It is a recognize fact that Autoimmune diseases often cause muscle and joint pain. In my personal experience, there are good and bad pain day, but all days have some degree of muscle and joint pain. Even on good pain days when I tell people that I’m feeling fine, I am still experiencing pain. That is why most autoimmune diseases are also known as invisible illnesses. Even on days when I am able to function, the pain is still very much present and it’s incredibly draining and exhausting.
Pain is so exhausting that it’s not unusual to see me struggle to stay awake during the day time. I sometime fall asleep around 6 PM after a difficult work day. The problem is that pain doesn’t go away because you are asleep. Often pain will wake you and force you during the night, breaking your much needed rest.
In Hyperthyroidism, Graves’ disease, and Fibromyalgia patients muscle weakness and fatigue is often reported. White blood cell can actually attack part of the muscle and some surrounding blood vessels. In my case, I have to be careful with stairs as I have experienced muscle weakness and go tumbling. I have learned the difficult way that I cannot walk down or upstairs holding a box or a laundry basket. I really need to have one hand free to hold on to the railing. It’s annoying to realize you are at that point in your 30’s and 40’s.
I also struggle with picking up stuff on the floor in lower cabinets. We can still push through the pain to some degree and do the things that cause us pain. The danger is that if we push our limits, we are often punished with up to a week of debilitating muscle and joint pain. The trick is to learn where you limits are, to what pain degree you can handle without consequences. This constantly changes, so people suffering from autoimmune illnesses need to be constantly in tune with the messages that their body are sending them.
As recommended by my doctor, I am trying to do low impact exercises in order to help with rebuilding and strengthening muscles. I haven’t seen much rebuilding and strengthening, but I see it as fighting for what I have left and making sure it doesn’t deteriorate to fast.