Joint Pain: Youre Not Alone
In a recent national survey, nearly one out of every three adults in the US reported having joint pain within the last 30 days. In this survey, deep pain was the most common complaint, followed by shoulder and hip pain
Joints connect your bones together, providing your body with support as you move. Joint pain can impact just about any part of your body, including the ankles, feet and hands. While joint pain can occur at any age, it becomes increasingly common as a person ages.
Damage to your joints caused by injury or disease cannot only interfere with movement, but can also be a common cause of pain. Some of the most common conditions leading to painful joints include rheumatoid arthritis, bursitis, osteoarthritis, gout, strains, sprains and other injuries, such as in sports.
As with back pain, joint pain can vary greatly in terms of severity in the amount of time that it lasts. For example, joint pain that resolves within a few weeks is referred to as acute. However, many people suffer from chronic joint pain, or pain that lingers for weeks or months at a time.
Other common causes of joint pain include:
- Autoimmune diseases, including lupus and rheumatoid arthritis
- Seasonal allergies
What Are The Symptoms Of Polycythemia Vera
When you have more blood and it is thicker than normal, problems can occur. Each persons symptoms may vary. Symptoms may include:
- Lack of energy or weakness
- High blood pressure
These symptoms may look like other blood disorders or health problems. Always see your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
Food Tastes Like Metal
Why this happens:
A build-up of wastes in the blood can make food taste different and cause bad breath. You may also notice that you stop liking to eat meat, or that you are losing weight because you just don’t feel like eating.
What patients said:
Foul taste in your mouth. Almost like you’re drinking iron.
I don’t have the appetite I had before I started dialysis, I must have lost about 10 pounds.
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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.
Gluten Is Connected To Many Forms Of Autoimmune Arthritis
Can gluten cause muscle and joint pain? For genetically susceptible individuals, the intestinal damage caused by gluten in combination with an overactive immune system and chronic state of inflammation leads to celiac disease.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition that causes your immune system to attack your intestines, which creates even more damage and inflammation. But as I mentioned, the inflammatory effects arent limited to your gut. Which is why celiac disease is associated with many other autoimmune conditions. And several of them cause your immune system to attack your muscles and joints, which causes pain.
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Lifestyle Changes That Help
As well as improving some cases of apparent polycythaemia, making healthy lifestyle changes can also reduce the risk of potentially serious blood clots for people with all types of polycythaemia.
Having polycythaemia means you’re already at high risk of a blood clot, and being overweight or smoking only increases this risk.
You may find the following advice and information helpful:
Congestion Can Cause Brain Fog
A stuffy, swollen nose can make it difficult to think clearly, often causing a hazy or tried feeling. Many have termed this feeling brain fog, and it results from the congestion and pressure in your nasal and sinus air passages. Without treating allergy symptoms, and sometimes contributing sinus issues, the inflammation, irritation, and runny nose at the root of this issue will keep making you feel foggy.
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Extreme Fatigue But Blood Tests Are Normal
When reporting extreme fatigue, a doctor may do blood work to rule out causes including low iron levels/anemia, hypothyroidism, diabetes, vitamin deficiencies, celiac disease, inflammation, liver or kidney function problems, or specific infections. If these tests come back normal, it just means these are not the causes, and more tests may need to be done.
However, chronic fatigue is common and can be caused by myriad issuesmany of them not discoverable through blood work. A doctor will also ask about your sleep habits, diet, exercise regimen, stress levels and medications to consider how these may be contributing to how you feel.
If your extreme fatigue is accompanied by abnormal bleeding severe headache chest pain shortness of breath irregular heartbeat severe abdominal, pelvic or back pain or lightheadedness, seek treatment immediately.
Also consider that errors on lab tests do occur. You are free to ask your doctor how often false-negative or false-positive results occur with your specific tests, or whether a retest could be done under different conditions . You can also get a second opinion.
Consider creating a symptom journal to track how you feel and when. Doing so can help you connect whether specific actions or foods are contributing to a feeling, or whether any changes to your routine are helping.
Spotting The Difference: Cancer Related Fatigue Vs Everyday Fatigue
Each Sunday this year, we’ll be looking at a symptom of leukaemia as part of our #LC50 campaign. This month, we’re focussing on fatigue, and how cancer-related fatigue differs from everyday fatigue. Read all about this symptom and how to spot it.
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Fatigue is by far the most common symptom experienced by blood cancer patients prior to a diagnosis. According to our 2018 patient survey, 56% of leukaemia patients will experience fatigue in the lead up to their diagnosis.
The fatigue that comes with leukaemia or any cancer is known as cancer-related fatigue and it is characterised by extreme or persistent exhaustion that disrupts your daily activities and function. People who have CRF have no energy and find it extremely difficult to complete even the simple, everyday tasks that others take for granted. Spotting the difference between harmless and harmful fatigue may be key in diagnosing leukaemia early.
I was a physical guy, and then all of a sudden, no explanation, I felt like I was in treacle. Very fatigued and very tired.
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Psoriatic Arthritis And Gluten
Psoriatic arthritis is an autoimmune condition that affects the joints of those with the skin-related autoimmune condition known as psoriasis. PA causes pain, stiffness, and swelling among other things.
Similar to above, PA is associated with gluten-related disorders. One found that those with celiac disease are at a greater risk of developing psoriasis before and after their diagnosis. Another found that psoriasis and celiac disease have some genetic and inflammatory factors in common.
In this case report, a 56-year-old man previously diagnosed with PA was experiencing debilitating pain in his feet, ankles, hands, and knees. He had trouble walking. He had psoriasis patches on his knees, behind his ears, and on his feet. Plus, he had reflux, recently gained 15 pounds, and was depressed sporadically.
Over the course of his disease, his doctor prescribed a pain killer and two immunosuppressive drugs. He was also given antibiotics on multiple occasions and he took aspirin daily. However, his symptoms continued to get worse.
His normal diet was filled with gluten and grains. He frequently ate oatmeal for breakfast and pasta for dinner. Plus, he snacked on cookies throughout the day.
Almost all of his other symptoms were gone, including migraines, reflux, and constipation. Plus, he was no longer depressed.
Some Blood Pressure Medications
Blood pressure medications are used for lowering the blood pressure inside your blood vessels, so that your heart does not have to work so hard to pump your blood throughout your body. But while blood pressure medications slow down your hearts pumping action also depress the entire central nervous system. Or deplete electrolytes, in the case of diuretics which can translate into fatigue and other symptoms such as dizziness, weakness, or excessive urination.
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Why Should I Know About Blood Conditions
When something is wrong with your blood, it can affect your total health. That is why it is important for you to know about some of the common blood disorders that may affect you.
People may be affected by many different types of blood conditions and blood cancers. Common blood disorders include anemia, bleeding disorders such as hemophilia, blood clots, and blood cancers such as leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma.
Talking to your doctor is the first step to take if you believe you may have a blood condition. If you are diagnosed with a blood disorder, your doctor may refer you to a hematologist.
Allergies And Musculoskeletal Pain
Many types of allergies can cause joint pain, including an allergic reaction known as serum sickness, and after an insect sting. Even seasonal allergies can be associated with joint pain symptoms for several reasons.
Let us evaluate each one of these conditions and find out how each type of allergy triggers joint pain and muscle pain:
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Medicine To Reduce Red Blood Cells
In cases of PV, medicine may be prescribed to slow down the production of red blood cells.
Many different medicines are available and your specialist will take into account your age and health, response to venesection and red blood cell count when choosing the most appropriate one for you. Examples include:
- hydroxycarbamide this medicine is taken as tablets every morning and is generally tolerated well. But you should not take it if you’re pregnant or trying to become pregnant
- interferon this medicine is given by injection into the abdomen or thigh 1 to 3 times a week. You can inject it yourself at home once you’ve become familiar with how to do it. Interferon has the advantage that it can be taken in pregnancy, but it may cause unpleasant side effects, such as hair loss and flu-like symptoms
You Have Unstable Blood Sugar
You dont have to be diabetic to have a blood sugar problem. We help many of our patients here at Parsley Health pull the brakes on the rollercoaster of symptoms theyve been experiencing from spikes and dips in blood sugar.
Take a typical on-the-go breakfast for many people: a pastry and sugary coffee drink. That wave of sugar creates a rapid spike in your blood sugar and causes your pancreas to release insulin to stabilize it. As your blood sugar returns to normal, you crash, feeling tired. Youll also feel hungry again pretty quickly, leading you to reach for carbs and perpetuating the cycle.
All that sugar adds up. When people consumed 40g of added sugar a day in the form of a can of soda for three weeks, they showed at least a 60 percent increase in high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, a marker for inflammation. Inflammation has been associated with many chronic diseases, including depression. Learning to eat a combination of , protein, and healthy fat at each meal and never skipping a meal can help you maintain steady blood sugar throughout the day and tame inflammation.
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Swollen Or Puffy Face
Why this happens:
Failing kidneys don’t remove extra fluid, which builds up in your body causing swelling in the face.
What patients said:
My sister, her hair started to fall out, she was losing weight, but her face was really puffy, you know, and everything like that, before she found out what was going on with her.
My checks were always puffy and tight. Sometimes they would even hurt.
How Is A Pots Diagnosis Made
Problems with the autonomic nervous system can be difficult to diagnose. The standard test for POTS is the tilt table test. During the test, you are secured to a table that tilts from being horizontal to almost a 90-degree angle. The test measures your hearts response to switching from laying down to standing up. Some people with POTS faint during this test, even if they rarely faint standing up.
Although the test seems straightforward, many things can interfere with it. Its important that a POTS specialist oversees it. Its best to work with a doctor who has diagnosed and treated patients with POTS. This could be a cardiologist, a neuromuscular specialist or another doctor.
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Your B12 Levels Are Low
Vitamin B12 is found in animal products, so vegans and vegetarians are most at risk for being deficient, as well as people with gastrointestinal issues, who may have difficulty absorbing the vitamin, and people on heartburn and reflux medications. The important vitamin is needed in order to make red blood cells and DNA and plays a major role in nerve function and mood. B12 helps to maintain the myelin sheath surrounding nerve cells, which make it possible for cells to communicate.
But when levels are low, this communication becomes compromised, which can lead to neurological changes. B12 is also involved in the production of serotonin and other neurotransmitters that regulate mood, so low levels could cause changes in the nervous system.
One study in the journal BMC Psychiatry followed 115 people with depression for six months and found that those with higher levels of B12 had a greater chance of recovery from depression, leading scientists to believe there is an association between B12 and mental health. Low levels of B12 have even been linked to .
Other Autoimmune Arthritic Conditions
There are several other pain-causing autoimmune conditions associated with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity, which include scleroderma, migratory arthritis, reactive arthritis, dermatomyositis, and ankylosing spondylitis among others.
For example, in this study, researchers found 83% of patients with celiac disease had symptoms associated with scleroderma. Symptoms were also statistically more severe in those with gluten sensitivity. Plus, patients reported an improvement in muscle pain soon after a gluten-free diet was implemented.
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Blood Disorders Affecting Platelets
Blood disorders that affect the platelets include:
Thrombocytopenia : A low number of platelets in the blood numerous conditions cause thrombocytopenia, but most do not result in abnormal bleeding.
Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura: A condition causing a persistently low number of platelets in the blood, due to an unknown cause usually, there are no symptoms, yet abnormal bruising, small red spots on the skin , or abnormal bleeding can result.
Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia: A low platelet count caused by a reaction against heparin, a blood thinner given to many hospitalized people to prevent blood clots
Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura: A rare blood disorder causing small blood clots to form in blood vessels throughout the body platelets are used up in the process, causing a low platelet count.
Essential thrombocytosis : The body produces too many platelets, due to an unknown cause the platelets do not work properly, resulting in excessive clotting, bleeding, or both.
Can I Prevent Anemia Of Inflammation
Experts have not yet found a way to prevent anemia of inflammation. For some chronic conditions that cause inflammation, treatments may be available to reduce or prevent the inflammation that can lead to anemia. Talk with your doctor about treatments and follow the treatment plan your doctor recommends.
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What Causes Anemia Of Inflammation
Experts think that when you have an infection or disease that causes inflammation, your immune system causes changes in how your body works that may lead to anemia of inflammation.
- Your body may not store and use iron normally.
- Your kidneys may produce less erythropoietin , a hormone that signals your bone marrowthe spongy tissue inside most of your bonesto make red blood cells.
- Your bone marrow may not respond normally to EPO, making fewer red blood cells than needed.
- Your red blood cells may live for a shorter time than normal, causing them to die faster than they can be replaced.
How Are Blood Cell Disorders Diagnosed
Your doctor may order several tests, including a complete blood count to see how many of each type of blood cell you have. Your doctor may also order a bone marrow biopsy to see if there are any abnormal cells developing in your marrow. This will involve removing a small amount of bone marrow for testing.
Your treatment plan depends on the cause of your illness, your age, and your overall health status. Your doctor may use a combination of treatments to help correct your blood cell disorder.
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What Are The Symptoms
The symptoms of hematologic disease depend on many factors. Symptoms depend on which cell type is affected and how low or high the count. This is determined through a complete blood count . In anemia, there is a low number of red blood cells and therefore a decrease in oxygen delivered to tissues. Symptoms include: extreme fatigue, dizziness, loss of concentration, noise in the ear, shortness of breath with exertion, and fast heartbeat. In patients with impaired heart function, anemia can cause congestive heart failure. A low platelet count or thrombocytopenia can result in excessive bruising, red spots on the lower extremities, nose bleeds, bleeding from the mouth and gums, and blood in the urine or stools. Low numbers of white cells can cause repeated bacterial infections.
When a particular blood count is only mildly decreased, it may not cause any symptoms whatsoever. However, an abnormal count can be a marker of an underlying bone marrow disorder or other medical condition, and therefore should be investigated. A patient with liver disease, for example, may have a large spleen and low blood counts, particularly thrombocytopenia. The platelet count is usually not low enough to cause serious bleeding, but it should trigger an investigation as to why the spleen is enlarged, whether from cirrhosis of the liver and portal hypertension, Gaucher’s disease, infection or lymphoma.