Author Topic: Sinking Cheeks  (Read 5662 times)

Janet

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Sinking Cheeks
« on: September 08, 2011, 01:49:19 PM »
Hi, I was diagnosed with Primary Sjogren Syndrome, Hypothyroidism, Hashimotos Thyroiditis, Osteoarthritis, and Rheumatoid Traits six years ago. I had been trying for five years before that to find out what was wrong with me. I was put on Placquanil by my Rheumatologist, but when my insides began to feel itchy, he put me on Cellcept. On Cellcept my liver enzymes became elevated so I was taken off the Cellcept. At that time, I began working with an herbalist who gave me tonic powder, and other herbal supplements to take like Omega, D3, Myelin Sheath, Bone Strength and other herbal supplements. The inside of my body appears to be functioning very well. At my most recent appointment with my Rheumatologist, he said my Sjogren's was not active. However, my cheeks on both sides of my face are sinking in. I also have deep creases on either side of my mouth going down toward my chin, and a splotchy redness on my cheeks. My face looks like I am 80 years old when in fact I am 60.  This all happened in the past six months. I thought this was my salivary glands shrinking from my dry mouth, but my Rheumatologist said he did not know what was happening and referred me to a Plastic Surgeon. Both my Rheumatologist and PCP have not been helpful or forthcoming with what is happening to me. So of course, I have found a new Rheumatologist who specializes in Sjogren's who I will see later this month.  I am also going to keep my appointment with the Plastic Surgeon. I am praying that the Plastic Surgeon can do something to help me. I have read as many articles about Sjogren's as I could read and nothing says anything about the face sinking in on both sides. Can anyone shed some light on this subject for me I am a firm believer in knowledge is power.  Thank you,   Janet

Jellyb

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Re: Sinking Cheeks
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2011, 02:29:31 PM »
Hi Janet,
Welcome!

I do not know anything that could be causing your sinking cheeks, your theory about the salivary glands would make sense. But I can just imagine how distressing it is.  Hopefully one of these great people here will know what might be causing that and give you some information.

I hope you get it figured out soon.
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A66eyroad

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Re: Sinking Cheeks
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2011, 02:35:23 PM »
I seem to remember 12LoveHim talking about something changing the shape of her face. Here's the thread, maybe she will elaborate when she comes back online.

http://sjogrensworld.org/forums/index.php?topic=17146.msg181905;topicseen#msg181905
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irish

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Re: Sinking Cheeks
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2011, 03:31:54 PM »
When we age the muscles in our face begin to shrink up. It is happening to me and I am 68 years old. Also, I had my teeth pulled about 7 years ago and this adds to the shrinking muscles and causes the facial features to change.

I look really terrible as my lower jaw is starting to protrude some and it tics me off, but I have pictures of several of my aunts when they were older and I look just like them.

Be aware that most people go through this and it is much more obvious if a person has less weight on their body. My sister is 65 and she says that it is happening to her. Our muscles shrink and our skin sags and we wrinkle and that's the way it is.

Sorry that I have to bring age into it!! I remember 60 well and I wish I could look as good now as I did then. Every few years seem to add a little "character" to our facial features. Try to accent the positive.Sometimes a change in hair style will do wonders. I just started growing my hair our some and it has taken the emphasis away from my face---which pleases me greatly.

Don't despair. You are loved for what is inside you---not for what you see in the mirror. If people make any comments to you I would consider them to be "non friends" after that. We all know what is going on with our looks and no one has to remind us. irish ;D

Patty

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Re: Sinking Cheeks
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2011, 03:41:51 PM »
This is off-topic, but Irish's comment were just what I needed to hear.

My face is swelled up like a beach ball from steroid injections, prednisone etc. I seem to have lost my neck along the way. I have been so discouraged lately. I do everything possible to be healthy and lose weight to no avail. I get annoyed when people say "you look good." Are they blind? I need to keep my perspective. After all, I am still upright for the most part, and doing the best I can.
Sjogren's, Vasculitis,  IC, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, Raynauds, Peripheral Neuropathy

Nat

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Re: Sinking Cheeks
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2011, 04:57:10 PM »
Hi Janet, welcome! Such a dramatic sinkage could be caused by Cachexia. Cachexia can often be found in rheumatoid conditions. Here is a study that states, "The temporal fossae are sunken as are the cheeks." I will find and post some more information for you.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK13839/


Nat

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Re: Sinking Cheeks
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2011, 05:17:51 PM »
Here is some more information of Rheumatoid cachexia. The information states it, "May affect up to 2/3 of all patients." It is linked to elevated cytokines and also protein metabolism as the information states. I posted some information on another thread on Tumor necrosis factor (cytokine) and the reason it becomes elevated in autoimmune disease. It is a page or two back or you could just view my past posts.  Proper protein metabolism and regulation of tumor necrosis factor are both dependent on pancreatic enzymes called proteases. The abstract focuses attention on metabolic syndrome. This can lead to insulin resistance. Elevated tumor necrosis factor can also lead to insulin resistance.

Nat

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Re: Sinking Cheeks
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2011, 05:36:14 PM »
I have a habit of forgetting to post links. Here it is. http://arthritis-research.com/content/11/2/108

Also, Tumor necrosis factor is nicknamed cachexin for its association to cachexia. Cachexia will also cause visible rashes, so this could be why you have a splotchy redness.

Joe S.

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Re: Sinking Cheeks
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2011, 06:02:15 PM »
Welcome to the forum, Janet.
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stephL

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Re: Sinking Cheeks
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2011, 08:08:19 PM »
Welcome Janet! I don't know if I have the same thing as what you are describing.  My cheek tissue shrinks and tightens, causing the inside of my cheek to tend to get caught between my side teeth. My lips also shrink and become as thin as if I were 95 years old. When I have the humidifier on, my lips plump back up and the inside of my cheeks doesn't get pulled between my teeth as much. I probably should use a mouth gel or spray too. My theory is that I have a sparse amount of moisture in my mouth tissues to begin with and raising the indoor humidity slows moisture loss through evaporation from my skin.
"Unlike weakness, fatigue can be alleviated by periods of rest." -Wikipedia: Fatigue (medical)

stephL

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Re: Sinking Cheeks
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2011, 08:27:29 PM »
I should add that when this happens, I have saliva, my mouth feels moist and not  bone dry. But I think the mucous membrane tissues of my cheek are not as well saturated as they are supposed to be.
"Unlike weakness, fatigue can be alleviated by periods of rest." -Wikipedia: Fatigue (medical)

Meld256

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Re: Sinking Cheeks
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2011, 02:48:15 AM »
Hi Janet,

Allow me to Welcome you to Sjogren's World!  ;) 

I think you'll find lots of helpful info. here and many friendly, encouraging people.  I hope that your appointment with the new rheumatologist will bring some answers to your concerns.

Please feel free to post anytime; ask anything at all.  If we don't know, we'll try to find an answer.  We look forward to hearing more from you.  Also, if you are interested in live chats, we have chat times listed at http://sjgorensworld/chat. htm

Take care,
Melinda