Unusual form of arthritis took five years to diagnose

Ankylosing spondylitis is a type of arthritis that causes inflammation of the spine. AS is an autoimmune disease, where the body’s immune system becomes confused and begins to attack the spine. Despite affecting between 150,000 and 300,000 Canadians, AS is still widely misunderstood.
Dr. Barry Koehler, a clinical professor of rheumatology at UBC, said AS can be missed in some patients because of its tendency to affect younger people. However, he said rheumatologists are trying to increase awareness of the disease’s “red flags” to help family doctors better recognize and diagnose it.

Calgary Herald, Sat May 5 2012, Page: B1, By: Thandi Fletcher, Link to full text