Q. I have headaches, dizziness, and swollen feet and ankles. What should I do?

Answered by
Dr. Ashaq Hussain Parrey
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
Published on Oct 22, 2017 and last reviewed on: Nov 09, 2019

Hello doctor,

I am wondering if anyone would know what is wrong or what other tests can be done. My ANA is 1:360, TSH is 0.5, free and total, T3 and T4 are normal. SLE (systemic lupus erythematosus) is negative, Sjorgen's is negative, and thyroid ultrasound is normal. Symptoms experienced are extreme fatigue, weight gain, inability to lose weight, hair loss, not in patches but thinning extremely, loss of energy, extreme dizziness, sometimes loss of sight, constant migraines or headaches, swollen feet and ankles, frozen hands and feet all the time, neck feels swollen or thicker, chronic hives, and dry skin.

Dr. Ashaq Hussain Parrey

General Medicine Internal Medicine Rheumatology


Welcome to icliniq.com.

I went through your post.

Firstly, let me summarize your complaints and investigations.

  1. You have symptoms of ill health which include headaches, giddiness, and swelling of feet and ankles.
  2. Positive findings on investigations are your high leukocyte count of more than 12000 with high monocyte count of more than 1000.
  3. Your ANA is positive.

I would, as a rheumatologist, first look whether there are clinically any features of vasculitis because high eosinophil count can occur in vasculitis or in helminth infestations. So, you need to do an ANCA (antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies), both C-ANCA and P-ANCA, to look for ANCA-related vasculitis.

You need a spot urine protein test to see whether there is any proteinuria or active sediment in the urine.

ESR (erythrocyte sedimentation rate) and CRP (C-reactive protein) will tell us if there is any inflammation or not.

For the time being, you should take an anthelmintic, preferably tablet Albendazole 400 mg single dose.

For more information consult a rheumatologist online.-->https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/rheumatologist

Thank you doctor,

Does not vasculitis cause weight loss rather than weight gain? What would be the cause of dizziness almost the entire day? I did have an H.pylori test and have retested since and it is negative. What about the hair loss? My hair has started falling out about 10 times more than ever. Do you think it could be subclinical Hashimoto's or maybe pituitary gland issues or a tumor?

Dr. Ashaq Hussain Parrey

General Medicine Internal Medicine Rheumatology


Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Yes, vasculitis in advanced stages causes weight loss. But, the feeling of loss of energy with easy fatigability can be a manifestation of vasculitis. I am not diagnosing you with vasculitis, but this is one of the differential diagnosis which needs priority; otherwise, simple urticaria can have eosinophilia and hives.

  • Cushing's can cause weight gain but is associated with many clinical features including high blood pressure, weight gain, moon face and thin limbs. In Cushing's, which is a pituitary tumor, the person looks like a lemon on matchsticks, and this is curable with treatment.
  • Hashimoto's thyroiditis will not cause obesity unless there is hypothyroidism, which you do not have, as is evident on your thyroid function test.
  • I am stressing on vasculitis because it is possibly the most dangerous among all these diseases, which needs to be ruled out.

For more information consult a rheumatologist online.-->https://icliniq.com./ask-a-doctor-online/rheumatologist

Thank you doctor,

Okay, I will have my NP test me for this. If it came back with no vasculitis, what else would be recommended?

Dr. Ashaq Hussain Parrey

General Medicine Internal Medicine Rheumatology


Welcome back to icliniq.com.

At this point, I would suggest:

  • Regular exercise and restriction of calories because weight control is very, very important and it may be the sole reason for easy fatigability.
  • I suggest you start antihistamines, preferably a combination of Montelukast and Levocetirizine and I think you will have to stop Diazepam because it could be the contributing factor. Consult your specialist doctor, discuss with him/her and take the medicines with their consent.
  • In addition, I suggest you get your random serum cortisol level checked.

For further queries consult a rheumatologist online --> https://icliniq.com./ask-a-doctor-online/rheumatologist

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