Felty’s syndrome

So you have been diagnosed with Felty’s Syndrome?

I’m guessing you are now sitting there wondering exactly what Felty’s Syndrome is right? You may have already trawled through some of the 481,000+ results Google throws back at you on searching for information on Felty’s Syndrome…. Sound familiar? Well hopefully this one site will give you answers to those questions that no one in the world appears to be able to answer for you.

Rheumatoid Arthritis and Felty’s Syndrome.

If you have suffered from RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis) and have now been told by your doctor or consultant your RA has developed in to Felty’s, which apparently <1% of the population of RA suffers does, your probably feeling like the unluckiest person on the planet right now? Yes? Well I can totally sympathise with your position and I hope the information on these pages helps you and enlightens you.

Symptoms of Felty’s Syndrome.

If you are in the early stages of diagnosis you are likely to have experienced a change, often a very dramatic change, in your health which has prompted the diagnosis. From experience you may not have been officially diagnosed with Felty’s yet and are going through the multiple tests to eliminate almost every other possibility as to why you are experiencing a worsening in health and possibly other symptoms like night sweats (worsened by taking pain killers, paracetamol or aspirin), dramatic weight loss, strange skin rashes and mouth ulcers to name but a few.

Felty’s Syndrome diagnosis…. Don’t panic… it is not straight forward.

One of the most horrific and frustrating stages in your attempt to find out what is going on is the many symptoms of Felty’s which can also be attribited to Cancers, Lymphoma and many other potentially fatal diseases. When this is coupled with the general lack of knowledge and clinical study in the health profession on Felty’s Syndrome the result is normally confusion from your doctors or health professional and they may well suggest to you that you should prepare to face one of the above mentioned in addition to your RA diagnosis. Frustratingly this is where you normally enter in to the wonderful healthcare “system” of being passed from department to department while they perform all kinds of tests, scans and biopsy’s in their quest to diagnose you. I cannot and do not speak badly of these people, without their great knowledge and efforts I am sure I would have lost my father many years ago so I hold their knowledge, support and assistance in the highest regard. These people are only human and as with us all we can only know as much as we have learnt along the way or have been taught and retained. The failing is not in the human but in the compilation and communication of data. Here, by uniting the data in to one study in a combined effort, the aim is to enlighten both medical professionals, patients and sufferers alike and ultimately help everyone involved.

Results from tests for Felty’s Syndrome.

In the main the following common denominators are used for the diagnosis of Felty’s Syndrome:

  1. Rheumatoid arthritis
  2. Enlarged spleen (splenomegaly)
  3. Abnormally low white blood count

Other key indicators of Felty’s which you may also be experiencing are as follows:

  • Low levels of white blood cells in particular Neutrophils and Lymphocytes
  • Neutropenic anamia
  • Lymphocytosis
  • Enlarged Spleen (possibly bulky para-aortic node)
  • Rapid weight loss
  • Mouth ulcers and/or sore throat with the above
  • Burning sensation when urinating
  • Diarrhea
The irony of Felty’s Syndrome is that you might actually find your RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis) joint pain symptoms actually subside! This effect will be caused by the dramatic drop in your white blood cells and what is actually happening is your immune system is effectively shutting down and no longer attacking the joints which is attributed to be the basic cause of the RA pain and swelling (without going in to medical detail). With the presence of so called Felty’s Syndrome the white blood cell count is reduced to such low levels in the body it eventually becomes to low to sustain any type of immune reaction and this is the danger zone which you need to avoid reaching or if you are already there must try and recover from as quickly as possible. Risk of infection and greater complications run high at this point and you should avoid any contact with people who are sick with colds and flu or other easily transmitted common viruses.

Feltys Syndrome – The chain reaction that culminated your condition…

 

For more information of Felty’s Syndrome email the author.