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severe sudden onset of joint pain in all joints
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severe sudden onset of joint pain in all joints

a week ago I woke up with pain in my right ankle and foot, which i thought was due to a foot cramp. The next morning I woke with the same type of pain in my left foot, as the day progressed it moved up into my knees and hips, making intolerable to walk. The next day it progressed into my right shoulder making it impossible to move move my right arm at all. The pain also moved into my right hand and wrist, as the day progressed it also moved into my laft shoulder, wrist and hand.
By the time I got to the E.R. I could hardly walk or move. This has been the most excruciating pain I have ever felt. The E.R. ran blood tests and said my white count was slightly elevated, but the test for rhumetoid arthritis came back normal. The hospital is at a loss, as to my condition. The pain has calmed down some, but my hands still hurt to move and walking is still painfull. To top it off my whole boby is itching and nothing seems to work to control it.
The doctors have but me on naproxen, percocet, prednisone and phenegren.
I am a 38 year old male who has always been in xcellent health. I would like some idea as to what I might have
Thanks
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292356_tn?1205033382
Thank you for submitting your question.
I will answer your concerns to the best of my abilities, but please be informed that I am unable to offer a diagnosis based on your history and list of symptoms.
I am extremely limited in not having the opportunity to perform a full neurologic examination on you, nor am I able to review the pertinent imaging.
This is solely for educational purposes and should in no way be a substitute for a formal evaluation by a certified physician.

Two initial comments -- your symptoms could be of a neurologic origin or from a rheumatologic origin.
If your pain was primarily in the JOINTS -- this would point more towards a rheumatologic nature (like osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.)
If your pain was localized more to the muscles or the skin it is most likely a neurologic problem.

Either way, you should see both a neurologist and a rheumatologist for a complete evaluation.
To be frank, a fly-by evaluation in the E.R. is rarely sufficient for diagnosis of complicated processes.
They probably ordered tests like an ESR, CRP, CBC and RF (rheumatoid factor) which are just screening tests.

From a neurologic perspective, it is difficult for me to even comment on what the disease process could be.  I would have many more questions to ask you.
From your good response to steroids, it appears that it might have been some autoimmune or inflammatory process.

The itching is quite strange -- I wonder whether it is a result of a medication reaction to the narcotics (specificially Percocet.)

Either way, you are more than welcome to come see us in the Neurology Department at the Cleveland Clinic.
I am glad to hear that you are getting better, but I urge you to seek evaluation from both a neurologist and rheumatologist at the earliest appointment.

Hope this helps,
JKL, MD


13 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Thankl for your time considering my situation. But today I woke up feeling in almost as much pain in all joints with limited movement as I did Tuesday. I have been talking around with various people I work with and they are suggesting the possiblity of H2S (hydrogren sulfide) poisoning. I am exposed the the gas in low quanities daily in the underground coal mine where I work. Tommorrow I go and see my regular Dr. I will see if he can have the hospital run additional tests on the blood samples I gave on Tuesday. They drew 3 yellow vials, 2 blue, 1 purple and a green. so hopefully they still have viable blood to test. As for the itching it was ther before I went to the ER. after the pain subsides some then the itching starts.
Thank
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Avatar_f_tn
Did they check you for lyme disease?
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Avatar_n_tn
FYI, itching is a sign of liver disease, and so is joint pain, though I'm not sure it would cause the kind of broad, intense, and sudden-onset pain that you describe.  Good luck.
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Avatar_n_tn
Did they check for other Tick borne infections in addition to Lyme? Babesia, Mycoplasma, Brtonella, Ehrlichiosis?
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Avatar_n_tn
As an Insurance professional and lifelong pain sufferer, my thought is that this doctor gave you a very good answer.  Please take what us non MD's say a grain of salt because we don't have MD's.  Go to BOARD CERTIFIED Neuro and Rhums.  They will both run a battery of test.  Did you have a virus lately.  It could be a temporary condition called Polymyalgia Rhumatica.  It could be SLE Lupus.  Make sure they check for Lyme as Patsy said.  On bright note, because you were completely healthy when this hit - RELAX- it may go away in 7-15 days.
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Avatar_n_tn
I would ask your PCP about testing for food allergies and metals toxicity.
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Avatar_n_tn
Brother, could you please update ASAP. I'm in Tennessee and I am experiencing your symtoms (symptoms) to the tee that started 11-25-07. I had a physical a week earlier and all blood work showed good. I had a TB Skin Test and the weekend before it started I got into a mess of Treated Wood Sawdust. Please post updates. Thanks
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Avatar_n_tn
I am having the same symptoms and have an appt with a rhuematologist. I will post results as I would appreciate any posted
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Avatar_n_tn
Hey, I just wanted to give you encourgement. I have had symptoms for the past 6mths that are pretty scary. Like aches and pains, numbnes and weakness all over my body. I don't even have insurance right now. I won't have any untill January. I'm only 24. I was very healthy and active untill all this happend. But my point is you don't always have control over what happens to you but you do have a choice about how you react to it. I know this sounds crazy, but don't stress Poeple kept telling me this when my symptoms first started and it really pissed me off, but it's true. You stress and your symptoms will feel worse and stressing won't help you get better any faster. Our emotions have a lot to do with our bodies and stress can cause harm. I hope you get better soon. I know how it feels to be sick with no answere. Hang in there
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Avatar_n_tn
Ask your MD about testing for Lyme & other tickborne infections Babesia, Bartonella, Ehrlichiosis etc.
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Avatar_n_tn
Also: Have U seen an Occupational MD? Tested for heavy metals, Mercury, Lead Arsenic etc?
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358486_tn?1294779988
HI THERE, I TOO HAVE THESE SYMPTOMS! I'VE HAD THEM ABOUT A MONTH OR SO! CONTINUING TO GET WORSE EVERYDAY! I THINK I MAY HAVE FIBROMYALGIA, GOING TO SEE A RHEUMATOLOGIST ASAP!!
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Avatar_f_tn
I have had a sudden onset of pain, tingling and numbness as well as inflammation in both hands (difficult to make a fist). I do have history of back pain which required 3 surgeries. I have been on high doses loratab since 2006 due to a failed fusion. I do have a family history of arthritis but it was my understanding it is a slow process not a sudden onset of pain. Can this be dealt with a bloodtest?? Please note that due to my loratab use, my PCP does run regular liver panels. Thanks for you help.
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