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How can my rheumatic fever be treated?

Q: I am a 30 years old man and was diagnosed with rheumatic fever 15 years back. I have taken Penidure for almost 3-4 years. Now I feel like I have muscle pain in all over the body especially the legs and lower back area and I am losing weight continuously (now I am 52 kg). The doctors are not able to help me and they just ask me to do MRI, CT scans and blood tests; all were normal. I cannot sleep until I take a Maxgalin 500 and because of this my appetite has gone down as well as I am having digestion problems. This problem is affecting me mentally. We are about to have a baby and I'm not fit enough. I eat well but lack of sleep is getting everything undigested and hence I’m stuck to Eno and Gelusil. A neurosurgeon told me that my protein intake is less and hence my muscles don’t grow so all the stress is taken by my bones and causes pain. I tried high protein diet for the last 8-10 months now and no results. Please advise.

A:I am most amazed at the history that you have provided. You seem to have a very common disease that is called ankylosing spondylitis. If I may be permitted a guess - you never had rheumatic fever! You started this disease at the age of 14 years - a common age at which ankylosing spondylitis starts.

Your problem has been that you never took the advice/opinion of rheumatologists - specialists who are trained in evaluating and diagnosis musculoskeletal diseases. This disease is a genetic disease linked to a gene called HLA B27. There are some specialized laboratories that do this gene testing by a special technique called 'Nested PCR'. Beware - of unscrupulous laboratories who claim that they do HLA B27 screening by a technique called 'flowcytometry' that gives wrong results!

Anyway, in short you must immediately try to find a rheumatologist in your city and go to him/her as soon as possible for proper diagnosis and treatment. I must tell you that there are wonderful medicines available for this disease. Therefore, without any further delay (you are already > 15 year-late!) immediately go to a rheumatologist.


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