Stiff shoulders, arm and wrist soreness, knee and ankles too. Any Type 1 diabetics have this problem?

I have had a problem with really stiff joints and soreness for over a year. I also have Type 1 diabetes for almost 20 years. I’m not sure if I am getting arthritis at the age of 36 or what. My doctors have run all kinds of tests in the past and come back with not much. I am just annoyed because for the past year it has been hard for me to sleep on my stomach with my arms under my pillow and I feel sometimes like I am significantly older than 30 something. Lol. Well anyways I am just hoping to see if anyone also has this problem. Thanks.

You're describing generalized stiffness and soreness. I haven't had that. I have had localized frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis) which has mostly resolved itself over time.

If your tests are all negative, is it possible you just need more exercise? That can do wonders for joints and muscles. You don't have to go crazy - try fast walking for a month and see if you're not feeling better.

There is a type of rheumatism that creates stiffness in the joints, I forget the name. You should probably get it checked out, it may have nothing to do with diabetes.

We can't say exactly what condition your symptoms point to but many of us with Diabetes do have arthritis of different kinds. There are over 100 types. Just because your tests were negative doesn't mean that you don't have some types. Seronegative Arthritis/Seronegative RA happens to 15-20 percent of people. They still have the disease which ever it may be.

Lyme Disease gained by a tic bite can later cause joint pains and stiffness also.

I was dxd. with severe RA when I was 25 although I had the pains when I was 24. It is an autoimmune disease such as Type 1 Diabetes.

At the beginning the symptoms were painful joints: lower hip joints, fingers, ankles, right shoulder. Eventually all my joints were involved. Swollen, stiff, reddish, warm joints are also symptoms. My Rheumy goes by how I am feeling also not just what the tests say. I also was dxd. with Raynauds a few years later when I found that I was intolerant to cold and my hands turned blue. This is not uncommon. Then Osteoarthritis. I believe you. Many times when I was in my 20's and 30's, I felt what I thought an 80 and 90 year old would feel like.

I used to love sleeping on my stomach but haven't been able to do so for about 30 years. My Hubby bought a memory foam topper for our bed which has made us both sleep more comfortably. Moderate exercise does help keep my mobility somewhat better usually.

Here are links that may help you determine your condition:

Hopefully you will be dxd. with the correct condition, so that you can start the proper treatments for it soon.

The one other thing I can think of from your description of your symptoms is possible fibromyalgia. A competent rheumatologist can do a tender point examination which can indicate whether or not you have it; there is, unfortunately, no blood test for fibromyalgia.


I've had/am going through frozen shoulder (aka "adhesive capsulitis") and yes finding a way to sleep that doesn't hurt can be dang hard.

Frozen shoulder is often accompanied by tendonitis and that can affect the arm and even wrist below the shoulder.

If you're having pain in other areas, especially if it's "migrating joint pain", that's may be a symptom of Lyme disease, especially if you live in an area that has deer ticks. Been there, done that. The cure is surprisngly simple... antibiotics take care of Lyme disease really fast.

If it is Lyme disease... this might or might not be something an endo would take care of. You might have to see a non-endo to get help with this.

If it is arthritis/frozen shoulder, you would see an orthopedist, not an endo. Maybe an endo can refer you to an orthopedist familiar with frozen shoulder and/or rheumatology.

Did you start on any statins for cholesterol a year or so ago? I had the same achey legs from that. Went off and it went away and, after several years off, my cholesterol is still fine.

hi. i have had joint pain since i was about twelve years old. as a child i was diagnosed with hypogammaglobulinemia, an igg deficiency (immune system deficiency) and was on gamma globulin infusions from the age of three to 21.
at about 11 or 12 i began complaining about sore, swollen, red joints, from fingers to toes, to wrists, everywhere. they have done tests over the years (sedimentation rate and rh factor) and they always came out negative. i still have them now. no amount of ibuprofen or nsaids give me any relief.
at 21 i stopped the onfusions, discouraged by my doc, but did very well and was able to get over infections without ivgg. docs then said i was iga deficient. blood tests show that i have iga levels of less tan 7. there have been some studies done that people with iga have a higher rate of type 1 diabetes. all immune related.
just before td1 diagnosis at 36, i was swolen ALL THE TIME. started the insulin and it improved greatly. weird, huh?

Rings a bell with me for sure, but...I'm a Type 2! Talk to your doctor, could be Rheumatoid Arthritis.

I agree with one of the other posters that this could be fibromyalgia, do you have fatigue/ headaches/ brain fog? there are no medical tests that can diagnose this, my sister has had this for about 10 years, she also gets occasional unexplained low grade fevers when she is having a flare up, if this is the problem your doc may prescribe an antidepressant or other combo of meds, lots of rest, low level exercise like yoga or walking and good stress management are important in any case I hope you and your medical team figure this out and you get feeling better one other thing do you take a statin for cholesterol this could be an interaction ??? best wishes, amy

As a Type 1 Diabetic with RA, I second, as i usually do, Terri's opinion. It is hard telling how long it took before I was Dx'd RA. I knwo I suffered for years before i even sought and answer. I thought I was just getting older. But when I could no longer drive 50 miles without getting our of the car, or I could not ride in my son's brand new Trans Am that he was so proud of and I was proud of him for buying on his own, I had to find out what was wrong.

It turned out to be RA and I was 43 at the DX, but I suspect it had been going on for years before. Ask your Endo for a referral to an a Rhuemy. Even if you are negative for the disease, it is worth a good check by a trained professional. I wish you the very best and pray it is not RA or similar arthritis.

Could it be the glycosylation of the tendons in those areas? My basic understanding of this is that after many years of glucose being exposed to the tendons it makes them "sticky" and stiff. I have had multiple tendon issues in both of my hands and wrists as well as frozen shoulder on both sides. I do know that I experience less of these issues when my blood sugars are better controlled.

Most long term Type 1's (I have had it for 49 years) are really low on minerals in the body. Magnesium is one of those minerals that is usually very low in diabetics, and Magnesium affect your muscles, heart, boes, insulin uptake, etc. Muscle soreness can be a sign of low magnesium. You can get a blood mineral analysis (although good luck finding a doctor that will do that) or you can just try taking Magnesium supplements. I take 400mg a day which is about standard. It will of course not cause an immediate change like a drug would so be patient and try it for 30 days.

I have had stiffness in all my joints, but it went away after two years.

I currently have major inflamation in both forearms and the knuckles of both hands with pain in both hands; I also have milder inflammation in both ankles. This is despite OT and NSAID usage. I am antibody negative for RA and Lupus.

I know someone who went years with the exact symptoms and mine and she was told it was nothing, nothing, nothing. After something like 20 years she was diagnosed with Lupus.

Most of these conditions have a time period before they test positive even with major symptoms.

My rheum is of the opinion that I'll eventually test positive for something. My ANA is high but nothing else is positive. I don't even really test positive for fibro!

that is so scary.

There are so many kinds of arthritis and it’s not always an easy diagnosis. One thing to consider is the family of the spondyloarthropathies that includes psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylosis, and undifferentiated. These are seronegative arthropathies because you test negative for rheumatoid arthritis. These inflammatory types of arthritis can be just as disabling as RA but they are not as well known. I’ve been diagnosed with this for 6 years and am very well controlled with NSAIDs. More severe cases end up uing the biologic drugs and other drugs used with RA.

Fibro is a real condition, but it is also a cop-out diagnosis when the docs don’t know what is going on.

Good luck getting some answers. Pain is no fun.

I had a sore shoulder which I chalked up to excessive computer use. Went to doctor who diagnosed frozen shoulder and a few weeks of physical therapy helped. It was not until I looked it up did I see it is more common in diabetics. I could not lift my right arm straight or hold my hands behind my back. Simple exercises made it as good as new.

Yes, I too have had this problem (female, age 48) for the past few years. I've been tested for everything. I have (recently) been diagnosed with frozen shoulder and Fibromyalgia. A neurologist said I do not have neuropathy, but my Endo said he believes I do.
I refuse to take Lyrica or any "mind altering" drugs with possibly weird side affects, other than I do occasionally take a Xanex for panic attacks. No pain relievers like Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Aleve, etc. help at all.
So here's what I'm doing: I sleep with a coldpack on my shoulders and that helps, a hot shower every morning and sometimes a soak in Epson Salt warm bath. I'm not at all overweight and I exercise and do yoga so that can't be the problem. My symptoms were worse when I was taking statin, and loading up on vitamin D and Magnesium has helped as well.
Just Last week I got my insurance co. to approve a TENS machine - Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. It has brought me pretty significant relief. I highly recommend you check them out, the company I got mine from,, let me a borrow a loaner for a week to try it out.
Next step, I'm going to try acupuncture.

I can really related to this. I was diagnosed with arthritis in my feet/toes about a year and a half ago. Over the past six months my feet have gotten worse, and also my fingers, hips, and knees have started to bother me on an almost daily basis, and feel almost the same as my toes. Pain (sometimes intense) and stiffness, but some days much worse than others. I also have symptoms of carpel tunnel syndrome which have been getting worse despite wearing a wrist splint at night.

I'm planning on bringing all this up with my doctor the next time I see him. I'm 31 and have had Type 1 for 22 years, but I don't think this is normal even for someone with long-term Type 1. I have an aunt and grandmother who have/had rheumatoid arthritis or similar conditions. Even if I don't have RA, the fact that I'm only 31 is concerning—I feel like I'm 80 some days, and worry about what things might be like when I really AM 80.

I would continue to follow up with your doctor. I know some people with RA who had negative blood tests, so it doesn't mean you don't have it, or another similar condition. Good luck!