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Adjusting Thyroid Medication and Joint Pain
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Adjusting Thyroid Medication and Joint Pain

I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism in January (TSH 10) - a year after the birth of my daughter.  Since then, my doctor has been slowly increasing my dose (b/c I was still experiencing some hypo-symptoms).  I am currently at a TSH of about 2.2.  My questions are:

1.  I have been experiencing joint pain (just recently) that seems to worsen when my dose is changed - does this ever happen?  I have been to a Rheumatologist (my mother has RA) but the doctor said that, so far, it's not RA. ??????

2.  I do NOT have Hashimoto's but my mother does.  Could my hypothyroidism be a precursor to Hashimoto's?  Maybe the joint pain is related to that?

Thanks for any input!
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Your antibodies are negative?  What does the ultrasound look like?  Most likely you do have Hashi, particularly with the family history.  Target TSH is about 1.0

The joint pain is sometimes seen in thyroid imbalance - both too much and too little.

14 Comments
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Thanks for your reply.  To answer your questions: My antibodies test did not indicate Hashimoto's.  An ultrasound was not even mentioned during my appointment.  My doctor also treats my mother's hypothyroidism/Hashi....

Wouldn't Hashimoto's have shown up first?  I'm very confused!
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I have some Thyroid related questions for you. Hope you can help me.  I had been diognised with Hyperthyroidism -- Graves Disease for years with Tapozle. Then my endocrinologist suggest me to take RAI. After RAI, I still hyper, so continue to take Tapozle. After 1 year of RAI, right now I am Hypothyroidism -- after RAI treatment  . And I am on Synthroid 0.088mg for 3 months, then my doc change to Eltroxin 0.05mg now.  

I am searching for the better treatment for myself because I don't think these chemical medicine is good for the body. I regret that I took RAI without knowing the serious side effect for my rest of my life. :(  -------------from what I had experienced I will NOT sugguest people to take RAI !!-------------

I suffer lots of symtoms (symptoms) after got Hypo from RAI.  Not sleep well, no energy, hair loss, dry skin, feel cold..and I am only 23 years old!  I feel helpless...but I believe the natural herbal may be can help me..I found a site http://www.greenlife-herbal.com/  and want you comments. What do you think I should do?? What do think about the western medicine and tradiational herbal treatment? Waiting for you answer....Thank you a lot!!

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Hi,
I am not a doctor, but have some comments to make.  I hope you don't mind.  First of all, RAI is standard proceedure for that.  You have hypo symptoms b/c RAI killed some of your thyroid - doctor can probably word that better.  RAI is also used in cases of thyroid cancer...I am about to have total thyroidectomy and then will do RAI.  The hypo symptoms you are having are coming from that, but was needed to suppress your thyroid - hyper can cause dangerous problems with heart, etc.  Once your doc gets your thyroid meds at proper level, the hypo symptoms should subside.  Do you know what your latest thyroid panel results were?  Also, remember that it takes a while for the meds to start working and will have to be teetered to the correct dosage over a period of time.  I know that the hypo symtpoms really stink....dealing with them myself.  But it is part of the process.  I will tell you  what doc will probably tell you as well....DO NOT stop taking your thyroid hormone.  Not a good idea at all.  I have done alot of reasearch and there is nothing "herbal" that can take the place of thyroid hormone.  I know that these are synthetic drugs, and most of us would probably rather not put them into our bodies...but that's just the way things play out sometimes.  I am interested in hearing what side effect you will suffer for the rest of your life from doing RAI?  That is the first I have heard of that.  There is another person who posts on this forum as well - and maybe she will read this.  She has graves and has alot of really good info....hopefully you can get in touch with her...I will try to help with that.  Please don't take this the wrong way, just trying to point you in some sort of direction.  If doc reads this, he will most likely answer, but you need to try and post this question at the beginning of coming to the forum where is says "post a question" - it may take a while before you finally get to post - only so many accepted per day.  I wish you well - and honestly, please don't stop taking your thyroid meds....you will REALLY feel much worse.
Take Care,
Charley
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi I got my blood test report ..TSH <.05 FT4 33.7 FT3 10.7 My doctor changed the Synthroid 0.088mg to Eltroxin 0.05mg.  Do anyone know the different between these two medicines? Thank you!!

I heard the 10 years after taking RAI, you will look much older than the normal person because your will be in the lower metabolism. Since your body can not procduct it's hormone for you, you will have dry skin, hair loss, feeling weak, no spirit. As a result, you will need to take hormone replacement. That's my case!! Howerever, the hormone replacement can not be as good as the hormone it produce by your body itself. Therefore, I am looking for a natural treatment like harbal treatment. Please take a look at this site: http://www.greenlife-herbal.com/version2/Self_Diagnosis/index.html  And give me some comments. Thanks a lots!!

Also after RAI, you will having difficulty to get pregnane or even get pregnane..the RAI will be affect the birth child.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hey,
I don't know if you are getting very good information about all this stuff.  Once you are on the proper dosage of meds, you WILL NOT have hair loss, fatigue...look old...all that other stuff.  I know LOTS of people who live very active wonderful lives even after having their thyroid removed!  And whoever told you that you will not be able or will have trouble having children - LIED!  There is no truth to whatever you've been told....and a word to the wise, alot of those "all natural" websites tell you lots of stuff to sell their product.  You are an adult - do what you will - but if I were you, I would do some serious research about your problems at reputable sites such as - Cleveland Clinic, Johns Hopkins, etc.  If you have to, google hypothyroidism and/or hyperthyroidism....READ READ READ...you will be able to make a more informed decision.  I hope that you are not upset that I have responded to you - just want you to know as a patient, you have a right to be knowledgeable about your medical conditions....don't just listen and take whatever is said at face value.  From what I have read about Eltroxin, it is a new form of levothyroxine sodium.  You can google the drug name and there is alot of info on it.  I am not a doctor, so I don't know why you are still having hypo symptoms, but I would ask my doctor about it..plus, I don't know how long you have been on your meds...it takes time to begin leveling things out. Look, I have thyroid cancer and I am about to have my ENTIRE THYROID removed.....I know hundreds of people who live very active and wonderful lives without a thyroid - taking the thyroid hormone - and THEY HAVE A WONDERFUL SPIRIT!  I don't know who told you all these things that have scared you, but it is very unfortunate that you have gotten alot of misinformation.  I hope that the doctor will look at this thread and hopefully respond to your thoughts and questions.  Let me just make myself clear...ok?  Once you are HYPOthyroid - hair loss, fatigue, dry skin, etc....you have to take thyroid hormone in order to help your thyroid do its job for whatever reason.  Once you are on a proper dosage of synthroid or eltroxin or whatever drug...HYPO SYMPTOMS WILL SUBSIDE.  If you DO NOT take thyroid hormone although doctor tells you that you are hypothryoid, you will continue to feel like ****...and it WILL NOT GET BETTER with anything OTHER THAN  medecine....I wish that there was something out there other than these meds....but the truth is - THIS WORKS.....give it some time.  And believe me and the hundreds and thousands of other people who have this and live with it - IT WILL GET BETTER!!!!!
Take Care,
Charley
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Hey again,
I went to the website and read.  It didn't take me long to realize that they are pushing their product.  BUT, if you will read closely, it also says, you will continue to take your thyroid hormone.  YOU DO NOT take the herbal INSTEAD of thyroid hormone.  You use 'thyroid thou' - or whatever it was - ALONG WITH your meds as a supplement.  Sorry, but like I said, they are putting info out there that alot of people want to believe - and they are making a killing on it!
Charley
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Luci1976,

I also developed thyroid disease after giving birth (my daughter was 6 months).

Which antibodies did you have tested? The Tg antibodies aren't routinely tested for but are an indication of Hashi's (I have both elevated TPO and Tg antibodies but my Tgab are very high).

I have a lot of joint pain even when my TSH levels are "perfect" (meaning between 1 and 2 according to my endo). It was one of the first symptoms I had and it still comes and goes...even with apparantly adequate treatment. I've also been to a rheumatologist (two actually) and a neurologist; both ordered a variety of testing; all has been normal.

After two years of trying to figure out why and just "living with it" I now take pain meds whenever I've "had enough" :).

Do you get stiff or ever feel "flu-like" with your joint pain? They usually accompany mine; just curious.

Kelly




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Avatar_f_tn
Hello, I have had Graves' disease for at least 16 years and treated with RAI 9 years ago and I do not nor have I suffered the symptoms you have described.  And I do not look much older and I have lots of energy. You need to stop reading wrong information. You are very young and have a long life ahead of you, please don't ruin it by wrong info and treatment or much worse. There is life after RAI, a happy, healthy and beautiful life.


<TSH <.05 FT4 33.7 FT3 10.7>
It would help to know your Lab ranges.

<RAI without knowing the serious side effect for my rest of my life>
RAI is not "toxic" to the body. It is toxic to thyroid cells into which it is taken. If it is not taken into a thyroid cell, it is eliminated within a day or two from the body. It's use focuses directly on thyroid cells, leaving other cells alone. And it has a very short life span. It has never been shown to harm us, long-term. Hyperthyroidism does.

<RAI will be affect the birth child.>
RAI will not affect the birth of a child as long as a women waits until 6 to 12 months after RAI and levels are regulated with thyroid hormone replacements.  

<the hormone it produce by your body itself>
You can ask doctor for Armour which is natural thyroid hormone from pigs which some do well on while others do not.  Natural herbs will not do the same as thyroid hormone replacements and your  blood test results will not be trustworthy.  Some herbs are dangerous and can interfere with your thyroid levels.  Not taking your thyroid meds can be dangerous to your health and life therefore you need to take them!

<chemical medicine >
Thyroid hormone replacement(Synthroid,Levoxyl,levothroid, levothyroxin (levothyroxine), etc) is not a chemical.   That is, it is not a chemical meant to "trick" our system in any way. It is not toxic like other medications can be, since it is made the same as our naturally occurring thyroid hormone. Symptoms for too much or too little are exactly the same as hyperthyroid symptoms (for too much) or hypothyroid symptoms (for too little), and "side effects" should be nonexistent.

<joint pain - Not sleep well, no energy, hair loss, dry skin, feel cold>
Either your levels are not right for you to feel your best or you might have another autoimmune disorder or health condition that is causing your joint pain and other symptoms. However it does take time to heal once you are at the right levels for you.

Below link has a lot of info on most aspect of Graves', Hashi, thyroid cancer, autoimmune disorders, etc. as well as all three treatments, and much more. And a forum with a group of people who share the same thing in common, thyroid problems.
http://groups.msn.com/GRAVESDISEASEANDRAI/home.msnw

Be kind to yourself and be treated properly with thyroid hormone replacement and your doctor.

Good Luck!
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Hi all..thanks everyone's comments..I want to know does anyone have eye problem because of hypo disease?? and how to treat it?? Thank you!!
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Avatar_f_tn
I have slight TED in one eye only, which I noticed about two years after RAI.  It hasn't gotten any worse nor has it gotten any better.  I use eye drops and wear sunglasses to protect the eye from sun and wind, etc.

It is suggested that you go to an ophthalmologist who deals with a lot of TED yearly. The doctor will take a measurement of your eye as a bases for future to see if your eye has widen from TED (or the eye has gotten worse).

If your TED is not all that bad then  NONSURGICAL TREATMENT
Topical ointments and artificial tears may soothe the eyes.
Preservative free and sterile lubricant eye drops and for night time and for sleep liquid gel lubricant eye drops with 0.5% methylcellulose and/or  hypromellose eye drops for lubrication.
Use cold eye   packs for swelling, such as frozen peas which can be refrozen and used over and over again, just don't eat them later because of the repeated freezing.
Sleeping with the head elevated and using diuretics can reduce swelling....raise the head of your bed with a 2x4 or 4x4.
The use of plastic shields at night can help prevent drying of the cornea if the eyelids cannot close during sleep. Tape your eyes shut with non-abravise tape.
Tinted glasses with side guards will help protect the eyes.
Topical Medication Steroid Drops - Corticosteroid drops may help improve symptoms of moderate to severe dry eyes. Steroids reduce the inflammation responsible for dryness. However, chronically using a steroid may lead to side effects in some individuals, and is not a long term option.
Immunosuppressive Agents Cyclosporin eye drops may also improve inflammation of the eye tissue resulting from dry eyes. Cyclosporin is an immunosuppressive agent that reduces the activation of T-cells found in tears that are responsible for inflammation. Cyclosporin, when used as a topical drop, does not cause the systemic side effects seen with the oral form of the drug. It takes several months of using the drops to see improvement.
Here are two tricks models use: For eye swelling or  bags use preparation H.  
Use light shadow on your good eye and dark shadow (preferably brown) on the bad eye light shadow makes the eye appear larger and the dark shadow makes the eye appear smaller....maximizes  - minimizes.
Oral Medications Antibiotics - Oral antibiotics can help to treat the conditions resulting in the compromised quality of the tearfilm. Antibiotics like doxycycline or minocycline, may actually help improve the lipid layer of the tears. They work by improving production and secretion of oils by the meibomian glands as well as by reducing inflammation of the glands. Oral antibiotics need to be taken for several months to achieve their full therapeutic value.
Nutritional Supplements - Omega-3 fatty acid and plant oil, such as borage and flaxseed oil, may help improve lipid and mucin layers of the tears. They may also render an anti-inflammatory effect. It may take several weeks to months to achieve an effect.
Antioxidants and essential nutrients  such as Vitamin, A, E, and C, and B6 may play a part in promoting normal ocular surface conditions, as well as lacrimal gland health. 0.5% solution of hydrocortisone may prove beneficial when used for a brief period as eyedrops three times daily in combating some of the local irritative phenomena.
SURGICAL TREATMENT - In more severe cases, surgery may be needed to correct the condition.

Some people develop TED when they take animal-based extracts such as Armour,  because the immune system  react to foreign proteins found in glandular extracts. Synthetic meds. doesn't cause this problem.  Also smoking aggravates TED and Graves', so it's a no, no!.

More info. - http://groups.msn.com/GRAVESDISEASEANDRAI/ted.msnw
TED through TED 4

Hope this helps.
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Avatar_f_tn
Best to go to legit medical sites or thyroid org such as, Thyroid Foundation of Canada - Graves' Eye Disease (Opthalmopathy) | thyroid
John Hopkins University - Eye disease related to Graves' disease
Allthyroid.org Eye Problems Associated with Graves Disease
The New England Journal of Medicine. - Relation between Therapy for Hyperthyroidism and the Course of Graves' Ophthalmopathy
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Avatar_f_tn
All the above listed legit medical sites or thyroid org URLs are listed as references at http://groups.msn.com/GRAVESDISEASEANDRAI/ted.msnw
We don't use or refere to anything but!
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Avatar_f_tn
I just came across your post on the suggestions with the TED support. Just some great input on the help with this ongoing problem these past 6/7 years. If you would please recommend some of the eye lubricant and gel names, also I am following a gluten free diet, was not dx with this, was on the diet and challenged it back, but it was too late for an accurate dx, just know that I do alot better on it. This would have to be a product that is gf and as I am very sensitive to any med's something well tolerated.
I was dx with graves seven years ago, and have the TED eye (mild) also. Would like to ask if you or anyone here has eye pain with this? I do not always have it but I have had this wake me up at night with a searing pin-point pain that lasts a few minutes and really has my (one eye) tearing, ouch, it is quite painful. Does this sound like a TED connection symptom? Maybe just very dried out eyes?
Thank you for your response (s) a head of time. Do hope this reaches you GravesLady, with your knowledge and experiences, I am looking forward to hearing from you, (or anyone else with this problem).
Best to you all,
Susie
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