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Re: [IPk] Swollen Joints


Sorry to hear that you have joint pains to put up with as well as diabetes.
I have rheumatoid arthritis I developed this 3 years ago at the same time as
Sasha developed diabetes.  I had had symptoms for months on and off and after
Sasha was DX we realised that some of her symptoms had been going on about the
same length of time. I dont have diabetes, just one of my twins.

We have no one in our family, either side, with either condition.
Unfortunately it is more common that if you have one autoimmune disease you
are more likely to develop another.  Sasha and her twin also have coeliac.

It took a few months to get my RA diagnosed as at first the symptoms were in
my feet, which felt as if I had been standing for hours and hours.  This was
worse in the morning.  I had already been to the doctors for a stiff neck and
had physio which didn't particularly help.  Then I had pain in my hands and
wrists and knees.  At first I was given anti-inflammatory drugs but things
just got worse slowly day by day.  The GP began to suspect arthritis.  I
couldn't get even a private appointment for 5 weeks or more and the GP didn't
want to give me any drugs until the Rhuematologist had seen me and made a
diagnosis.  I could barely walk or look after myself by the time I got to see
the consultant.  So you need to see your GP quickly so that a diagnosis can be
made.  There is evidence that early treatment can prevent long term damage to
your joints if it is RA.

The symptoms you describe are very similar to those of RA.  Joint stiffness
first thing in the morning and when you have been resting. The symptoms tend
to wear off after a few hours and then get worse again when you are not using
those joints. I did not have any swelling until things got worse which is why
my GP took so long to send me to see a consultant.

The symptoms do tend to creep up on you.  Having said there are other things
that could cause these symptoms that are similar to RA.  You must get checked
out as soon as possible.  It sounds like you shouldnt go to who ever your
sister sees though.  There are several blood tests that you can have done that
will give an indication of if it is RA or not.  Sometimes they will find
rheumatoid factor in your blood but it is possible to have this when you do
not have RA.  With some people the symptoms are mild and can be control by
minimal drugs, some people like myself have periods where sometimes things
flare up from time to time.  I started off on the anti inflammatory drugs and
then because I was getting worse I had a low dose of steroids then went on to
the next step up DMARDS  (disease modifying anti rheumatic drugs) these can
slow down the damage and halt the progression of the joint damage.  These
drugs were often reserved until things got worse but studies have now shown
that earlier these drugs are started the less damage is done by the disease.

I took Sulphsalazine for nearly 3 years it took 7 weeks to start working and I
was able to carry on as normal for most of the time. I stopped the steroids
when the DMARDS started to work. I seemed to be doing so well that last year I
reduced the tablets and practically came off them.  Unfortunately at Christmas
this year it all flared up again and despite going back on the tablets I could
get the same relief from them.  I dont know if this is because I stopped or
because that sometimes happen that someone if fine on a treatment for a while
but then that treatment stops working so well.  I am not on Methotrexate which
I didnt want to  go on at all.  My rhumatologist was very good and said it was
up to me but in the end I was in so much pain and having four children to look
after there wasn't really a choice in the end. I have to have regular blood
tests to check that the drugs are not causing any other problems.  At the
moment I am waiting to see if the Methotrexate works.  I haven't been taking
them for long enough yet but things are not too bad at the moment I am taking
a very low dose of steroid tablets but should be able to come off those soon.

There are some links here to look at.




Also I have very recently looked in at uk.people.support.arthritis.  I didnt
feel the need for a group before the last few months and with all the D lists
I am on didn't have time to look.  Most the people on the list are very good
and could probably give you more info than me.  I do think there is someone on
this group or it maybe alt.support.diabetes.uk
who had both conditions.  Make an appointment to see your GP as soon as
possible to get a diagnosis.  Dont wait for things to get worse as there may
be a wait to get to see someone. I hope everything is ok and its nothing to
worry about.  Mail me if there is anything you want to ask.

Mum of Sasha age 7 Dx 1999

----- Original Message -----
From: "Smith, Beverley" <email @ redacted>
To: <email @ redacted>
Sent: 03 April 2002 08:56
Subject: [IPk] Swollen Joints

> Hi
> Does anyone else on the list have a problem with swollen
> joints?  My sister (non-diabetic and 35 years old) has had a
> form of Arthritis for the past 10 years which has left her
> doctors baffled (I would think time for a new doctor but my
> sister is not the second-opinion type) and her debilitated.
> My joints are now starting to give me pain and I am 36.  I am
> finally going to go and see my GP (I fear the diagnosis hence
> I haven't been before) but I just wondered if anyone else has
> any similar experience.  I know auto-immune conditions can
> run in families but can one person get two?  I have problems
> with my fingers (difficult to bend, painful), elbows, knees
> and toes.  The knee and toe problems usually occur during the
> night after I have been running (no pain or stiffness when I
> run at all)and leave me in agony and limping heavily the next
> day.  The finger and elbow problems are present most of the
> time.  Could it just be coincidence that I have similar
> symptoms to my sister?  Could it be an allergy (or
> intolerance).  Could I be allergic to plastic tube from the
> pump or is that clutching at straws (or canulas in this
> case!).
> Having written about the problem I do wonder why I haven't
> been to see my doctor before but it is funny how problems
> slowly creep up on you.
> Bev
> _______________________________________
> Beverley Smith
> Principal Development Geologist
> SNS Team Leader
> Phone: 0118  929 2422
> Fax: 0118 929 2660
> E-mail: email @ redacted
> ______________________________________________________________________
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