View Full Version : RA or just an ailments?
05-22-2007, 07:52 AM
I've been having pain in my hands on and off, my ankles were 3 years ago which I thought to be a weight issue, I got the weight off, got pregnant (which often puts things into remission such as RA). I'm a new mom again now and having the following -
Left hand is alarming this morning:
-feeling of puffiness when I try to make a fist, but no visible puffiness specific to my ring and middle finger knuckles (lasted about an hour)
-pain around knuckles of ring and middle fingers, radiating top to wrist and bottom to center palm into the wrist (still going on in a lessening degree)
-stiff inbetween the fingers
-radiating sharp pain in my pinky
-feels like pulled muscles with an achy soreness with or out movement (my new normal lately)
-can't rub the pain away, it's deep inside
-pain in the wrist radiating down to same area on right hand (just was not as dramatically painful as the left)
-no puffy feeling in the fingers
I often wake up with 1 or both hands numb and tingling. It does not seem to matter how I sleep I end up in a position that cuts off circulation.
Now what is so eye poppingly strange is with my pregnancy I started having symptoms of underactive thyroid, really that started after my 3rd birth in 2004 and that is when the joint pain starte too. Now I've just read a symptom list of RA and it has similar symptoms of fatigue, weight gain, etc. This is so not good.
I wrote this stuff down on my patient history, but the Endo didn't seem to have read it. Maybe he'll read it when he gets my labs back.
I'm anemic with a low thyroid factor index test. So, the endo is going on that with more thyroid test including antibodies. And a Cushings test. BUT man, I'm freaked reading RA symptoms and knowing my own.
I always thought my eye sight would give out and prevent me from doing needle work, now I am thinking arthritis. I'm 32 for crying out loud.
I play the viola which contourts the left hand a bit, I haven't played in a while. Sometimes I'll just be doing house work and move something wrong and my left hand with feel sort of like a charley horse. It's happened a handful of times in the last 3 months.
Sound like RA? I'm really concerned. I'd rather be Celiac than RA or MS as far as autoimmune disorders go. I often felt that I would probably end up with MS just b/c I was so overly vaxed as a child living overseas, makes me wonder if MS will increase amoung the military population and then the general poplulation of kids born after 2002 and fully vaxed.
05-23-2007, 01:39 AM
Have you seen a rheumatologist? If you suspect you have RA that is the type of doc I'd see.
Having RA, if it turns out to be that, well, it's not a "death sentence." I've lived with arthritis for eons - it seems - but it was dx'd formally when I was 22 and you're 32. You've had 10 years longer than I did without suspecting it :D. I'm not discounting your feelings and emotions, but...
Having arthritis isn't the end of life. But only a doc can do an accurate dx.
I hope it turns out that you don't have RA. What you are describing, though, is something that a doc should definitely be assessing. It could be a range of things. The only pathway to treatment is accurate dx.
05-23-2007, 07:15 PM
Yes, I'm going to mention it to the Endocrinologist when he gets back with me about those test.
Today I didn't wake up with pain, but I have it know shooting in my wrist, nearest the thumb.
I'm trying not to worry about any of it, let the test speak first.
05-24-2007, 12:49 AM
When my docs order labs, they usually have the results in 3 to 5 days. I hope that you get yours soon :).
You probably do as I do, and as many also request: Copies of the lab results.
05-24-2007, 05:11 PM
Yeap, always get a copy to read for myself.
The labs were drawn last Friday, the doc said 10 days. We are not really need excellent lab facilities and I already knew that the thyroid test other than TSH are sent out.
SO, mid-next week. I'll be going up there to drop of my urine too, so I'll ask while I'm there. My dh said he would not take 2 kids and drop off my urine for me tomorrow. So, I'll do it next week with 4! LOL :confused:
05-25-2007, 02:29 AM
Will you update after your doc has your labs back? I hope so.
Here's holding onto the best thoughts for you :).
06-04-2007, 07:20 AM
No word from doc yet, I'm going to try and remember to call today. It's been long enough.
07-16-2007, 01:57 AM
First of congradulations on being a new mom!
I hope you hear from your doctor soon regarding a dx.
What you are describing sounds so very familiar to me....I have problems with my lower back due to an injury, and because I use a cane developed A/C Joint Arthritis in my right shoulder. Because of the nature of my back problems I have to sleep on my side.
Well because my right shoulder was so very painful (I could not lay on it) before some surgery I had and immediately afterwards I could not sleep on my right side (still cannot).
What I noticed in the timeframe building up to my surgery was the tingling and puffiness in my hands...what I did notice as well was my last three digits numb (like after being frozen) when I woke up in the morning. Well after running my symptoms by some friends and a visit to my Doctor, my diagnosis was a pinched nerve in my upper back......I was able to address the pinched nerve with stretching, heat, ice packs and chiropractic work when really bad.
If it does turn out to be RA, there are therapies out there. RA runs rampant in my family - there are medications, lotions, homopathic gels and even a diet you could look into. I was diagnosed a couple of months back with RA - and so far it only affects my left hand.
If you are in unbearable pain right now, I would suggest using plenty of ice packs. I would drink plenty of fluids - to keep your body flushing out any toxins, if you like tea, some chamomile tea will work wonders. I am into natural remedies so I make a tea (that I mix with jojoba oil or lotions depending how I feel) from willow bark, birch leaves, purple sage, spruce and ceder - an old recipe for pain relief and use liberally. Aspercreme is good too and has the same medicines in it. I also follow the anti-inflammatory diet to a t. That charley horse tells me you need to be getting more fluids in you - dried apricots are good for cramps like that too.
There has been some great advice given and I join everyone in wishing you all the best....
07-21-2007, 05:24 PM
Kim, you mentioned diet to help with RA. Would you mind sharing whatever info or links you might have about this? I've tried researching & couldn't find what I was looking for.
I know a lady that was in sooo much pain she could barely function. I see her several times every year. Then one day she was smiling & happy,I asked her what she was doing new with her RA-answer was diet! I know she sees a naturopathic doctor. She rattled off a list of foods she's eliminated but do you think my brain could catch all that:rolleyes: I believe she said nothing in the nightshade family?
Also,wondering if anyone here as ever used Castor Oil to relieve pain & swelling?
Just this past week I've added BONE pain to my list,it's in the front of my calves (whatever that bone is),my elbows & upper arms. Googled bone pain & didn't like what I came up with......hoping someone might shed some light on this new symptom?
Keep in mind this is completely different to the joint swelling & pain I've had for years.
Thanks for any replies!
07-23-2007, 10:35 AM
Update on me...
My milk supply dwindled and my baby became FTT, there are other issues involved here as in baby decided to eat less and less due to his own pain.
The Endo doc was not helpful, he sent a write up of the labs and a note saying to see my GYN in a year for retesting!:eek: Fortunately, that same day another envelope was from the GYN requesting to see me to discuss the results ASAP. Well, ASAP was almost a month away, but I waited and the FTT popped up in the mean time and the GYN had no problem writing me a script for Synthroid. That was earlier in July.
I also had called the Endo office for the "real" lab results. Again they all pointed to hypothyroidism, however, b/c the labs were not classic as in my TSH is completely normal, I guess the Endo didn't see any reason to treat me! I feel very fortunate to have landed on the GYN's office out of some very difficult circumstances (my former GYN refused to see me after I had a homebirth).
The puffy fingers still comes and goes, the other day I could actually freely move my wedding band and I thought wow maybe the Synthroid is doing something I can physically see. I have not had the joint pains since about a week after I started this thread. They seem to come and go. I wonder if it was Thyroid related, it could be. I'll give it some time. RA is not in my family at all. They say no one has Thyroid problems, but no one has gone passed the TSH test which for me has always been completely normal, not even slightly elevated (ranging over the years from .72 - 1.06). I have to wonder if my mother, overweight cousins, etc were tested with the entire panel if they would indead have thyroid dysfunction too. My paternal grandmother had a goiter removed at age 42, not sure how or even if it plays into what's going on w me.
07-23-2007, 01:52 PM
Electra, thanks for the update. I'm glad you have had a week without pain/stiffness.
And I'm thinking that the thyroid being out of wack could very well have caused the pain. Thyroid affects everything in our bodies & even our brain function.
Your test results just confirm for me how worthless the TSH test really is. I've tried for years to get the complete thyroid panel test without luck,even with my mother having been finally put on the thyroid meds.
Didn't know you are a new mom! congratulations! Many,many years ago I tried to nurse my youngest son,after a few weeks I had to give up. Babies have thrived for years without being breastfed so don't despair. And glad you got a new GYN.....
07-24-2007, 11:49 AM
I don't know if New mom is the word for it.
I have 4 children the baby is now 6 mo old this week!:D
But I have been suffering all sorts of thyroid like symptoms since my 3rd child was born and they just had gotten so much worse.
As it is I sit here right now without much energy. I'm taking a Thyroid support supplement in addition to the Synthroid. I thought about it for a while and figured if I had a reaction it would be hyper or feeling like I'm racing. I started the two last weekend with my dh home and told him to watch me.
Maybe it's time to add back the Super Vit B energy complext too.
Julia Ross's book The Diet Cure has information that suggest if the supplement routine does not work, to get thyroid meds, and it does not suggest to go off the supplements which I did do. So, now I will add back one at a time.
07-24-2007, 05:33 PM
Whenever I get slack about my B12 Methylcobalamin I always regret it. It gives me energy & helps with depression. My only B12 test came back high,this was several years ago & I was told to stop taking the B complex.
after I got educated about this type of B12 & tried it I saw immediate improvement in brain function & the fatique.
I've learned to ignore what ignorant doctor's say & get more in tune with my body.
With 4 kids I'd be exhausted too!
07-24-2007, 07:44 PM
The Thyroid support supplement has Vit B12 in it, a lot of it. I'm not going in the other room right this minute to get it, my dh is putting the baby to bed. 1 minor benefit of the FTT protocol we are on - pumping and fortifying my ebm.
The baby's FTT is on the glutenfreeandbeyond forum, we were doing a gluten challenge on the baby with me eating gluten, he failed to thrive, dropped 10% of his body weight and became disinterested in eating. I will get the results of some very important tests we had done for him on Friday. I'm not holding my breath b/c the Celiac tests are not very accurate in children, especially infants.
As a result of him not eating as much, my supply went down, so the pumping has helped bring that back up to meet his true needs, not just what he was willing to nurse for.
My great GYN has consulted with an endo gyn and I missed his call today!:( I will have to call him back tomorrow. He has information regarding the rest of my test that he had ordered. What an awesome doctor, I don't say that at all very often but I've been relieved to have meet 3 since my horrid ordeal with my dd's OB (he terminated my care at 29 weeks pregnant, I had a mw hb and never looked back).
Well... I've rambled on too long. I'm just glad I've got a doc in my corner and that I'm feeling better.
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