joints giving way

I don't come on this blogsite very often as I tend to come online when I am depressed and use the action on depression link, but I've just found some really useful info on other people's blogs on this link and so thought I would ask about one of my problems.

I have been depressed for much of my life following an emotionally isolated childhood and breakdown when I was 11 and left to care for myself. Physically I have arthritis - spondylitis of the neck which results in pain radiating down to my hands - carpal tunnel has been ruled out by nerve conduction tests and my own guess is trapped nerves due to inflammation. I regularly get bursitis and tendonitis of the shoulders, especially when I wake in the mornings if my neck is not supported well enough by the pillow. I have diagnosed fibromyalgia - luckily the consultant was thorough and respectful and confirmed my own understanding - I had researched and understood the link between my emotionally traumatic history and my physical pain and she confirmed my pain in the key points on both sides of the body so I felt validated which helped. I also have IBS which links with the other symptoms. I also have arthritis of the knees and hips and experience painful sciatica if I walk around a supermarket without the support of a trolley or any distance outdoors although at times I can manage, it's fairly unpredictable but the pain is frequent and extreme. I'm beginning to get water retention and very swollen lower legs, also pain in my feet which I think probably relates to pre-diabetes although that hasn't been diagnosed.

Why I'm writing now though is that at times I experience my joints completely giving way and wonder whether that's a common effect of the arthritis? I can be walking around the house, perhaps going up or downstairs, and suddenly almost collapse due to an extreme sharp spasm of pain and a weakness in one or other of my knees. I also sometimes have a similar problem with my elbows or wrists, not as often but when I do I almost drop things. The pain is so intense that I cry out loudly. I'd really appreciate any information or ideas anyone has about what may be causing the above and what I can do about any of my symptoms as it's useful being able to call on other people's direct experience.

Having read the other blogs I will investigate having thyroid functions tests done privately via thyroid uk and will also think about whether to see my GP about going on Cymbalta which is apparently good for fibro and depression.

Any further advice or suggestions would be really welcomed. Thanks, and I hope you all have a pain free week.


9 Replies

  • you know I have done a reply on another post. Just a little more to add ! Swelling of the lower limbs is also a Hypo problem due to lowered metabolism. Kidneys and Thyroid on the same Meridian in Eastern Medicine. I suffered very badly until treated for Thyroid in 2005. It always happened when flying or sitting too long over meals. Rarely if ever happens now.

    You mention pre-diabetes....well just think about it the pancreas is another gland in the Endocrine system and the Thyroid is the Mastergland of metabolism - so when the thyroid hormones are low then other glands in the system will be stressed and begin to malfunction. In some cases Diabetes can be an extreme symptom of under-treated or undiagnosed Thyroid.

    Not being able to hold things can be due to low B12. Low Thyroid metabolism often results in LOW B12 due to malabsorption problems in the gut. It is only absorbed in one area of the gut - the terminal ileum. I had Ileo-Caecal TB in my 20's - six months in hospital - 5 operations and then a Crohns diagnosis on top. So have learnt a great deal about guts and the issues arising from malabsorption due to not having a terminal ileum !

    Most conditions arise from inflammation in the gut and Gut disbyosis....including arthritis. Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr Natasha Campbell McBride is an excellent read. Also is one of the most informative websites ever....all for FREE. Read up on IBS and Arthritis...and anything else ! Most conditions covered !

    Good luck ! :-) :-)

  • Hi, yes I've been reading about hypo the last few days and certainly have most of the symptoms. I only have to sit at my desk for 10 minutes and my legs balloon up which then makes walking painful and my legs are tingling and sore of course, although I do find walking eases it considerably, it's a matter of going through the discomfort first for maybe ten minutes. It makes me not want to move around, so the problem becomes circular!

    I think the GP has included B12 on the bloods, also iron and folates I think. I 'll have to ask her for numbers when I go for the results though she won't like that as it takes more time!

    Thanks for info, I'll follow it up.


  • Hi Sue :-) I agree with Marz about getting thyroid and vitamins D&B12 iron/ferritn and folates done as your symptoms are also associated with low levels in these! :-) Also get a coeliac screen done as you may not be absorbing your meds properly. if these are at optimal levels some of your symptoms will ease and even go away completely. Hoping you get better soon :-) if it does turn out to be thyroid you will get all your other medication free for life, which is a great saving. Why pay to get these blood test-use your doctor first for these then pay for the others that he won't do-they are expensive. Good luck :-) x

  • Hi thanks for the info. I don't use any meds no matter how bad anything gets unless it's absolutely impossible not to, like a fracture when I will take pain killers - the reason why is that my father and husband both have meds to counteract the effect of meds and so it goes on until they are rattling and it would drive me crazy to have to take endless meds every day, my identity would be that I am sick whereas now it's that I am well but have some problems that need sorting - that feels very different psychologically. Oh, I will pay because trying to persuade a GP in a poor area is like fighting with an elephant! Suex

  • Hi, Thank you both for your replies. I will investigate the thyroid testing as you suggest. I'm not on any meds at the moment, sometimes I feel I desperately want some because the pain is bad at those times but then I also feel that so many meds have side effects which at some point become a problem and then people have to take meds to counteract those problems too so end up taking a lot of things - I saw that with my parents and family friends so stay off everything as far as possible. However I now take vitamin D on prescription which is free as I'm 63 and I will take meds if my thyroid function is low. Thanks again, I'm seeing the GP next week so will check with her

  • If you have the tests for diabetes, thyroid and they are negative ask if you are hypermobile as a lot of your symptoms fit.. I have disc trouble in neck and have neuropathic pain in arms and carpal tunnel symptoms but they appear to be from my hands especially my thumbs. Bursitis and tendonitis are common with hypermobility syndrome.. ever been double jointed. Just a thought. I was diagnosed with neck problems first but then HMS and Fibro as well because they are often found together. Look up HMSA web site. Just a thought.

  • Yes, definitely been double jointed as a child and my mum was, my daughter also is. I even used to sleep with my feet tucked under by bottom to keep them warm in the winter! Yes I think my carpel tunnel symptoms are from my thumbs. I will look at HMSA thought I don't know what it is! Thanks for your help. Suex

  • Hi, Many thanks, no it's a good thought - I probably do have that as my Mum was double jointed and so it my daughter and that is linked to hypermobility syndrome I know! Thank you for reminding me and the link is obvious. I have wondered whether I am pre-diabetes as at times I have intense pain in the bottom of my feet which I know accompanies diabetes but my GP says I am not. My guess is that the bloods vary and that at times I am bordering on being diabetic. I will have a look at the website, many thanks.

  • Hi, I thought I would add that seemingly magically the swollen legs disappeared more or less and now I'm sitting at my desk for several hours with no sign of any swelling at all! I HAVE been making sure that I drink a LOT more water than usual and wonder whether anyone else has noticed a link between not drinking enough and symptoms of thyroid problems?

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