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Swelling of joints

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Old 11-27-2010, 02:19 AM   #1
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 3
dvinny HB User
Swelling of joints


I initially posted this in the general health forum but maybe this is the right place?:-


For the past three years, I've been suffering from very painful swelling of the joints. I don't seem to be getting anywhere with my doctors or hospital, here's the full details:

Up until three years ago, I lived and worked in Spain, carrying out building work. I was a very healthy and active 55 year old. Before this date I'd had no signs of health issues, swelling joints etc.

One particular day, I was working digging a pit, alongside waste pipes etc. The very next day I noticed slight swelling in one of my ankles, within two weeks this has spread to both ankles, both knee joints and was causing agonising pain. I attended A&E at a hospital in Spain whereby I was given antibiotics and pain relief but no diagnosis.

The flare up then disappeared and I thought the end of it, however it returned within weeks so I headed back home to the North-West of England as I could no longer work due to the pain, couldn't even walk.

Back home, I went to my GP who prescribed more tablets (apologies don't have a record of all the medication I've been given). But this didn't help, flare ups came and went, some not too bad, some rendering me unable to get out of bed.

Within a few months, I was referred to a specialist (Professor) in Rheumatology, after umpteen tests and hospital visits I was told that I was an unusual case and they didn't know what was wrong with me! Arthritis and Gout had both been ruled out.

That was over two years ago, since then I'm still on medication, I still get the flare ups every other week, flare ups have since spread to my hands, elbow, shoulders!!!

Everything is a struggle, especially as I was so active and fit just three years ago.

To this day, I think something happened when I was working in the damp pit, as my illness came over me instantly the next day.

Could there be anything in this? Could it be a tropical disease or blood disease?

Any ideas would help!

Is there any other treatment I should go for? Can I have more detailed scans done? I've mentioned to my GP if they can send blood samples to the Tropical Medicine hospital but I just get brushed aside, maybe this costs too much!

Thanks for your time in reading this!


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Old 11-27-2010, 03:52 PM   #2
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Posts: 316
bubblegirl HB Userbubblegirl HB Userbubblegirl HB Userbubblegirl HB Userbubblegirl HB Userbubblegirl HB Userbubblegirl HB User
Re: Swelling of joints

How awful for you! Did the Rheumatologist take blood tests? What is the medication you are on at present? I think if it was me I would be seeking a 2nd opinion from another Rheumatologist! Have you had Xrays?

It took a couple of years for my husband to get a diagnosis for psoriatic arthritis & he had to really fight to get a refferal from the GP to see the Rheumatologist. There are so many different forms of inflamatory arthritis...

Keep trying until you get a diagnosis- & do let us know how you go!

Old 11-29-2010, 10:54 AM   #3
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jennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB User
Re: Swelling of joints

Both of my knees blew up horribly this past spring and landed me in the hospital for 5 days. Blood work, 6 knee taps, x-rays and they couldn't figure out what was causing it. And that's on replaced knees.

As I have found out, there are just so many things they can test for. Doctors don't have tests for every little thing that can infect us and there are even fewer treatments for the more exotic things.

Your best bet is to make your immune system as best as it can be so your own body can fight it off. Vitamins, good diet, exercise when you can. That is what I'm trying to do. I have RA and am on all sorts of high tech meds but that doesn't touch my knees. I may never know what got into my knees but it keeps making them swell and now my ankles have started too. All I can do it help my own defenses fight it off.

Good luck and I'm sorry you are in this predicament.


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