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Rheumatoid arthritis... or carpal tunnel?

Here's some background... I recently recovered from a 3 year bout with severe anorexia and bulimia. Everything is fine and dandy, but I'm suffering some health issues in other areas.

Rheumatoid arthritis runs in both sides of my family, both grandmothers, my mother and my aunt have pretty chronic joint pain. My mom took a look at my hands last week and said, "yep, welcome to the world of rheumatoid."

I'm on the computer 10-12 hours a day usually, and haven't had any problems I would associate with carpal tunnel - all of the pain is in the joints of my fingers (worse in my right hand, I also draw/write a good portion of the day) and in my toes. The only thing that stops them from hurting temporarily is popping them, which is probably making it worse, but it's kind of a itch/scratch thing. At night, the only way I can sleep is to use toe separators to keep my toes from touching and stretch them out, but I end up popping my fingers in my sleep and laying with weight on them to ease the pain. Tylenol/Ibuprofen aren't even touching the pain.

What I'm wondering is if a) this is really rheumatoid arthritis, or b) if this is another joint problem brought on by malnutrition, or c) if keyboard/mouse usage is the problem. I have a great ergonomic keyboard and everything at my desk is very carefully set up to be as kind to my joints as possible, but the pain continues.

Any help is greatly appreciated... thank you!
2 Responses
Avatar universal
By the way... I am only 25 years old, which is why I was a little apprehensive about jumping onto the arthritis diagnosis, I thought it was a little early.
563773 tn?1374246539

You are right in guessing that it can be rheumatoid arthritis.It may cause stiffness and pain with movement. Over time, deformity of the fingers may occur.Diagnosed by ESR and Rheumatoid factor in blood and x-rays of digits.RA can begin at any age.It is not restricted to the elderly.

Other possibilities may be lupus(a long-lasting autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks normal body tissues as though they were foreign substances. It may cause joint pain.Diagnosed by ANA titres)  ,gout and pseudogout(an inflammatory joint disease that causes acute pain and swelling.Diagnosed by uric acid levels in the blood)  ,tendinosis(very small tears (micro tears) in the tissue in or around the tendon usually caused by overuse)  ,polymyalgia rheumatica(an inflammatory disorder that causes widespread muscle aching and stiffness, primarily in your neck, shoulders, upper arms, thighs and hips.) and polyarteritis nodosa.

Carpal tunnel syndrome causes tingling and parastesia.It does not cause pain.
I feel that you should consult a rheumatologist soon and get yourself evaluated.

Hope it helps.Take care and pls do keep us posted on how you are doing.

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