Thyroid and Body Pain
Hi everyone – Wondering if anyone has any experience with chronic body pain and thyroid issues. The list of possible symptoms from being hypothyroid is overwhelming and to be honest, I’m often not sure if what I’m seeing online is a real list based on science or made up by someone trying to sell supplements.
We’ve finally got my medication to the point where I’m no longer hypothyroid, but I still have body aches all the time. It’s better some days and worse others. The last couple of days it’s been quite bad and even my skin hurts.
My doc just finished testing for a whole slew of other auto-immune issues including rheumatoid arthritis and celiac. Everything came back fine, so that doesn’t explain it. I’m wondering if this is really worth pursuing (given that we have a very high deductible and it’s about to roll over) or if it’s just one of the fun parts of being a thyroid patient and I need to just deal. Thanks in advance for any advice / experiences that can help.
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Hi, @coloradogirl — you pose an interesting question. Let’s see if any of our fellow members who are knowledgeable about thyroid conditions may have some insights for you on thyroid issues and chronic body pain, like @vdouglas, @sunshine49, @sandytoes14, @parus, @whiterose67, @gailb and @lillyanne.
Also, just wanted to clarify that the thyroid issue you’re referring to is hypothyroidism?
Yes, although with the many medication changes, I suspect I may be hyperthyroid on the latest dose. There is a supply problem with NatureThroid so instead of getting the dosage I needed, we had to go to a higher dose of Armour. I have to wait six weeks for the next testing to be sure, but I’m feeling a bit hyperthyroid. At least my hair isn’t falling out yet….and the body aches continue.
Well, so I may just have answered my own question. The body pain was bad enough today that I took some OTC pain relievers. Once I get the pain settled down, I’m noticing a burning sensation in my feet. I’m pretty sure that means neuropathy, so I guess I’d better go see my doc again. Thanks @lisalucier for your help.
Hi, @coloradogirl — very interesting deduction work on your part! If neuropathy is a possibility, have you met the Mayo Clinic Connect moderator who works with our Neuropathy group, @johnbishop? This is the group I’m speaking of: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/neuropathy/.
Are you noticing any burning sensation anywhere else, or is it confined to your feet?
@coloradogirl While I don’t have problems with my thyroid, I empathize with you in the chronic body ache. I have Fibromyalgia and when my symptoms first started, I felt similar to the feeling of heaviness and soreness that are associated with the flu. Then I started tuning in to my body and tracking where the pains were the worst. Lo and behold, I was diagnosed with Fibro. Coloradogirl, have you had any exam that may indicate fibro? What are you doing to get some relief?
Hi @coloradogirl, It’s great that you are doing your own research and learning as much as you can about your health. I agree with Lisa (@lisalucier) that it might be helpful to look around in the Neuropathy Group to see if you there are some discussions you might find helpful. Mayo Clinic has some information on Burning Feet Syndrome here: https://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/burning-feet/basics/definition/sym-20050809#013. I do think it’s a good idea to discuss the symptoms with your doctor.
There is also a Burning Feet Syndrome discussion in the Brain & Nervous System Group that might be good to read through here:
My neuropathy is just numbness and tingling in both feet from the toes to a little above the ankles. I’m lucky to not have the pain associated with my small fiber peripheral neuropathy. I would recommend that you look around in the Neuropathy Group to see if you find any discussions that are helpful and then ask any questions you may have. You can also start a new discussion in the group if you can’t get an answer to your questions.
Hi @lisalucier and @johnbishop. Thanks for your help and concern. I’ve had non-specific leg pain at night for several years now. My doc is great but honestly hasn’t been all the interested in figuring it out because there are so many possible causes that we already know about.
I am hypothyroid and have type II diabetes (although very tightly controlled with diet and my A1C is typically under 5.5). I had obstructive sleep apnea until I started running a couple of years ago. I eventually had to give up the running because the chronic pain + the orthopedic pain from being a heavy 50+ year old runner was just too much. I was hoping that the running would help me lose weight (which the doc thinks would resolve most of these issues) but it didn’t. In fact, at first I actually gained a few pounds due to increased muscle mass.
The burning sensation in my feet is recent and pretty mild but was kind of a tip-off that this could be neuropathy, which could explain the rest of the pain as well. The burning sensation is limited to my toes / ball of the foot right now but I have little “electric shock” feelings in my hands from time to time as well as random stabbing pain or itching from time to time. A few days ago, it was in my ribs and last night, it was in my shin.
I’m honestly trying to decide whether it makes sense to go back to the doc again about this. At a certain point, they get tired of talking about issues that they can’t resolve. They went along recently with a bunch of testing for other auto-immune issues (such as celiac and rheumatoid) but when that all came back negative, I’m wondering if they will just think I’m a hypochondriac.
Hi @sandytoes14 and thanks for the response. I have thought about fibro but it doesn’t seem like there are a lot of treatments for it, so I wasn’t sure if it was worth pushing my doc for yet another diagnosis. (I already have several…see response to Lisa and John below).
The main treatments for fibro that I’ve seen involve anti-depressants and I am trying to avoid those if possible because Zoloft made me manic. (It was fun….until the credit card bill came).
As for what I do for relief, that is an excellent question and I will admit that I really don’t have a good answer. I have a foam roller and inversion table. I take a lot of Epsom salt baths. I also see a chiropractor and acupuncturist regularly to address orthopedic pain and headaches, which helps at least keep the overall pain “burden” lower. For chronic pain, I just try to ignore it to the extent that I can because I don’t want to overuse OTC meds like Tylenol or Ibuprofen. (Especially the latter, we have a high incidence of heart attack and stroke in my family so I don’t want to raise my risk factors if I don’t have to). If it gets really bad, like it was earlier this week, I do take the OTC pain relievers.
A friend who has fibro actually suggested that I try medical marijuana for my pain (it’s Colorado so it’s legal here) but I’m not really comfortable with that either.
Any suggestions you have would be welcome. I’ve been living with this for years now and I have to admit that better coping strategies would really help improve my quality of life.
Hi @coloradorgirl, another possibility to help with the pain are some form of compounded medications that can be applied directly to the area where you have the pain. A compounding pharmacy or pharmacist can do this. We had a speaker at one of our Minnesota Neuropathy Association’s meetings earlier this year – Nick Rich, PharmD (doctor of pharmacy), a compounding pharmacist, owner of Lake Elmo Pharmacy, spoke to us about: alternative treatments to conventional medicine for the treatment of neuropathic pain. He explained what a compounding pharmacist does, and how it may be different from what your pharmacist does. He has over 13 years of experience as a compounding pharmacist, and is one of two accredited compounding pharmacies in Minnesota. The other compounding pharmacy being the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. In Minnesota you have to be on the state’s list for chronic pain before you can get the stuff but one of our neuropathy association members actually used it with positive results for relieving the pain. Here is a link to the pharmacy’s website for more information:
Since you live in Colorado it may be easier for you to get a topical cream that will help with the pain/burning feet. I would check to see if there are any compounding pharmacies or a PharmD available close to you.
Hi John! I actually used to underwrite Pharmacists’ Professional Liability insurance so I know all about compounding pharmacies and PharmD’s. They are great and can be really very helpful especially for unique situations like this.
We did have a compounding pharmacy here in town but they were shut down by the FDA for some illegal practices. (Not sure exactly what happened, but I read that they were making things they should not have been). I think there is another compounding pharmacy that opened nearby, so I could probably use them. The challenge will be getting a prescription from a doc that seems to think it’s yet another symptom from my various other issues and not to be taking all that seriously.
Thanks again for your help.