Joint Pain and Fatigue - What Could be the Possibilities?
Fatigue is usually characterized by extreme tiredness that even rest and relaxation cannot cure. A number of factors are responsible for fatigue, including conditions that cause joint pain.
It is important to note that different people have different pain thresholds. However, constant pain brought on by sore or damaged joints cause fatigue in most people. The diseases responsible for fatigue as a result of joint pain include fibromyalgia, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
Joints can swell or become inflamed while performing certain activities. It can also lead to a chronic condition. The physical and emotional energy required to relieve the joint pain and continue with everyday activities tends to contribute to the fatigue. Painful joints will also prevent a patient from getting a good night's rest. Without good sleep, fatigue will be a natural consequence.
What are the Causes of Joint Pain and Fatigue?
The diseases or conditions which are responsible for joint pain and fatigue include the following:
Arthritis as a Cause of Joint Pain and Fatigue
The breakdown of fluids between the joints is responsible for rheumatoid arthritis (RA). In the initial stages, the condition tends to be more severe during the morning hours. However, the pain gradually worsens and makes the patient feel uncomfortable for the most part of the day. This is also accompanied by exacerbating fatigue. Rheumatoid arthritis will affect the joints in the wrists, hands and elbows as well as the neck and shoulders. It should also be noted that in the lower extremities, the condition tends to affect the hips, ankles and knees in addition to the joints in the toes. The irritation that tends to affect the joints is responsible for the release of cytokines into the system. This is one of the common causes of fatigue which a person undergoes. This apart, a poor appetite which is common among those suffering with arthritis pain adds to the level of fatigue. Due to a massive loss of stamina, a lot of people tend to feel more fatigued. This is one of the reasons why they restrict the amount of activities they engage in.
Fibromyalgia as a Cause of Joint Pain and Fatigue
If you haven't heard of Fibromyalgia yet, you will be surprised to learn that it causes joint pain and fatigue. It can be termed as a condition that is characterized by fatigue and pain in the joints. While there be little or absolutely no swelling or inflammation in your joints, those plagued by fibromyalgia have reported of severe pain in the neck and shoulder joints. As the condition worsens over time, the pain spreads to the entire body and in the process produces burning, sore or stiff muscles and joints. The fatigue fibromyalgia patients feel can be more debilitating than joint pain. Patients suffering from fibromyalgia say that they suffer from a lack of energy, minimized endurance levels and exhaustion, which is typically seen in people who are down with a bad case of the flu. These people also tend to feel tired after waking up from a good night's sleep.
Lupus as a Cause of Joint Pain and Fatigue
Lupus can be best described as a rheumatic disease that results from an abnormality in the immune system. The disease also causes joint and muscle pain as it becomes progressively worse. The disease is diagnosed after a person goes through a period of severe fatigue, weight loss and weakness. It is also accompanied by a rash (in the shape of a butterfly) on the face. A person affected by Lupus tends to feel joint pain in the hands, elbows, wrists and knees first. A person will experience swollen or warm joints. This apart, the joints tend to be stiff when a person wakes up in the morning. Some people afflicted by lupus also tend to suffer from joint pain and chronic fatigue, while others will experience periodic flare-ups of the existing symptoms.
Sjogren's syndrome as a Cause of Joint Pain and Fatigue
Those diagnosed with Sjogren's Syndrome result in the immune cells attacking the glands that help in producing saliva and tears.
The disorder has an adverse effect on the kidneys, liver, lungs, pancreas and brain. It also results in arthritis and fatigue. Lymph nodes could swell and one may be at a higher risk of lymphoma. Sometimes, the disorder accompanies autoimmune diseases like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) as a Cause of Joint Pain and Fatigue
Multiple sclerosis (MS) affects the immune system by attacking the brain, optic nerves and spinal cord, say experts.
The disease also destroys myelin, the sheath that protects and covers the nerves. This hinders signals between the brain and the body. This can results in numbness, pain and tremors – common symptoms of the disease.
In fact, MS can resemble lupus as well as Lyme disease. It can also cause fatigue and joint pain. One of the common symptoms include numbness and a tingling sensation.
Studies suggest that a majority of Americans have (around 350,000) MS — with the diseases affecting people between 20-40 years. Women are more likely to fall prey to MS as opposed to men.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) as a Cause of Joint Pain and Fatigue
Ulcerative Colitis leads to inflammation in the large intestine. Crohn's results in sores and ulcerations in the gastrointestinal tract.
Some of the common symptoms of IBD include joint pain and fatigue. With the onset of chronic inflammation, the digestive tract can get infected or damaged with ulcerations, abscesses and fistulas. This leads to rectal bleeding and diarrhea.
IBD can also have life-threatening perforations of the intestines. In fact, hemorrhages may require emergency blood transfusions and surgery.
Inflammatory bowel disease may look different in different patients. It can be quite difficult to diagnose because people will confuse IBS with diarrhea or constipation. However, it cannot be called an autoimmune disease.