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To think that I'm not just getting old?

(94 Posts)
BrittaPerry Wed 03-Oct-12 11:49:15

My hips and pelvis ache, with the odd stabbing pain when I accidentally do a movement that I shouldn't - i spend a week limping every month. My finger joints get so stiff when cold that I keep dropping things/not being able to pick things up properly. I am so tired sometimes that I stagger.

I have booked a gp appointment, but DH keeps saying that everyone over 25 feels like this, and I should just get used to it. He reckons that i should just power through, and laughs when I take painkillers.

I'm only 27! Surely I don't have a life of this waiting?

dysfunctionalme Thu 04-Oct-12 11:55:49

Definitely a full check up with your GP.

Depending on the outcome, a close look at your diet - possibly you have an undiagnosed allergy/severe intolerance? Only saying this because I watched a show last night about a young woman who had skin problems. She saw a nutritionist who gave her quite a specific diet and within 6 weeks her skin was better (after years of problems). Same with a guy who had terrible headaches and had been on high dosage painkillers. He was young, too.

BrittaPerry Thu 04-Oct-12 12:54:20

So, she gave me two pills to make my periods less heavy, and sent me o blood tests...

DameFanny Thu 04-Oct-12 12:57:23

Which tests?

VintageEbonyGuitar Thu 04-Oct-12 13:54:49

Britta, hopefully that will help and they'll find something treatable.

Dame, the infamous EDS III

KenLeeeeeee Thu 04-Oct-12 14:01:52

I hope they find something they can help you manage. It's definitely not "just something over 25s deal with". I'm 28 and finally dragged myself to the GP last week after months of joint pain; after an examination and family history, he suspects I have rheumatoid arthritis and is sending me for tests to confirm. I wish I'd gone months ago instead of limping round and whinging!

DameFanny Thu 04-Oct-12 14:14:56

Ah, right, thanks Vintage

BrittaPerry Thu 04-Oct-12 14:21:35

She had a feel of my finger joints and referred me for physio for my hips, gave me the periods medication in case it was the heavy blood loss making me tired and achy and said the blood tests were definitely to check for "inflammation markers" and that she was going to have a think about what else to request from the blood tests - it was the blood clinic today, but she asked me to book for next week as she had to look some things up first.

She said hormonal contraception could be good, and she would normally give it a try, but it interacts with my bipolar medication and so it is better to try other things first - I am already on a high dose, and it would need to be increased if I went on the pill.

She had an extra long feel of the finger that gives me the most pain (without me telling her that was the one), although she said that none of them were swollen. So she obviously was noting any differences (that one has an old hairdressing injury to the joint - long story, but the scar is in the wrinkles of my knuckles and I didn't get medical help at the time, so it isn't in my records)

So I'm hopeful that she will get to the bottom of it.

piprabbit Thu 04-Oct-12 14:22:24

I was 27 when I started feeling tired and achy. On bad days I would literally have to crawl up the stairs to get to bed. I had to learn to sleep with my hands lightly pressed together in a 'prayer' position, as sleeping with them curled meant I wouldn't be able to uncurl them in the morning.

I was 28yo when I was diagnosed with Lupus. It took a long while to get a diagnosis, a lot of repeated blood tests, a lot of ruling things out.

What you are feeling is not normal. I hope that your GP continues to be helpful and proactive.

From the Lupus UK website:
"The two major symptoms are joint and muscle pain and an extreme tiredness that won't go away no matter how much you rest.
Rashes, depression, anaemia, feverishness, headaches, possible hair loss and mouth ulcers may all be part of the pattern of lupus.
Noticeably, whilst the two major symptoms are invariably present, people with lupus can differ greatly in their symptoms and how the illness can affect them - life-threatening for a few, very mild for some."

QueenStromba Thu 04-Oct-12 19:06:17

It's never lupus! Sorry for the House joke - I just couldn't resist.

In all seriousness though, make sure that they test your TH4 (thyroxine) levels and not just your TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone). Normally if you have hypothyroidism your TSH will be sky high because your body keeps sending the signal to make TH4 because it doesn't get the signal back that there is enough TH4. It is possible though to have normal TSH and not enough TH4. This is pretty rare though so when they check your thyroid function they normally only check the TSH levels. Good luck, I hope you get a diagnosis that can be cured or easily managed.

dysfunctionalme Thu 04-Oct-12 23:21:04

Britta the GP's advice is a start but I think that if you can, try to get more holistic advice, too. What is your diet like? What about stress? Rest etc

BrittaPerry Fri 05-Oct-12 15:14:53

I just counted. I have SEVEN prescribed medications, plus the antihistamine, neurofen and berrocca that I take nearly every day.

That's not right, is it?

If they were all OTC then I could put it down to me making a fuss, but dctors don't prescribe willy nilly, do they?

My diet is ok apart from too much sugar, but I need that for energy.

BrittaPerry Fri 05-Oct-12 15:17:11

Hmm, just remembered that my dad takes ibuprofen constantly. We always put that wn to him being nearly 60 and being a builder all his life.

piprabbit Fri 05-Oct-12 15:29:17

Seven sounds like an awful lot, it might be worth asking the GP to do a review of all your medications. Unfortunately, once you start taking a variety of different medicines, they can have a tendency to interact and cause other problems and symptoms.

BrittaPerry Fri 05-Oct-12 16:04:16

i only actually take two of them every day - mood stabiliser and iron liquid
The rest - coedine, painkiller gel, two types of period tablets and sleeping pills are used as and when.

sugarice Fri 05-Oct-12 16:12:40

Could you reduce the sugar in your diet Britta? Obviously we know too much is bad for us but it can cause such inflammatory reactions it may be doing more damage than you realise .

BrittaPerry Fri 05-Oct-12 16:25:33

Where would I get energy from though? I'm already only just getting everything done.

QueenStromba Fri 05-Oct-12 18:01:20

I've been on a low carb diet for the last year and I have more energy than I ever had when my blood sugar was all over the place due to eating carbs. If going low carb seems like too much to handle then you might want to think about going gluten free first and see if that helps. Gluten is highly inflammatory in a lot of people and is implicated in any immunological disease that you would care to google. Since you've had someone with Lupus suggest that might be the problem then it's worth giving gluten free a go.

harbingerofdoom Fri 05-Oct-12 18:14:13

I hope that they can test for hypothyroid and rheumatoid arthritis in the first instance.
Any anemia can be detected and dealt with quite easily.
Hope the doctors find the cause soon.

sittinginthesun Fri 05-Oct-12 18:18:03

I still don't feel 100%, but I'm better than I have been for years. I have am gluten intolerant, have cut back on sugar, and take a Vitamin D supplement daily. I am still convinced that I have an underlying problem, which I inherited from my Dad, and in turn, his mother, but nothing shows on tests...

piprabbit Fri 05-Oct-12 18:26:22

I have Lupus and my sister is a Coeliac - when we told my rheumy consultant, he didn't seem surprised. He said it was two sides of the same coin.

dysfunctionalme Sat 06-Oct-12 01:24:13

Britta the mood stabiliser, yes, and the iron supplement sounds sensible. But you shouldn't be needing so many painkillers. There is probably a way to deal with your pain through diet and/or physio/osteopathy.

It might be worth flicking through the site of the British Dietetic Association for some ideas on where to start.

You are too young to be dependent on painkillers, I think you deserve more. Good luck

LesleyPumpshaft Sat 06-Oct-12 06:22:03

It's not just your age. I had a chronic kidney infection and the mother of all kidney stones. I felt really rotten for years and had a bad back. I remember thinking that maybe that was how everyone felt as they approached/hit 30.

Anyway, I started passing blood and was diagnosed. Fast forward 3 years, multiple surgeries, the indignity of a nephrostomy and all kinds of horrors, they removed the offending organ.

basically, you need to get it checked out. If you leave it, it might get worse.

BrittaPerry Sat 06-Oct-12 18:46:12

Argh, so, since you lot reassured me that I'm not making a fuss, I've been takin ibuprofen fairly regulary, rather than having to resort t coedine (and dh making fun) when it gets awful.

Which has been working surprisinly well - still getting pain, but at least I culd move about and pick things up fairly normally.

But, my left hand is currently stinging and aching and stiff, despite ibuprofen.

I swear this is getting worse daily now.

LesleyPumpshaft Sat 06-Oct-12 19:03:14

Ibuprofen isn't good to use for an extended period of time. It's not a very nice drug.

fuzzpig Sat 06-Oct-12 19:06:21

What do you mean DH making fun? As in the 'you are getting old' thing?

Unfortunately it is generally not a good idea to use painkillers regularly for a long time as they get less effective and often create their own symptoms like rebound headaches.

I hope you get to the bottom of this. I am about 18 months into chronic pain/fatigue, it has been a lot worse in the last few months and I am now expecting an official diagnosis of CFS/ME next month <yay>

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