Discussions By Condition: Muscle conditions

Acute Peripheral Edema (Ankle Swelling)

Posted In: Muscle conditions 10 Replies
  • Posted By: galebo
  • October 14, 2007
  • 04:06 AM

I'm entering my second week of severe ankle/foot swelling, along with painful walking. I have difficulty rising from a seated position and getting started, although the pain subsides somewhat once I get started. The greatest swelling/pain is on the right side with a lesser condition on the left. There was a sudden onset and no injury.

My physician has run a battery of tests, the results of which have all come in normal. He started with a plethora or bloodwork (five vials were drawn); one reading indicated the possibility of a thrombosis so a sonogram was ordered on both legs; the result was normal. A colonoscopy was ordered; it came back normal. One week prior to the above mentioned tests, a routine physical was performed including prostate exam, PSA, and lipid profile and they all came back normal. My doctor seems to be baffled.

I'm beginning to wonder if I am having a reaction to a medication. I presently take daily 40 mg Lipitor; .05 miligram Clonazapam; 50 miligram Zoloft; One-A-Day-Senior vitamin; 800 IU vitamin E (2-400 IU caps); 65 mg iron; 12,000 mg Potaba (6-400 mg caps 4 times); one asprin. All except Potaba, Vitamin E, and Iron have been taken in excess of 10 years; Potaba and Vitamin E about 3 years; iron a little over one week.

I do apheresis (donate platelets) with the Red Cross 2 to 3 times per month and they've been finding my iron low, thus the iron supplement. Lipitor for cholosteron control; Zoloft and Clonazapam for anxiety; Potaba and Vitamin E for Peyronies; One-A-Day Vitamin and Asprin routine.

I'm 6 ft., 230 lbs, in excellent health, and live an active lifestyle with plenty of farm and yard work to keep me busy. However, recent years have found me with less energy, low libido, unmotivated to complete jobs started around the farm, often searching for words to express myself, and now this physical symptom of swelling and pain in the lower extremeties. Over the past two weeks I have felt the muscle weakness creeping up into my legs and although I have no swelling in my knees, the leg muscles in the upper legs are sore and weak. Some mornings when I wake up, my wrists hurt as well, but they are not swollen.

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  • Many folks out there have had problems taking the statin drugs of which Lipitor is one of them. There is a support group for folks who had problems with Lipitor side effects at Yahoo Groups. They have a huge library of links for articles related to health, drug info, etc at their home page.I have had reactions to statins including Lipitor. Edema was one of the first symptoms for me, along with muscle pain. Some of the symptoms you have were similar to the ones I had when I had problems with statin drugs. You should look into Lipitors side effects. Your problem may not be from the Lipitor but it is one of the possibilities to consider. I'll try to find the link for Lipitor on its side effects. How long have you been taking it?I also see that you aren't taking CoQ10, which Lipitor depletes over time.Also look into the condition called Rhabdomyolysis; which is one of the problems the statin drugs can cause where muscle breaks down and the kidneys have difficulty dealing with the excess proteins and other stuff released into your system because of the muscle breakdown.Good luck. If it is Lipitor, stopping it can help you. But talk to the dr first before stopping it. I had reactions to several different statins; Lipitor, Pravachol, and two others I forgot the names of. So instead I am doing other things like dietary changes. The Lipitor got the cholesterol down, but it hurt my muscles and my system as a whole and it took me awhile to recover from the statin reactions I had.I'll post you some links for FYI on Lipitor.You wrote:Over the past two weeks I have felt the muscle weakness creeping up into my legs and although I have no swelling in my knees, the leg muscles in the upper legs are sore and weak. You need to tell the dr this because you are on Lipitor; the drug company always mentions that such weakness and pain needs to be reported to your dr on its commercials.I'm entering my second week of severe ankle/foot swelling, along with painful walking. I have difficulty rising from a seated position and getting started, although the pain subsides somewhat once I get started. The greatest swelling/pain is on the right side with a lesser condition on the left. There was a sudden onset and no injury. My physician has run a battery of tests, the results of which have all come in normal. He started with a plethora or bloodwork (five vials were drawn); one reading indicated the possibility of a thrombosis so a sonogram was ordered on both legs; the result was normal. A colonoscopy was ordered; it came back normal. One week prior to the above mentioned tests, a routine physical was performed including prostate exam, PSA, and lipid profile and they all came back normal. My doctor seems to be baffled. I'm beginning to wonder if I am having a reaction to a medication. I presently take daily 40 mg Lipitor; .05 miligram Clonazapam; 50 miligram Zoloft; One-A-Day-Senior vitamin; 800 IU vitamin E (2-400 IU caps); 65 mg iron; 12,000 mg Potaba (6-400 mg caps 4 times); one asprin. All except Potaba, Vitamin E, and Iron have been taken in excess of 10 years; Potaba and Vitamin E about 3 years; iron a little over one week. I do apheresis (donate platelets) with the Red Cross 2 to 3 times per month and they've been finding my iron low, thus the iron supplement. Lipitor for cholosteron control; Zoloft and Clonazapam for anxiety; Potaba and Vitamin E for Peyronies; One-A-Day Vitamin and Asprin routine. I'm 6 ft., 230 lbs, in excellent health, and live an active lifestyle with plenty of farm and yard work to keep me busy. However, recent years have found me with less energy, low libido, unmotivated to complete jobs started around the farm, often searching for words to express myself, and now this physical symptom of swelling and pain in the lower extremeties. Over the past two weeks I have felt the muscle weakness creeping up into my legs and although I have no swelling in my knees, the leg muscles in the upper legs are sore and weak. Some mornings when I wake up, my wrists hurt as well, but they are not swollen.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • October 18, 2007
    • 08:35 PM
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  • Thanks so much for taking time to post your comments. My condition hasn't improved, and I think the discomfort and weakness in my leg muscles (bilaterally) is worsening. I'm now on my 6th day without Lipitor (took myself off) and my doctor says to stay off it another week to see what happens. He seems doubtful that's the problem. I don't know if two weeks will be long enough to tell the story. I'll look forward to searching your links. Much obliged,
    galebo 3 Replies
    • October 19, 2007
    • 02:57 AM
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  • Your symptoms were the first symptoms I had with my hypothyroidism. It took almost a year and a half for my values to pop out of the normal range. Thyroid problems progress very slowly. Get your results and post them here or on a forum that deals with thyroid problems. Good luck!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • October 19, 2007
    • 08:01 PM
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  • I am sorry that your condition hasn't improved. 40 mgs is a large dose of Lipitor, my dr started me out much lower. I had side effects soon after starting but I didn't realize it until things got very bad. And even then I thought something else was it.Your discomfort and weakness can be caused by many different conditions/diseases. Have you posted on the "I Cannot Find A Diagnosis PLease Help Board". This board gets less traffic and some folks who are good with many areas of medicine issues don't venture as often onto the sub-boards. I just happened here because I am having joint and muscle pain and weakness myself, along with edema.Auto immune diseases like certain types of rheumatoid arthritis can cause similar problems. My dr is checking me now for auto immune diseases. *Who knows maybe my side effects to several statins were really auto immune diseases flaring up. I can't help but wonder about the possibility; but I will be hard pressed to try statins again as I tried several times and each time got the horrid symptoms. My liver does not handle some things well.Anyway, here are the links I have found today listed below; I would have sent more links here but the yahoo list of folks who stopped statins because of side effects was down and the library has tons of links on Rhabdomyolysis, muscle weakness, statin drug side effects etc. I would suggest anyone like yourself who may have to use these drugs learn about the risks of these powerful tiny pills first. Most people who take statins never have a problem; but some folks cannot take them without problems. One of the articles I have included explains that some drs think as high as 15% of patients have some problems taking statin drugs.Some earlier statin drugs have caused deaths (Baycol).Given that you are having profound muscle weakness and pain; staying on 40 mgs of Lipitor probably was not a good idea (at least until you get a diagnosis of what is causing the muscle symptoms). I think my dr had me on just 10 mgs to start with. The symptoms worsened as the dose was increased. =======================Some articles on statin drugshttp://www.newstarget.com/021397.htmlStatin Drugs Expose Patients To Dangerous Debilitating Side Effectshttp://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/10/11/eveningnews/main648685.shtml Statins' Side Effects Under Fire; Some Docs Say Statin Guidelines Should Get Independent Review CBS Newshttp://seniorjournal.com/NEWS/Health/5-12-21-StateSideEffects.htmSenior Citizens Should Heed Side Effects of Statin Drugs, Says AuthorFormer scientist astronaut, doctor says war on cholesterol is misguided========================Info on LipitorLipitor; PDR infohttp://www.pdrhealth.com/drug_info/rxdrugprofiles/drugs/lip1230.shtmlhttp://www.drugs.com/Lipitor/index.htmlLipitor Drug Information; including side effectshttp://www.rxlist.com/cgi/generic/atorvastatin_ad.htmDrug side effects info.==========================Thanks so much for taking time to post your comments. My condition hasn't improved, and I think the discomfort and weakness in my leg muscles (bilaterally) is worsening. I'm now on my 6th day without Lipitor (took myself off) and my doctor says to stay off it another week to see what happens. He seems doubtful that's the problem. I don't know if two weeks will be long enough to tell the story. I'll look forward to searching your links. Much obliged,
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • October 19, 2007
    • 09:09 PM
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  • The article you sent by Dr. Duane Graveline is almost as though it was written about me. Ringing in the ears, tiredness, shortness of breath, easy fatigability, depression, ankle swelling, cognitive difficulties (I find myself groping for common words), muscle weakness; I have it all. A week's abstinence off Lipitor hasn't relieved the condition, in fact, the edema has, just today, begun moving upward into my lower legs. I had originally attributed all except the edema to aging but when that came upon me and began affecting my mobility and general comfort level, I sought medical attention. It's now one day short of three weeks since the first visible symptoms appeared, two weeks of which I've been under a doctor's care. I think I'll seek a second opinion next week (my current doctor is doubtful Lipitor is the culprit) but regardless what they find, I'll be developing a regimen to control my cholesterol by means other than statin drugs. Thanks for your input; whether or not we link my condition with statin drugs I'm convinced I'll end up a healthier person for having given them up.
    galebo 3 Replies
    • October 20, 2007
    • 03:51 AM
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  • It doesn't surprise me that your symptoms sound like what Dr. Graveline describes in the article. Sounds like you might want to look into that group for folks who stopped taking statins. The yahoo group is called "Stopped Our Statins"; there you will find others who have symptoms like Dr. Graveline's. Many members there have had bad experiences while taking Statins, or have family members who had severe problems after being on the statin drugs. Many on the list are trying to find other ways to lower their cholesterol. Some feel that the key is to lower the inflammation going on in the body rather then the cholesterol in order to protect against heart attacks.Dr Graveline is one of the first Dr.s to speak out about Statin drugs. He has authored a book on his experiences with this drug. He also really is a space doctor/ astronaut.Also there is a consumer group that has been taking on the FDA to get them to put a black box warning on the medication's inserts; this is done in Canada but not in the US. I belive the FDA finally has put in some warnings for Lipitor however.There is a Wall Street Journal/Smart Money article on Statin Drugs ; the link is in that groups library. I was going to send it to you; then the power went out due to a wind storm. Then this am Yahoo Groups had service problems. I will try to get the link for you tomorrow. * I still belong to the group even though I will no longer try a statin drug again; as people bring all sorts of interesting articles on the drug and health issues for discussion. I don't go on there as often; as I don't have a ton of energy these days.Statin drugs are big money makers for the drug industry; and drs get incentives for prescribing them. Nowadays many people with what used to be considered ideal cholesterol are put on statins. And it is a worrisome prospect that there is talk of making one statin drug an OTC drug to boot. They may help people, and most people don't have problems on them. It is a drug that requires liver monitoring and eye monitoring; yet some want statins to be sold OTC. BTW It is a theory that some researchers contend that taking CoQ10 may help avoid some of the problems; as Lipitor causes CoQ10 levels to drop in the body. Many folks out there have taken themselves off Lipitor and other statins, and so many of their stories sound the same which I find alarming.For myself, my dr took me off Lipitor (my first severe reaction). Later put me on another statin, I had another reaction. He put me on another, I reacted again and stopped it myself. We also tried a 4th drug that was supposed to work differently, and it too affected my liver which was a rare side effect. The latter statin reactions happened quicker and were the most severe. So unless there can be found another explanation for my having severe symptoms on statin drugs; I won't take them anymore. My body just doesn't handle some things very well. But do remember also that until you have a firm diagnosis of what is causing all your symptoms, that some of your symptoms could also be caused by a number of diseases and some are serious diseases. Or a combinaition of the Lipitor and something else medical going on.But I can't blame you for acting on your gut instincts and stopping the meds as I also had to do that. The side effects were intolerable and scarey, and most debilitating. One has to listen to their own body when it is telling them something is not right.I must get some sleep. I'll try to dig up some more articles that I found helpful when I was dealing with the aftermath of taking statins and having problems from the drugs. BTW Dr. Graveline is a nice man by the way; you could try to contact him with any questions as he has been very approachable to others on the list.The article you sent by Dr. Duane Graveline is almost as though it was written about me. Ringing in the ears, tiredness, shortness of breath, easy fatigability, depression, ankle swelling, cognitive difficulties (I find myself groping for common words), muscle weakness; I have it all. A week's abstinence off Lipitor hasn't relieved the condition, in fact, the edema has, just today, begun moving upward into my lower legs. I had originally attributed all except the edema to aging but when that came upon me and began affecting my mobility and general comfort level, I sought medical attention. It's now one day short of three weeks since the first visible symptoms appeared, two weeks of which I've been under a doctor's care. I think I'll seek a second opinion next week (my current doctor is doubtful Lipitor is the culprit) but regardless what they find, I'll be developing a regimen to control my cholesterol by means other than statin drugs. Thanks for your input; whether or not we link my condition with statin drugs I'm convinced I'll end up a healthier person for having given them up.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • October 20, 2007
    • 07:22 AM
    • 0
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  • Just in case someone reads this thread, I want to offer what we know at this point since doctors finally zeroed in on my problem. The first doctor ordered an echogram from the groin down thinking there might be a thrombosis; they found nothing. About that time I went to another doctor to get the second opinion I mentioned earlier and he ordered another echogram of the chest looking for blockage in the heart and associated vascular system; again everything was clear. However, there were appearant enlarged lymph nodes in the center of my chest. That caused him to call in a Pulmonologist who ordered a PET scan which was said to have lit up like a Christmas tree. A third doctor was called in to make an incision at the base of my throat through which he went down behind the sternum and took a biopsy. A diagnosis of sarcoidosis came back. I am presently on a five-week regimen of the steroid Prednisone and have a return appointment scheduled at two-and-a-half weeks to see if the nodes are shrinking. Also, during the three days I was in the hospital having all those tests and procedures, the ankle/leg swelling went down. A course of diuretics was prescribed.
    galebo 3 Replies
    • November 27, 2007
    • 03:47 AM
    • 0
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  • Glad to hear your doctors have found your problem. sarcoidosis has many ways of presenting itself and can often be very hard to diagnose. I guess the christmas tree was caused by nodules. Do you have any nodules any other part of your body as well? Kiera
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • November 29, 2007
    • 07:56 AM
    • 0
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  • Your symptoms were the first symptoms I had with my hypothyroidism. It took almost a year and a half for my values to pop out of the normal range. Thyroid problems progress very slowly. Get your results and post them here or on a forum that deals with thyroid problems. Good luck!I can te you that if you check the drug profies of clonazepam or other benzodaizepine drugs on many websites, you wil find that these drugs can cause or may cause edema. I know this because I take conazepam and I looked up al my medications to see if any of them wee causing the edema.Read the whole profile and ook for as much info as you can on the clonazepam(Klonopin is the brand name).
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Did you ever get a different diagnosis? My husband has the exact same symptoms you were having, but he was on thyroid medication. Now we are going thru all types of exams and doctors have no idea either.Thanks,Just in case someone reads this thread, I want to offer what we know at this point since doctors finally zeroed in on my problem. The first doctor ordered an echogram from the groin down thinking there might be a thrombosis; they found nothing. About that time I went to another doctor to get the second opinion I mentioned earlier and he ordered another echogram of the chest looking for blockage in the heart and associated vascular system; again everything was clear. However, there were appearant enlarged lymph nodes in the center of my chest. That caused him to call in a Pulmonologist who ordered a PET scan which was said to have lit up like a Christmas tree. A third doctor was called in to make an incision at the base of my throat through which he went down behind the sternum and took a biopsy. A diagnosis of sarcoidosis came back. I am presently on a five-week regimen of the steroid Prednisone and have a return appointment scheduled at two-and-a-half weeks to see if the nodes are shrinking. Also, during the three days I was in the hospital having all those tests and procedures, the ankle/leg swelling went down. A course of diuretics was prescribed.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
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