Common Medications That Cause Joint Pain From Cholesterol Drugs To Asthma Inhalers
Joint pain, back aches, and other musculoskeletal complaints are among the most prevalent health issues out there. When it comes to joint pain specifically , arthritis is the most common cause. But before you blame your achy joints on arthritis, did you know that everyday medications can cause joint pain too? Here are 10 common offenders.
Leg Pain May Be Signal Of Heart Problems
Most people know that blockage of arteries in the heart can lead to heart attacks and blockage of arteries in the brain can lead to stroke.
But what about blockage in the legs? Many people dont have a clue, but they should: Buildup of plaque in the legs means its likely elsewhere in the body, as well.
Atherosclerosis in the limbs is called peripheral arterial disease or peripheral vascular disease. Having it dramatically increases the risk of heart attack, stroke and amputation, but many are unaware of it or attribute its passing pain to old age, arthritis or being out of shape.
An estimated 10 million Americans have the disorder, also known as PAD.
When youre living a sedentary life it doesnt hurt you, Dr. Thomas Whitsett, director of vascular medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, said of the intermittent pain, called claudication.
The pain stops when the person stops moving.
Testing for the disease Lifestyle changes, particularly exercise, are the first response to peripheral arterial disease, followed by medication and surgery.
Those with peripheral arterial disease have the same likelihood of having a heart attack or stroke as someone who already has had a heart attack or small stroke, Whitsett said, adding: Its a harbinger of bad things to come.
Moreover, he said, the chances of dying from complications of peripheral arterial disease are greater than those of breast cancer or lymphoma.
Reduced blood flow also means slower healing.
Back Pain & Related Conditions
As we have discussed many times on this site, back pain is a complex entity. It can be caused by many different conditions and injuries, and be associated with seemingly unrelated symptoms. Tracing the pain back to its source can help determine the best course for treating the pain and any related symptoms and conditions of the spine or other areas of the body.
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Can Leg Pain Be A Sign Of Heart Problems & What Are The Symptoms Of A Blocked Artery In Your Legs
Leg pain felt in the muscles could be a sign of a condition called peripheral artery disease.
Blocked or Clogged arteries lead to the formation of plaque on the artery inner walls. Arterial plaque reduces the flow of blood and in some cases, blocks it completely.
Many doctors also refer to blocked arteries as atherosclerosis and it is the prime condition to cause coronary heart problems and related circulatory diseases. This is because plaques restrict the flow of blood to heart muscles by physically blocking the artery or by abnormal artery function or tone.
Without enough supply of blood, the heart starves of the oxygen and other related essential nutrients, which it requires to work properly. This causes chest pain referred to as angina. If blood supply cuts off from a specific area of heart muscles completely or the energy demands of the heart exceed its supply of blood, a person suffers from a heart attack.
How Is Claudication Diagnosed
Diagnosis focuses on finding narrowed arteries in your legs. Your healthcare provider will take your medical history and give you an exam. You may also have tests such as:
Ankle-brachial index . For this test, blood pressure is taken in your arms and legs. The two measurements are compared. ABI is done with a regular blood pressure cuff and a Doppler ultrasound device.
Auscultation. In this test, the doctor listens to the arteries in your belly or legs using a stethoscope. This is done to see if a whooshing sound is present. A bruit means that blood flow is limited in the area.
Doppler ultrasound. This test uses a Doppler probe inside an ultrasound probe to check the speed and direction of blood flow in the blood vessels. It does this by bouncing high-frequency sound waves off of red blood cells. The probe picks up the reflected sound waves and sends them to an amplifier so they can be heard. If there is no sound, or a very faint sound, then blood flow may be blocked.
Angiogram . This is an X-ray image of the blood vessels. It may be done to find out if there is a blockage and how large it is. A thin, flexible tube is put into a leg artery. A contrast dye is injected into the artery. The contrast dye makes the arteries and veins show up clearly on the X-ray.
Taking Steps To Control Pad
It may seem counterintuitive, but walking and exercise are key to controlling PAD and easing pain.
“Even if you have already been diagnosed with PAD, the more you walk, the more conditioned your legs will become,” says Carroll. “This will improve circulation and blood flow and diminish pain.”
A recent review of prior studies found that walking can significantly improve walking ability in PAD patients, particularly supervised walking programs.
Many patients may benefit from a dedicated walking program. BIDMC offers a 12-week program, often covered by Medicare and most private insurers, which consists of interval walking on a treadmill under the supervision of a specially trained exercise or physical therapist.
“Multiple studies have shown that enrollment in a structured walking program is more beneficial than walking at home, but that may not be feasible for all patients,” says Carroll. “For those that cannot enroll in a dedicated program, I recommend, begin with a half-hour walk several times a week. Then, gradually increase the time or distance at subsequent weeks. Over time, pain should start to improve, allowing you to walk farther and longer. As walking becomes easier, gradually increase your time by five-minute intervals.”
Making treatment or therapy decisions for managing peripheral artery disease can be challenging. BIDMC is at the forefront of engaging patients in making informed, personalized decisions for their care.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Blocked Artery In Your Legs
Blocked artery in the legs indicates the problem of peripheral artery disease. Accordingly, many people suffering from the condition do not have or hardly have any symptoms. However, others experience leg pain at the time of walking, which refers to claudication.
Cramping or muscle pain in the legs indicates the problem of claudication and it triggers certain activities, like walking and disappears after the person rests for a while. The exact location of cramp or pain depends on the specific location of the narrowed or clogged artery. However, pain in calves is a common location. The claudication severity varies widely starting from mild discomfort to severe type of pain.
Other than this, a blocked artery in the legs i.e. peripheral artery disease has following major signs and symptoms.
- Painful cramp in any one or both of the calf muscles, thighs and hips after climbing stairs, walking or any other similar type of activity
- Sores on the toes, legs or feet, which never heal
- Weakness or numbness in the legs
- Change in your legs color
- Coldness in the foot or lower leg, especially while you compare with your other leg/foot
- The slow growth of hair or hair loss on the legs and feet
- Shiny skin on the legs
- The slow growth of the toenails
- Weak pulse or no pulse in the feet or legs
- Erectile dysfunction problem in men
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Warning Signs And Symptoms Of Heart Disease
Heart disease often develops over time. You may have early signs or symptoms long before you have serious heart problems. Or, you may not realize you are developing heart disease. The warning signs of heart disease may not be obvious. Also, not every person has the same symptoms.
Certain symptoms, such as chest pain, ankle swelling, and shortness of breath may be signals that something is wrong. Learning the warning signs can help you get treatment and help prevent a heart attack or stroke.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Ra
With RA, there are times when symptoms get worse, known as flares, and times when symptoms get better, known as remission.
Signs and symptoms of RA include:
- Pain or aching in more than one joint
- Stiffness in more than one joint
- Tenderness and swelling in more than one joint
- The same symptoms on both sides of the body
- Weight loss
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How Rare Is Burping As An Only Symptom Of A Heart Problem
There is no quantitative data. Belching as an isolated symptom of angina without chest pain, have not been reported before, states the Journal, and was not included as a common presenting symptom of angina pectoris in the standard textbooks of medicine and cardiology.
Bear in mind that this study comes out of the nation of Oman, which has a significantly smaller population than the United States.
We can only imagine how many people in the U.S. or another heavily populated and industrialized nation have suffered from burping as their only symptom of heart disease and were never properly diagnosed and eventually died of a heart attack.
This is why new-onset, unexplained belching needs medical attention: See a cardiologist before you see a gastroenterologist.
A digestive issue such as acid reflux can wait. A heart problem cant.
A Closer Look at the Man Whose Only Symptom of Dangerously Clogged Heart Arteries Was Burping
Patient reported burping episodes after feeling gassy in his stomach for two months.
The gas and belching occurred only during physical activity such as using a staircase and even walking, plus also emotional stress.
Interjection: That second bullet point makes a heart problem highly suspect in the case of burping as an only symptom!
PAY ATTENTION to events preceding worrisome symptoms and document them!
Needless to say, the patient reported no connection between his symptoms and eating, and they did not occur at rest, either.
Heart Disease: 12 Warning Signs That Appear On Your Skin
Warning signs can appear on your skin and nails, which is why your dermatologist may be the first doctor to notice that you have heart disease. If you know what to look for, you can also find warning signs of heart disease on your skin and nails. The following pictures show you what to look for.
Swelling in your feet and lower legsWhat it may be telling you: Your heart isnt working properly.Many diseases of the heart cause fluid to build up in your feet and lower legs. As the fluid builds up, you may see swelling, which can extend as far as the upper legs and groin.Medical name: Edema
Blue or purple color on your skinWhat it may be telling you: You have a blockage in a blood vessel.When youre extremely cold, your skin can turn blue . If an area of your skin is blue when youre warm, thats can be a sign your blood isnt getting enough oxygen. The patient in this photo has a condition known as blue toe syndrome, which happens when one or more blood vessels are blocked.Without treatment, the lack of oxygen can cause the skin and underlying tissue to eventually die.Medical name: Cyanosis
Nails curve downward and the ends of your fingers are swollenWhat it may be telling you: You may have a heart infection, heart disease, or lung problem.For many people, these signs are harmless. That said, if your fingers and nails look like this, its best to find out if you may have a medical condition, such as lung disease or a heart problem.Medical name: Clubbing
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About Varicose Veins And Pain
Arteries and veins are part of the circulatory system. Arteries carry oxygen-rich blood from your heart to the cells of your body, which use the oxygen and other nutrients in blood to function. The cells create toxins as they work, and deposit these toxins in the blood for removal. Veins carry the toxin-rich blood from the far reaches of the body back to the heart.
Gravity helps arteries deliver blood down towards your feet, but your veins must fight gravity to move blood upwards and out of your legs. Small valves inside the veins help. These valves open and close inside the vein, and trap blood in small segments of the vein in between heartbeats to prevent the blood from flowing backward.
Blood can pool when a vein and valves do a poor job of moving blood up out of the lower legs. Doctors refer to this as chronic venous insufficiency.
Varicose veins are bloated, twisted veins that look like red or blue twisted cords lying just below the surface of the skin. These unhealthy veins develop as the result of poor circulation faulty valves within the veins fail to allow blood to flow downward and accumulate in your lower legs between each heartbeat. The accumulating blood causes the vein to swell. When affected veins are near the surface of the skin, they appear as varicose veins.
When varicose veins swell, they press against other tissue. This pressure can cause pain.
How Arthritis Medication Affect Your Heart
On top of the inflammation from arthritis, certain arthritis medications can also contribute to heart risks, says Martha Gulati, MD, a cardiologist in Phoenix, Arizona.
Corticosteroids like prednisone which are often used to tamp down arthritis flares can raise cholesterol and make insulin less sensitive, both of which contribute to cardiovascular risk. Thats part of the reason rheumatologists try not to keep patients on steroids on a long-term basis.
Whats more, relying on OTC nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen for pain relief can increase risk of cardiovascular problems like blood clots and heart failure, according to a 2015 analysis by the FDA.
Thankfully, sticking with doctor-recommended biologics and disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs could not only ease your arthritis symptoms, but also protect your heart. Easing the inflammation thats causing arthritis symptoms has the very important bonus of protecting your ticker.
We should treat rheumatoid arthritis very effectively and very aggressively because that seems to reduce the risk of heart disease, says Dr. Loupasakis.
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What Is Peripheral Arterial Disease
PAD is narrowing or blockage of arteries that most often causes poor blood flow to your arms and legs, essentially starving the muscles and other tissues in the lower body. The blockages are caused by the buildup of cholesterol, scar tissue and blood clots within the blood vessels. PAD is more likely to develop in people who have an inherited tendency to develop blocked arteries, and in people over age 50. Its also much more common in African Americans, people who smoke, who have diabetes, who have high levels of blood fat and high blood pressure, and in people who are overweight.
Osteoarthritis And Your Heart
Having OA may increase your risk for cardiovascular disease. Heres what you can do to protect your heart.
Although joint damage, pain, and swelling are the hallmarks of osteoarthritis , joints arent the only part of the body this disease can affect. Research also shows that the heart may be at risk in people with degenerative joint disease.
People with OA are almost three times more likely to develop cardiovascular disease or heart failure than those without OA, studies show. The link is especially strong when arthritis is in certain joints, such as the knee and hip.
But just because you have OA doesnt mean you cant improve your heart health.
Whats Behind the OA-Heart Disease Link?
Although OA is not traditionally considered an inflammatory disease, research is beginning to show that OA does involve inflammation. And long-term inflammation contributes to CVD.
Growing older makes you more likely to develop both diseases. Aging thickens and stiffens the arteries, which can lead to high blood pressure and heart damage. Joints degenerate from years of use and repeated small injuries. Unfortunately, age isnt reversible, but you can address the preventable risk factors below.
Too little exercise
Obesity can lead to both OA and CVD. Carrying excess body weight puts stress on both the joints and heart, which can cause damage over time. Fat cells also produce inflammatory chemicals that are harmful to joints, the heart, and blood vessels.
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What Are The Complications Of Ra
Rheumatoid arthritis has many physical and social consequences and can lower quality of life. It can cause pain, disability, and premature death.
- Premature heart disease. People with RA are also at a higher risk for developing other chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. To prevent people with RA from developing heart disease, treatment of RA also focuses on reducing heart disease risk factors. For example, doctors will advise patients with RA to stop smoking and lose weight.
- Obesity. People with RA who are obese have an increased risk of developing heart disease risk factors such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Being obese also increases risk of developing chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. Finally, people with RA who are obese experience fewer benefits from their medical treatment compared with those with RA who are not obese.
- Employment. RA can make work difficult. Adults with RA are less likely to be employed than those who do not have RA. As the disease gets worse, many people with RA find they cannot do as much as they used to. Work loss among people with RA is highest among people whose jobs are physically demanding. Work loss is lower among those in jobs with few physical demands, or in jobs where they have influence over the job pace and activities.