ZocdocAnswersCould I have an autoimmune disorder?

Question

Could I have an autoimmune disorder?

I am a hypochondriac of some sort I am worried now that I have ankylosing spondylitis i was wondering if no one in my family has had this should I be scared I have had mri and x rays done on my spine for some mid back pain I have a slightly bulging disc in the thoracic area Doctor said if I wasn't worried all the time most likely wouldn't have found it and it would have just went away then it has gotten me worried so I did the google thing and ankylosing spondylitis came up what are the chances of some one getting this

Answer

Ankylosing spondylitis is an inflammatory disease of the spine that causes back pain. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with a rheumatologist. The condition is not all that common when it comes to low back pain as this pain is most often associated with muscle spasms, degenerative disc disease, and bulging discs. Your mid back pain might be due to this small bulging disc, but it's also possible that the two are not related. Your symptoms do not sound like ankylosing spondylitis, but if your doctor wants to rule it out there are a couple things that you can do. First, patients that have had this condition for many years will have findings on their MRI or x-rays are since you don't have that, it makes ankylosing spondylitis much less likely. In addition, you could have in blood test for something called HLA B27. This is a blood marker found in about 90% of people that have ankylosing spondylitis. Keep in mind that most people with this blood marker do not have this condition. In addition blood markers for inflammation can be checked which can help support or help refute the disease. Again, I suggest that you schedule an appointment with a rheumatologist. He or she is best equipped at ruling in or ruling out autoimmune disorders.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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