Discussions By Condition: Autoimmune Disease

Severe joint pain and stiffness

Posted In: Autoimmune Disease 3 Replies
  • Posted By: rlshahan
  • March 25, 2007
  • 05:02 PM

:( I'm a 47 yr old female and am miserable. I was healthy and in excellent physical shape at 125 pds until 4 yrs ago. Now I'm 155 pds and too weak to exercise. I just want to know what is wrong so I know what to do about it. If anyone could lead me in the right direction I would be so thankful.
I was completely through menapause at 42 and that's when it all started. At 42 I had hyperthyroidism and ended up having to do RAI treatment, so then of course I was hypothyroid. My TSH was 58. I had joint stiffness, wt gain, fatigue, dry skin, etc. Went on Levothyroxine. Levels normal now, but symptoms keep flaring up. I had a bad flare up 2 yrs ago and was taking a lot of Ibuprofen. Bld tests only showed high liver enzymes. Stopped Ibuprofen and they came back to normal. I don't have the tender points, but the Dr still said it was Fibromyalgia. Sed rate and Lyme titer were normal at that time.Symptoms seem to get worse with each flare up. The Dr said it was Fibromyalgia and I went on a long-acting Ibuprofen. I was feeling better for about 6 mths. Then I ended up with thyroid eyes. One eye drooping, one bulging, red, tearing, periorbital edema, etc, and had to go on Steroids 16 mg a day for 6 mths. The steroids helped my eyes. I felt great. I wasn't fatigued, my joints weren't stiff or painful, wasn't sleeping all the time, and my headaches were better. But I had every bad side effect. High BP, moon face, buffalo hump, mood changes, etc.(Like Cushings). I had to be weaned off. Then my Eyes got worse again and I had to get 10 doses of low radiation treatment to the eyes muscles which did help. Ever since I went off the Steroids I have been in so much pain and stiffness. This is the worst flare up I've ever had. It's been almost 2 mths off the steroids and I've been miserable. If I don't move my joints every 15 mins. I stiffen up so bad it hurts. It's in my neck, my low back, shoulders, elbows, wrists, fingers, hips, knees, ankles, and even the soles of my feet. I love sking. Went a couple wks ago, but muscles were in a constant burn so I had to quit. It was too painful. I am fatigued, weak, forgetful, and depressed. I am making it to work and back, but that's all I can do now. I went to the Drs again. We're trying Cymbalta for Fibromyalgia. I felt ok on the 5th and 6th day after starting it. I was so excited, but it came right back. someone, please help come up with a diagnosis. I want to feel good again.

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3 Replies:

  • Im not having joint stiffness yet, but right after my hysterectomy, I started having periorbital swelling and I was wandering, If you were having stiffness in your forehead and jaws with your periorbital edema? I seem to have swelling there and also down the sides of my nose too. I look drunk or really wiped out most of the time. That and brain fog have been my main symptoms. other symptoms are nausea, and wt loss. I have had a TSH, T3 and T4 done and am told it is normal. I have an adrenal nodule that is 2cm that I am seeing an endo for next week.
    fluffyv 38 Replies Flag this Response
  • No, I never had stiffness in my forehead, just my joints. I just went to the Endo. He said my levels are good and the joint pain and stiffness has nothing to do with my thyroid. He thinks all the weakness, depression, and fatigue is because I'm going through withdrawal from the steroids. At first I didn't believe it, but I'm not as weak and tired so maybe he's right about that. My mood is getting better and energy is getting better. Mostly, I just have the eye issues and joint pain and stiffness now. We know my eyes issues are from the hx of hyperthyroid. He said they probably won't get any worse, but they might stay puffy, red, and watery from 1- 5yrs. I wonder why your eyes are swollen. Have you had thyroid trouble in the past. Do you have edema anywhere else? Good luck at the Endo. I go to the Rheumotologist in 6 wks. I think I'll call and push it up some. I think I either have RA, Lupus, or Fibro. If everything comes up normal then they'll say it must be Fibromyalgia. Oh well, hang in there. I've been trying to eat healthier and walk 20 mins every day. It does help a little.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, three different doctors.One - a neurologist, the other two regular GP's.After using a CPAP machine for ONE night all my pain disappeared.I was on Percoset for the pain for two months. I used the CPAP machine which was prescribed by a sleep specialist. All my pain has been gone since I started using the CPAP machine. I was the same way. If I stopped moving I felt like I would never be able to walk again.I moved and moved, until I finally came down with pnemonia and a partially collapsed lung (probably from the percoset)and went to my lung doctor who is also a sleep specialist.He believes most Fibromyalgia and depression is caused by lack of beneficial sleep, i.e.; REM sleep.PLEASE CHECK INTO THIS!I cannot believe myself that I am no longer on pain medication and have been able to come off of depression medication since the use of the CPAP machine!Good luck!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
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