I understand that with IBD, which is a potential diagnosis for me, that you can have either axial arthritis of the spine, or peripheral arthritis of the hands and feet. The joints that are involved with me are my hips, shoulders, neck, knees, ankles, hands, and sometimes feet, including the heels. The most consistently painful joints are the hips and shoulders and neck. To me, that sounds like axial arthritis, not peripheral. When you read about axial arthritis, you find a lot of stuff out there on Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS). From what I've read, however, AS much more common in males, but it does often develop in concert with IBD. One source I read stated that females can get it, but it's manifested in different ways. With a male, the most common and painful symptom is lower back pain. With females, symptoms often arise in the hips, shoulders, and neck. Do I have AS? And what is the difference between axial arthritis and AS, or are they one and the same?
Also, what is more puzzling is that AS is typically a sero-negative arthritide, meaning you normally don't have a positive rheumatoid factor. I have always had consistently positive RF, albeit a low positive RF. Does this eliminate AS? Can you have a positive RF and have IBD?