Autoimmune Disorders Expert Forum
Swelling and pain for years
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Welcome to the Autoimmune Disorders forum. Questions in this forum are being answered by Dr. Garth Nicolson. This forum is for questions and discussions relating to Autoimmune Disorders. Topics include, but are not limited to: Alzheimer’s, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Gulf War Syndrome, Lupus, Lyme Disease, MS, Rheumatoid Arthritis

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Swelling and pain for years

Hi, I suffer from oain and a great deal of swelling in my legs, feet, and arms and underarms and collarbone.  My right knee gets extremely hot, red, and swollen twice the size.

I also have spinal problems, HBP and hypothyroid.  This condition has disabled me to where I cannot sit, stand or walk for more than a few minutes and spend my time in bed with ice packs.  It has ruined my life-I was very active and worked out for 25 yrs.  I feel the swelling is what is causing most of the problem  I also get rashes and yeast infections frequently.

I have tested negative for RA, Sjogrens (although a special dentist and eye dr. said they thought I had it).  It has been about 6 yrs.  I am 56 yr. old woman.   I have been to countless drs., had tests and MRI's and no one can explain this, other than arthritis.  Conservative measures and anti-inflammatories have not worked.  I live in horrible pain and although I have a history of RA in the family, no one will treat me for it since it is sero-negative.

Is there any hope?  Thank you so much.
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The swelling is likely edema possibly caused by a low-grade inflammation at your endothelial cells (the cells lining your blood vessels).  This type of condition results in the endothelial cells partially retracting and creating spaces between them where the blood plasma (the cell-free part of blood) can flow more or less freely into surrounding tissues causing swelling.  In cases of low-grade inflammation anti-inflammatories  are not always effective.

Thus this could be a case of vasculitis.  Vasculitis can be caused by a chronic infection(s), but this usually also results in additional S/S, such as low-grade fever,  weight loss, fatigue, muscle and joint pain, numbness or weakness and other problems.  In some cases Hepatitis C, Mycoplasma or other infections have been found.
Prof. Nicolson
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