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Six Reasons Your Joint Pain Is Trying To Tell You

January 26, 2017

There are many reasons why your joints might be achy, exercise could be one plausible explanation. So, when the cause of your discomfort is that obvious, there’s no reason to panic. But if the pain doesn’t go away, you should seek advice from your doctor. There are instances, however, were your joints may hurt, and you may not know why. In these rare instances, your joint pain might be a signal that something pretty serious is going on, including the possibility of a sexually transmitted disease or an autoimmune disorder. Here are some possible reasons that could be making your joints sore:

1. Infectious (septic) arthritis

01If you get a cut or puncture wound that you didn’t clean well a nearby joint can get infected with common bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus or Streptococcus. Symptoms include an intense swelling and pain in the area. Fever and chills will likely follow. The knees tend to be the most commonly affected joint, but the hips, ankles and wrists are also possible targets. Treatment is required as you might need IV antibiotics and your doctor may need to drain fluid from the infected joint. If left untreated, septic arthritis can lead to full body-sepsis which can be fatal.

2. Gout

02A diet that includes too much protein may also affect your joints. When you eat too much protein, your body produces a lot of uric acid. As the body is unable to excrete all of it, it may cause an intense inflammatory reaction. Known as gout, it is one of the most painful types of arthritis you can experience. Symptoms may include heat, swelling redness and pain that is hard to ignore. The pain usually starts off in your big toe which eventually spreads to other joints. Protein overload isn’t the only contributing factor. Drinking too much alcohol or sugary drinks, dehydration and even certain types of medicines can cause gout. Being overweight also puts you at risk.

3. Lyme disease

03An estimated 30,000 people are bitten by a tick each year, causing them to come down with this disease. The tick latches onto the skin, sucking blood out of the body. In doing so, your bloodstream can become infected. Early symptoms of Lyme disease includes fatigue, fever, headache and in many cases, a bull’s eye rash. It tends to be difficult to diagnose if you’re not in an area endemic to ticks. Consequently, if Lyme disease remains untreated, the bacteria can spread to your joints, particularly your knees. You may also develop neck stiffness and sore hands and feet. Over time, your heart and nervous system may also be affected.

4. Lupus

04This autoimmune disorder can cause pain in all your joints if left untreated. Lupus is the result of an overactive immune system which can mistakenly target your joints, skin, blood, kidneys and other organs. Aside from swollen, painful joints, symptoms also include a butterfly-shaped rash across your cheeks. Still, not all symptoms appear equally for everyone. Hair loss, trouble breathing, memory problems, mouth sores, as well as dry eyes and mouth can also be a sign of lupus.

5. Gonorrhea

05It may come as a surprise to discover that this sexually transmitted disease (STD) doesn’t just affect your genitals. It may cause problems on your joints too and can result in a painful condition known as gonococcal arthritis. It tends to affect women more so than men and is most common among sexually active teen girls. Alongside symptoms of the STD itself,which includes a burning sensation when you urinate or increased discharge in the penis or vagina, other symptoms include hot, red swollen joints – although several painful areas in large joints is not uncommon either.

6. Rheumatoid arthritis

06Rheumatoid arthritis is a different kind of wear and tear that commonly develops with age. Rather, it is an autoimmune disorder and is most common among women. In fact, statistics show that from the 1.3 million people in the US who have it, 75% are female. Tender, swollen joints and feeling stiff in the morning are classic RA symptoms. You may also experience fatigue, fever or unexplained weight loss. Joint pain cannot always be cured, though it can be treated. Some will require a course of antibiotics or other prescription medicine. Others may improve in their own with time and rest. Nevertheless, any lingering pain in your joints should be a good enough reason to check with your doctor.

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