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I'm not sure what I have, but so far it's stumping doctors.

I threw out my back in late January. I know that sounds like a strange way to begin my story, but stay with me, as this is all seems causally related. The MRI showed I have a small annular tear (high-intensity zone) in a lumbar disc. A month later, the low back pain and pin-and-needles/numbness in my feet never really went away. Then, in March, I started getting a hot, red rash on my cheeks, sides of face, upper brow, chin and nose that I've never had before. It looks like I'm constantly flushed. Then burning pain around my lips, gums, mouth and especially my eyes (they feel gritty and burn). This was followed by redness and joint pain in my knees and intense itchiness in the palms of my hand and the soles of my feet.

It's May and all the symptoms remain . I finally had an ANA - IFA blood test done, revealing a titer of 1:80 (borderline positive). This prompted my doctor to run tests for Anti-dsDNA, anti-scleroderma, anti-ssa, anti-ssb, anti-smith and anti-RNP. All of those tests were negative. c-reactive protein and SED rate were also normal.

Has anyone heard of anything quite like this? It doesn't sound completely like lupus and the onset seems too causally linked to my lower back annular tear to be a coincidence. Perhaps it's an overproduction of inflammatory cytokines in my body as a result of the tear? I'm at a loss and am not sure what direction to take.
 

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Hi MidwestJest,

Until something more definitive shows you will just have to go after one symptom at a time. The burning and numbness should probably be checked out by a neurologist. They will want to determine if there is any peripheral neuropathy present. A dermatologist may be able to diagnose your rash. Finally an Ophthalmologist could check your eyes. They have eye drop options to help with the gritty and burning feelings and could also test for Sjogrens to rule it out.

Take care,
Lazylegs
 
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