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  • Bone/joint pain

    I apologize for plaguing the forum with wet-blanket health concerns and inquiries, but here comes another. MDA-ers are too insightful; I can't resist :-)

    As some will remember from the discussion on periods that I started a while back, I have amenorrhea (which is currently being explored by doctors). I'm 90% sure that my underlying problem is hypothalamic amenorrhea; aside from the clear lifestyle factors that led to it, the bloodwork has also been leading very clearly in that direction.

    What's new, and what I am currently worried about, is the general bone and joint pain that has crept up on me since early this month--it's sporadic, but it is certainly there.

    To my frustration, my doctor kind of disregarded this pain when I mentioned it to her. I told her that I wanted a bone scan and she said that I would need one in the future, but that now was not the time. She said that it might be related to some "thyroid thing," but since she is not an internist, she doesn't really know at this point and did not seem to be that worried about it.

    My questions--SHOULD I be worried about it although she seemingly is not? What might be causing it? Is this likely related to the amenorrhea or is it something else entirely? Has this happened to other women.. what have you guys done about it?

    Needless to say, this bone soreness and joint pain has really been scaring me. Against my better judgment, I've been googling it for the last couple of days and am now just hoping that I don't have some kind of autoimmune problem (I have a relatively small patch of psoriasis on my neck, also). Can anyone please shed some light on this?

    I'm sorry that I sound so much like a hypochondriac. Though it certainly doesn't look like it now, I actually used to be *sane* before lukewarm doctors came into my life!

    Thanks again to all of you for your insights and suggestions. I'm very happy to have found MDA and this primal community.

  • #2

    Hfox, don’t worry I also have asked questions on my health as I have had the blank stare and no answer from my doctor and got more information and advice from everyone here.

    Anyway how much cardio were you going? When I used to do chronic cardio I was always feeling it in my hips and knees but now since cutting way, way back have no problem, also have upped my fish oils. Though if it has just crept up on you maybe not, but worth a think about.

    Not too sure if my answer is on the right track but I am sure someone can help you. Anyeay if you are worried and think it is something that needs further investigation then do go and get a second opinion or ask again for the bone scan, I believe that doctors can only give so much advice (after all there are a huge amount of aliments out there how are they supposed to remember/know everything!).


    • #3

      Don't know much about periods....OK, as much as a non-med guy, I guess. You didn't mention your diet here, how long PB, etc.

      I can tell you this, it's purely subjective, I have no way of proving anything. In the early mid-90's my knees, especially the left, would often give out on me. Sometimes just a shot of pain without warning as I was walking on a soft surface like sand, or maybe pain and clicking as I used the clutch in the truck I was driving. If I kept my foot more vertical, I was pretty much OK. Ditto bike riding with clip-ons. Guidance helped.

      I wound up buying a double sided knee brace and used it from time to time. I always traveled with it, just in case.

      Back then I was eating pretty much what I wanted, which included a lot of polyunsaturated oils because, hey, they are good for you, right? I also tried those joint vitamins, but I always fell out of the drill sooner or later.

      But over the last few years my oils have definitely tended towards primal, even though it wasn't a plan. More lard, more butter, more olive oil, less margarine. I credit Dr. Enig with enlightening me.

      Lo and behold, I now rarely have a knee jolt. And it's never bad. Coincidence? Bad science? I don't know, but it fits with what we increasingly know about those grain oils.


      • #4

        hfox, painful joints and bones could be indicative of inflammation, are you taking any omega 3's? my ND tested me for erythrocyte levels in November, they were on the high side, but they expect them to be higher in a training athlete. Does it lessen or increase with certain food? do you eat alot of foods from the nightshade family? does it lessen or increase depending on what kind of physical activity you are doing or does it just come and go when it wants to? are you under alot of emotional stress right now?


        • #5

          Given that bone density loss is associated with hypothalamic amenorrhea (as well as amenorrhea in general), I'd be more worried about that joint pain than your doctor is and I'd either press harder for the bone scan or find a doctor that IS an internist and bring it up with them.

          It *could* well be inflammation that's causing the pain- but especially if you're also exercising hard, stress fractures due to your bones not keeping pace with the rest of your body's adaptations would really suck.


          • #6

            It's conceivable that your anxiety about your amenorrhea and other issues lowering your pain threshold and making you aware of discomforts that you otherwise didn't notice before. This is true of people in general, they've done studies. I'm not saying it's all in your head, i'm just saying the brain is more than a passive observer. It's also possible that your focus on your body lately has you paying more attention to sensations you usually feel but ignore. You may find your joint pain goes away when your other health issues are handled. It could also be that you do have joint problems...related to your amenorrhea or not. Try to relax, see your doctor, see a second doctor if it makes you feel better. In the mean time, take time to exercise. Take time to enjoy the fact that you still enjoy comparatively good health compared to many people. I don't have a crystal ball and i'm not a doctor, but i bet you'll be just fine.


            • #7

              Joint pain is often caused by consumption of nightshades. Are you eating more tomatoes and peppers lately?

              I cured my joint issues when I removed nightshades from my diet.

              Nightshades are also likely to be the cause of osteoarthritis

              The "Seven Deadly Sins"

              • Grains (wheat/rice/oats etc) . . . . . • Dairy (milk/yogurt/butter/cheese etc) . . . . .• Nightshades (peppers/tomato/eggplant etc)
              • Tubers (potato/arrowroot etc) . . . • Modernly palatable (cashews/olives etc) . . . • Refined foods (salt/sugars etc )
              • Legumes (soy/beans/peas etc)


              • #8

                Thanks to all of you for the many responses.

                I don't think that the joint pain is related to my diet or exercise patterns. In the last couple of months, I have increasingly primal-ized my lifestyle to avert the problems that accompany careless eating and overtraining.

                I do periodically eat nightshades (in fairly small quantities), but they have never given me distress.

                One thing seems clear: stress (greatly) exacerbates the discomfort. Stress and anxiety often bring it out and a change of mood can turn the joint pain down significantly.

                I'm trying to decide whether stress may have precipitated it in the first place or whether there's more to it (my NEW :-D and improved doctor should be helpful in answering these questions). In the meantime, I will be especially mindful of my omega intake in an effort to ameliorate the possible inflammation.


                • #9

                  I don't know how primal it is, but glucosamine/chondroitin tablets sure help me. Available in a ton of brands over the counter. "Move Free" is a popular one. Sounds like a laxative, but it's for joints.

                  I used to hobble around for several minutes like an old lady after I woke up because the joints in my feet were so stiff and sore. They got better within a week of taking this stuff.

                  I don't know the science of it, but it works by causing your body to hold more water in the joints so they're more cushioned and lubricated. All I know is that it works!


                  • #10

                    hfox, if its a stress issue then it *might* be your adrenals, imbalances in hormones produced by the adrenals can incite inflammation. note that I am only speaking from personal experiences, I had amenorrhea induced by emotional stress a couple of years ago, and then had an S.I joint injury that caused my psoas to contract for about three months or more. adrenal fatigue can trouble the thyroid which is why you might wondering about that, as you have in other posts.


                    • #11

                      Thank you, dragonmamma and 62shelby, for those good suggestions. I will keep them in mind :-)


                      • #12

                        Glucosamine/chondroitin obviously not primal, but here is an interesting anecdote. I have a son-in-law who is a marathoner. He's run in all the Motorola ones in Austin since the first. He used to have a border collie that ran with him. The media loved it, many pictures in the paper.

                        She (the collie, not my son-in-law!) got to where she was in obvious pain. Rick started feeding her G/C. Before long, she was back in the pink! Obviously no psychosomatic factors here.


                        • #13

                          How are you doing, Hfox? Hope your joint pain is better.


                          • #14

                            Thanks, Karin, for checking in, and to all who have contributed to my discussion :-)

                            The short answer is that the pain has improved dramatically.

                            But in general, the pain is a very funny thing. The first time I noticed it was early in June, the night following a very traumatic blood test I had after seeing my doctor for the first time about the amenorrhea (having my blood drawn is my one real phobia). The pain woke me up in my sleep and stuck with me (sporadically) for about 10+ days, then kind of abated (and would continue to basically go away every time one of my doctor's appointments came around). When I was stressed, the pain worsened.

                            I would wake up in the morning quite early from it nearly every day and (obviously) was generally very upset by it. The night before last, however, I just felt the urge to go to bed very early and slept for 12+ hours (this was the night before my next appointment).

                            My real concern was that this unusual joint pain was a sign that I had lupus or something.

                            After having given me a thorough exam and checking the mobility, etc. of each of my joints, the doctor (who is a D.O.) said that he thought the pain was stress related and insisted that there is nothing actually wrong with me. I've tried to calm down a lot lately, stop agonizing over things that are probably improbable anyway and have made an effort to think more positively when possible.

                            I feel better, but I did take some Advil last night before bed. I might continue to take it if the pain is still vague, since it seemed to work in keeping it away.

                            What's the consensus on using "anti-inflammatory" over-the-counter meds? Are they merely temporary pain-relievers or do they actually serve a purpose that may last long-term?

                            And, to those who have discussed anxiety, does this somewhat fit into the anxiety scheme? Is my doctor's supposition that the joint pain stems from anxiety a reasonable one?


                            • #15

                              hfox, really happy to hear you are somewhat improved.

                              I wouldnt rely on otc's as pain relievers long term.

                              When I had a stress related muscular-skeletal injury I was trying to go au naturel, but in the end I relented and hit the robaxecet for a few nights, the muscles finally did relax and I got some sleep and as soon as I got a result I stopped taking them. Some of these otc's are damaging to filter organs, so long term use is not a good idea. I wasnt proud of using the robaxacet and I think it may have hurt my liver a bit. (a cautionary tale).

                              If it were me, I would take the otc's maybe for a very short while to get some relief at least mentally as well as physically. I would be taking big doses of Omega 3, and putting the joint through gentle range of motion to get the fluid moving and stay away from any exercise that puts undue intense stress on the joint until you are more than satisfied that you are recovered, and then some.

                              Really hope this clears up for you, I know how frustrating it is, we all want good health!

                              p.s I have also had good results with the msm sulfa supplement for inflammation, check it out as well.