I was wondering if anyone here had experienced swelling of the fingers, hands and wrist as well as the feet and toes. I am getting this type of swelling about every other week and it only lasts for about 20 mins and then it returns to normal. At the time of the swelling all the veins on the back of my hands and down my wrist almost to forearm are engorged and its very difficult to close my hand. The fingers seem really tight as well as the toes. They all seem to happen simutaneously. Does anyone have any idea what this could be as I had not previously experienced swelling from my illness. Do you think this warrants a call to my Rheumy? Your advice is greatly appreciated....ElegantGI
Dear ElegantGI, My feet swell, in the way you described = briefly & only occasionally. I've seen this most when on my feet for hours, or after eating salty food & then not moving around (e.g., gobbling popcorn in a movie theater).
I think all (or almost all!) questions we think to bring up here are worth running by your rheumie, by phone or during your next appt.
I would call your doctor. I personally have been flaring for the last 6 weeks with edema or swelling in my legs. It could possibly (not that I'm a doctor, just from my own personal case) kidney involvement, which is what is going on with me. It's always best to run things past your specialists. I've been hospitalized twice since early November, most recently got out on Sunday because of the swelling. The docs wanted to get some of the water out and it required hospitalziation.
thanks for the responses...I did call my Rheumatologist and went in to see her, she told me that since the swelling was only coming and going it was nothing for me to worry about. This is the first time that I have had this problem since being diagnosed over 2.5 almost 3 years ago. What actually made me go see her is that the night before I called her office my hands swelled up and hurt so bad and they stayed swollen all night until the next morning and then finally went back down....that too had never happened before in the 3 weeks that they had been swelling on and off....what do you guys think about what she said as far as it being nothing to worry about??????thanks in advance....elegantGI
There are two different kinds of swelling that I know: fluid retention and inflammation. I've had both at the same and at different times.
With uncontrolled hypertension (even on THREE b/p meds), I often have fluid retention swelling in my hands and feet. When this occurs, it is a general swelling of them both that I can press on and make a dent in (aka "pitting edema").
When I get the swelling from inflammation in my hands, particularly, it is localized to the joint areas and is accompanied by increased pain in my hands. My rheumatologist looks at my hands from a certain angle and rates the swelling (1-4, I think) according to how far above my knuckles the area in between is swollen.
It seems like you need to first find out which kind of swelling this is before you can treat it, therefore, I'd definitely say everyone should notify their doctor when they experience this. It's odd that your doctor didn't tell you which kind you have. Fluid retention can indicate lupus nephritis, or could just be related to hypertension, diet, hormones, or other causes. Even after seeing the doctor for it, you should let him/her know if there are any changes (i.e., swelling increases or spreads).
From my experience, though, it would seem your swelling seems most like my inflammation-type swelling, which, although it is bothersome, is as your doctor says, nothing to worry about. I find the pain is helped by rubbing my hands with muscle rub (not at night, as you may inadvertently rub your eyes and that will stiiiing!), or using a paraffin wax on them, keeping them warm, and being gentle with them (for example, not opening difficult jars or lifting heavy items). Anti-inflammatories also help some (the only one I can take is ibuprofen).
I hope you get a "handle" on this problem!
Susan, aka handmade_n
Lupus, Fibro, APS and more!