My mom has been trying to find a diagnosis for almost 2 years. We are at a loss on where to go from here. She is 46 and has had mild joint pain for quite a while but it has never been this bad and accompanied by these symptoms.
Besides joint pain, she has joint stiffness, especially in the morning. Her bilateral hand grips are weak. She constantly has edema in her lower extremities. She has also experienced anemia and hair loss. She does have a history of ulcers and has GERD. The doctor suspected the anemia could be caused by GI bleeding but it was not confirmed. Occasionally, she complains of kidney pain but BUN and creatinine tests have come back normal. She also has hypertension and is currently on medication. This does run in her family.
Within the past two months, we have noticed that a reddish rash will pop up on her arms out of nowhere. In fact, we were shopping and her arm looked fine; ten minutes later she looked down and noticed there were small dark reddish/purple spots on her wrist. It is usually always on her wrist or forearm. The spots disappear in a day or two. I believe it is petechiae.
The last test results that I have show her hematocrit, hemoglobin, mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration, and red blood cell count are low. Her sed rate is high at 49. Her T3 levels are also high at 2.11.
I feel that she has lupus but we have been told by two different doctors that they don't think so. The first was a rheumatologist who said she did not have rheumatoid arthritis but went back and forth with lupus as a diagnosis for 3 months. She switched doctors and was told she has adrenal gland failure but we have gotten nowhere with that diagnosis. I have seen nothing to back up this diagnosis or heard any explanation for it.
She has been on Prednisone for over a year and claims it has helped somewhat but not completely and we are still at a loss for an underlying cause.
Does anyone have any advice on what could be going on or what tests could be done to focus on a diagnosis?
Any advice or comments would be appreciated.