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Weird Symptoms Joint Pain and Abdominal Swelling


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Old 12-19-2013, 10:45 AM   #1
SimplyRae
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Weird Symptoms Joint Pain and Abdominal Swelling

In 2010 I had upper abdominal swelling and severe pain in my joints. After a host of different specialty doctors they found Thyroid cancer in which I had my thyroid removed, and they also found Adenomyosis in my uterus and I had a hysterectomy but my ovaries were left. Not sure if this is called a partial hysterectomy.
Anyway, It is 2 years later and the weird symptoms are back. My upper abdomen is swollen, it keeps getting bigger throughout the day until it looks like I am about 6 mths pregnant. Also I have very painful joints and muscles and an achy feeling all over and a slight fever every night. This has been going on for 4 weeks now. I have seen my general doctor, another general doctor, been on steroids and pain killers and just living life laying on the couch. The pain starts in the morning and increases as the day goes on into the evening until it is excruciating.
I've seen a neurosurgeon as well because two months ago I was driving and suddenly got confused and didn't know where I was going, and then lost control of my bladder. This happened twice. Don't know if it is related to what is going on now.
Could it be endometriosis in the ovaries? I've had a CT Scan of my upper abdomen, nothing showed up. Have had bloodwork done. Gone to a host of specialty doctors. Saw the rhematologist today. Will see the GI on the 23rd.
I have suffered from insomnia for many years so I see a psychiatrist who has me on seroquel 500 mg, klonipin 2mg, and just started amitriptylene and cymbalta hopefully for the pain. I am also on lortabs for pain.
My question is this: what doctor do I need to see?!? How can I connect the dots for abdominal swelling and joint and muscle pain? The doctors seem to be treating the abdominal swelling and the pain as different ailments. But I think it is connected. It went away in 2010 after the hysterectomy and thyroidectomy but is back again. Could it be that my synthroid levels show normal but aren't? Or is it a gynecological thing? So confused! Any help welcome! Thanks, Rae

 
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Old 12-19-2013, 08:39 PM   #2
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Re: Weird Symptoms Joint Pain and Abdominal Swelling

Wow, sorry you have been through so much! I know joint and muscle pain can be symptoms of thyroid problems. Low estrogen and/or low testosterone can also cause that. But since you had it before your thyroid and uterus were removed, that wouldn't seem to be the cause. However, your thyroid may have been on the "fritz" for some time prior to your cancer diagnosis so it is possible that these symptoms are thyroid related. And now without your thyroid, it can be difficult to tweak thyroid meds especially if you are changing up other meds (or even diet or exercise routines) so symptoms can come and go. Hopefully, your lab work included thyroid tests (TSH, free T3, free T4).

As far as the bloating, I'm not sure if that could be thyroid related. But hormonal changes can cause bloating. It's possible your ovaries are failing. That happens in about 40% of cases after the uterus is removed. And as I mentioned above, ovarian hormone loss can cause your other symptoms. Did your doctor check your hormone levels - estrogen, FSH, testosterone?

The fever is perplexing and the episodes of confusion and lost bladder control while driving are scary. I also had a hysterectomy but my ovaries were removed I had a couple of episodes of low grade fevers and never did figure out what caused them. I am on estrogen and when it gets low my knees hurt. Even though I've had bowel issues since the hyst, I don't have bloating per se, just the typical post-hysterectomy poochy belly.

Not having a thyroid and possibly ovaries that have failed is a trauma to the body. It is frustrating because doctors are so specialized and no one seems to have the big picture. I assume you already see an endocrinologist for your thyroid meds? And he/she has no clue? A rheumatologist would have been my next suggestion but you've already seen one.

I sure hope you get answers soon!

 
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Old 12-19-2013, 08:53 PM   #3
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Re: Weird Symptoms Joint Pain and Abdominal Swelling

Oops - forgot to mention a couple of things.

You mentioned the possibility of endo on your ovaries but that the CT scan did not show anything. I didn't think endo could be seen on any imaging. I thought it had to be diagnosed via surgery. I know adenomyosis is like endo except contained to the uterus. So it would seem that the chance of having endo would be slim (unless it was outside your uterus before your hysterectomy).

Food intolerances or sensitivities can cause inflammation. Have you ever tracked what you eat throughout the day and your level of pain? You could try a food elimination diet to see if certain foods are the culprit. I have read that nightshade vegetables (such as tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, eggplant) trigger inflammation and can exacerbate arthritis.

 
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