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Possible RA, costochondritis, thyroid issues

I'm going to give you some history. I apologize if this ends up being long.

I am a 38 year old female and was relatively healthy until around the end of 2014.
In Nov. of 2014 I ended up in the ER with heart palpitations. They did an echocardiogram and ekgs and thankfully couldn't find anything.
In Dec. of 2014 I started developing chronic headaches (while still dealing with the heart palps) to the point where I had to find a nuerologist who sent me for an MRI/MRA in Feb. of 2015. Those test were fine and she determined the headaches to be tension headaches. I went for physical therapy and the headaches got *a little* better.
By Apr. of 2015, I was still dealing with the heart palps and started developing chest pain. I visited a cardiologist who sent me home with a month-long holter monitor. The only thing he found was benign PACs, which is basically just an extra beat. It's disturbing, but harmless.
As you could imagine, during this time I started to develop some pretty bad anxiety. I was still dealing with occasional headaches and the heart palps throughout all this.
I started having stomach issues in the summer of 2015. My PCP sent me for an ultrasound which found *one* gallbladder stone and a hemangioma on my liver which I was told was nothing to worry about. Well of course by Oct. 2015 my gallbladder had to be removed. In the few months between the ultrasound and my surgery, the gallbladder ended up full of stones and fluid. I thought "Oh good, my problems have been solved!"
After my surgery I finally decided to take the small dose of beta blockers that the cardio prescribed and *knock on wood* they have worked wonders for the heart palps. So I think I'm good with those now.

BUT! By the end of 2015 and the beginning of this year, I still was just not feeling right. My chest was hurting constantly, I was TIRED all the time, I was achey, anxious... I decided to see a rheumatologist. She ran an initial batch of blood tests which she sent to a "regular" lab and those came back with high indicators for lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. She said she wanted to double-check those results and sent my blood off to a "fancy" lab in California. They did not find the indicators for lupus, but still found high RA "markers" and I have pretty high antit-hyroid antibodies, but my thyroid still seems to be functioning normally. My rheumatologist can't seem to make her mind up about medication and hasn't even said that I actually HAVE RA. She said it's "smoldering". And quite frankly, at this point I'm skeptical that medication will even help (I have another follow-up with her in 2 weeks). The cardio and rheumatologist believe the chest pain is costochondritis, but it's been lingering for a year now and seems to be getting worse. In addition to the rib pain, my shoulders and arms hurt, I'm starting to get pains in my legs, I'm exhausted to the point of nausea by the end of the work day... I just feel like I haven't been making any progress. I'm overwhelmed and don't even know what questions to ask or what medications I should be thinking about! I mean, if the blood tests show that I have RA, that means I have it, right?
1 Responses
1530171 tn?1448129593
Hi mis417.
A few things that may help.
Never underestimate your doctors' ability to mess-up
patients' lives.
It is possible you have a magnesium deficiency, food allergies and low thyroid function, all underlying causes
of gallbladder pain and gall stone formation.
2.5% Magnesium Chloride hexahydrate (MgCl2-6H2O) solution, 125 ml taken twice daily and sipped very slowly
( mix 25 gr of magnesium chloride in 1 liter of water)
not indicated in severe kidney insufficiency, tastes awful
and might cause a little diarrhea initially.
But it will help with depression and anxiety issues,
regulating heart rhythm, boosting cardiovascular energy,
aid thyroid function which by the way could be low, but the
standard tests only show serum levels and not thyroid function!!! The positive antibodies indicate hashimoto's
(autoimmune hypothyroidism) and some of the symptoms
overlap magnesium deficiency symptoms.
Ask for Free T3, Free T4 and Reverse T3
I would not be surprised if your Reverse T3 is elevated-
due to prolonged stress levels which  cause high cortisol
at first, but eventually becoming low, as the adrenals cannot sustain the high levels indefinitely.
Reverse T3 lowers T3, which does not show in the standard tests.  if this is the case you need to treat the thyroid with the smallest starting doses of natural desiccated thyroid and cytomel which is only T3.
This has to be monitored closely and adjust the dosing as needed.
When you have low thyroid function, nothing seems to work in the body well, nothing heals properly either.
Food allergies and sensitivities have to verified by doing an elimination diet, because they could have been the reason for your gallbladder issues all along, with magnesium and low thyroid function as co-factors.
Allergy/sensitivity-caused obstruction  because of duct tissue swelling is a very valid and common presentation,
yet stones get the blame-exclusively!
You also need to rule out low gastric acid .
This alone would lead to a great number of issues.
Easiest way to find out is by doing the Betaine HCL
challenge. Follow the label instructions and if you feel better consistently after a few days, you know you have indeed low gastric acid.
This is another causative factor in gallstone formation.
Unfortunately you had your gallbladder removed, however
my opinion is that once this happens, then essential oils and vitamins A,D,E and K are not absorbed properly
and over time resulting in many health issues, associated with their deficiencies.
One thing that you could do is look into  supplementing with bile salts.
The RA markers are likely a consequence of the above.
If some of the above sound a bit complicated, let me know and I can offer you simpler explanations and further details.
Please note that my comments are not intended to replace medical advice.
Best wishes,
Niko

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