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What's causing my thigh pain?
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What's causing my thigh pain?

I am a 22 year old Caucasian female living in California for the last two years, but living the first twenty years of my life in Washington state.

My dad has Multiple Sclerosis, my brother has Crohn's disease, and my uncle has some other autoimmune disease.
I have an unexplained thigh pain that is sometimes debilitating; it sometimes occurs in combination with other symptoms. I am desperate to find out what is causing it.

The pain has been recurring for four years now. It isn't in my joints, and the level of pain doesn't increase with movement. There is no kind of activity that hurts more than just lying in bed, and no position feels better than another. The pain can occur in either my left or right legs, or both. It is more often my right leg. The pain seems to center on the front of my thigh; it seems to radiate in a dull pulse throughout my leg just a little, barely extending outside of my thighs. Sometimes I also feel the pain in the back of my thigh, but never in my knees, butt, or back. The pain isn't caused by any kind of activity, most of the time it's just there when I wake up. It usually hangs around all day unless I load myself with ibuprofen. It also tends to happen in clumps of time, There have been months where I have this pain almost every day, and there have been months where I've gone without a single episode. It always goes away, seemingly for no reason, and comes back.

Usually, it hangs around for a few days at a time. I've noticed a correlation with alcohol consumption and the weather. If I drank alcohol the night before, it seems to increase the likelihood that I'll have this pain in the morning.
Also, the colder and wetter the environment I'm in, the worse the pain. I used to live in Washington and commute to Seattle every week day at 5am, in the wet, cold. This was the worst the pain has ever been. After I moved to California, the pain lessened and became less frequent. Other than these correlations I've noticed, I can't find any reason why the pain shows up or what is causing it. On average, the pain occurs in at least 5 days during any month. More in the winter, and more if I'm visiting Washington (state).

There have been many days where the pain is so bad I can't think about anything else, it's debilitating.
I have no idea what's causing it; I've seen a regular doctor who referred me to a neurologist who referred me to a rheumatologist who I have yet to see. They've ordered tests that I'm not sure I'm going to get because I don't know if my insurance will cover it and I'm afraid they won't find anything.

Do you have any idea what could be causing my problem? I really need to find a solution because it really interferes with my life.

There are a few other symptoms I have that go away and come back in a similar pattern, and that sometimes occur on the same day as my leg pain, which is the symptom I'm most concerned about.

I often have a tremor in either of my hands, and I sometimes have a very bad tremor in my right hand. My hand will be moving very spastically, and I cannot control it, and barely feel it. Any amount of stress makes the tremor drastically worse. Caffeine also makes me feel uncomfortably shaky. The neurologist I saw diagnosed me with Essential Tremor, and said that she thought the tremor was unrelated to the leg pain. In contrast to the leg pain, the tremor does not seem to get worse in cold weather; it seems to get worse with heat. I recently had to leave a hot shower because I felt uncomfortably shaky.

Also, in my feet (possibly only my right foot), I sometimes feel the pins and needles pain that you get after your leg has fallen asleep, except I get this pain when my leg has not fallen asleep. I can be laying flat on my back, or walking around during the day, and this pins and needles feeling just appears. It usually doesn't last longer than fifteen minutes.

Also, either of my eyes, but more commonly my right eye, is sometimes excessively wet. On occasion, tears will begun pouring out of my eye to the point that my face is soaked. This can continue for nearly an hour. I am a contact lens wearer, and this may be an entirely unrelated problem.

The only thing I've been able to do to lessen my leg pain is to take ibuprofen. Lots of it. I usually take 7 or 8 200mg tablets on a day that I wake up with pain.

I realize that any of these symptoms may be entirely unrelated. I only have no idea what is causing my problem so I'm supplying as much information as I can. Any feedback you can offer would be very helpful. I'm desperate for help.

My doctors have apparently run all the bloodwork they could think of (both my regular doctor and neurologist ordered bloodwork) to rule out whatever possible causes can be eliminated through bloodwork (I was billed for a comprehensive metabolic panel, folic acid, serum, magnesium, thyroxine, thyroid stimulating hormone, cyanocobalamin, a venipuncture blood draw? and a syphilis test). They apparently found nothing with the bloodwork. I had an MRI in 2006 for this problem, and everything apparently looked fine.

Any ideas?
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483733_tn?1326802046
You should be seen by a rheumatologist.  He will do some additional blood tests and check you over to rule out anything autoimmune.  He can also diagnose you if this is fibromyalgia.
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I'll add that I am 120 lbs, 5'8 inches tall. I have not recently lost or gained weight, I have been very nearly this exact weight for the last 5 years. I exercise on a regular basis, I maintain a fairly healthy diet ( I eat a lot of fruits and vegetables), I am not and have never been a smoker, I am taking no recreational drugs of any kind, and I am on no medications.
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483733_tn?1326802046
You should be seen by a rheumatologist.  He will do some additional blood tests and check you over to rule out anything autoimmune.  He can also diagnose you if this is fibromyalgia.
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Avatar_f_tn
You are not alone.  It sounds like I have the same thigh pain as you.  I don't describe mine as pain though, it's more like an ache. . . . a very uncomfortable dull ache in the front of my thighs.  It's never anywhere else in my legs.  I haven't linked mine to alcohol, but it does seem to be worse in winter and during the summer if I am in a very cold room.  One or both will also start aching if I sit for a long period of time with my legs folded under me (or I sit cross legged).  But many times I will get it for no reason at all.  Ibuprofen and a warm bath are the only things that will stop the pain.

Unfortunately, I can't tell you why this is happening.  My theory has always been that's it a circulation problem.  I am seeing a cardiologist in a couple of weeks and I am going to bring it up then.  

If you see a rheumatologist and he gives you any answers, please let me know.  I will do the same for my cardiologist.
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434278_tn?1324709825
The first thing that came to mind was fibromyalgia.  If this is what you have, deep sleep is helpful.  Are you sleeping really good all night long?  Do you have trouble falling asleep?  

I would encourage you to try adding magnesium and calcium to your regimin.  Even though your mag was OK in your lab, doesn't mean you wouldn't benefit from taking mag. 1,200 mg calcium citrate and 600mg mag citrate.  I would increase the potassium foods, unless you are a diabetic.  (bananas, potatoes, oranges, broccoli)  

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Avatar_m_tn
Amazingly, you have the exact same symptoms as me.  Apart from mine have been constant since August 2010.
I have seen all the Ologists and finally will be seeing an Immunologist.

My tremors stopped a few weeks after uploading 6 B12 injections as I can't absorb it orally.  This is followed by one injection every three months for life.
I have an auto immune problem including Vitiligo.  More recently, I have blood test showing I can't store the B12 either, so will be having a Schilling test to see why.

I also have Lupus anti bodies, discovered when I lost five pregnancy's.

I can't wait for the pain to stop though, as you say, it's debilitating and I can't even shop for food as standing more than a few minutes is a killer.

Hope this helps.

Take care
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5964450_tn?1377489327
I have the achey (achy) pain in the back of my upper leg when sitting, very little when standing and walking around. I have Bergers Disease (IgA Nephropathy), an autoimmune disease. I got an ultrasound, no blood clot. I do have degenerative disc disease but bought a temperpedic and havent had no lower back or glut. pain as seen in sciatica. I just have the aching pain in the back of my left leg from the bottom of my butt to the knee, sometimes to beginning of the calf. It feels irritating when someone puts pressure on the back of knee but not all at once.  It builds up after a few seconds. It hurts worse when sitting in chair with knee bent. If you figure something out, let me know. I'll keep researching... Thanks, AL
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Avatar_m_tn
I have pain in my upper right thigh down to my calf. It feels like my ham string is tight. It starts from sitting for a long time. It will go away until I sit for a long time; then it starts to hurt again. I love to fish, I sit mostly b/c I have back problems and I can not stand for a long period of time .The pain went away for a long time.The other day I went fishing, sat a long time and the pain started back.  April of this year was the first time I had this problem. I have never had this problem before now. Does anyone have any idea what may be wrong with my leg. It hurts when I stand, walk and sometimes when I lay down.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi, I was wondering if your blood work included a vitamin panel and if you know your vitamin D3 level? If you don't, this info would be good to know. We can be deficient in 1 or more vitamins and it effects the whole body. Do you feel better in the summer, or after some time in the sun?
For more info about D3 go to www.vitamindcouncil.org. It wouldn't hurt to start some D3 now until you get the results of your blood work. Always ask for a copy for yourself.
The recommended dose of D3 is 5,000 IU a day. It is cheap and easy to get at Costco, Walmart, etc. Your "optimal level should be between 50 and 70ml. My daughter had chronic leg pain that never went away for over a year! All the docs just ignored it since it didn't fit into any other symptoms. We finally found out her D3 level was an 8. Very, very low. It took a long time to get her D3 up to 50ml. We all get our D3 tested 2 times a year now. However once she started the D3 her leg pain improved and then went away in about 6 weeks.

Can you go see an immunologist? Does your family have one they trust and like?  That may be a place to start.

Good luck,
Elbamom
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Avatar_m_tn
i have this pain to when i wake up, or when im really tired but what ive been noticing its cause of the cold, one time i had this "ache" and i started playing soccer my favorite sport and as soon as i warmed up the feeling went away ive notice if i get my legs warmed up its simply goes away. i dont know what this is or called but i also get them in my arms too. its really painfully. please help !
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Avatar_f_tn
i  have the same exact problem i think ive had it for 5 year and im 11. it also stated in my shoulders a year later the near my feet. i really dont know what to do but sometime i hit the part that hurts to ease the pain, though one time i used the eraser part of a pencil and my friend thought it looked really weird lol. my mom took me to the docter and the checked my legs where it hurts and said it might be because my jeans were a little tight, doesnt make sense thought because i wear a t shirt alot and i just wear tennis shoes instead of other things, which arnt tight, unless theres snow i wear boots. it also hurt almost tge same in between my shoulder blades
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