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migranes & low thyroid
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migranes & low thyroid

can hypothyroidism be playing a part in my migranes (migraines)?  Migranes (migraines) are TERRIBLE and daily for 4 and 1/2 years.  Have tried countless migrane (migraine) meds to prevent them but none have helped.  My mother , Aunt & G'ma have hypothyroidism but no migranes (migraines).   I sleep around 12 hours or more per day, inferitilty, neuropathy in hand and feet, low immune system, quick to anger for no apparent reason, memory loss -what would I do without sticky notes- , moderate muscle & joint pain 2-3times week, frequent UTI and was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer 8 years ago when I was 31 but am now in remission.  My tsh test shows 1.53 and my t4 shows 2.05.  can this mean something is wrong with my thyroid???? I have been to countless general prac., & neurologist.  The first 2 years I was misdiagnosed as pseudo tumor cerebri but later found out this was not true.  I had normal spinal pressure and normal weight so not sure what made the 1 dr think that.  All other drs have agreed it is not ptc but probably hormone related.  I can't take hormones due to estrogen positive breast cancer.  
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768044 tn?1294227036
Hi patty_h,

Migraines and hypothyroidism can be comorbid conditions. So this means that your hypothyroidism and migraines could be related to each other, but they do not cause each other. In terms of headaches, there is a documented connection between chronic headaches or chronic migraines with hypothyroidism.

Some people with hypothyroidism find that they don't respond as well to migraine medication. If you do have hypothyroidism and you and your doctor are able to control it with medication, then you may find that you start to respond better to migraine medication.

Some of the other symptoms you mentioned are symptoms of both migraine disease and hypothyroidism.

A feeling like neuropothy can be a symptom of migraine, usually described as "numbness or tingling", and this symptom can be part of the migraine aura. I have experienced this prior to and during a migraine headache before, but I do not experience it often. Although, there are some people who do experience this symptom regularly with their migraines.

Moderate to severe pain will cause emotional changes and mental changes in most people. A normal migraine is usually around a 6 out of 10 on a comparative pain scale, and a very bad migraine is usually around an 8 out of 10 on a comparative pain scale. Most people will notice temporary personality changes (becoming irritable, changes to sleep schedule, etc.) once they hit a 5 out of 10 on a comparative pain scale. At about a 6 out of 10, most people will notice that they cannot think as clearly as they usually can (memory loss, etc.). Once a person hits about an 8 out of 10 on a comparative pain scale, they usually won't be able to think clearly at all (memory loss, etc.) and they will experience severe personality changes (anger, over-sleeping or not being able to sleep, etc.).

Muscle pain is not a common symptom of migraine headaches, but it is a symptom for enough people who have migraines that we know it can be a symptom of migraine headaches. For me, muscle pain is a normal symptom of my migraines.

Hypothyroidism can also explain many of your symptoms, including: fatigue, muscle pain (as muscle cramps or muscle weakness), memory loss and other mental changes (usually described as a "brain fog"), a need to sleep more in order to feel rested (your 12+ hours of sleep a night) and personality changes (usually irritability and mood swings).  

I am not sure that the infertility, low immune system, joint pain, frequent UTIs and cancer could have been caused by either the migraines or the hypothyroidism. You should speak to your doctor about these symptoms because you may have another undiagnosed condition that is causing these symptoms.

It is good that you have had your TSH and T4 tested.

Your current TSH level of 1.53 is within normal range, but it is slightly on the low side. For most people, this shouldn't cause symptoms, but you may want to speak to your doctor about starting a low dose of thyroid medication that could increase your TSH level (or speaking to your doctor about increasing your current dose if you are already taking a medication like this).

Do you know if your T4 test was a Free T4 Test or a Total T4 Test? The reference ranges for these two tests are different. If you had a Free T4 test then your result was over the normal upper limit that is acceptable. If you had a Total T4 test then your result was under the normal lower limit that is acceptable. So, either way, your T4 is off and is not within normal range. Please speak to your doctor about your T4 result.

If you have comorbid hypothyroidism and migraines, then it is also important to take a T3 thyroid blood test. If your T3 levels are off, then your doctor might want to start you on T3 thyroid medication or add this medication to your normal thyroid medications.

I hope that some of this information is helpful. Keep in touch to let us know how you are doing.

Thanks for writing,
Avatar dr f tn
How are you? Marilee has touched important points, Migraine headaches and hypothyroidism are indeed associated conditions. It is important that you check with an endocrinologist  for proper evaluation of your hormones, including your thyroid panel. Medications for thyroid dysfunction is usually indicated. Take care and do keep us posted.
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