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Having edema in legs. Having headache, swollen jaw and tender lymphs. What is causing this and cure?

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Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 2001
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     I am having edema in my legs to a point of pitting edema, it gets worse if i move or exercise. I have daily severe headaches that are getting more and more frequent and long, no OCT med helps. The headaches get worse with exercise ect ( I am an athlete, daily, I stopped once symptoms got too bad and every day). They are at the front and sides of my skull very close to the skin feeling verses in my skull. my face will look gaunt/drawn/deep dark eyes like someone sucked the water out of me ( I drink *plenty*) as well as my arms will get very vascular. Agitation with mood. There will be "attacks" where my body will just drop and i can feel the swelling in the lower and my face tighten up and my severe headache set in (coming with agitation). Dry skin/hair shedding too. My diet is healthy and well rounded, plenty of vegetables and lean meat ect. I have a clean health history. Dont drink/smoke/drugs. My liver,kidneys,adrenals,cortisol,pituitary,and normal blood scans were normal. Did some base hormones with an endocrinologist, testosterone ect and they were normal too. Only abnormal thing was my b12 was 1595 ( I took *one* 5000mcg the day before but no active supplementation otherwise) The b12 helps. I had a headache for 12 hours that OCT wouldnt touch but taking 46mg iron made it go away. My HCT was 41 but I dont know if they did a smear and they did not test for iron. Everyone is baffled. Ive been so sick i can hardly function or get through work. I am not fatigued but I am weak ( for me) I am thinking that this is either an autoimmune or problem absorbing my b12/iron or heavy metals. I had a copper IUD for 3 years that was recently removed and my body improved (it HATED it, i was very bloated with constant discharge and pain despite the specialist OBGYM saying there was nothing wrong physically (did a special ultrasound) My joints are fine but my lymphs will get tender and/or swollen under my jaw on an off.
Posted Thu, 9 Aug 2012 in Thyroid Problem and Hormonal Problems
Answered by Dr. Ram Choudhary 5 hours later

Welcome to healthcare magic!
I must extend my thanks to you for putting up the case in such a meticulous detail.
There are three possibilities in your case-
Thyroid problem- all likelihood of Hypothyroidism
Cardiac Problem- might be having congestive heart failure
Hypercortisolism- Cushing's disease/syndrome
a faint possibility of Migraine also.
How old are your liver, kidneys, adrenals, cortisol, pituitary,and blood biochemistry reports which you mentioned as normal, if weeks back then need to be repeated.
You need a physical examination by your physician and get base line investigations like Chest X XXXXXXX Electrocardiogram, 2D ECHO, Complete Blood Counts, Renal Function Test, Liver Function Test, Fasting and Post-Prandial Blood Sugar, Thyroid Profile, Lipid Profile, Corticosteroid level at 6AM, Ultrasound Abdomen, Non Contrast CT brain, Urine Compete Examination.
This work up is expected to pin point the underlying problem so a definite treatment could be started.

I hope this advise would be helpful for you.

Still if you have any queries or doubts, please write me back,
I would be happy to solve them.

Wish you a great health!

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Having edema in legs. Having headache, swollen jaw and tender lymphs. What is causing this and cure? 8 hours later
I have gotten liver, kidney, cortisol level, cortisol stress test, adrenals checked, pituitary checked through cat scan and MRI, I have had 2 CBC and both are normal, blood sugar test, Thyroid T3/T4, Ultrasounds on liver,abdomen, adrenal, thyroid and ovaries/uterus.

The only three I have not gotten are an electrocardiogram, 2D Echo, urine and lung. Can you explain the reasoning?

I had my copper IUD removed because i was so bloated/hurt/ and not ovulating and my periods were 2x a month. Symptoms quickly improved from that for a week. I also took in conjunction with taking holistic liquid cilantro/chlorella for heavy metals. Then as I ran out of the liquid, switched to tabs and went on a trip i fell down hill. Fast. (despite being on a copper restricted diet)

My body reacts very hostile to exercise with edema and water retention. Even walking. I get migraines daily now and they are becoming more frequent and earlier in the day. I have rejected food a few times and lost appetite. The week I felt good I had no agitation what so ever despite stressful situations around me. I had my b12 checked and it was 1595. I had taken one lozenge of 5000 b12 the day before but other then that I have not been supplementing. When I take the b12. Symptoms are less. Also taking Iron helps the migraines despite no OTC medication will touch them. My HCT was 41 but they did not look at my iron specifically or do a smear of my RBC I believe. When my body has "attacks" my migraine starts, abdominal pain, my legs swell under the skin (more focused from the knees up then the ankles though i do notable ankle edema) My arms get very vascular and my face goes gaunt and dark eyes. I seem to try something and it works for a little while, few days to a week. Then I start to revert. I wonder if this is an autoimmune.

I am thinking of a hair test for heavy metals, Iron complete testing, testing to see if Im lacking factors that transport iron/b12 to the tissue itself. Urine. I am also investigating food sensitivities. I am also wondering if it is autoimmune. Though my blood work is normal.

(ps the cilantro is also high in iron and chlorella is b12; though i also read the form of b12 in seaweed is unusable)
Answered by Dr. Ram Choudhary 6 hours later
Welcome back to healthcare Magic!
The ECG and ECHO are helpful in getting to know your cardiac status.
At times patients have asymtomatic infarctions and there is poor cardiac function that results in water retention and congestive cardiac failure resulting in a bloated patient with edema feet and decreased exercise tolerance.
I don't think the heavy metals should be a cause in presence of normal RFTs.
You are right in saying that seaweed has unusable vit.B12.
Only source of vit.B12 for humans is nonvegetarian food products and the gut bacteria synthesis of vit.B12.
If your cardiac work up also turns out to be normal then I would advise you to visit your physician. Categorically get the girth measured at base line and after when you think it has increased.
Note if it is really important increase in girth or just a subjective feeling.
If you need any further advise or clarification let me know.
If satisfied with my reply and clinical acumen then please accept the answer and spend a moment to put up a Review for me on the website's colum.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Having edema in legs. Having headache, swollen jaw and tender lymphs. What is causing this and cure? 3 hours later
My BP was 90/58 with a pulse of 46 when i was at the er for reference. Does that make a difference that I run very low? I have had issues with dizziness with standing before on many occasions
Answered by Dr. Ram Choudhary 2 hours later
Welcome back to healthcare Magic!
Yes, that makes a sense.
You were having a suboptimal BP and a bradycadia.
Usualy that low BP should be associate with faster heart rate rather than lower one.
Athletic persons tend to have lower heart rates that is true.
But at lower BP thet also tend to have higher rates.
I hope this advise would be helpful for you.

Still if you have any queries or doubts, please write me back,
I would be happy to solve them.

Wish you a great health!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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