Q. Can migraine and thyroid cause swelling in the arms?

Answered by
Dr. Sai Balaji
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Oct 14, 2015 and last reviewed on: Oct 09, 2018

Hi doctor,

My mother is 65 years old. All her general physical parameters are normal and she is leading a normal healthy life. But, she suffers from migraine. So whenever she has migraine headache, she takes Analgin (Novalgin) medicine.

Few days back, she took the Analgin and noticed swelling in her left forearm (photo attached). This swelling has occurred in past too, but this time it persists for a week along with general body pain, fatigue and mild sweating at times. BP and temperature are normal. Family doctor suggested full body check up, chest x-ray, few blood tests and thyroid test specifically. All came normal except thyroid (report attached).

She did not take any medicine for the swelling yet. Please suggest what could be the cause? How can we prevent it?

Dr. Sai Balaji

Family Physician General Practitioner


Welcome to icliniq.com.

From the reports (attachment removed to protect patient identity) her TSH levels are high with normal T3 and T4 which suggests hypothyroidism. Most of the times hypothyroidism has normal T3 and T4. So hypothyroidism cannot be ruled in that case. Her complaints like sweating and everything fits under hypothyroidism.

I would like to know whether she had any recent injury (including minor trauma)?

Revert back to a general medicine physician online -->  https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/general-medicine-physician

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Hello doctor, There is no such injury or trauma. She is just feeling very tired and fatigue, rare sweating too. Please check her full body reports apart from thyroid as many other parameters appear to be above and below normal.  Especially I would like to know whether her cholesterol and liver are alright? I am pleased for your advice.

Dr. Sai Balaji

Family Physician General Practitioner


Welcome back to icliniq.com.

  • I have seen the reports and there are no major disturbances in the parameters (for your mother's age).
  • I would like to tell you that any changes in blood parameters that usually cause swelling will lead to swelling in many body parts, but in your mother's case only left arm is swollen, so any changes in reports need not be taken seriously as of now.
  • The actual problem is left arm swelling which can be due to various reasons like compression of blood vessels in the particular region or any other vessels that drain that part.
  • As you have already visited a doctor for physical examination, I can reassure you that she has normal blood flow in that limb (radial artery, what doctors check at wrist).
  • Just check the pulse in her left arm (just below the thumb) and compare it with her right arm.
  • Is her left arm cold compared to the other arm or sweating more or less? Just check it out.
  • You can get a Doppler done on her arms, which would be available in any diagnostic center (to check the patency of the vessels)
  • About the primary care, keep her arm elevated while she is asleep. You can keep a pillow or two under her arm even when she is sitting in a chair.
  • Tablets - you can give her a combination of Aceclofenac, Paracetamol and Serratiopeptidase in it. She can take it twice daily.

For further information consult a general medicine physician online -->  https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/general-medicine-physician

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