Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Severe Joint Problems at 20, Please Help!

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 6 Replies
  • Posted By: Shortney88
  • April 10, 2008
  • 06:36 PM

I am too young to be experiencing this amount of pain and can't get a diagnosis.:(

Okay, so this is the second time I have written on the blog and I have had little help from doctors since then. To give you a little overview, I am a twenty-year-old professional dancer who has been having severe joint problems along with many other related symptoms for going on four years now. My symptoms are as follows and most of them occur at the same time, if not in the same day as each other:

1. Arthritic Joint Pains and Problems
When I have a "flare up" a joint, usually starting with an elbow and a knee, will begin to ache and then will travel throughout the entire limb until eventually I can't move my limb without causing myself sever pain. The best way I can describe it is that it comes in waves--starting out not so bad and growing into an indescribable amount of pain.
Along with pain I have noticed that my knuckles of my fingers have begun to turn. My middle finger on my right hand has gotten to the point where I can barely bend it.
2. Chronic Fatigue
I am always tired and most of the time, when I feel like I have a lot of energy, out of no where I lose all energy and become very tired.
3. Skin Problems
Starting about two years ago, I began to notice that every time my skin is exposed to the Sun or really bright lights, especially my face, legs, and back, it breaks out in a rash and just recently I have notice that there is a rash (that itches horribly) on my back that will not disappear. There has also been one occasion where my leg has broken out into hives after a day spent teching for a show that I was dancing in.
4. Muscle Issues
Just recently I have begun to have major muscle problems that appear every time I have a "flare up." For example, when laying down to go to sleep, when my joints are aching, I have uncontrollable leg twitches. They are not many or very frequent, but disturbing. Also I have been having terrible charlie horses in the past year. Actually this past month I have had four and I do take vitamins and eat bananas. I can't explain them. I am a dancer so I do know the difference in muscle spasms and pains and I have had charlie horses after a hard day of work outs, but this is unbelievable.
5. Other Symptoms
I have other small symptoms, such as loss of hair, fingers turning purple when cold, skin changing to a reddish color when joints are hurting or swollen. Also my lips have been swelling and turning red a lot whenever I have a flare up and usually all day before (my flareups tend to happen at night or later afternoon)

I have started a journal and everytime I have an issue I write it down, but here is the problem. My mother has Crohn's Disease and has had joint problems for years, however her joint issues were just secondary to her bowel problems. Whenever a doctor asks me the usual questions about Inflammatory Diseases in the family I tell them Crohns and they immediately test me for it. I have grown up with my mom being sick and I know I don't have the bowel problems she has and the doctors never find it in tests so they tell me to go home and exercise. I AM A DANCER. How much exercise do they want me to have.

They also, after hearing my symptoms ask me about Lupus (if I know of anyone in my family who has it) and as soon as I say no they leave it at that and do not test me for anything else. I have been to three rheumatologist and am at the end of my rope. I am in constant pain and have no way of treating it. I have several other medical problems that have all been diagnosed and treated and the one I want them to diagnose they can't or won't. Please help me. If you have a similar problem or experience or if you have any more suggestions on how I should go about finding out what is wrong, please let me know.

Thank you,
Someone in need of encouragement and help

Reply Flag this Discussion

6 Replies:

Thanks! A moderator will review your post and it will be live within the next 24 hours.