spondyloarthropathies I could not believe the similarities.
If this helps even one person, it is worth posting! I hope you all find your answers and I hope this is mine. I will let you know how the new medication is working in a few weeks!