Intense, migrating joint pain

Answered on July 11, 2013
Created July 11, 2013 at 9:21 AM

I'm asking this question on behalf of a friend of mine. He's been experiencing this for over three months now without relief from various treatments offered by both conventional and alternative health practitioners. We've talked a lot about diet changes, but he's reluctant to commit to it without any idea of what might be causing his pain or any evidence that a diet change might help him, so I'm trying to gather some recon to talk him into giving it a try.

The pain started in his fingers and toes. When in his feet it's always bilateral, in his fingers usually (but not always) bilateral. After about the first 6 weeks the pain began appearing in other joints unilaterally - mostly wrists, sometimes knees, rarely elbows. The pain comes on suddenly and is accompanied by fairly rapid swelling of the affected joints. The pain varies in location and intensity day to day, but is often so intense that he can barely walk or grip things with his hands.

He's been tested for gout (negative), treated with anti-inflammatories (slightly helpful), gotten acupuncture (slightly helpful), gotten numerous blood tests including immune panels (normal).

He has tried to discern if he has any trigger foods, none seem to stand out.

Iron/metal poisoning has been mentioned as a possibility because we live in/drink water from an old mining town, and the water has a high metal content. Seems unlikely to be the cause though due to the erratic nature of the joint pain.

My instinct would be to suspect auto-immune, but I would expect his immune panels to indicate that if it were the case.

Anybody have any input on this?

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2 Answers



on July 11, 2013
at 11:10 AM

What you describe sounds exactly like rheumatoid arthritis, but it's certainly a good idea to get tested for Lyme. The sooner he gets on that, the better.

I'm sorry to hear about his pain. I know what it's like. Here are some things that I am doing now that are helping (besides, of course, the paleo diet).

Raw apple cider vinegar in water Food Grade Hydrogen Peroxide in water (sounds crazy, but works, look it up) Serotonergic psychedelics Cold showers Physical activity/good posture

Make sure he doesn't screw up his immune system even further with things like prednisone or methotrexate. Those things are just toxic.

Good luck!



on July 11, 2013
at 10:57 AM

Maybe this is the vet student in me.... And the New Englander. But LYME DISEASE (or another tick borne disease) if he's ever been to an area with ticks or you live near them.

In dogs (& humans), alternating joint pain is the tell tale sign. Tell your friend to have the alternative doctor check for it if possible because there are a lot of politics about the long term antibiotics for this type of thing, and alternative doctors are not yet being reported for the (in my opinion) necessary antibiotics for this. Even if it's not specifically lyme, there are similar tick borne's that can cause this!

A diet change will help strengthen his defenses. There's a lot of debate with a tick borne disease and treatment, but my friend (with Lyme and two other tick borne's) had very similar symptoms as your friend. Even after treatment and negative tests, some joint pain still persisted, so a paleo diet helped her with the post-lyme arthritis. She's also in her 50's, so it's a little of both I think!

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