Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Unexplained joint stiffness and pain in most joints of body

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 11 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • February 9, 2007
  • 06:22 AM

Hi, I'm an almost seventeen year old girl who's had no other serious medical problems before.

However, about last October, things started going wrong. It began with moderate to severe pain on and between my shoulder blades, often radiating down my spine and arms. I had full movement- moving didn't make it hurt more or less. Doctors found nothing. It went away for about two weeks but has come back within the last month or so, always in the same general area.

Then, a rash appeared on my legs, elbows, and arms- small red bumps, occasionally with a pale white-ish ring around them that itched. Then, my finger joints began to stiffen, eventually getting to the point where I couldn't straighten them. The middle knuckles on the fingers also became swollen. My pediatrician diagnosed me with Serum Sickness, an autoimmune allergic reaction of sorts to a medication I was taking (minocycline). I stopped taking that and got put of two round of a mid to low dose of Prednisone, which helped for a while, and the rash did go away. However, the joint problems spread, and are now in my ankles, knees, fingers, elbows, and wrists.

I saw a rheumatologist, who diagnosed me with undifferentiated connective tissue disease. I've been taking 375 mg of Naproxen Sodium twice a day, but it doesn't help. I've been tested for rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, cancer, etc, and had numerous other antibody tests and things like that done. Nada. I'm getting desperate- it gets to the put where I have to wear a wrist or elbow brace and supplemeny the pain meds the doctor gave me wit Ibuprofen, which seems to help slightly more.

Any thougts? Sorry this is so long- I wanted to put as much detail as possible to give everyone more to work with. Thanks for your help!

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11 Replies:

  • ask the rheumitologist if it could be psoriatic arthritis (the small red spots) good luck...a PA suffere.......
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • February 9, 2007
    • 11:51 AM
    • 0
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  • Hi, I'm the one who posted this thread. Thanks for the response. I was wondering, is there a separate test for PA, or would a rheumatoid arthritis test be positive for PA as well? Do you know what doctors test for when they test for PA?
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • February 10, 2007
    • 08:38 PM
    • 0
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  • Do you live in an area where lyme is prevalent? I understand it is hard to diagnose ,but might be worth looking into. DOM
    acuann 3080 Replies
    • February 11, 2007
    • 02:17 AM
    • 0
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  • Hi,I have PA. I actually started with joint symptoms 25 years before I ever had a psoriasis lesion. I was 16 when I had my first flareup, but back then, they didn't know what it was. Unfortunatley, there is no test exactly for this disease. They have to test you for everything else and, when they come back negative, and they see some evidence of skin involvement they will give you this dx. Since I had no skin involvement for many years, I was dx'd with many other conditions such as: Lupus, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Sero Negative RA, Undifferentiated Autoimmune Disorder. When I finally got the right dx, and the right meds., I cannot tell you how great I feel. You'll be fine. Just find a good Dr. and mention that you may have this illness (especially if anyone in your family ever had psoriasis). Good luck sweetie!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • February 11, 2007
    • 03:03 AM
    • 0
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  • are you underweight and/or short stature? These can be symptoms of malabsorption caused by enzyme deficiencies, including gluten intolerance, even if you dont have digestive issues you're aware of. Try an all around enzyme before eating, an excellent natural multi-vitamin and mineral mix and see if symptoms improve in a few months. I would also consider adding glucosamine and chondroitin supplements.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • February 11, 2007
    • 05:22 AM
    • 0
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  • I'm about 5'1'', and hover around 105-107 pounds. All my bloodtests have shown normal nutrient levels- my doctor has repeatedly said that my bloodwork is "boringly normal". Could there still be something wrong with malabsorption, etc even if it didn't show on my tests?
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • February 12, 2007
    • 04:02 AM
    • 0
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  • Hi,I have PA. I actually started with joint symptoms 25 years before I ever had a psoriasis lesion. I was 16 when I had my first flareup, but back then, they didn't know what it was. I was wondering about that. I don't hav psoriasis, or at least the any physical symptoms of it. I did have a red, bumpy rash, but I looked up a description for a psoriasis rash, and it doesn't sound at all like what I have. The rash went away after the second round of Prednisone, but the joint pain didn't. I'll definitely mention PA to my doctor when I go back. Thanks for responding!!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • February 12, 2007
    • 04:04 AM
    • 0
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  • Have a Lyme Disease test done. Then have it done again. And again. And again. It's hard to get a positive result, so you have to ask for it more than once, but if you have Lyme Disease it will NOT go away on its own.
    deadlysauce 67 Replies
    • February 12, 2007
    • 08:29 PM
    • 0
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  • That's right. It won't go away on it's own and it will only get worse. Tests are unreliable but the best ones are a western blot by Igenex labs but false negatives are still common. Check out their website for information. Lyme is a clinical diagnosis but you need a knowledgeable doctor to recognize the symptoms. Check out the symtpom list at either lymenet.org or canlyme.comJoint problems are a common symptom especially the joints you have trouble with. Don't give up and don't take no for an answer!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • February 14, 2007
    • 03:12 AM
    • 0
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  • I wish I had the answer to your problem. But what I DO have is all the best wishes in the world for a quick solution of them...and I bet it comes quickly.You write so well. I have stiffness myself, but not to the extent that you do. I profited from your letter, and I am sure that others will too.All best wishes for an early solution!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • August 30, 2007
    • 04:52 PM
    • 0
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  • I know your thread was posted a long time ago, and I'm hoping you've gotten some answers by now. But I suggest you do some research on fibromyalgia, and talk to your doctor about it. It's quite common and sounds like it might fit.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • August 31, 2007
    • 04:11 PM
    • 0
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