Muscle Weakness

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Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 153
   Posted 3/16/2007 8:23 PM (GMT -6)   
I mentioned in another post that I am newly diagnosed. I have however had symptoms for a long long long time. Years, like most of you here before you were diagnosed.

During my last flare (which I now know was Lupus) I spent about 6 months in bed with muscles so weak I couldnt lift my arms, couldnt hold my head up, even lying still, my muscles burned with fatigue. Breathing was difficult because it felt as if the muscles on my chest wall were collapsing. Chewing and swallowing were a chore. My husband had to help me to the bathroom, bathe me.. it was a nightmare. At this same time I had extremely painful knee and hip joints, buzzing feelings in my hands and legs, numbness in my face, migraines that would not go away, vertigo. I lost weight, my hair fell out.

I was told at the time, that it was ALL anxiety. I had gone to a neurologist as I thought I must have some horrible brain tumor or neurological disease. They did many many tests, MRI's cat scans, blood work. He told me I was fine. I was anxious.

I think that HippiMom is experiencing burning and weakness (I might have gotten the name wrong)

has anyone else experienced muslce weakness? Is it a symptom of lupus?

Thanks for any info you can give me.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 610
   Posted 3/16/2007 8:48 PM (GMT -6)   
Yes. It is a symptom of lupus. It usually happens when flaring. I had it before, but I was under control by bumping up the prednisole. That time my hubby was not there, so my mom and my friends had to come and help me out. This is not caused by anxiety.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2004
Total Posts : 8198
   Posted 3/16/2007 8:53 PM (GMT -6)   


  It sounds like you have had a rough time...((Hugs)). Did your doctor check you for Fibro? The burning, weak muscles sounds alot like fibro but, Lupus can also attack your muscles as well. Sometimes its hard to tell what disease is causing what symptom.

  Your last flare does sound like a nightmare. When lupus attacked my equallibirum I was laid up for months too. I couldn't do anything like you. My family had to take care of me. It ended up damaging my equallibirum, I lost alot of hearing in my left ear, and have constant ringing in both ears. I had to learn how to walk again with my balance issues. I still have problems walking at night or on uneven ground and have no balance in water, so I can no longer swim. It gets frustrating at times.

  The muscle pain and weakness can definately be caused from lupus. I think alot of us experience it in flares. I hope your meds kick in soon and you will start to feel alot better. Hang in there and take care. Keep us updated. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.


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Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2004
Total Posts : 2244
   Posted 3/16/2007 9:13 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Monkey,

I agree with Babs it sounds like either Fibro or Lupus. I have muscle weakness too mainly in my legs and arms. It doesn't happen everyday but often enough. I have decided to exercise a little each day by walking on the treadmill to build the muscles in my legs. I don;t walk long, most people would laugh, but I've started walking at least for 5 minutes and I will work my way up. I will be taking a short break as I twisted BOTH of my ankles walking down my basement stairs yesterday morning, I'm just glad I didn't fall down, I was close to the bottom and was able to remain standing but boy do my ankles hurt!!!!

I hope your meds kick in soon, take care

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding ~ Proverbs 3:5 ~

DX: Hashimoto's 1999, Celiac 2003, Raynaud's 2004, Costochondritis 2004, Lupus 2005 and Sjogrens 2006
Meds:Imuran, Plaquenil, Flexeril, Sulindac, Levoxyl, Folic Acid and magic mouthwash (as needed)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1344
   Posted 3/18/2007 1:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Others have told you that muscle weakness can be a symptom of lupus.  It can also be a symptom of a connecitve tissue disease like the one I have.  Mixed connective tissue disease which is a combination of lupus, scleroderma and polymyositis.
Myositis (inflammatory muscle diseases) diseases like polymyositis and dermatomyositis will have symptoms of muscle weakness and swallowing difficulties.  Getting up and down, climbing stairs, lifting overhead, and swallowing problems are common symptoms.  PM hits your proximal (off your trunk) muscles more and DM will hit your distal (muscles farther from your trunk) muscles more.  Skin rashes are typical with DM.
Steroids can also cause muscle weakness in some patients.
It is fairly common for lupers to have symptoms of more than one auto immune disease.  If your muscle weakness is persistent and getting worse I would ask you doctor to test your CPK and SED rate.  Unfortunately, myositis diseases are not always easy to diagnose and test results can be negative when you actually have the disease.....just like lupus.
I would advise you to push your doctor to find out why you are experiencing weakness.  Good luck and hope you feel better.
Mixed connective tissue disease (systemic lupus, scleroderma, polymyositis), Raynauds phenomena, Hypertension, Barrett's syndrome.
Meds: prednisone (9mg & tapering), 150mg imuran, lisinopril 40mg, maxide 37.5/25mg, norvasc 5 mg, folic acid, potassium, aciphex 20mg, multi vitamins.
Maintain your optimism and you can beat the odds.
"Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it."  Helen Keller

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 5403
   Posted 3/18/2007 4:01 PM (GMT -6)   
Monkey, as I was reading your post I was hoping Bill would see it and respond, and he did. Your weakness sounds really severe and I agree it really needs to be looked into. I have muscle weakness that is especially bad during flares, but not as bad as yours. I have a hard time holding my arms up for very long when this happens which makes it hard to wash or blow dry my hair. I also can't walk too far without my legs burning. I'm like Stacie and am trying to exercise a little bit to try to build some muscle.

Please do push your doctor to look into this more for you.

Take care
Diagnosis:  UCTD (lupus) 2006; Raynauds 2006; Sjogren's 2006; lupus symptoms began 2003; CFS 1991; Mono 1985
Meds:  Plaquenil 400mg; Prednisone 5-10mg; Tramadol 100mg 3-4x daily; Amitriptyline 10mg; Neurontin 300mg; Prevacid; Steriod Cream and Mouth Rinse for tongue and mouth ulcers; Hydrocodone 5/500 prn for severe pain; Restasis eye drops



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