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Avatar universal

Sudden onset of hand arthritis ?causes?

I am a 38 yo female. About 2 months ago I woke up w/ my wedding ring feeling very tight and noticed my finger was swollen and painful. I ended up taking off ring but pain never subsided. Then a couple weeks later the pinky finger next to that one started hurting. Also in same spot, the joint that is mid-finger. It looked red and enlarged. A few weeks later the pinky on other hand then hurt,followed by both thumbs. I also noticed my bottoms of feet hurt. Every morning when I wake all the fingers are swelled up and very hard to bend. I cant tell if they are hard to bend b/c of water retention or b/c joints are swelled. I feel very stiff .As day goes on I feel better. I am active and in good shape,thin. I run a few times a week and feel better after exercising. I dont eat any extra salt,dont even own a shaker, so I doubted salt was causing retention of water. I saw my doc,who said fingers looked like osteoarthritis.But she ran Rh panel,w/ lyme and lupus, all were negative.
So here I am not sure what to do now. I am concerned it was so sudden onset,like literally one day I woke up and there it was, is that normal for osteo?
Also my other concern is I had my third child 6m ago. At 5 w post partum I did not feel well. It began w/ what I can only describe as a horrible throat/neck pain like someone was pressing/choking me and tingling. My voice was also hoarse and cracky. It went on w/ no relief. I ran around to docs,and heard everything from 'it's just stress,new baby,etc' to 'hormones' to 'allergies'. Nobody really knew. I was put on antibiotics 2 seperate times w/ no help. Then after a month or so I started feeling really bad, got loose stools,muscle weakness. Then the throat tingling also went to this pain /tingling when I breathed in ,like under my chest bone? Almost a feeling like you drank pool water when swimming by accident, I dont know how to describe. That burning feeling lasted a week. Finally an ENT said it looked like reflux,put me on nexium and special diet. The acute throat pain did subside eventually,like after 2 mo of nexium, but then I woke w/ this hand problems. I even asked him did the nexium cause this? He said he didnt think that was possible,just coincidence. I am still trying to put all this together, I guess I have never been fully convinced I even had reflux, I dont fit profile, not overweight, dont eat fatty foods, dont drink alcohol. I did like spicy stuff and was post partum I guess, but I thought all along I felt like I was being attacked by something viral,that is only way to describe. In any case I am throwing this history out there in case anyone thinks it is all actually tied together ,the GERD symptoms and the arthritis or if anyone knows any tests I can get,or what to do? Thanks all.
5 Responses
Avatar universal
Hi,  I highly suggest seeing a Rheumatologist.  They are experienced in all of the auto-immune diseases along with Osteoarthritis and many of the gastrointestinal ones as well.  The symptom of yours that stands out to me is the symmetry of your hand problems.  Also Osteoarthritis is usually more prevalent in the last joint at the finger tip but I certainly am not a Dr.  It is also not usually symmetrical.

Take care and let us know.
Avatar universal
Sounds to me like you have a microbial infection and it might be Lyme.  You need however to be tested by a Lyme literate doctor and the best test to use is the Western Blot by Igenex in California. Lyme can cause what you described and a whole lot more.  Check the lyme forums for info.  Good luck.
Avatar universal
I have a very similiar story.  Weird chest pain and was put on Nexium.  Began having arthritis symptoms in hands and wrist.  Was told to take two Nexium even though colonoscopy and endoscopy test showed no damage to esophagus.  Arthritis pain spread to knee and hips. Dr. denied Nexium to could do this.  Switched doctors and was told to stop taking Nexium immediately.  Asthma went away completely but have been plagued with arthritis since.  RA, lupus and Lyme tests (with literate doc) all negative.  
Avatar universal
I am 39 and had my 2nd child a year ago. Just two weeks ago I started having breathing issues that felt like I couldn't get a deep breath, then the middle finger of my right hand, middle knuckle and the two fingers on either side (also middle knuckles) swelled up and have been really painful for at least a week. My right foot had considerable pain too. My mom had osteoarthritis but I didn't know it might come on this suddenly. I had lyme several years ago but caught it early, and haven't noticed fever/other symptoms...it is summer and has been hot...also have recently changed my diet (cut out milk/gluten, added more veggies, less sugars)...baffled.
Avatar universal
I'm a 67 year old man and spotted your post whilst looking for answers to my mystifying problems.  
I've had very similar symptoms to yours and wonder if you ever got to a proper diagnosis?
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