Diary of Unknown Symptoms

Mystery of the Internal Vibration

Entry for February 06, 2007


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The other day I came across a web site that suggested a magnesium deficiency could cause something called Hypermobile joints. I’ve never heard about this so I do some googling…

Anxiety and Psychiatric Disorders

Magnesium deficiency causes increased levels of adrenaline, which can lead to a feeling of anxiety. Rats who become magnesium deficient have an increased level of urinary catecholamine excretion (a by-product of adrenaline).

People who have mitral valve prolapse have also been found to have an increased state of anxiety and have an increased level of urinary catecholamine excretion, the exact same condition found in rats who are Mg deficient.

It is not surprising then, to find that people with mitral valve prolapse are usually low in magnesium, and that magnesium supplementation alleviates the symptoms of mitral valve prolapse and reduces the level of urinary catecholamine excretion, i.e. it also reduces the anxiety symptoms.

Researchers in Spain found a correlation between anxiety disorders and hypermobility. In fact, they found that patients with anxiety disorder were over 16 times more likely than control subjects to have joint laxity. If you put the study results together, then there’s a link between anxiety and hypermobility, a link between anxiety and mitral valve prolapse, and a link between mitral valve prolapse and hypermobility.

These studies tell us that anxiety disorders occur in many people who simply have mitral valve prolapse and/or joint hypermobility, meaning anxiety disorders are not specific to EDS or any particular connective tissue disorder.

Joint Hypermobility

Introduction

If you have joint hypermobility, this booklet will help you, your family and friends. It explains what joint hypermobility is, what causes it, the usual symptoms, and what can be done to treat it. It also explains what you can do to help yourself – such as avoiding certain sports which will make your symptoms worse.

Joint hypermobility is not a type of arthritis (it just means that you can move some or all your body joints in a way that most people cannot) and it only affects a small number of people. It can be very mild with few symptoms and not need treatment, or it can be more severe in which case the joints may be easily dislocated. It can also help some people, for example dancers and musicians, who need flexibility in their joints in order to perform.

What is joint hypermobility?

If you have joint hypermobility, some or all of your joints will have an unusually large range of movement. You may have known that your joints were very ‘supple’ even from an early age. You may have been ‘double-jointed’, or able to twist your limbs into unusual positions. Athletes sometimes train to achieve what they call ‘flexibility’. Some doctors call it ‘joint hyperlaxity’.

How is hypermobility measured?

Variations between one person and another make it difficult to measure hypermobility. For many years the most popular system was that devised by Carter and Wilkinson and modified by Professor Peter Beighton. This system is often referred to as the ‘Beighton score’ and is still in use.

If you think you may have hypermobility, you can check your own ‘Beighton score’ using the tests shown in Figure 1.

Give yourself 1 point for each of the five simple tests you can do. Do the tests on the arm and leg on both sides of your body, so the maximum score is 9 points. Most people score less than 2, and only about three or four in a hundred healthy people score 4 or more points. If you score 4 or more in the tests and have had joint pains (arthralgia) in four or more joints for longer than 3 months then it is likely that you have hypermobility, but you should still consult your doctor to determine whether hypermobility is the cause of the symptoms in your joints, or whether something else is causing the pain.

Although the Beighton score is a useful guide, doctors will now consider other factors and symptoms in order to confirm a diagnosis of hypermobility. The ‘1998 Brighton Criteria’, as they are known, allow for the fact that some people have hypermobility in fewer than four joints, and that hypermobility may also affect parts of the body besides the joints.

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February 10, 2007 - Posted by | Health | , , ,

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