Tietzes Syndrome ....help me please!

by Adrienne
(Peoria, Arizona)

For some reason I always seem to get some type of illness that is rare or unknown to the average person and doctor. My story starts with pain in my jaw bilaterally that resulted in rheumatoid arthritis of both jaw joints. It developed when I was in my late teens and now I am 67 years old. For years I did not know why my teeth were shifting and my face was hurting. I was never told that I had rheumatoid arthritis in my jaw, but had dental problems.

Later on in life in my late forties I started to have pain in both my wrists and again I was given the wrong diagnosis. I was told that I had carpal tunnel when it fact it was the beginning of RA in my wrists. Yes, I took blood work but I always came back negative for any autoimmune disease. In my early sixties my hands were looking like a muscle disease attacked them as well. I do not wish to take the medication to treat RA because of the side affects, so I look for alternative ways and take supplements.

Now for the past several months I have a mysterious swelling and pain on both sides of my sternum and a sternoclavicular joint that feels unstable but on x-rays and MRI does not show any significant damage. This is another uncommon condition that no doctor wants to treat.

The sternoclavicular joint closest to the breastbone is located in a very fragile region of the body where the blood vessels are surrounding the heart. It is my understanding too risky to fix.

I have been to several orthopedic doctors already who are closed mouth and will not give me any answers. I am almost certain that this might have been caused by an injury rather than aging. I am a small person and tried to lift up my toddler grandson who was falling off of a stool. I pulled him back with my deformed weak arthritic hands and strained my clavicle bone and muscles that attach to it.

I cannot take anymore anti-inflammatories because I irritated my stomach and ended up in the ER. I went for physical therapy for four months but it did not help me. I think it aggravated my condition. It feels much better when I rest it, and not use it. The first rib on my right side is swollen. I also tried Chiropractic adjustments since my husband is a Chiropractor. For now I do not exert myself and try to take the omega 3 fish oils to help fight the inflammation.

If anybody out there knows a better way I would love to hear from them. My whole life is limited because I cannot lift, bend or carry things without feeling pressure on the sternum. This is my story.

Hello Adrienne,
A heart rendering tale of woe, but I think I may have good news for you, especially as your husband is a chiropractor. I spent twenty five years trying to find a solution to Tietze's syndrome.

In your case it's not impossible that the swelling is caused by the RA. On that score my strong recommendation is that you become a health nut; it's the only known solution at this stage to autoimmune diseases. It may not help, but you will be a healthier person for it.

Look to include anti inflammatory foods daily in your diet, and stay rigidly away from those fats high in omega-6, particularly sunflower and corn oil. Read the labels, and make your own salad dressing using olive oil.

I treat Tiezes on a daily basis, but it's rare that it develops to the full blown stage 4 as you have. None are cured, but all are relieved, most considerably. Do you also have regurgitation and oesophageal pain? It may be difficult to distinguish from the ulcer you had. Yes, stay off NSAIDS. Something like 14,000 Americans die every year from a gastric bleed caused directly by anti inflammatory drugs.

I think it best your husband connect with me via Contact; perhaps we can even Skype but I don't want to put my address here. Then we can discuss the protocol that I follow. I can give you a fair assurance of somewhere between 20-70% improvement. That would make life livable.

Yours cordially,

Dr B

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