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Major swelling in ankels feet hands wrists with Fibromyalgia?
hollymartins posted:
Last March, my left hand started swelling after I took a fall, then had a tetanus shot. I had also recently been gardening for the first itme in a long time and also had weaned off Cymbalta, which I had been taking a while. From there, both hands swelled, as did my ankles and feet. TThen my hands began to hurt/be stiff in the AM, esp. Soon, my body felt "locked in" upon awakening and it took hours for me to get out of bed and get going. One Rheumatologist treated me for Rheumatoid Arthritis with Methotraxate shots for 5 weeks, which put me into the hospital with a horrible dry cough and strained right flank. Swelling was taken down with Methotrexate. In hosp was giving high doeses of Prednisone to help lung (and heavy pain killers). Swelling remained a bit under control through beginiing of Oct, when it started again. Pain is also back. Now swelling is back to the way it was in the beginning. I have made the rounds of doctors, even to the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, where rheumatology has ruled out Rheumatoid Arthritis and all those autoimmune diseases, and dose think I have fibromyalgia. At one point, they said no, fibro does not have this kind of swelling, but now they are saying it could be part of fibro. It is definitely not just a little swelling. I am very concerned. If I don't wear sneakers, my feet look terrribly swollen at night. Try to elevate my feet at night...goes down some. I am wonderinf whether the fibro is correct diagnosis. Mayo is sending me a letter with 3 or 4 ohter possible rare dieseases/tests (some are invasive), but they think it's fibro. I am suspicious and not satisfied they have nailed it. Been tested for just about everything. Negative. Tested negative once for Lyme. Have not been tested for any parasites. Would some kind of parasitic disease account for these symptoms? Anything else?
xperky responded:
I was having trouble with swelling/pain in feet/ankles this summer too. Toes would also get all red and puffy. Feet would really hurt, especially toes. Not fun.

I went to a foot specialist. After xrays and blood tests, it was determined I might have early Inflammatory Arthritis. Rx Meloxicam has helped very much!!!

My rheumy says if the swelling doesn't get better over night, and nothing makes it better, he would confirm the diagnosis of IA. He is treating me for Fibro, and so far I don't test positive for any of those autoimmune diseases either.

Sorry you wound up in the hospital! I hear methotrexate can be hard to tolerate. It sounds like you do have inflammation, but it will take a while to get a sound diagnosis. Maybe you have Fibro as well as another thing.

You might learn more over at the Rheumatoid Arthritis Support Group here at WebMD. You could post this question there and get different feedback.

Hugs to you.
With Compassion,
Mark Pellegrino, MD responded:
Hi hollymartins,

Swelling can be associated with FM. Swelling is also seen in many other conditions including thyroid disorders, vascular problems, venous insufficiency, lymphedema, heart/liver/renal disease, infection/inflammatory reactions, and medicine side effects. Swelling should always be evaluated by your doctor to determine its cause.

In FM, it's the dysfunctional sensory and autonomic nerves again that create the FM-related swelling problem. One of the many sensations the sensory nerves are capable of signaling is the sensation of swelling. We with FM often complain of feeling swollen, even if there is no clinical evidence of swelling, due to a dysfunctional misfiring of the sensory nerves.

We with FM get actual swelling, usually a fluctuating puffiness in the fingers and ankles/feet especially, due to dysfunctional signals between the autonomic nerves and the small blood vessels causing more leakage. This can cause our rings to become so tight on our fingers, for example. And if there's swelling, there's more mechanical pressure/irritation of the small sensory nerves leading to increased pain.

Because our nerves wax and wane in their dysfunctional behavior, so can our painful swelling symptoms if they are due to FM. Severe constant swelling is usually not attributed to FM; other conditions may need to be considered as well.

Hope this info helps and I hope you get better control of your symptoms soon. Try not to have a swell time with your fibro!!

Dr. P

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