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Date of last update: 8/21/2017.

Forum Name: Rheumatology Topics

Question: 24 years of unexplained joint pain

 1sulag - Sun Dec 10, 2006 1:14 am

I am a 26 year old female. At the age of two I began to have extreme pain in my knees. My doctor told my mother it was "growing pains". It has over the years spread to my ankles, hips, knuckles, wrists, elbows, jaw, and the base of my skull (where it meets my neck) and all the bones in between. The only joints that are pain free are my toes. I have been tested for arthritis and told I don't have it. Heat makes it better, icy hot does too, there is no swelling, or redness. My skin feels warm to the touch, but if you actually grab the joint and squeeze you can feel the coldness almost as if it were beneath my skin, coming from the bone or joint itself. It occurs anytime I get cold or sometimes the day before it rains. I've found I can predict the weather. It's winter where I live now and the pain is constant and each doctor I see just sort of shrugs at me. My grandmother has arthritis that she developed as she got older, and my first cousin (who is ten years my senior) has it in her hands to the point that it has become debilitating. I have trouble typing (which is a requirement of my job), and driving (because I find it hard to grip the steering wheel when my hands hurt), and even walking is a challenge. I’ve tried every home remedy I can think of, but of course all I can really do is treat the symptoms, I don’t even know what the cause is. After 24 years and countless doctors I’m at my wits end. Do you have any clue what they're missing? Or if there is a type of specialist I should see? I guess I should also mention my unusual health history. I have the Sickle Cell Trait, have had surgery to remove a cyst from my breast, 5 from my tailbone, 1 from my ear, and a sty removed from my eye, and I also have two large fibroids in my uterus. I also have hematuria, and after a year my urologist still has no clue what’s causing it. Anyone with any clue; I’d welcome one.
 Dr. Safaa Mahmoud - Wed Dec 13, 2006 9:24 am

User avatar Hello,

Although sickle cell trait usually is not considered as a disease that requires treatment since its complications are usually mild and uncommon.

There certain factors that transform the silent disease into a syndrome similar to sickle cell disease.

These factors include:
- hypoxia, cold weather and decrease blood flow may cause hypoxia in tissues
- dehydration,
- hypothermia by it self trigger the transformation

Under these unusual conditions serious complications take place like:
- urinary tract infection in women, and gross hematuria,
- life-threatening heart and other system complications after exercise
- avascular necrosis
-arthritis of joints
-splenic infarcts

I advise you to follow with your doctor (hematologist) and to discuss with him this information.
Keep us updated.
Best regards.

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