Sudden Swelling of Joints & Leg Muscle Pain

lulabelle_mamaJune 1, 2007

Hello Ladies.

Just stumbled upon your forum while looking for answers to a recent health development and thought I'd send out my question to your expertise. I'm 50 and in the deep throes of the "change of life"....what a ridiculously simple expression for a maddeningly complicated and exhausting time!! Over the past 6 months I've experienced some of the worst leg muscle cramping I've ever had in my life: esp. the long muscles that run from the inner thigh/groin down to the knee. Absolutely debilitating....middle of the night seizing happens regardless of diet, exercise, vitamin intake, etc. I've experimented with all the "natural" remedies and finally ended up with some very mild antidepressants which seem to stop them (mental relief as well?) but they also make me so sleepy that unless I take them right at bedtime, I'm a wreck, and even then I'm foggier than usual (is that possible?) the next day. Has anyone else had experiences with this?

More troubling is the most recent problem: a sudden onset of joint swelling in hands, fingers, elbows, knees. "Sudden" means that I went to bed feeling a little achey and woke up barely able to move. It is scarey. I feel like I'm an arthritic 80 year old. I have had a stomach bug for the past few days and some waves of nausea too, but just chalked it all up to the menopause BS that comes and goes. However, this is definitely more serious....pain & numbness from hand swelling woke me up several times in the night. Shades from when I was pregnant (I know what you're thinking, it's not possible without a test lab).

Any help or insight would be helpful.

I don't want to run off to the DR. if this is just another "phase".

Thx so much!!!

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Definitely go to the doctor before following my advice, but calcium and magnesium are supposed to help with the leg cramping. It's best to eliminate any possible medical problem like thyroid imbalance or arthritis before assuming it's related to menopause. Sometimes I feel like a hypochondriac because I will be in pain one day and fine the next morning. Go figure. Ask your doc to check your ANA, CRP, etc. With some doctors YOU have to request those things.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2007 at 10:36AM
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Thx for the reply.
I did some thyroid testing about 6 months ago when the leg cramping started and spent $2K to find out that I have a slightly enlarged thyroid gland (goiter) that apparently is still functioning well within "normal" limits. Dr. said that it could take years or even a decade or more for anything to progress to abnormal. Not terribly helpful.
No treatment, just pay the bill.

Don't have a clue what ANA or CRP is so please enlighten.

This finger/hand tissue swelling is just the latest, greatest mysterious "ailment" and it is awful....feel weak as a kitten, barely able to make a fist and even now with typing, fingers are numbing.
Drat, I get so tired of having all these weird things going on....never being able to predict from one day to the next what will crop up.
100 years ago, ladies over 45 were often referred to as crazy old matrons. They probably felt that way too.
I know I do.
Wouldn't make a very good pioneer woman!

    Bookmark   June 1, 2007 at 1:41PM
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ANA - test for rheumatoid arthritis or lupus markers.

CRP - No, not what you think. C-Reactive Protein. I can't remember what that one's for!

Anyway, thank God I feel great today! Hardly any pain, and it's been there for a week. It's hard to remember that these things do end when you are going through them.
Sish I could help more.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2007 at 7:02PM
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I too have been experiencing the pain in joints. Especially in wrists, thumbs, large toe, shoulders and elbows! Some days I cannot even peel potatoes or even pick up a gallon jug..(Ouch!) I feel as if I am getting weaker day by day. Just in the past 6 months. I haven't had a period in 18 months--I am 52.

What is going on?
Debbie From Pa

    Bookmark   June 12, 2007 at 8:01AM
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I also have pain and swelling in my fingers, and the odd time my left big toe just throbs. I have ever increasing strength problems with my hands. I can't hold a pencil securely or wring a dishcloth properly any more. Picking up coin money is almost impossible. Cannot make fist either. My rings are so tight too.
This, above all menopausal stuff, is way more difficult to deal with. At least the hot flash nonsense goes away for a wee while. This immobility is constant. How we took full use of our hands for granted a few years ago, just boggles the mind. I have been taking glucosamine for almost two years, but this is worsening progressivly. I just dont know what to do about it. It bites big time.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2007 at 10:05AM
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It seems like my kneecaps swelled up overnight. I have trouble putting on my ring in the morning. My hands don't work as well as they used to. I'm at the point where I'd gladly have my period back if I can get rid of everything else!

    Bookmark   September 4, 2007 at 8:44AM
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I woke up with right hand swelling and within weeks the swelling included the left hand. Then it was the right and left foot, right and left knee, back of right and left knee, legs, both forearms and elbows, swollen veins under tongue, swollen eyes from the beginning. My hands will not close so I have no grip but I do have muscle strength. Mid Feb 2011, I started to get short of breath. I do have speckled ANA antibodies but that is it. Nothing else in my blood work is abnormal. They did 2 weeks of in hospital testing (Doppler of legs, vascular study, lymphatic study, CT stomach, Ultrasound stomach and liver, X-ray chest, Echo of heart, pelvic ultrasound, mammogram, CT brain). The doc are giving me prednisone to deal with the swelling symptoms but I think the drug has made me as weak as a kitten and raised my resting heart beat since being sick from 72 bpm to 115 bpm. I think the docs are on the wrong track. Not one doctor will agree to a body MRI. All the symptoms just came on too fast. I will be 50 this year. I am hoping someone out there can relate and share their answers.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2011 at 12:18AM
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I am 52 years old, went off Estrostep last Feb. and my periods have stopped completely. I am not taking hormone replacement therapy. I quit working out at the gym but walk my dog several times a week. My back hurts, my hands are swollen, I seem to be retaining excess water, have neck pain, leg pain and stiffness, sometimes feel like I am walking on pins or needles and now I have pain in my right heel. Joints and muscles hurt more than when I was working out regularly. Is this from menopause or just a lack of exercise, lack of stretching? What should I do?

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 3:02PM
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I am 42, and in June, had really bad swelling of my legs, ankles and feet- at work and during travel. Also experiencing joint pain in wrists, hands, knees, feet, ankles and toes and my shoulders feel like someone pulled them out of socket! I also have weird tingling under the skin in my shoulder area and itching from the inside out. Went to rheumatologist... Blood work completely normal and normal X-rays, except for moderate bilateral narrowing of joints in shoulders and some kind mild abnormality in my feet/big toes.
I am no doctor, but it seems like it may be hormonal changes....
I hope the joint pain goes away soon.
In the past 3 years, I've noticed other symptoms, including UTIs, flares of anger and crying, missed periods, long periods, pulmonary embolism ( blood clots in lungs)sciatic nerve pain from herniated disc, dry eyes, brittle nails and weight gain.
All this and I'm just getting started!
I read 34 signs of menopause.... I have all but 3. No hot flashes ---yet.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2011 at 9:43PM
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