Joint Pain And Fatigue What Could Be The Possibilities
Fatigue is usually characterized by extreme tiredness that even rest and relaxation cannot cure. A number of factors are responsible for fatigue, including conditions that cause joint pain.
It is important to note that different people have different pain thresholds. However, constant pain brought on by sore or damaged joints cause fatigue in most people. The diseases responsible for fatigue as a result of joint pain include fibromyalgia, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
Joints can swell or become inflamed while performing certain activities. It can also lead to a chronic condition. The physical and emotional energy required to relieve the joint pain and continue with everyday activities tends to contribute to the fatigue. Painful joints will also prevent a patient from getting a good nights rest. Without good sleep, fatigue will be a natural consequence.
What The Doctor Does
Doctors first ask questions about the person’s symptoms and medical history. Then they do a physical examination. What doctors find during the history and physical examination often suggests a cause for joint pain and guides the tests that may need to be done .
Doctors ask about pain severity, onset , how symptoms vary over time, and what increases or decreases pain . They ask about joint stiffness and swelling, previously diagnosed joint disorders, and risk of exposure to sexually transmitted diseases and Lyme disease.
Doctors then do a complete physical examination. They check all joints for swelling, redness, warmth, tenderness, and noises that are made when the joints are moved . The joints are moved through their full range of motion, first by the person without assistance and then by the doctor . This examination helps determine which structure is causing the pain and if inflammation is present. They also check the eyes, mouth, nose, and genital area for sores or other signs of inflammation. The skin is examined for rashes. Lymph nodes are felt and the lungs and heart examined. Doctors usually test function of the nervous system so that they can detect disorders of the muscles or nerves.
The following tests are the most important overall:
Tests of joint fluid
Blood tests for autoantibodies
Erythrocyte sedimentation rate and C-reactive protein
How Is Lupus Treated
Treatment for lupus depends on the organs involved. There is no cure for it, but treatment can help control symptoms. Often, a patient with lupus has a health care team with specialists such as:
- a rheumatologist
- a nephrologist
- an infectious disease specialist
- a dermatologist
- a social worker
- a psychologist
Medicines can help lower the risk of flare-ups and improve symptoms. Someone with lupus may take:
- corticosteroids to control inflammation
- immunosuppressive drugs to lower the body’s immune response
- antimalarial drugs to help treat skin rashes and joint pain
- acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , such as ibuprofen or naproxen, for joint and muscle pain
Doctors may also recommend that people with lupus:
- Avoid the sun as much as possible and wear sunscreen and protective clothing when outside to help reduce the number of flare-ups.
- Get regular exercise to help with tiredness and joint stiffness.
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Symptoms Of Fatigue In Inflammatory Arthritis
Just like there are many causes of fatigue, there are also many symptoms that may indicate what you have is inflammatory arthritis-related fatigue. Its very subjective and not quantifiable with a lab or measurable outcome, which is why fatigue can feel so frustrating and overwhelming, says Dr. Cohen. You cant quantify it, but you know its not normal.
Heres a look at some of the key symptoms to discuss with your health care team:
Dr. Khattri says that while symptoms of fatigue and feeling tired do overlap, fatigue is often at the extreme end. You feel like you have no control.
With normal tired you know sleep can fix it, says CreakyJoints community member Lel. Fatigue decides when its over youre just a helpless bystander.
Change in energy levels
While some patients wake up feeling fatigue, others experience sudden, overwhelming changes in energy levels and simply hit a wall.
RA fatigue stops me in my tracks. I feel myself fading out suddenly, then I have to rest . It feels like sandbags dropped on me, says CreakyJoints community member Kristina H. It hits me around the same time every day, or sometimes I wake up knowing its going to be a low energy day.
Increase in flares
Research shows that poor sleep can make the symptoms of fatigue worse, increasing sensitivity to pain, irritability, and making it that much harder to concentrate, says Dr. Cohen.
Reduced quality of life
Pots: A Little Known Cause Of Extreme Fatigue
Everyone knows what being tired feels like at the end of a long day. But some people experience fatigue so severe and so seemingly random that its hard to describe. If that sounds familiar, there could be more going on than daily stress.
While there are many causes of fatigue, one of them is frequently missed and misdiagnosed: postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome . Physical medicine and neuromuscular specialist Tae Chung, M.D., answers questions about POTS and extreme fatigue as one of its symptoms.
Role Of Inflammation In Fatigue
The mechanisms of fatigue are complex and have been studied in animal models and humans. Because fatigue could be explained by loss of muscle mass or altered mood, Norden et al. proposed a model to discriminate between these phenomena: some colon tumor-bearing mice demonstrated signs of fatigue and depressed mood , with no association with decreased normalized contractile properties of skeletal muscle of the limb. So fatigue seemed linked more to behavior than muscle activity.
Inflammation could play an important role . The injection of IL-1 in murine models decreased social exploration and increased hypersomnia and body weight loss, which were all improved by the administration of anti-inflammatory IL-1RA or IL-10 . Moreover, in the model of tumor-induced fatigue in mice seen earlier, fatigue was associated with increased levels of IL-1 and IL-6 in the brain, and treatment with minocycline, an anti-inflammatory agent, improved grip strength without reducing tumor growth or muscle mass .
Table 1 Possible mechanisms involved in fatigue
Common Autoimmune Disease Symptoms
Despite the varying types of autoimmune disease, many of them share similar symptoms. Common symptoms of autoimmune disease include:
- Abdominal pain or digestive issues
- Recurring fever
- Swollen glands
Many women say its hard to get diagnosed, something that Orbai agrees with. Its not black or white, she says. Theres usually no single test to diagnose autoimmune disease. You have to have certain symptoms combined with specific blood markers and in some cases, even a tissue biopsy. Its not just one factor.
Diagnosis can also be difficult because these symptoms can come from other common conditions. Orbai says women should seek treatment when they notice new symptoms.
If youve been healthy and suddenly you feel fatigue or joint stiffness, dont downplay that, she says. Telling your doctor helps him or her to look closer at your symptoms and run tests to either identify or rule out autoimmune disease.
Autoimmune Disease: Why Is My Immune System Attacking Itself?
Autoimmune disease affects 23.5 million Americans, and nearly 80 percent of those are women. If youâre one of the millions of women affected by this group of diseases, which includes lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and thyroid disease, you may be wondering why your immune system is attacking itself.
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What Causes Autoimmune Diseases
The precise cause of autoimmune diseases is unknown. However, there are risk factors that may increase your chances of getting an autoimmune disease. Risk factors include:
- Some medications. Talk to your healthcare provider about the side effects of medications for blood pressure, statins and antibiotics.
- Having relatives with autoimmune diseases. Some diseases are genetic they run in families.
- Temperature sensitivity.
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Autoimmune Disease Risk Factors
Researchers dont know what causes autoimmune disease, but several theories point to an overactive immune system attacking the body after an infection or injury. We do know that certain risk factors increase the chances of developing autoimmune disorders, including:
- Genetics: Certain disorders such as lupus and multiple sclerosis tend to run in families. Having a relative with autoimmune disease increases your risk, but it doesnt mean you will develop a disease for certain, says Orbai.
- Weight: Being overweight or obese raises your risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis or psoriatic arthritis. This could be because more weight puts greater stress on the joints or because fat tissue makes substances that encourage inflammation.
- Smoking: Research has linked smoking to a number of autoimmune diseases, including lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, hyperthyroidism and MS.
- Certain medications: Certain blood pressure medications or antibiotics can trigger drug-induced lupus, which is often a more benign form of lupus, Orbai says. Our myositis center also discovered that specific medications used to lower cholesterol, called statins, can trigger statin-induced myopathy. Myopathy is a rare autoimmune disease that causes muscle weakness. Before starting or stopping any medications, however, make sure to talk to your doctor.
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Causes Of Pain In Many Joints
In most cases, the cause of pain originating inside multiple joints is arthritis. Disorders that cause arthritis may differ from each other in certain tendencies, such as the following:
How many and which joints they usually involve
Whether the central part of the skeleton, such as the spine or pelvis, is typically involved
Whether arthritis is sudden or longstanding
Acute arthritis affecting multiple joints is most often due to
or psoriatic arthritis Psoriatic Arthritis Psoriatic arthritis is a spondyloarthritis and a form of joint inflammation that occurs in some people who have psoriasis of the skin or nails. Joint inflammation can develop in people who have… read more )
Chronic arthritis affecting multiple joints is most often due to
Some chronic inflammatory disorders can affect the spine as well as the limb joints . Some affect certain parts of the spine more frequently. For example, ankylosing spondylitis more commonly affects the lower part of the spine, whereas rheumatoid arthritis more typically affects the upper part of the spine in the neck.
The most common disorders outside the joints that cause pain around the joints are
Bursitis and tendinitis often result from injury, usually affecting only one joint. However, certain disorders cause bursitis or tendinitis in many joints.
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Is Vitamin B12 Good For Arthritis
Vitamin B complex is a type of non-antioxidant vitamin. We don’t fully understand how this type of vitamin may treat arthritis-related conditions, but evidence from trials suggests that vitamins B3, B9 and B12 might be of some benefit for treating osteoarthritis, particularly in improving joint mobility and hand grip.
When Is Fatigue Considered Extreme
There is no good criteria for assessing the level of fatigue it depends on the person. However, most people know when their tiredness is more than a lack of sleep. Some of my patients remember the exact day they got hit with fatigue so overwhelming that they knew something was wrong.
Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome
POTS is a common condition affecting an estimated one to three million Americans. Researchers dont fully understand the causes of POTS, but it is more common in women than men and is more likely to develop in adolescents and young adults.
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Can Physical Activity Help To Lessen Fatigue
Some people who have try to get fitter by doing gentle physical exercise, with the aim of fighting the exhaustion that way. A number of different activities are well-suited for this, including stretching and strengthening exercises, yoga, tai chi, brisk walking, cycling, water aerobics and swimming. These activities may also be done in specialized exercise therapy.
An analysis summarizing the research on different types of exercise shows that physical activity can help reduce . About 15 out of 100 people felt less exhausted after exercising. It’s still not clear what form of exercise would be most suitable, though.
What Type Of Blood Tests Are Used To Diagnose Autoimmune Diseases
Several different blood tests may be used to diagnose an autoimmune disease. In addition to a regular complete blood count and metabolic panel, other tests that are likely to be included are anti-dsDNA, anti-RNP, anti-Sm, anti-Sjogren’s SSA and SSB, anti-scleroderma, anti-Jo-1, anti-CCP, antibody against cardiolipin, and an antinuclear antibody test. A rheumatoid factor test, which looks for rheumatoid arthritis, is also usually included during the diagnostic phase. The antinuclear antibody test looks for antibodies that could cause an autoimmune response.
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What Questions Might A Healthcare Provider Ask To Help Diagnose An Autoimmune Disease
When your healthcare provider interviews you, they might ask you one or more of the following questions:
- What medications are you taking?
- What are your symptoms?
- How severe are your symptoms?
- Have you had to go to the emergency department because of your symptoms?
- How long have you had these symptoms?
- In what ways are your symptoms affecting your quality of life?
- Is there anything that triggers your symptoms? Anything that makes them worse?
- Is there a history of autoimmune diseases in your family?
- Which autoimmune diseases run in your family?
- What over-the-counter or alternative medicines have you tried, if any?
How Are Autoimmune Diseases Treated
There are no cures for autoimmune diseases, but symptoms can be managed. Everyones immune system, genetics and environment are different. That means that your treatment must be unique.
Some examples of medications used to treat autoimmune diseases include:
- Limiting processed foods from your diet.
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What Are The Most Common Causes Of Joint Pain And Nausea
During pregnancy, a woman usually gains weight, and it is typically distributed in a different way than her body is used to. Her feet and ankles may experience more pressure than before the pregnancy, resulting in joint pain. Nausea is a common symptom for pregnant women and usually does not last past the first trimester, although some women experience nausea throughout the entire pregnancy. Joint pain and nausea may not occur at the same time during pregnancy.
Influenza, or the flu, is a viral infection that has many different symptoms. Sometimes a person may experience nausea and vomiting when she has the flu, or she may have other symptoms like fatigue and a sore throat. Joint pain and overall muscle weakness are often a common complaint of people who have influenza. Children, the elderly, and women who are pregnant are more likely to suffer from the flu. Those who work with the elderly or take care of children also have a higher likelihood of contracting a flu virus.
Disease Activity And Inflammation
Historically, fatigue has been perceived to be caused by disease-specific processes, such as inflammation and joint damage . Pro-inflammatory cytokines, which are pivotal to RA progression, have been linked to fatigue via sickness behaviour and it is possible that these inflammatory processes initially trigger fatigue in RA . Certainly, while the apparent response of fatigue to inflammation-focused interventions would indicate that an association between inflammatory disease activity and fatigue exists, it is now widely recognized that fatigue persists despite receiving the best available care for their disease , although anti-inflammatory pharmacological interventions do confer reductions in fatigue in subgroups of patients .
Where an association has been observed between inflammation and fatigue prognosis, it has tended to show both that higher and lower inflammation is associated with greater fatigue, depending on the study in question. Further, within a path analysis model , we found that when DAS-28 was substituted for ESR or CRP the direct relationship between disease activity and fatigue disappeared, indicating that it may be that the patient reported/influenced , which drive the associations between DAS-28 and fatigue. Overall, the balance of evidence would seem to indicate that while fatigue prognosis may be associated with composite measures of disease activity , it is not consistently predicted by traditional measures of inflammation, such as CRP or ESR .
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Inflammation Of The Joint Lining
If you have injured the joint recently and it suddenly becomes painful again, the thin layer of tissue lining the joints and tendons may be inflamed, a condition called traumatic synovitis.
It usually does not cause any redness or heat.
You should be able to manage injury-related swelling at home with anti-inflammatory medicines, such as ibuprofen, an icepack and rest.
What Causes Extreme Muscle And Joint Pain
Tension, chronic stress, and minor injuries can result in extreme muscle and joint pain. This type of pain is usually localized and can affect a few parts of the body at the same time.
Conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, bursitis, strains, and gout can also lead to painful joints.
According to the latest research, joint pain is pretty common in adults. Every fourth person reports having it. If you are one of them, here is what you need to know about muscle pain and its treatment:
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