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What Do Fatigue, Lack Of Appetite, Headache And Joint Ache Indicate?

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Posted on Thu, 2 Nov 2017
Question: Numerous symptoms --- specifically, extreme fatigue whenever I've been out in the sun even just driving (physical exertion not necessary), inability to eat more than small amts of food at a time (eat a small amount and immediately feel full), when fatigue hits, I also feel cold on the outside, but also as though I'm running a low grade fever, my joints and muscles ache, I have a headache (4+ on a scale of 1-10), and I feel as though my lymph nodes are swollen in neck, shoulders, and lower abdomen. Finally, when fatigue hits, the only way I can describe the feeling is that I feel as though I'm being poisoned in small doses --- just don't know how else to describe it. Doctors keep rolling their eyes at me and I need to know what kinds of blood work or other tests to demand so I can figure out what is happening. This has gotten significantly worse over the last 30-60 days.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Antoneta Zotaj (2 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Possible diagnosis, tests and recommendations are mentioned

Detailed Answer:
Hello,
Thank you for asking at healthcaremagic.

I carefully read your question and understand your frustration with chronic pain and not being able to find out the cause of it and also take the proper treatment.

On the other hand the symptoms you have are very general and can be caused by many conditions and tests are needed, as you already mention, to rule out some of them.
The tests that would be recommended in this case are the ones for the general health and the ones that are related to joint pains.
- the general health tests are: CBC and ERS (to check for any form of anemia or reaction to infections or inflammatory reaction in the body), TSH (for the thyroid function), FBS (for diabetes), lipids, creatinine and electrolytes (kidney function), etc. I am sure you might have already done these tests because the doctors generally ask them right away when a person has symptoms that are not very specific but in case you have not had them done, it might be advisable to have them done.
- tests specific for joint pains: these are to find other conditions that are rare in you age but still age is not a factor that can totally rule them out. Would be RF, ANA antibodies, and above is mentioned ERS also. Tests for mononucleosis might be considered.
- Checking for rare conditions like Lyme disease might be helpful also and checking for gluten intolerance is an option if all the above tests are normal.

If all the tests come out normal than many conditions are ruled out and than it is more relaxing that nothing serious is noticed but on the other hand leaves you with not much answers on how to proceed further to help with the pain.
When there is pain of chronic nature (being there for a while) and no specific cause is identified than it is found very helpful to try medications for chronic pain like amytriptiline.

You might need to talk to your doctor and see with him the possibility of having these tests and the use of amytriptiline for the fatigue and pains.

I hope this is helpful and answers to your questions but please feel free to reply if anymore clarifications are needed on the above information.

Kind regards,

Antoneta Zotaj, MD
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Yogesh D
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Follow up: Dr. Antoneta Zotaj (22 hours later)
I appreciate your thoughtful response. What type of doctor would be best to make an appointment with for these issues? A general practioner or an internal medicine doctor? or other? Thank you
doctor
Answered by Dr. Antoneta Zotaj (2 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Your local doctor (the general physician) should be consulted on this

Detailed Answer:
Hello again,

Generally it is a general physician (your local doctor) that should be seen and discussed all these and than he should be able to refer you for the tests needed and sometimes if he finds a need to see another specialist he will also be able to refer you there.

It is a pleasure to be able to help you.

Kind regards,

Antoneta Zotaj, MD
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Kampana
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Answered by
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Dr. Antoneta Zotaj

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 4436 Questions

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What Do Fatigue, Lack Of Appetite, Headache And Joint Ache Indicate?

Brief Answer: Possible diagnosis, tests and recommendations are mentioned Detailed Answer: Hello, Thank you for asking at healthcaremagic. I carefully read your question and understand your frustration with chronic pain and not being able to find out the cause of it and also take the proper treatment. On the other hand the symptoms you have are very general and can be caused by many conditions and tests are needed, as you already mention, to rule out some of them. The tests that would be recommended in this case are the ones for the general health and the ones that are related to joint pains. - the general health tests are: CBC and ERS (to check for any form of anemia or reaction to infections or inflammatory reaction in the body), TSH (for the thyroid function), FBS (for diabetes), lipids, creatinine and electrolytes (kidney function), etc. I am sure you might have already done these tests because the doctors generally ask them right away when a person has symptoms that are not very specific but in case you have not had them done, it might be advisable to have them done. - tests specific for joint pains: these are to find other conditions that are rare in you age but still age is not a factor that can totally rule them out. Would be RF, ANA antibodies, and above is mentioned ERS also. Tests for mononucleosis might be considered. - Checking for rare conditions like Lyme disease might be helpful also and checking for gluten intolerance is an option if all the above tests are normal. If all the tests come out normal than many conditions are ruled out and than it is more relaxing that nothing serious is noticed but on the other hand leaves you with not much answers on how to proceed further to help with the pain. When there is pain of chronic nature (being there for a while) and no specific cause is identified than it is found very helpful to try medications for chronic pain like amytriptiline. You might need to talk to your doctor and see with him the possibility of having these tests and the use of amytriptiline for the fatigue and pains. I hope this is helpful and answers to your questions but please feel free to reply if anymore clarifications are needed on the above information. Kind regards, Antoneta Zotaj, MD