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stargirl

Joint Pain

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Heya guys. For the last two weeks I've been having on again off again pain in my ankles, knees, and shins. Today my right wrist and elbow joined in and I'm starting to get concerned. I'm 18 with no other medical problems except for Celiac and lactose sensitivity. I've been gluten free for a year and a half and have sufferred from leg cramps for a while and started taking Calcium to help with those. I have been off the calcium for a while because I'm meeting with a new doctor this Friday and was hoping they could test me for vitamin deficencies to figure out if Calcium is really my problem. Do you think it is a vitamin thing that is causes my joints to ache? It has been getting progessively worse in a short time period. Have any of you experienced similar pain or have an explanation? I would appreciate your answers and hope my doctor will have some ideas too, it is starting to make it difficult to function normally. Thanks!

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Celiac.com Sponsor (A8):

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;) hi,........your dr. will probably do some tests to rule out arthritist etc,....sometimes joint pain can be triggered by something you have been eating,or drinking, or possibly living in damp or cold conditions. also, you mentioned calcium........................you need to know if it's high or low before you can correct it..............too much calcium can cause joint pain, plus many other problems........nightshades trigger artheritis,tomatoes, etc...........check them out for a complete list-NIGHTSHADES- they are powerfull triggers....good luck with this and please keep us posted.........zarf.................................hawaii

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I have a lot of joint pain and stiffness too. And I'm only 26. It started really bad after I had been diagnosed with celiac, but before I went gluten free. One week I got really sick and my hands and ankles swelled up really big and I could barely walk. I continue to have pain in my ankles and knees to this day. They don't know what happened to cause this. But rheumatiod arthritis (you can get this at any age), lupus and other autoimmune disorders cause joint pain and are more common with celiac disease. So ask to be tested. These do not have specific tests that will say definitely yes you have one or the other. They have to go off your symptoms and they test for anitbodies. But they are really hard to diagnose. But I would mention them when you go to the doctor and ask about them. And I believe celiac.com has a section of diseases that are more common when you have celiac. You may want to look at the symptoms.

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Thanks guys. I had my appointment today and wasn't too impressed by my new doctor. She wasn't very familiar with Celiac at all which disappointed me. However she did take blood and is going to run some tests to see if I am anemic or have rheumatoid arthritis. I'm not feeling all that confident about getting answers but we'll see. Thanks for your replies . . . I would appreciate any other suggestions you have.

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Don't be too surprised if when your test results come back they don't really have an answer anyways. I've had positive tests twice now and my rheumatologist just says, well, this doesn't really mean you have anything or you don't. It's rather disappointing to have symptoms and tests done, but they can't tell you for sure if you have something or not. I'm glad that this doctor doesn't jump to any conclusions though. She said she wants to wait to see if more symptoms develop or if they get worse before she diagnoses anything. She said once you get diagnosed with lupus or something serious like that it can make it hard for you to get health insurance and that diagnosis can follow you around for a long time even if it turns out to not be right.

Do your fingertips turn white and numb when you get cold or experience stress? This happens to me and it's sometimes a sign of connective tissue diseases.

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I agree with you mytummyhurts, I'm not looking to rush into a major health problem diagnosis. I just really want to know why my body is behaving in a way that doesn't match my age. I'm too young to feel like this! As far as my hands, I don't have great circulation and often have cold hands and feet, even when the rest of me isn't cold. I'm not sure if they turn white or not but they are often cold. Any suggestions on how to prod my doctor in the right direction to help me? I'm afraid even now that if I get a diagnosis they aren't going to be able to do anything to help me. I just would like to avoid hurting anymore.

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It is very frustrating to be young and feel like you are old! It makes you wonder about how the quality of life is going to be for the rest of your life if this is how you are when you are supposed to be feeling your best. :(

I would say if you get your test results back and don't feel satisfied that the doctor has addressed your concerns, especially about the celiac disease and how it may be related, I would look for another doctor that knows more about celiac and how it may affect this things. I would also print off the list of related disorders from this website and take it with you and note which symptoms you have that match those. Press on the celiac though, a lot of doctors just don't take this disease seriously when it needs to be taken seriously.

Do you exercise? This can help with joint pain. I know that it doesn't sound like fun when you hurt already. But a lot of connective tissue diseases are helped with exercise. So if you don't now, you may want to start walking or something.

I hope you get some answers and start feeling better soon! :)

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As far as my hands, I don't have great circulation and often have cold hands and feet, even when the rest of me isn't cold. I'm not sure if they turn white or not but they are often cold. Any suggestions on how to prod my doctor in the right direction to help me?

Have you had your thyroid checked? Cold hands and feet are symptoms of hypothyroid. Thyroid disorders are very common among celiacs.

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I had my thyroid checked two or three years ago I believe, pre-Celiac diagnosis. I've had cold hands and feet since childhood, I always just figured my circulation was bad. The joint pain has been less painful the last couple days but I seem to brusising really easily althought it doesn't hurt that much. But I have bruises in odd places where I never bruise. I just feel like something is still sort of out of whack but I can't tell what it is. I might just be stressed and tired, I really don't know.

Abby, what do you mean by connective tissue disease? My hands do tend to turn white when I get cold and recently have been getting cold unevenly. My right hand will be cold while my left is still warm.

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I was just wondering...have your fingers or toes ever turned a blueish hue when they were really cold? Have they ever gotten painful from being cold? Has a temperature change, like having cold feet/toes then going into a hot bath ever brought these symptoms on?

When mine did, my doctor diagnosed Raynauds, which is commonly associated with rheumatic and mixed connective tissue diseases. Basically I was told to wear hats, gloves, etc when I'm exposed to cold temperatures...She even said I may need to wear gloves to get food out of the freezer, however it hasn't been bad since I learned how to handle flares of my arthritis. Oh, and I try not to go barefoot ...always wear socks.

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Stargirl,

I would not jump to any conclusions about other autoimmune disorders. I am not a doctor but you do not need the added stress. Yes there are associated diseases, but there are also a lot of symptoms that mimic these associated diseases. Don

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If you can afford it, ask your doc to write you a script letter for a hot tub. The insurance won't pay for it, but you can write it off as medical on your tax return if you have the doc's note. It is the safest and best way to exercise when you have joint pain. It has made a world of difference in our FMS. We use it year round. If my crew wakes up in the middle of the night and can't find me, they know to check the hot tub because I was probably hurting too badly to sleep and went for some relief.

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