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GCA and is this claudication?

I have really bad oedema - my feet are so swollen that I can only wear one pair of shoes, and my legs are so weak I have trouble getting up stairs. Now another new development, in that my feet and hands keep fixing in one position - I moved my foot to the right and it was stuck at right angles for a while - the same with thumbs and fingers. I think I read that this is claudication. I have never had these symptoms before. Does anyone know about them. At the moment I dont have a rheumy as he has gone back to Iceland but feel I need some advice. I am on 37.5mg Pred and I have my doubts about the azitrioprine I am taking. Hope someone can give me some help. I am feeling so down with all this.

2 Replies

No, claudication is pain that develops in muscles during activity such as walking for leg muscles or chewing for the jaw and which then stops when you stop the action, only to return when you resume. It is due to lack of blood supply to the muscles concerned which reduces the amount of oxygen supplied. When there is not enough for what is being done the result is called ischaemic pain.

What you are describing sounds more like muscle cramping - you may find that taking magnesium supplements helps. Pred makes us lose magnesium in our urine and low magnesium in muscles is a common cause of cramp. Blood tests may not show it up to start with as the magnesium in the muscles is used up to keep the blood level OK but here in mainland Europe the first thing you would be asked by a doctor if you complained of having cramp would be if you had tried magnesium. It is easy to get from the chemist. Don't be tempted to take more than it says as it can lead to diarrhoea if you take too much - think Epsom salts!


That's so useful, many thanks


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