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Forum Name: Rheumatology Topics

Question: Negative RA tests - Multiple Joint Pain


 gmvirtual - Wed Oct 21, 2009 10:08 pm

I would like to list the things I've been feeling over the last few years. Most recently my shoulders. I have seen my primary care doc and he has run full blood tests includingUric acid, RA latex Turbid, C-Reactive Protein, Sedimentation Rate-Westergren, H.pylori IgG, Abs. All are normal. Cholesterol, sugars, all normal. Technically I am extremely healthy according to my labs and yet I'm having these issues.

(My mother has had RA, Hypothyroid, and Breast cancer. I am trying to be ahead of the game on the RA and am suspicious.)

For 2+ yrs numbing hands from wrist to fingers stretching my hand backwards helps a bit with this. hands achy in cold.

for 2+ years upon sleeping or sitting long period aches in both hips, alternating sides not at same time.

Slight stiffness upon waking in the morning in ankles/feet but goes away within 15 minutes.

Bunions in both big toes, worsened within the last year. i reduce pain with silicon toe spacers 3x per week while sleeping. Left toe is worse and visible, but discomfort in both toes. Switching to Clark's shoes has helped.

Most recently & most severe is shoulder joint issues. within the last 2-3 months increasing in severity. Both shoulders hurt deep in the joint, range of motion is slightly restricted. Mostly on the left side. If i sleep on left side i wake in extreme pain until I adjust or turn. Then the right side begins to ache but not as bad as left.

I am tired often and notice an increase lack of energy since the shoulders have gotten worse. They are uncomfortable during the day, typing at the computer, keeping them suspended while driving, reaching backwards - these things antagonize the pain. placing a pillow under the joint relieves. The pain does not hinder my activity. Although I am concerned with it increasing. I do not like taking ibuprophin and do not take often. I would rather know why than remove the pain with pills.

I do not see any swelling as listed online for RA joints. In heat/hot days I swell quickly, but I believe that may be unrelated.

All my labs are normal and my primary doctor is at a loss. Question - could all of the above be unrelated and just age. i am 38, 5'5 and 165lbs. Always been very healthy, no issues at all.

Should I press to see Reumetologist, or leave it alone and deal with it. Primary care doc at this point is being nice, but I believe he thinks I'm nuts.

Thanks,
 Tom Plamondon PA-C - Sun Oct 25, 2009 9:24 pm

User avatar Hello,
I would consider the shoulder and hand pain and symptoms related to repetitive work at the computer - typing. In fact, you may have carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). Sometimes the shoulders can be affected either from sitting at the desk or secondarily from the CTS.
You may try some rehabilitation for both shoulders and hands/wrist and include bracing of the hands during work and sleep.
Lastly, evaluate your work station set up for proper ergonomics.
Take care.
 gmvirtual - Mon Oct 26, 2009 12:43 pm

Thank you for that, I suspect maybe you are correct about the hands....and stretching them backwards frequently during flare ups does help - bracing hasn't helped in the past- but maybe I'll consider again. Not so sure I agree shoulders are due to computer....but none the less if it's not RA.... then therapy is my only option no matter what else it could be.

I'm not big on surgery so carpel tunnel surgery won't be an option as well as bunion surgery. I believe in doing as much prevention naturally since surgery has it's own complications and side effects.

Thanks
 gmvirtual - Fri Oct 30, 2009 3:27 pm

Well.....FINALLY - after multiple blood tests and multiple docs over the last year....I have a diagnosis. I am now 3 days into antibiotics and I already am feeling better. Energy is returning, sleeping more soundly and aches in joints dimishing.

Test revealed that I have H. pylori. likely contracted from bad meat on a trip overseas. Although joint pain and body aches are rare - they are symtoms along with stomach gas and pain. hadn't pain attention to my tummy because I just eat bland food now to prevent issues....I sort of masked that symptom until doc started asking more and more questions.

I feel so relieved. So many docs and so many stupid diagnosis and this one finally fits with some prompt results in treatment already!

Cheers!

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