31 with PMR & Type 1 Diabetes


I'm 31 and recently diagnosed with PMR by my GP. My symptoms were excruciating pain in shoulders and general stiffness everywhere to the point I could hardly get out of bed. My symptoms came on over the course of a few weeks and just got worse and worse. I'm waiting for an appointment with a Rheumatologist now and have been prescribed anti infammatories for now. I have a lot of pain and stiffness but in the last few days I have also started having numbness in my fingers and terrible pain when holding a pen - is this quite normal? Can anyone advise on going on steroids at my age and whether it's a good idea?

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3 Replies

  • Hi Mb1234,

    31 is very young to be diagnosed with PMR. The initial symptoms do sound like it, but once you've started the steroids - you don't say what dose you're on - the majority of your pains should recede.

    Did your doctor do tests for other illnesses before diagnosing PMR? I'm not 100% convinced you have PMR, and I'm sure others will come along with their theories, but will probably ask for a bit more info from you.

    Hopefully you will get a Rheumy appt fairly quickly.

    If it is confirmed as PMR, the steroids are the only drug that will control your symptoms - whatever age you are - so really you don't have any choice as whether to take them or not.

  • Hi Dorsetlady

    Thank you for your reply! I had initially suspected fibromyalgia but I had lots of blood tests and my CRP was 118. They then checked my ESR which was also very high. My GP said I tick all the boxes for PMR apart from my age but the fact I've type 1 diabetes apparently makes me more susceptible to other autoimmune disorders like this. I guess the Rheumatologist will confirm this before prescribing steroids if I ever get an appointment!!

  • I think that that is where you have to wait I'm afraid. As DL says, you are VERY young and I will be very interested to hear what your rheumatology appointment brings up. Do you yet know when it will be? Under the circumstances I think that your GP needs to ensure it is an emergency appointment since PMR is not the disease, it is the name given to the symptoms of an underlying disorder. In the case of the PMR we discuss here it is an autoimmune disorder causing inflammation that leads to the symptoms but there are a lot of other things that can cause it, some of them potentially far nastier I'm afraid. Using the word "urgent" doesn't help - it still usually means a wait of months.

    As for your hand problems - PMR is often accompanied by/gives rise to carpal tunnel syndrome. I had a lot of hand pain - tenovitis and synovitis led to sharp stabbing pain and aching when trying to hold a pen. Typing was easier.

    Pred at your age? IF it is PMR there is no real alternative I'm afraid - but the Type 1 diabetes will complicate things as pred affects carb metabolism. I think it is more than likely that a rheumatologist will want to try using other drugs in the hope of reducing any need for pred - but that isn't necessarily a bad thing for you as PMR does present in exactly the same image as rheumatoid arthritis for example with no distinguishing features except "wait and see" and these other drugs do work in that and other forms of inflammatory arthritis.

    Do tell us how you get on - where are you?

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