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Answered 2013-03-27 15:53:59
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It sounds a whole lot like Rheumatoid Arthritis, sometimes called RA. Google it and see if your symptoms are similar and if they are, see a doctor or RA specialist immediately. Quick intervention is key to stopping joint deterioration before it causes permanent damage and eventually deformation of the joints. My very healthy 61 year old mom suffered seemingly unconnected pains in her shoulders, neck, hips, feet & hands for 5 years prior to diagnosis. Initially, due to her problems gripping things, such as a coffee cup, she was diagnosed with regular arthritis and told to take Tylenol. Luckily, she didn't give up and was finally correctly diagnosed 5 years later. Hers was still considered mild when it was diagnosed and with treatment - steroids, then a monthly infusion similar in style but not drug to chemotherapy and methotrexate (not fun but necessary) she is almost pain free for 2 years now. She has to take a monthly Humira injection and stay on top of it, watch her stress levels because stress can cause the deterioration to begin again but it is effectively in "remission".

On the other hand my brother in law who was a lifelong heavy drinker was diagnosed shortly after he developed pain, he received similar treatment. Due to the nature of the medications for RA he was told he must stop drinking, he did not, he developed scerosis (sp) of the liver which was imminent anyway due to his lifestyle but the RA treatment helped it along, he survived less than a year and died two weeks before his 51st birthday from advanced liver cancer. Moral of the story, DO NOT DRINK with RA drugs!!

I wish you good luck in finding a correct diagnosis, please do not construe my answer as definitive medical advice, as I am only relating my experiences with RA which seems similar to what you are describing.

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