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Talk to me about joint pain... tell me I'm not paranoid?

Discussion in 'Parents Off Topic' started by sarahspins, Jan 25, 2010.

  1. sarahspins

    sarahspins Approved members

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    I've had pretty bad joint pain for MONTHS that I've been trying to shrug off (well, realistically quite a bit longer than that, but it was never this bad). My thyroid meds were way out of whack last year which is what I had kind of been blaming it on.. I've been doing much better on a higher dose of synthroid but the joint pain lingers, and it's progressively gotten worse. I almost brought it up at my last Endo appointment, but I didn't... now I am starting to really think I should (and I don't have a GP, or I'd probably have gone in for this by now). I see my Endo Thursday, and plan on asking her to do some bloodwork, if not refer me to someone.

    I have a hard time falling asleep and staying asleep because it's hard to find a position where I don't hurt (mostly in my shoulders, elbows, and hips). I dread getting up in the morning because I just don't want to have to move... I hurt all over, a burning, aching, miserable kind of pain (I was talking to my mom a while back and described it as heartburn in my joints). I can ignore it as long as I stay active, but as soon as I slow down, it starts all over again.

    Aside from my knees and maybe my wrists/hands I haven't noticed much joint swelling, but I am not sure how I'd really notice much in my shoulders and hips. But, to put that in perspective I haven't been able to wear my wedding ring since last summer.. I've kind of shrugged that off as having gained some weight when my thyroid meds were way off, but I am starting to think it's more than just that - I never had to take my ring off even while I was pregnant except to go to the hospital.

    Clearly I know this isn't normal, but realistically, what should I be worried about? RA? What would that really mean for me? :( I'm only 29.. which is a bit young for osteoarthritis (which my mom claims to have had for the past 25 years, yet has not been confirmed by any medical testing - but she'll be 64 in a few months, so it started when she was older), but honestly any of the other possibilities scare the crap out of me.
     
  2. Toni

    Toni Banned

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    Yes, bring it up with the endo. She will probably refer you to some specialists. Try not to worry unless you get a definitive diagnosis. It may be something minor.
     
  3. Beach bum

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    Talk to the endo, but in the meantime, have you tried glucosamine/condroiten? You can get it in a beverage form or in horse pills. My husband has joint pain from running and landscaping work (years ago), and finds that this helps.
     
  4. sarahspins

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    Yep, I tried it after my knee got all swollen and unhappy last spring (I did see an ortho about that), and it didn't do anything. I hated taking the giant pills so I quit after about a couple of months.

    The knee thing was weird.. I couldn't figure out what could have caused the sudden swelling, and my ortho (that put my other knee back together 14 years ago after I completely tore my ACL, MCL, and medial meniscus) couldn't really find anything wrong when I went to see him after a month (soonest I could be seen without a referral), and thought maybe I had injured the fat pad behind my kneecap due to where my knee was actually painful, but he only suggested PT for it, which I didn't do (too expensive since it is only covered after my deductible is met - I went once). I remember asking if it could be arthritis or something and he said probably not. The swelling has gone up/down since then. My right knee has never been the same since being injured and always tends to get inflamed with too much activity, so it's not like I'm unfamiliar with that.. but the other one is different, the swelling seems to come and go randomly. They both hurt most days.. as do most of the rest of my joints. But I've read that being hypothyroid can cause joint pain, and I definitely was last summer.. my TSH was 10.6 in July.. so I sort of shrugged it all off, but it's getting worse, and my TSH (as well as T3 and T4) are/were fine after my meds were adjusted (well, at least everything was peachy the next two times they were checked.. I'll find out if I'm still good in a few days).

    So now I don't know..
     
  5. bisous

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    The only thing that I know is that checking it out and doing the necessary testing relieves a lot of mental anxiety. DS has been undergoing some testing by a psychologist for ADHD. He was diagnosed and it was hard to hear but it was a relief to finally KNOW and I had been wondering and tormenting myself about it for so long!

    Hope you get some answers and freedom from pain! :)
     
  6. saxmaniac

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    I have RA, and that sounds exactly what I went through, though mine is a bit milder. I am 37, you can be unlucky at any age... it's not osteo.

    You should see a rheumatologist pronto and tell him every minor symptom you have, even if you think it's unrelated. My variant of RA is seronegative, which means it does not show up on blood tests (RF). That means I was diagnosed via symptoms alone.

    For me it showed up in a bunch of ways:

    1) Joint pain, stiffness, and bad swelling in a few isolated joints in my right hand. I couldn't make a closed fist.
    2) Stiffness in left knee and inability to stand on the leg after long periods of inactivity like driving. There's a Baker's cyst there... caused by the RA.
    3) A nodule on my right arm that's been there since I was a teen. No pain, but apparently it's related
    4) Stiffness at night and in the morning, and hot showers were a great relief.
    5) Lethargy. I had to pull over and take tiny naps to avoid crashing during my evening commute a few times.

    My GP gave me some short-term strong steroids (the pack that has 6 pills a day, then 5... forget the name) and that helped reduce the swelling a lot, but only temporarily.

    I've been on long-term meds for 6 months. It's no worse, and only slightly better. It's not gone by any means. I can make a fist again, but I cannot punch or hit anything with my right hand without a great deal of pain.

    Glucoasmine is no better than a placebo. Save your money and eat M&M's if you want to believe in that.

    The short spiel is this: as your body attacks your joints, bits of collagen are left in the synovial sac. Collagen and water is gelatin, and so it stiffens up at room temperature. That's why motion and heat makes you feel better, it melts the gelatin temporarily. The motion keeps it from setting up as quickly... so you will feet great after showering, OK while moving during the day, lousy after sitting still for a bit, and miserable at night.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2010
  7. Kalebsmom

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    This is going to sound weird, but do you bruise easy or are you double jointed?
     
  8. sarahspins

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    I don't know, I always seem to have bruises but I don't think I bruise easily, and yes.. I have hypermobility in most of my joints as well as SPD (it never went away after my second pregnancy..it is no longer painful but I still get the grinding/popping).
     
  9. Becky Stevens mom

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    I dont believe you have Lyme ticks down that far but Im just not sure of that. If you do ask to be tested for lyme disease, it can cause many symptoms all over the body. this is caused by a spirochete that is a bacteria. some people have it for years and are misdiagnosed with other things
     
  10. wdhinn89

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    Have your doctor do blood work to check your vitamin D level.

    I felt this way and when my doctor did my yearly bloodwork, he found my Vitamin D level was very low. I was put on a perscription of 50,000iu daily. I could not believe how much better my body felt.

    While in bed I would feel like a 100 year old woman when I rolled over and after I took the Vitamin D, I felt like a new person.

    Good Luck. I hope it is as simple as taking a vitamin.
     
  11. sarahspins

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    We do have Lyme down here.. but I haven't seen any ticks in a few years (we live in the country - ironically I've only seen ticks in the city around where my mom lives). I'm not sure I really have any of the symptoms (aside from joint pain). I can ask to be checked though, along with the Vit D :)
     
  12. Kalebsmom

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    Sarah, The reason I asked about the brusing and such is you may want to have them look into Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. I was dx'd with it at 15 and have a lot of the same symptoms as you.

    There are many different types of EDS, so you may have to read through them all.
     
  13. Becky Stevens mom

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    Sarah, here are some of the symptoms of lyme disease. Ive had it 4 times, the first time in infected my heart and cause lyme carditis and heart block. I was on IV antibiotics for a month.

    Lack of energy, which is the most common symptom.
    Headache and stiff neck.
    Fever and chills.
    Muscle and joint pain.
    Swollen lymph nodes.
    Being tired.

    Additional skin rashes in several places on your body that develop as the infection spreads.
    Pain, weakness, or numbness in the arms or legs.
    Inability to control the muscles of the face (paralysis of the facial nerves).
    Recurring headaches or fainting.
    Poor memory and reduced ability to concentrate.
    Conjunctivitis (pinkeye) or sometimes damage to deep tissue in the eyes.
    Occasional rapid heartbeats (palpitations) or, in rare cases, serious heart problems.

    Swelling and pain (inflammation) in the joints, especially in the knees.
    Numbness and tingling in the hands, feet, or back.
    Severe fatigue.
    Partial facial nerve paralysis, which usually occurs within the first few months after the tick bite.2
    Neurologic changes, including problems with memory, mood, or sleep, and sometimes problems speaking.
    Chronic Lyme arthritis, which causes recurring episodes of swelling, redness, and fluid buildup in one or more joints that last up to 6 months at a time.

    a person can get a few or many of these symptoms from lyme disease. The ticks are very tiny and difficult to spot. In areas that lyme is rare often doctors dont want to do the test for it, there is also problems with false negatives
     
  14. sarahspins

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    Yikes.. okay, I googled that, and if I feel like I have a lot of symptoms of RA.. I have more of those. Lots more.. scary!

    I'm convinced google can turn anyone into a hypochondriac though.. we'll see what my doc has to say about it all.
     
  15. sarahspins

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    Yeah, apart from the joint pain, some swelling, and fatigue I don't have any of the others.. and I honestly suspect a large part of the fatigue is just due to being in pain - that has always worn me out. I don't know though. I really can't speculate about much until I get some testing done.
     
  16. allisa

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    My son was dxd with Rheumatic Fever this fall.

    At the time of dx...his knees were very swollen...but....looking back in hindsight, he had migrating pain in all his joints.

    He also had bad nosebleeds.

    From what docs have told us, it is really rare for people to get Rheumatic Fever anymore...and although it usually hits kids age 5-15.....my ex husband works with a middle age man who happens to live in the same town as us & he was dxd last summer with it !

    It can damage heart valves....that was how Ty's was detected....due to his heart damage :(

    Edited to add:

    Rheumatic Fever is an auto-immune disease...and as we know....those who are prone to one auto-immune tend to be prone to more auto-immunes....
     
  17. sarahspins

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    Yeah, I know.. that's why I kind of fear the worst, honestly. I have Asthma, Hashi's and T1... I feel like a ticking time bomb :(

    I'm going to request testing for Celiac too.. I don't really have any symptoms but it's yet another thing that "could" contribute to joint pain.
     

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