I'm a 38 yr. old female 30 lbs overweight. 6 weeks ago I found lumps under skin of forearm - doctor said it's a lipoma. 2 weeks ago (over a period of 2 days) areas of both arms (wrist to shoulder) developed the fatty bumps, swelling, & areas feeling firm under the skin. No pain/redness/itching. Also had muscle pain in upper arms/shoulders with some nausea, paresthesia in arms & hands & stiff fingers mostly in a.m.. I had cleaned the house and worked outside for several hours that day...........Day 4- Went to ER - lumps, swelling, hardness covered both arms/other symptoms remained. EKG & Blood tests were normal (including vascular & lumph tests).The doctor thought a virus or allergic reaction - probably to Lamictal (200mg/day), but I've already been on 9 mos (mood stabilization, not seizures). No Lamictal "rash" present. Regular doctor doesn't believe it's Lamactil reaction but is taking me off..........Next 24 hours- hard pea-sized lumps appeared under skin (can't see) across entire abdomen (at least 50). Sometimes painful to touch. Dermatologist didn't try too hard to feel bumps (too far under skin) but suggested drug reaction or virus...........Past 2 days - nausea, paresthesia & stiffness are better. Muscle pain & swelling seem to be better, BUT there are more lumps on arms & abdominal lumps are closer to skin surface (easy to feel) & there are patches of firmness around some lumps & elsewhere in abdomen, with one firm patch above naval sometimes sore. Skin is soft – firmness is under skin. Have new burning in upper abdomen. A rheumotologist didn't know what muscle pain or lumps are but doesn't think fibromyalgia. I'm seeing a 2nd dermatologist this week..........I've only had blood tests. I don't know why the doctors (I’ve seen 5 so far) are NOT doing an MRI for painful muscles and lumps. Have you seen anything like these symptoms in a virus or allergic reaction? Any other suggestions? Thank you.
If you've seen 5 physicians already, it will be unlikely that I can come up with anything that hasn't already been thought off.
It would seem that imaging the lumps would be helpful. An ultrasound, CT scan or MRI can be considered, depending on the amount and location of the lumps. The definitive test would be a biopsy - which can be accomplished via a general surgeon.
Lymph node enlargement can occur in cases of infection, and the aforementioned imaging studies can help evaluate for this possibility.
This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.
Kevin Pho, M.D.
I've had the same thing for years (about 20 now). Mine have been accompanied by trips to the ER feeling like I'm having a heart attack to pain so severe that demerol does not even help. I also now have into the hundreds of these lipoma tumers that can appear over night. I am just now in the process of getting diagnosed, I was convinced that I had cancer (I have a post on the Leukemia and Lymphoma forum last week)or something because I had fevers and splenamegoly and swollen lymph nodes for over 2 years.
Please, look up www.lipomadoc.org ..... I'm definitley not an expert but, it sounds to me that you may have Adiposis Dolorosa aka Dercum's Disease. This disease is recognized by WHO and NORD but is has been, for some reason, lost by most medical schools. Dr. Karen Herbst is probably the foremost endocrinologist in this field. This is a debilitating disease and unfortunately has no cure. I was shocked to find out how many symptoms fit into my life. If you have any question at all, please feel free to contact me.
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