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I feel like an aching old banger

(21 Posts)
hellsbelles Mon 28-Sep-09 15:15:51

I'm fed up - I've got aching finger joints, aching toes (?!) and occasionally aching knees and feet. I'm still breast feeding DD but gradually weaning her off - so I'm actually feeding her less now - but the pain seems to have got worse in the last month or so (I didn't notice it before - but was generally so tired & run down perhaps it just was less bad than everything else I was going through ) . She is 8 months now.

Dr has done blood tests for arthritis - so far tests are clear but have to go for x-rays and see a specialist. I'm sure that it is in some way linked to breast feeding hormones and possibly the fact I was on 4 months strict bedrest during my pregnancy - has anyone had these sort of aches and found they went with weaning?

Or maybe at 38 I am just getting old

alypaly Mon 28-Sep-09 17:34:52

ask for parvo virus B19 test

moosemama Mon 28-Sep-09 18:10:25

I had a similar thing when bf both ds1 and ds2. My finger joints used to get hot, stiff and sore (bizarrely the middle joint of my right index finger was the worst affected, it actually looked really red and swollen) and my feet were so painful I used to have to stay in bed for half an hour before getting up and gently wiggle them to loosen the joints. Even then I would have to go down the stairs on my bottom because it just hurt too much to walk on my poor old feet for at least half an hour after I got up.

My GP just dismissed it as bf/hormone related and told me to stop bf and it would go away! hmm

I am currently bf my 8 month old dd and although my feet do get stiff if I've been off them for a while, my hands have been fine and my feet are nowhere near as painful as with the boys.

I also had really bad spd with both the boys' pregnancies but didn't get it at all with dd. Because of this I assume it has something to do with having extra loose joints, either because my body was over sensitive to relaxin or because it produced too much of it.

It took a few months to settle down completely after I stopped feeding the boys.

I only know of one other lady that has had a similar thing, I was starting to think I was just a medical oddity. grin

CarmenSanDiego Mon 28-Sep-09 18:17:32

Funnily enough, I've been having a lot of aches in my hips, knees, ankles and wrists and am also bf a 9 month old. I suspected it might be baby related as it only really started after I had baby and he's still bfing a lot - periods haven't come back yet.

At the risk of hijacking, I also developed horrible acid reflux after he was born and hiatal hernia was confirmed. Doctor seems to think when he's weaned, it'll ease up because hormones make muscles floppier so finishing breastfeeding tightens it all up. I'd love to know if that's true (or whether anyone has experience of this) but I'm not going to wean him early on the offchance it is!

So envious of ladies who can pop them out easily and get over it quickly. Maybe I should have done more yoga!

CarmenSanDiego Mon 28-Sep-09 18:18:50

for your 4 months bedrest though. That's got to take a while to get over. Hope you feel better soon.

hellsbelles Mon 28-Sep-09 18:57:24

thanks all - it makes it so much better to hear it's not just me - but sorry to hear you are suffering too

Moosemama - interesting you say that about loose joints. I have hyper mobile joints even without pregnancy/bf hormones running through my body - so I'm probably a lost cause!

Carmen - thanks, bedrest was hellish at the time (make worse by unthinking people saying - oh I wish I could just lie in bed all day hmm ) but seems like a lifetime ago now - must be mentally blocking it out!

Alypaly - parvo virus? I better start googling - thanks for the tip.

moosemama Mon 28-Sep-09 19:12:59

Carmen That's interesting about the hernia. I developed stomach/reflux type problems after each of my dc's and each time ended up with an acute, excruciatingly painful attack of some kind at 6 months post partum, which has never been properly investigated until now. They are currently thinking it could be gallstones, but the symptoms and test results don't really fit.

I had an attack in July and am just about to go for a gastro appointment and abdo scan.

The thing is, when I am pregnant I get a kind of twanging popping right under my stomach. I pointed it out to my last midwife and she said it could be a hernia but she didn't know enough about it to say for certain.

My old GP said the same thing about the hormones slackening the muscles, but I hadn't made the link between that and the stomach thing before, will definitely mention it at my gastro appointment though.

Dibbdobb Mon 28-Sep-09 20:27:03

I also had problems with my hands so I could barely open a jar of jam but stopped carrying DD in her car seat even for short distances and it cleared up.

Knees are playing up now but thought that was just chasing a 10 month crawler along the floor!! Didn't know bf hormones could be the cause.

alypaly Mon 28-Sep-09 23:38:10

when i had parvo ,my joints on my feet,ankles ,knees arms and wrist just ached all the time.|They felt hot and felt swollen too, Had all the tests for rheumatoid factor and esr but it came back as parvo virus

CrackWhoretoPaulDacre Mon 28-Sep-09 23:41:57

I had a lot of aches when Ds was about that age, although we only got to 5.5 months BF. It was the sort of thing you get post-viral? I mainlined vitamins and fish oils for a bit - think I was generally de-mineralised - and that seemed to sort it. Am also hypermobile, if that's at all informative?!

CarmenSanDiego Tue 29-Sep-09 00:15:22

I feel there's a lot of things connected with postnatal hormones that doctors don't entirely understand... The parvovirus link is really interesting.

(more hernia hijacking, sorry)

moose, sounds similar! Did your pain resolve after you stopped breastfeeding?

I had considerable chest pain immediately after the baby was born. Midwife said it was normal and just organs descending back down. Then I felt exhausted and uncomfortable in my chest/throat for a couple of months. About three months in, the heartburn started and I ended up seeing a GI specialist and having an endoscopy where he diagnosed a hernia. I'm now 9 months on and still taking loads of Prilosec and still getting reflux and weird chest feelings. No history of reflux before this.

Oddly enough, my liver levels were severely elevated which was why I was sent to the GI but this resolved.

hellsbelles Tue 29-Sep-09 09:08:56

Carmen - no worries about hijacking - sounds horrid what you are going through - wish I knew more about it.

Agree that drs often seem uninformed about the affects of postnatal hormones. I thought my dr was fairly progressive but he said 'no never heard of it being linked to BF??!!' though he did think the bedrest could have had an impact. Scared the ** out of me...but now after hearing from you all and also a few other google searches I'm starting to feel slightly less of an oddity.

It is scary though isn't it? I was imagining MS/arthritis....always worse case (I'm such a dame doom!). I still do have to do the x-rays but I'm less scared now.

Crackwhore - did you have any issues with the pregnancy because of your hypermobility?...I got an incompetent cervix which an osteopath told me could be directly linked??? My specialist didn't agree.

CarmenSanDiego Tue 29-Sep-09 09:48:15

It is scary, hells. I got tested for everything from Lupus to hepatitis and it was all very inconclusive and just considered 'one of those postnatal oddities' - which I guess is better than something permanent! I was absolutely fine after my first two babies. I do have a suspicion that I rather overdid it on herbs during the birth though. The midwife was a bit enthusiastic about black cohosh!

Prolactin has some interesting effects. Apparently, while bf, you lose a small amount of bone density, but this returns when the baby weans, and apparently returns stronger so your long term risk of things like osteoporosis is decreased by breastfeeding, but I wonder if this might contribute to aches and pains in the short term.

CrackWhoretoPaulDacre Tue 29-Sep-09 09:52:06

I have joint rather than soft-tissue mobility IYSWIM, so actually found it a boon as I could cut my own toenails throughout grin. My arches definitely went a bit wibbly for a while after though, and I had the knees of a 90 year old. I self-diagnosed that the joint pain was prob because a. I'd got out of the habit of taking cod-liver oil, b. After I stopped BFing I also stopped watching my own diet as much (and was back to work so eating more crap in the day), and so I'd just used up my mineral stores, if that makes sense?

And I never underestimated the hormones - had a trapped nerve in my shoulder at 7 months pregnant which took 6 weeks to clear (sodding relaxin), and then 3 migraines a week while BFing, which contributed mightily to not attempting a full year grin

hellsbelles Tue 29-Sep-09 10:32:09

Carmen - that is good to hear about the bone density - that was my big concern. Particularly as my grandmother suffered terribly with osteoporosis.

Crackwhore - I was always proud of my super flexibility until it backfired during the pregnancy But I do need to sort out suppliments. Did you get warned off yoga? I used to love doing it as I was so good at it because of my dodgy joints...but then got told it was making everything worse - so now have to do pilates which is helping a lot.

Shows how incredibly powerful these hormones are....a good friend of mine lost big chunks of hair 6 months post partum (it came back eventually) and she knew someone that lost a lot of teeth!!! Not sure what's worse - aching joints, reflux, no hair, or no teeth...nature is so kind to reward us for bearing children isn't it!

moosemama Tue 29-Sep-09 11:07:00


Hmmm curiouser and curiouser! grin

My liver levels were described as 'completely out of whack' by my gp. I was also tested for hepatitis and just about everything else, but not lupus, although I have been tested for that before after they found brain lesions on an mri scan a few years back. I had more bloods done 6 weeks after the major attack and they said my liver levels and esr were almost back to normal by then. It does sound very similar.

It did resolve after stopping breastfeeding the boys, as I had to stop suddenly due to the amount of drugs they put me on after being rushed into hospital. At the time I thought the symptoms had stopped because of the medication and didn't make the breastfeeding connection though.

Hellesbelles, I have lost a ridiculous amount of hair this time, I have literally half the head of hair I had before pregnancy and dh is fed up with having to unclog the bath outlet pipe! blush On top of that half of my tooth fell out on Friday night. Having babies is soooo glamorous!

CarmenSanDiego Tue 29-Sep-09 11:18:22

Isn't it just? How strange! I googled like mad when it was happening and found vague parallels with things like HELLP and the doctor muttered something about possible 'hyperemesis of the liver' - I also wondered whether the liver levels were caused by the prilosec. But nothing quite seemed to fit. Still, he swore it wouldn't happen again in subsequent pregnancies and put it down as one of those things so I'm just keeping my fingers crossed the reflux goes when I wean ds.

What an interesting chat!

shock at your tooth. I miss the free dentistry in the UK!

alypaly Tue 29-Sep-09 12:09:20

CarmenSanDiego i got tested for lupus and allsorts of auto immune things...all negative except for parvo vius B19 which no one thought to test for til i asked for it...and lo and behold...a big fat positive!!!hmm

Northernlurker Tue 29-Sep-09 12:16:02


Northernlurker Tue 29-Sep-09 12:16:32

Oooops - sorry blush

hellsbelles Tue 29-Sep-09 12:35:54

MOOSE - poor you! My friends hair is back to normal now so hopefully yours will be back to it's former glory soon. on the tooth

Carmen - I tried googling a lot about these aches and pains and just kept getting arthritis links (apart from some here on mumsnet from a few years ago)....not sure why it's all so 'secret' - perhaps it's a conspiracy wink to ensure we all keep breeding - after all we may think twice if we knew we could end up toothless, bald, with aching joints and horrendous reflux

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