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    What causes excessive sweating, joint pain, flank pain, fatigue and shortness of breath?

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Posted on Wed, 9 Aug 2017 in Medicines and Side Effects
Question: My 60 year old husband just came home from work. He is sweating, has achy joints,(elbows, knees, ankles), pain in kidney area, fatigued, shortness of breath. He complained a few days ago of a severe headache throbbing at the back of his head. We live in XXXXXXX Arizona. Just checked his body for a tick. No sign. Blood pressure registered fine. He is active everyday, not an exerciser, but in good shape.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 42 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Please take him in to be seen right now.

Detailed Answer:
Hello XXXXXXX

I am concerned (as you are) about this constellation of symptoms, particularly the sudden onset of multiple joint pain and pain in the kidney area. Possibilities that immediately come to mind are pyelonephritis (upper urinary tract infection in the kidney), and other infection that can cause arthralgias.

I advise that he be seen promptly (now) where he can be examined, and labs can be checked including a CBC with differential (to check for signs of infection such as certain white blood cells being elevated), a Sed rate (to assess for inflammatory processes, although this is a non-specific test), and a urinalysis, with urine culture and sensitivity test (urine C & S). Given the sweating and shortness of breath, if there aren't obvious signs of infection such as an elevated temperature, an EKG should be done too, and possibly cardiac enzymes/troponin to rule out heart attack.

Do not wait - your husband is sick, regardless of his normal blood pressure.

When you take him in to be seen, make sure it is by a doctor (physician) and not a physician's assistant (PA) or nurse practitioner (NP) as this is beyond their scope of training.

If you are willing, please let me know how he is doing after he has been evaluated.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 2 hours later
Thank you. He is giving me a hard time about seeing a doctor. History there with a bus crash in his teen years and months in a hospital recovering...phobia set in and I cannot get him to go to a doctor for everyday normal exams.

He wants to wait 24 hours. I don't. Your Recommendation reads as if I should push for an ER visit. Is that correct?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 4 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Information

Detailed Answer:
It's hard for me to know how sick your husband is without seeing him, but when I hear kidney area and sweating, I am thinking that it could be a kidney infection, and no, you don't want to wait on that. Kidney stones can cause flank pain and sweating too, but not the other symptoms.

So while it is hard for me to say, there is enough concerning here to warrant going in to the ER. If he won't do that, and can't get in to see his own doctor urgently, then perhaps he would consider an urgent care that has a lab on site?
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 6 minutes later
Thank you. I think I can convince for the urgent care visit...
doctor
Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 8 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Good luck

Detailed Answer:
Good luck - and specifically request seeing a physician so that he doesn't see a PA or NP. The receptionists often don't know that it is important for a situation like this to have a real physician.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 27 hours later
It was a reaction to a bug bite on his forehead. The doctor was able to diagnose after a few questions and tests. Then she recommended a topical solution to pull out the poison. The immediate results were great. And the venom that came out of the bite was much more than we anticipated. All checked out fine with the heart, breathing, blood pressure and kidneys. No sweating today.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
I'm glad he is doing better.

Detailed Answer:
Oh my - these are the limitations of not being able to see the patient in person! So it was toxicity from a venomous insect.

Thank you for giving me this follow up and I am so glad your husband did go in and get treated and is feeling better!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 3136 Questions

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