Fibromyalgia Community
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Avatar universal

Is swelling related to Fibromyalgia?

Hello.  I am a 24 year old female, and I was recently diagnosed with fibromyalgia.  I have done a little research, but I still have many questions.  To make a long story short, I will list all of my symptoms.  I can’t help but wonder if they are all related to each other, if they are all symptoms of fibromyalgia, or if something else is coexisting with fibromyalgia.  

Diagnosed with IBS and Lactose Intolerance at age 15
Joint pain and stiffness since Nov. ‘07
Extreme fatigue
Finger swelling upon waking since Feb. ‘08
Recent finger swelling when I get hot, and additional slight all over swelling (non-pitting)
Absent menstruation since Dec. ‘07
I did have a period last month, but I experienced extreme pain in my lower back accompanied with vomiting.  
I have gained 40 pounds (unintentional) since January ‘08
I have frequent headaches with pain on both sides of my head
I have recently been suffering from light-headedness when moving from lying down, kneeling, or sitting to a standing position

In March ’08, after going round and round with my primary physician, I decided to take it upon myself to schedule an appointment with a Rheumatologist.  I saw him in May, and after explaining everything and a thorough exam, he diagnosed me with fibromyalgia, but felt that I had an autoimmune disease due to the swelling.  He sent me to have extensive blood work done and x-rays of my chest, hands, wrists, feet, ankles, and hips.  Upon our second meeting in June, all tests came back normal.  He confirmed his diagnosis of fibromyalgia and ruled out any autoimmune disease.  I brought up my menstruation problems and asked if he found anything related to my thyroid.  He said he did not check my thyroid, and he suggested following up with my gynecologist.  

I do have an appointment with a gynecologist tomorrow (July 7, ’08).  I still have joint pain, but my fatigue has improved since taking flexeril at night.  This past month, I have also noticed my hands swelling not only upon waking in the morning, but when I get hot, or if I am lying still for a while.  I now believe that I am also swelling in other places due to extreme weight fluctuation.  Example:  I weighed myself this past Monday and then again on Friday; I had gained 10 pounds.  I was shocked, and when I weighed again on Saturday, the following day, I had lost 5 pounds.  My family could also tell a difference in how puffy my face was on that Friday.  

Since my Rheumatologist first said my swelling probably wasn’t related to fibromyalgia, and then later said it probably was, I am confused.  Does anyone else experience swelling, or would this be related to something else?  What about loss of menstruation or missed menses?  I really appreciate your help.          
11 Responses
Avatar universal

Good question. I don't think swelling is common with fibro. I do know that Dr. David Bell had listed that at least 20% of people with CFS can have swelling in the extremities. Many people who have fibro have some CFS symptoms and vice versa. And not to mention that some of these people, do indeed, have overlapping autoimmune conditions !  I know that many female patients with CFS often miss their periods.

There are people out there who can show signs of an autoimmune disease years before the test results are able to pin-point which autoimmune disease they have. I'm happy you are seeing your OB/GYN physician. I would consider asking her about checking your vitamin D level. I would also consider continuing to follow-up with your Primary Care Physician and  your Rheumatologist.

Avatar universal
Just wanted to let you know that I also swell up. I have had this problem for years. If it is hot outside or if I walk to much my feet, calves, & hands swell. Even my wrists.I can usually put my fingers around my wrist but if I swell up I can't. I also can't wear jewelery anymore as the rings end up stuck on my fingers, but when I first put them on they are so lose they sometimes end up with the jewel on the inside of my palm (I hope I am explaining that right). My rheumy has ruled out everything for me so he said it must be one of my symptoms. I have been suffering with this monster for 24 years but have just been diagnosed in January 08. I was first told I had lupus, then no it wasn't that it was hepatitis. Then no it wasn't that it was rheumatoid arthritis. Which I have none of them I have FM. And was just told last month that I also have CFS.
Hope that helped a little for you.
Take care
172715 tn?1285494490
Get your thyroid checked, the expensive thorough blood test. You could have an under active thyroid.  Most of us have thyroid problems along with FMS and the cheaper test for that comes back normal. I feel like most of me is swollen but there's no pitting. Also to twinsis, thyroid can have an effect on weight and periods but get a gyno exam anyway to cancel out any problems there.  Best wishes
542357 tn?1245023682
Oh I feel for you and suffer alot of the same symptoms. I am having weight gain out of nowhere. I am 10lbs up from a few wks ago and gaine 5lbs over nite and I took a water pill yesterday and today up 5lbs for no reason. It's so frustrating. I do take thyroid medication on 100mcg per day have been on it for yrs and just had all my blood work done and thyroids ok. I wonder at times if fibromyalgia can cause weight gain or swelling.

Lord Bless
587071 tn?1218542387
I also have swelling of my wrist,fingers and ankles and feet.When I went to my family doctor he had know reason for it.My Rheumatologist said fibro does not cause swelling.I can NO longer wear my wedding ring.My swelling comes with the pain and I cant stand it.I have not found any thing to help me yet.But I hope you get the questions you need.
Avatar universal
At present I am diagnosed with Fibro, Low Thyroid, type 2 Diabetes, HBP and Fluid retention, MVP, IBS ( just for a background ). Years ago, I first had fluid retnention with Female problems. at that time I had endometrosis, cysts in my Fallopian tubes, very painful periods with heavy menses. Eventually had a complete hysterectomy.  The fluid retention persists over the years even tho the above mentioned  conditions have either been eliminated or are being treated with meds. I have been given no defenite reason for it.  I now think, I probably just have a messed-up endocrine system, related to  hormones and perhaps if I had continued with a Gyn and pressed them to get to the bottom of it, I would have not have so many problems now. I take Hydrochlorthiazide for the fluid.
Avatar universal
I just found out I have fibro and the best thing you can do it educate yourself, I went to amazon and bought this book.  Best thing I've done yet,
book is wrote by a doctor who has firbromyalgia.  it will help you so much.  It has me.  so be sure to get this.  "a patient-expert walks you through everything you need to learn and do the first year  Fibromyalgia"  by claudia craig marek   a essential guide for the newly diagnosed.  
Avatar universal
I have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia as well. I have problems with swelling a lot but sometimes quite severe. I will swell in my feet, ankles, legs, hands and wrists. The swelling will get bad enough that I have stage 1 pitting. When i have this swelling I becomes so stiff i can barely walk. My fingers I will not be able to close into a fist or even bend them most of the way. I have an appt. with a rheumatologist in january. I have done a lot of reading and the swelling I have seems to be a lupus symtom, however when my family dr. ran labs, she said I did not have it. This sickness what ever it may be has cost me jobs, and has put a burden on my marriage.  Hope this helps.  Suzy
Avatar universal
That is a ridiculas comment . Of course there is body swelling and fluid retention with fibro. That is the main "complaint' that acutally helps a dr. make his diagnosis. The fluid in hands, knees, legs and pressure pain points in deep tissues from the retention of fluid
Avatar universal
If so very many people have gained weight with fibro, of course it is a weight gaining, water retentinve condition. There is little to be done. You have to take the good days with the bad. When you have a "flare" up, an infection, stress, you will be more swollen. If you consume ANY sodium in foods or using table salt you will double your swelling. Even water pills do not help.
Avatar universal
Please. I am so disgusted with these physicians. They know so little about anything. All they do is give us prescriptions. You are not crazy .. I gained ten pounds in three days from the fibro and water retention.
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