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Questions for Dr. Kennedy
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Facial Swelling
Posted by: Jacquay Royston
Date: June 14, 2000 7:12 PM

My daughter who is 27 has suffered from periodic bouts of facial swelling since the age of 9, sometimes on both sides of her face and sometimes just on one side. Although the swelling may not be very severe, her whole face looks different and her eyes become "piggy". Sometimes her face is tight and sore and she suffers a burning sensation. The swelling is accompanied by night sweats, shortness of breath and a general feeling of being unwell. It is also preceded by a short period when her appetite is unnaturally increased, but this does not result in an increase in weight.

Over the years we have tried everything we can think of to find out the cause - allergy tests, ENT tests, dietary tests, liver/thyroid function etc.

Last year we thought we had found the answer, rather dramatically, when my daughter had a stroke and was diagnosed with a myxoma in her left atrium, which was removed by heart surgery. We hoped that this would solve all her symptoms, but she is now experiencing them again and is naturally concerned that something may be re-occuring.

RE: Facial Swelling
Posted by: Ron Kennedy, MD
Date: June 15, 2000 2:05 AM

Impossible to diagnose without seeing the person, and then probably pretty difficult. Here is a web site with a differential diagnosis (some possibilities).
The path to diagnosis will be the periodicity and nailing down what she is exposed to prior to an attack. Could be any inhaled or eaten allergen or chemical to which she is sensitive. Also, gorging on carbohydrates such as potatoes, rice, pasta, bread, and/or sweets can cause fluid retention. I suggest taking careful notes of all foods eaten and all exposures.

This Thread has been closed


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