Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Joint paint all over --tested negative for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 18 Replies
  • Posted By: Melody56
  • April 17, 2008
  • 07:12 PM

For the past year or so I have been experiencing joint pain in nearly every joint symetrically, sometimes more on either my right or left. All of my finger joints hurt significantly more than others. Mostly the right hurts more, but sometimes the left hurts more. My elbows hurt to touch even lightly on the sides. Feels as though a boil or something wants to emerge. This is more recent, probably about 4 months.

I am always tired, even going to bed at 8:00 p.m. Get up at 5:50 a.m. I am finding it more and more difficult to get up, more because I am tired, than because of the joint pain. I am extremly stiff in the morning. I cannot bend my fingers on either hand because of pain and stiffness. They hurt to touch as well. They feel as though they will break. After a little while I can bend, but never without pain.

I love working in the yard, but find after a short period without exhaustion (after about 30 minutes) Last year I could work in the yard all day with no breaks and wake up the next day refreshed and ready to tackle on a new day.

Now, after a total of a couple of hours, taking breaks ever half hour or so, I am exhausted and I wake up in the morning bearly being able to move because of pain, even though the work I did is probably 25% of what I did a year ago. Doing housework is nearly as bad. Plain walking is not bad and I don't mind that at all.

Going down stairs is more difficult than going up for my knees and feet joints.

I have gained 20 pounds in the last year. I am 5'2" and have never weight over 112 usually fluctuating between 106-110. I now weigh 132. And see no sign of stablizing.

I told my doctor a typical day, for me is a pack of instant oatmeal in the morning, an apple midmorning, a 6 oz can of "plain" tuna at lunch, a crunchy oat granola bar snack in mid-afternoon. I have a reasonable size dinner, and I usually put it on a dessert plate rather than a regular plate to keep the portions at a good size. Dinner is typically chicken about 1/4 chicken breast, green vegetables and a roll or slice of bread. I will have a couple of cookies or snackcake or something after dinner. This is probably typical, to variances. Week ends I might splurge a little, but I don't go crazy. I typically average 1200 or so calories a day barley more or less.

I take multi-vitimans, calcium tablets and recently Omeg 3 Fish Oil.

Also, I lost my oldest son 1 1/2 years ago. After six months or so ago, and consequently I am taking 75mg Effexor. I was on 40mg of Celexa, but I asked my doctor to change me because I thought that might be the cause of the sudden weight gain or it's coinsidence. I feel I could probably use a higher dose of Effexor, but really want to wean off all of it.

My doctor said I am probably not eating enough and my body is rebelling. I totally understand the concept. But I used to be able to eat more, this kind of diet is because of my sudden weight gain. This is not a crazy diet.

So to humor my doctor, I started eating more like 1500 - 1800 maybe even 2000 calories a day, for a couple of weeks. It didn't help.

My sister suggested alternating low calorie days with (reasonably) higher calorie days.

I believe I am postmenopausal, have not had a period in almost two years.

Any suggestion on this given history what is causing:

The all over symetrical joint pain
The fatigue
The weight gain?

I have been tested for
Rheumatoid Athritis
Lupus
Hepatitis -- All negative

My doctor say I probably have osteoarthritis as far as the joint pain. But if this is the case why did all of my joints start hurting symetrically at the same time -- all about a year or so ago?

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18 Replies:

  • Hi, postmenopausal...I am jealous! ;) Are you taking any HRT? It has been two years, but may not hurt to look into this a bit more....lack of hormones can be rough on a women's body and can account for many symptoms....you can check out this noncommercial site dedicated to menopause ....it is great... www.power-surge.com Another area is thyroid.... I am 48 and have suffered with thryoid for a number of years and what you wrote sounds like you need to have the thryoid tested! Very common especially among women "our age".. It is an easy blood test but be sure to ask the doctor to test not just TSH test but also FT4, FT3 and the antibodies for Hashimotos and Graves Disease...autoimmune disease of the thryoid...very common. Weight gain is very, very common with low thryoid problems....Once you are on thryoid supplement you will start feeling much better in a month or two...the thryoid effects every cell in your body, so you can see why it is so important to thoroughly test it and why there are soooooo many symptoms associated with it...you can look up more on it and probably see a list of symptoms. I would recommend Mary Shomon's thryoid site. She is a patient advocate for thyroid patients and a sufferer herself...great site and forum...you can post your labs there and also read up on the thryoid.... Be sure to keep careful about your lab results...not all doctors are up on thryoid problems...and the thryoid can be a bit tricky. Once you get your lab results, no matter what the doctor says...do check out Mary Shomon's web site on thryoid...it really helped me a lot when I was going through the worst of it..... you CAN really be feeling better if it turns out that Thryoid is your problem! Joan
    Joan5555 316 Replies Flag this Response
  • Thank you Joan: I am not currently on HRT. I took them for about 6 months, but I began having breakthrough bleeding. I also felt that it was adding to my weight gain problem. Evidently, it wasn't that. As far as thyriod imbalance, unfortunately, I tested negative for that as well. ThanksMelody56
    Melody56 4 Replies Flag this Response
  • Thanks Blaze: I looked at the links your provided. Seems that I have close to all of those symtoms. But I don't remember having a tick bite since I was a small child. Fleas and chiggers, well if there are any within a mile radius they love me. I just hate going to the doc again for her to tell me one more thing I don't have. I have never been a complaining person, no one usually knows when I feel bad and a doctor's visit is usually my last resort. I hate to feel I am trying to get attention. But I want an answer. I can deal with the pain at this point, but the fatigue is what is draining the life out of me. I will be 52 next month. My mother at 52 could dance circles around me, stay up all night and go to work the next morning.
    Melody56 4 Replies Flag this Response
  • All these symptoms started after the death of your son. My condolences to you. Traumatic stress can cause all kinds of problems within your body. I have a feeling this, combined with being post-menopausal, may be to blame. Please consider the above. Be well. :)http://www.anapsid.org/cnd/diagnosis/cfsdepression.htmlhttp://www.cdc.gov/cfs/cfssymptomsHCP.htm
    Beth56 272 Replies Flag this Response
  • Im thinking you have fibromyalgia? That can cause pain all over the place, in some severe. It also causes stiffness, esp in the mornings.. tiredness etc also go along with it. Look into fibro........................ Do you get headaches and other issues with the exhaustion? How's your gastro system?? are other symptoms there? If you do have the fibro.. you could have a mild case of chronic fatigue syndrome??. (im saying that as a quarter of people who have fibromyalgia... have CFS or end up getting CFS with it and you mentioned your exhaustion is worst than the pain, which is bad too. CFS can be of slow onset and progressive. CFS will often cause metabolic changes eg so weight gain. Trauma eg a loss of a loved one, can be a trigger for CFS).
    taniaaust1 2,267 Replies Flag this Response
  • Your symptoms sounds exactly like the symptoms I started out with ten years ago. You need to see a rheumatologist that's knowledgeable in Fibromyalgia. My symptoms came suddenly. I felt unusually tired one day so I layed down for a nap. When I woke up 45 minutes later all my joints hurt real bad. I had a very difficult time walking. Within a few days I had to crawl on my hands and knees to go to the bathroom! Then the joints in my hands started hurting which made it even more difficult to crawl on my hands and knees. I then with all my might had to pull myself up to the kitchen counter and put my weight on my forearms to stand there to try to make a sandwich or get a drink, even though the pain was terrible. I too was tested for Lyme's Disease and anyone that takes that test should have it done more than just once. I tested negative all three times. I ended up having to quit work all together and haven't been able to work since. I do feel much better now, but Fibromyalgia takes time and alot of work to be able to function to an acceptable degree. Yes, my joint pain would shift from one side of my body to the other or else both sides at once. But what I found that works remarkably well is the act of sweating by means of muscle power. Sweating using a sauna just does not work. Even though it hurt, I did what what I could and tried to increase the power of my muscles and building up a sweat gradually. I started out mowing the grass using a self propelled mower. Basically just stood behind and walked with it. It took several breaks to do just a small little area at first but as the weeks went on I found myself being able to do more and more. Now I can do our entire front and back yard taking only three breaks and we have over 1/3 acre. Once I started sweating and moving around more I felt so much better! I still have some minor pain from the fibro but nothing like I had in the beginning. My main problem still is tiredness. Also I get plenty of rest, although not much sleep, usually only getting 4-5 hrs a night. I was on Paxil for over three years but was weaned off at my request. I was tired of medications that just didn't work or would only work for a few weeks then quit. So I take a power nap around noon. The best thing I can tell you is when I felt exhausted I slept; when I felt just tired I rested; when I felt up to it I moved around and tried to build up a sweat. I know when it was time to push myself, when I'm bored and I want something to do. The more sweating I do the better I feel. Winter is the worst time for me, no more grass to mow. As soon as Spring sets in I go out into the sun and start building up my muscles and stamina and try to sweat. Also Someone mentioned other things going wrong with their bodies in regards to CFS. This holds true with my case of fibro. Since the onset of my fibro I've developed several calcium deposits that had to be removed plus degenerative disc disease to the point where my back was operated on twice. In addition to migraines (which the last back surgery helped to get rid of), several lipomas (fatty tumors). Now several of my toenails are growing wierd, they're turning in from the sides. Foot doctor has no idea why they are doing that, said I'm trimming my nails perfectly. On top of that all my fingernails have vertical ridges and just recently found out my blood sugar goes down after eating rather than going up. I'm at the point where my fibro has taken a back seat to other things going on. I almost forgot the weight gain, yes, that has been a big problem since the fibro took hold. I'm in no way saying these things are going to happen to anyone else that developes fibro. With the exception of joint pain and tiredness, fibro is different for everyone, what works for one person may not work for another. My very best wishes are with you.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I have to questions the thryoid results. Did you have ALL the tests I mentioned? I say this because a thryoid problem is sometimes difficult to diagnose if the doctor is not CAREFUL one. What are your lab results and ranges for TSH, FT4, FT3....? Just trying to help :)
    Joan5555 316 Replies Flag this Response
  • If you have that many symptoms of Lyme, I would definitly get tested by a lyme specialist. Other conditions can mimic lyme, like fibromyalgia...however, personally, I would make sure I was throurally tested for other conditions/diseases before I accepted a fibro diagnosis. Some other conditions with similar symptoms can include infections, toxins, autoimmune disease, or even things like "leaky gut syndrome"- where your intestinal lining gets damaged, things like food particles travel into your bloodstream, and your body treats it like an autoimmune disease. A doctor I know who treats fibro patients and found a number of them actually had that; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leaky_gut_syndrome best of luck!
    Writer53 10 Replies Flag this Response
  • I do feel much better now, but Fibromyalgia takes time and alot of work to be able to function to an acceptable degree. Yes, my joint pain would shift from one side of my body to the other or else both sides at once. But what I found that works remarkably well is the act of sweating by means of muscle power. Sweating using a sauna just does not work. Even though it hurt, I did what what I could and tried to increase the power of my muscles and building up a sweat gradually. I started out mowing the grass using a self propelled mower. Basically just stood behind and walked with it. It took several breaks to do just a small little area at first but as the weeks went on I found myself being able to do more and more. Now I can do our entire front and back yard taking only three breaks and we have over 1/3 acre. Once I started sweating and moving around more I felt so much better! Fibro and CFS are often overlapping illnesses... with normal Fibro, one can have some CFS symptoms too (tiredness and things like IBS is normal in fibro too). One big difference between these two illnesses is that if one has only Fibromyalgia, exercise often helps (as happened with the above poster) and is highly recommended.... IF you have CFS thou.. exercise can actually be harmful and can permanently worsen the condition, bringing on many more symptoms and making the ones already there more intense!!! So much care needs to be taken. (I have over 80 different symptoms due to CFS). Take care.. you need to see a good doctor who is experienced some with both these illnesses.
    taniaaust1 2,267 Replies Flag this Response
  • Joan5555: I'm not sure what they ran for the Thyroid tests. I usually have a test done once a year with my physical. But this year, because I've been feeling so poorly, they ran them again. I will have to pull up the paperwork and see what it says. If they didn't run all you mentioned, I'll go back.:rolleyes: ThanksMelody56
    Melody56 4 Replies Flag this Response
  • Get tested for Lymes Disease right away. Our dog was diagnosed with it and a month later my husband came home from work exhausted and his feet hurting for several days in a row. This is not normal for him to feel like that for a long period of time. I convinced him to go to the Dr. and get tested for Lymes. The Dr. was hesitant until he told the Dr. our dog had it. My husbands test came back positive. Treatment was to begin right away. Please look up this disease and insist to have this test ran on you.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
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  • For the past year or so I have been experiencing joint pain in nearly every joint symetrically, sometimes more on either my right or left. All of my finger joints hurt significantly more than others. Mostly the right hurts more, but sometimes the left hurts more. My elbows hurt to touch even lightly on the sides. Feels as though a boil or something wants to emerge. This is more recent, probably about 4 months. I am always tired, even going to bed at 8:00 p.m. Get up at 5:50 a.m. I am finding it more and more difficult to get up, more because I am tired, than because of the joint pain. I am extremly stiff in the morning. I cannot bend my fingers on either hand because of pain and stiffness. They hurt to touch as well. They feel as though they will break. After a little while I can bend, but never without pain. I love working in the yard, but find after a short period without exhaustion (after about 30 minutes) Last year I could work in the yard all day with no breaks and wake up the next day refreshed and ready to tackle on a new day. Now, after a total of a couple of hours, taking breaks ever half hour or so, I am exhausted and I wake up in the morning bearly being able to move because of pain, even though the work I did is probably 25% of what I did a year ago. Doing housework is nearly as bad. Plain walking is not bad and I don't mind that at all. Going down stairs is more difficult than going up for my knees and feet joints. I have gained 20 pounds in the last year. I am 5'2" and have never weight over 112 usually fluctuating between 106-110. I now weigh 132. And see no sign of stablizing. I told my doctor a typical day, for me is a pack of instant oatmeal in the morning, an apple midmorning, a 6 oz can of "plain" tuna at lunch, a crunchy oat granola bar snack in mid-afternoon. I have a reasonable size dinner, and I usually put it on a dessert plate rather than a regular plate to keep the portions at a good size. Dinner is typically chicken about 1/4 chicken breast, green vegetables and a roll or slice of bread. I will have a couple of cookies or snackcake or something after dinner. This is probably typical, to variances. Week ends I might splurge a little, but I don't go crazy. I typically average 1200 or so calories a day barley more or less. I take multi-vitimans, calcium tablets and recently Omeg 3 Fish Oil. Also, I lost my oldest son 1 1/2 years ago. After six months or so ago, and consequently I am taking 75mg Effexor. I was on 40mg of Celexa, but I asked my doctor to change me because I thought that might be the cause of the sudden weight gain or it's coinsidence. I feel I could probably use a higher dose of Effexor, but really want to wean off all of it. My doctor said I am probably not eating enough and my body is rebelling. I totally understand the concept. But I used to be able to eat more, this kind of diet is because of my sudden weight gain. This is not a crazy diet. So to humor my doctor, I started eating more like 1500 - 1800 maybe even 2000 calories a day, for a couple of weeks. It didn't help. My sister suggested alternating low calorie days with (reasonably) higher calorie days. I believe I am postmenopausal, have not had a period in almost two years. Any suggestion on this given history what is causing: The all over symetrical joint painThe fatigueThe weight gain? I have been tested for Rheumatoid AthritisLupusHepatitis -- All negative My doctor say I probably have osteoarthritis as far as the joint pain. But if this is the case why did all of my joints start hurting symetrically at the same time -- all about a year or so ago?You are likely eating too much purines in your diet (tuna, chicken) which cause build up of uric acid ---gout and arthristis. East more veggies, drink more water, and get adrenal supplements (menopause), then you can feel better and get off the antidepressants (sorry about your son).
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • December 11, 2009
    • 03:33 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Like me you could be Seronegative rheumatoid Arthritis that means negative RF score, even CRP and ESR in normal range, it depends on symptoms and family history of either Arthritis or Psorasis.Get a referral to a Rheumatologist early diagnosis and treatment is vital to prevent disability like I now have.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • January 1, 2010
    • 02:13 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Get your thyroid tested? My nutrition professor said something about having a hypo- or hyper thyroid can mess up your body. Can't hurt to check :) Best of luck
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Granted this an old thread, but I just found it looking up my own symptoms. In the last few months I have developed chronic fatigue, muscle aches and joint pain. I chalked it up to getting older... And BTW, I am 38. However, I have worked pretty hard manual labor for 20 years, which does take a toll on your body. But in the last 5-6 weeks I have developed strange symptoms to boot. Memory loss, "brain fog", tingling sensations in my arms, legs and back, facial numbness, neck ache, naseau, dizziness, the inability to focus and weight gain. I have seen an arthritis dr, an ear, nose and throat dr, the neurologist, etc. I tested negative for Lyme and Rheumotoid Arthritis. Everyone says there is nothing wrong with me. I have gone to the dr only a handful of times my whole life until recently. I am not posting to ***** or vent about my woes. I am posting to relay pertinent info. In between my multiple dr appointments, I do my own research and I also have talked to many individuals regarding similar symptoms. Some facts I discovered... the Lyme test they call Elysa is pretty much useless, the one you need is Western Blot, most refuse to do it unless you test positive for Elysa. The Elysa test is 30% accurate and only picks up a current bite and will not show a positive Lyme that could have been dormant for months or years. Also there is misconception as far as remembering a tick bit or noticing a rash/bulls eye pattern. Only 40% of people who are positive for Lyme recall a bite or get the rash. There is somewhat of a misconception about this disease and what appears to be a conspiracy among the medical field. Anyone with these symptoms should find a facility that WILL give them the Western Blot test! If you have any doubts about what I am saying, please watch this documentary: http://www.underourskin.com/ I am currently awaiting my results for the Western Blot test while in the meantime Doctors are trying to tell me I have fibromyalgia. They also insist on an MRI and want me to fill the fibro prescription that is almost two weeks of wages per month WITH insurance. Just sharing my insight. Thanks, Melissa
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I guess I didn't see "Blaze's" comment, but it sounds like he/she is talking about Lyme Disease. It couldn't hurt to read up on it http://www.webmd.com/rheumatoid-arthritis/arthritis-lyme-disease. I SO relate to your feelings about Dr.s and others not understanding and even not believing in what you're experiencing! I have had an undiagnosed disease since I was 13 (I am now 47). This latest flare included symptoms I had never had before, and Lyme is the only disease to match to my problems... However, I tested negative on that blood test too! The Dr. see's me roll in on a wheelchair, needing assistance from my huband to help me stand and sit on the exam table, only to hear that there's nothing wrong with me whatsoever! I felt like a fool rolling off in a wheel chair as if I was trying to seek attention rather than having an actual physical problem.Next, the Rhuematologist saw that I had tremors of my head and basically told me to see a psychiatrist about a nervous condition, that all tests are normal! That really hurt, because it is definitely not phychological, some days I can not walk!! When the receptionist said, That will be $260 today", tears welled up and I could not stop crying. I have lost 2 of my 3 part-time jobs over this, the bills are killing us, yet, I am "fine"... Shyah, right!All this to say, I know you are experiencing everything you say you are, and that you do have a disease of some sort they just aren't seeing yet. I am so sorry for your pain emotionally and physically.I wish you the best, Miss G
    missg2u2 8 Replies Flag this Response
  • Miss G,After months I finally have an answer! After forcing the doctors to give me the Western Blot test. I am positive. I have Lyme. I am seeking a new doc that is considered a specialist in a different town. I feel your pain and emphathize with you. It's too bad they don't give a **** about us. Follow this link: http://www.anapsid.org/lyme/wb.html I found it informative. And it's possible to have many false negatives. Have you had the Igenex test? I wish the best for you and it saddens me how you've been treated. :(Sincerely,Melissa
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi MelMM, thanks for your response. I'm glad they gave you another test. Now maybe they can give you proper treatment!I had the westwern blot test taken which came back normal, so, who knows? In the meantime, I stumbled upon a rare rheumatism that I've never heard of before. called "palindromic rheumatism". It sounds exactly like my symptoms. Official site: http://www.palindromicrheumatism.org/Symptoms (Wikipedia): It "consists of sudden and rapidly developing attacks of arthritis. There is acute pain, redness, swelling, and disability of one (usually) or multiple joints. The interval between recurrent attacks is extremely variable and how long the attack lasts is also variable. There is no joint damage after attacks.""No single test can confirm a diagnosis. A doctor may make a diagnosis based on medical history and signs and symptoms. Palindromic rheumatism must be distinguished from acute gouty arthritis and an atypical, acute onset of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Without specific tests (such as analysis of joint fluid), it may be difficult to distinguish palindromic rheumatism from other episodic joint problems. It is important to note that a person may experience more than one autoimmune disorder at the same time. Laboratory findings are usually normal. Blood tests may show an elevation of the ESR and CRP, but are otherwise unremarkable. Rheumatoid factor may be present especially in the group that is likely to develop Rheumatoid arthritis."Have you ever heard of this? No one I know has! It is exactly like me though. I feel I should start a post which makes undiagnosed people aware that, although rare, it is another possibility.I have not been diagnosed by a Dr., but I'm taking a break from those guys for a while. My symptoms have subsided for the time being, and I'm doing well...for now. Hope this helps someone...In good health,Miss G
    missg2u2 8 Replies
    • August 21, 2012
    • 00:42 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
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