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    Frustrated and unsure
    kelti1985 posted:
    Long story, short, I've had three years of inflammation and major ankle issues (my podiatrist initiated the whole RA visit.) Blood work initially showed elevated sed rate, elevated rheumatoid factor, anemia, and abnormal C-Reactive Protein levels. Initial hand xrays showed no indicators of RA, but due to symptoms and bw, I started an anti-inflammatory and Plaquenil. Dc'd Plaquenil due to tummy issues that never abated. I had carpal tunnel surgery and on routine check, the hand doc ended up taking new films. In four months there was a major arthritic change. A month ago I started sulfasalazine. Blood work for liver function is fine, but sed rate increased (not sure what else was tested.) For the past week, I've been running a low-grade temp. A call to doc for advice warranted this statement, "The doctor has no idea why you would be running a low-grade temp as it has nothing to do with your inflammation. He suggests you see your primary care physician." REALLY?

    Am I incorrect in thinking that the low-grade temp can, in fact, be directly related to the increased inflammation? What are the normal limits for inflammation? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Scott Zashin, MD responded:
    In my patients who develop a low grade fever, I would evaluate them in my office to look for signs or symptoms of infection. If I did not find any issue there, I would need to consider the possibility of a fever from a medication, especially if it is a new medication. Some patients with chronic inflammation run a low grade fever although in my experience, this is not a common occurence.I would encourage any patient with this history to keep a temp. chart and bring it with them to their visit.
    HopeFig79 responded:
    I also get low grade fevers...I have chronic sinus infections also,so i get the low grade fevers quit often,and it usually last a week or longer sometimes. There has been times when my RA was causing the fevers as well..I have read in different books,and websites,and even my RA doc says that a low grade fever is common in RA patients,as well as fatigue. Its pretty bad to have both going on at the same time,because one makes you feel sick,and then also tired all the time..I never want to do anything or go anywhere on those days or sometimes weeks..I've had RA for about 2 yrs now,and for most of that time my RA has been active..Either the meds aren't working or I cant take because of the infections I always get.. Anyways when your inflammation is flarring up pretty badly yes you can get a low grade fever from RA..
    kelti1985 responded:
    Thank you for the input. Interestingly, I have noticed a pattern with the temperature spikes. Since April, when I really started to take note of them, I can say they've come when I'm physically feeling my worst with inflammation, stiffness, and pain.

    On a much more positive note, the Sulfasalazine seems to be working. Recent blood work showed a decrease in inflammaton and I'm noticing a big decrease in the stiffness, swelling, and pain I have every day. This is a major relief to me, both physically and mentally.
    HopeFig79 replied to kelti1985's response:
    It's good to hear you are getting some relief from it.. I know very well how it feels when the RA is acting up really bad..What doesn't help my case to much is I have a hyper active 3yr old,and a husband who doesn't help with him,and has no understanding of how I am feeling.Even when my ankles,knees,wrist,and hands are all swollen almost double there normal size..I've been having a fever off and on,like every other day for the past month and a half..IT really takes a lot of of me..I was taking Actemra,along with the methotrexate,and prednisone, but I haven't been able to take the Actemra for 3 or 4 months now,because of the chronic sinus infections I keep getting..My Rheumy referred me to a ENT,and said I will need surgry,but having RA is expensive enough,so I'm not able to get surgery anytime soon..I will be 32 in Dec.I was 28 when I found out I had Osteoarthritis in my back,and a few months later found out about the RA..Oh,and just recently my doc said I might have blood clots in both legs..Oh Joy! It's really depressing knowing that I'm still so young and I will have to deal with all this for the rest of my life..ANd really you are the only other person I have talked to that knows how this makes you feel,and understands the symptoms that goes with RA..Most of the time I feel so alone,since my husband is not even 1% understanding,or helpful when it comes to the bad days or weeks.. Hope that medicine keeps working for you,and you get feeling better..
    kelti1985 replied to HopeFig79's response:
    It sounds like we have a lot in common. I get tired of hearing "Oh, you're too young to have those problems. Lose weight and it'll they'll go away." Granted, losing weight will help with how I'm feeling, but it's not going to get rid of the underlying cause. Insensitive people (family members or not) drive me nuts. Sometimes I want to yell and say, "Walk a mile in my shoes before you pass judgment!"

    I had sinus surgery when my youngest was 9 months old. One of the best things I did.

    The only thing I can tell you as far as support is concerned is to look for it somewhere else than your husband. Good luck.
    indiana1971 replied to HopeFig79's response:
    I have the low grade fevers, but also with nausea and sometimes vomiting. Is this also connected to RA?
    olathegal replied to indiana1971's response:
    Web Md just put out an article about 10 symptoms not to ignore associated with RA. It discussed nausea may be linked to Nasaids such as ibprofen (sp?) Here is the link to the article

    Helpful Tips

    Dry eyes and dry mouthExpert
    Patients with RA may develop dryness of the eyes and mouth due to a condition called secondary Sjogrens Syndrome. The dryness is due to ... More
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