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Chronic Back Pain and Hypothyroidism??
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Chronic Back Pain and Hypothyroidism??

Ok,
my husband has been going to doctors for over a year now, he has really bad chronic back pain that meds dont help, they chiro helped a little but not much, and muscle relaxers just help him sleep. All of the xrays and mri of his back are normal. We went to a different doctor today and he went through his medical chart and in the past they tested his thyroid and I dont know which but the hormone was elevated. His mom and grandma both has hypo thyroid problems.

I'm just curious to know if it's possible for this back pain to be a side effect.
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Avatar_f_tn
Chronic back pain is definitely a symptom of hypothyroidism.  I did the same thing your husband is doing...spent a year and a half going to all kinds of specialists for my back.  Nothing helped.  Finally, I was diagnosed hypo, and back pain faded to almost nothing (I do have arthritis of the spine, so some pain remains, but NOTHING like when I was hypo).

He should have his free T3, free T4 and TSH tested again.  When hypo, your body cannot heal properly, so "little" injuries or stresses can linger.
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904511_tn?1251223333
Thank you so much for your personal experience! I didn't know about the longer healing time tho. So that could explain why his cuts and canker sores last way too long. We are getting him re-tested again first thing monday. I'm sorry about your arthritis of the spine. They suspected arthritis in him but they didn't run an arthritis panel or anything. So we have lots more testing to do. Thank you again for the info. It's glad to know your not alone in this! Best of luck and God bless.
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952717_tn?1264686496
I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism a month ago. I didnt know anything about it, nor did my doctor explain it, I went to the doctors yesterday, I keep changing the doc I see as they seem rushed and I feel a burden, so dont get to tell them how I really feel, its all very clinical if its not on paper you ant got it.  My hand is numb sometimes when I wake up its like a dead piece of meat and hurts during the day or just feels strange, my back is killing me, im fatigued all the time, feel lonely and depressed, my voice has changed, I thought this was due to not having anyone to talk to for from one week to the next.  The symtoms (symptoms) have not eased but the doctor said my levels are back to normal and its in my head but its real to me I feel no change, iv been ignored for years by the doctors over my symtoms (symptoms), I only got diagnosed because I insisted on blood test, does anyone still feel ill even though levels are back to normal?
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Avatar_f_tn
Do you have the results of any thyroid tests that you had?  Often we hear doctors saying "normal" when testing was inadequate or reference ranges obsolete.  Ask your doctor for test results and reference ranges for those tests.  Your doctor should be basing your treatment on free T3 (FT3), free T4, and TSH.  TSH alone should not be used for diagnosis or meds adjustments.  

Your hand sounds like carpal tunnel syndrome, which is a symptom of hypothyroidism.  Usually, the giveaway for CTS is that it involves the thumb, index, middle and half the ring finger closest to the middle finger.  Sometimes the other side of the ring finger is involved, but the pinky is not.

Your symptoms all sound like you are still hypo. What are you taking for thyroid meds?

Here's my opinion on what has happened.  Your doctor started you on meds.  He retested in four to five weeks after you started, and your labs came back "normal".  My guess is that TSH is probably high normal (or maybe even high according to the latest standards which many labs and doctors still do not use) and FT3 and FT4 are both low normal.  Many doctor thinks that once labs are anywhere within range, their job is done...patient is no longer hypo, any remaining symptoms are not thyroid related, patient is fat and lazy.  NOT TRUE.  The fact of the matter is that each of us has a level at which we feel comfortable.  Many don't feel well until FT3 and FT4 are in the upper half of the range.  So, if your doctor stops adjusting meds when you just pop into the lower end of the range, you are left hypo.  Your labs may be "normal", but they are NOT normal for you.

We have to convince our doctors (their education can be expensive for us) that the normal range of test results does not mean that everyone is going to be well as long as they are anywhere in the range.  The ranges are broad (e.g. 0.6-2.0 for FT4).  If your FT4 was 1.8 when your thyroid was functioning properly, does it really make any logical sense at all that now that you are on replacement hormones, you should feel comfortable with an FT4 of 0.7?  No, it doesn't.  We all have a set point that is optimal for us...it may be genetically pre-programmed.  

Once labs are within range, it's time for fine-tuning...increasing meds slightly if hypo symptoms are still present to alleviate them.  This will move FT3 and FT4 up in the range.  That's fine.  The range is there to be USED...ALL OF IT.  The only time to avoid increasing is if labs threaten to go over the top of the range, which could make the patient hyper.

To me, this is clearly your problem.  You can try to educate your doctor.  You can demand an increase.  However, you may find yourself looking for a new doctor.  Lots of people feel ill like you do because doctors don't understand the finer points of adjusting meds.  Don't suffer in silence...demand what you want from your doctor or find a new one.  

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