Thyroid Disorders Community
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988694 tn?1332363079

Cluster Headaches and Hypothyroidism

Hello All. I was wondering if anybody in this forum suffers from cluster headaches. I started with the pain about 8 months ago.  This kind of headache is usually  a sharp pain in one side of the head along with runny nose, stuffy nose (one side) and tearful eyes.

I have been to many specialists because of this daily and unbearable pain, none one knows why I got them since everything is normal according to them. I have an appointment with a neurologist in some weeks to see what he says.

I started thyroid replacement 3 years ago and my headaches had gotten much better until 8 months ago when I started to suffer this cluster headache.I have been doing some research online and nothing relates clearly this kind of headaches to hypothyroidism,although it is known that can be caused by the  hypothalamus.

I did some research in this forum to and there was nothing mentioning this kind of headaches which are much more worse and often (daily for me) than migraines or other kind of headaches. I keep thinking is hormonal, but my doctors do not pay me any attention.
My TSH is suppressed, my frees in the upper range and my reverse T3 way too high. However, when my doctor tried to bring it down by adding T3 only medicine, I could not tolerate the palpitations and extreme anxiety and went back to NT and Synthroid. I have no idea how to bring my reverse T3 down without going on T3 only...my doctor is not versed in reverse stuff.

The pain that I have been suffering is outrageous, so much that my doctor got scare when I said that I was thinking about ending it all. Believe me, it is too much. I cannot study, go out, relax, nothing, forget about having a drink...yo don't know when is gonna come and alcohol makes it worse.

Any experience with cluster headaches and maybe relief by proper thyroid replacement? Thanks!
18 Responses
Avatar universal
Question #1:  Did the Dr reduce your T4 medication when he added the T3 medication to try to deal with the Reverse T3 issue?

Question #2:  How much T3 was added?  Reasons why I ask is that many people can only tolerate small increases of T3 medication and must work up slowly.  It seems most people that have problems tolerating the addition of a T3 seem to be when the initial dose from nothing previous was starts at about 10 mcg and more problems if more than 10 for an initial dose.  Some people even have to start with as little as 2.5 mcg per day.

Reverse T3 is only made as far as I know by the conversion process of T4 into T3.  So this might be another reason to consider reducing the T4 med as well as possibly adding a T3 med or in combination.  The less T4 there is to convert into RT3 the better or at least that is the theory.

Another thought that you may consider if adrenal testing.  Adrenal's can also affect the conversion process and thus RT3 issues.  I have no idea if headaches like you describe are associated with adrenal issues.  Long time Hypo sufferers sometimes have adrenal fatigue as they try to make up for the lack of Thyroid.
988694 tn?1332363079
Hi and thanks for your response.

answer #1 : Yes, I was initially taking 3 grains of NT. At that time my Ft3 and reverse T3 ratio was 8. He decreased to 1.5 grains and added 37 mcg Cytomel, all this in the course of three months. My Ft4 was 0.9 which is at the bottom of the range and where has always been when I am not taking replacement. After three months of adding Cytomel slowly, my ratio was 15.

answer # 2: 37 mcg of Cytomel. As I mentioned before it was all achieved by adding and decreasing every two or three weeks.

My ratio now is 9.

I thought that in a period of three months of adding Cytomel I should feel a little better, but I had horrible muscle pain, my hair was falling out in clumps (still falling) and the palpitations and anxiety where too much, I could not even sleep.

I remember when I first started treatment I was on Synthroid and Cytomel. I needed a lift and my doctor added just 5 mcg (I was taking 5 mcg already) of Cytomel and I went nuts with the anxiety, palpitations and horrible itching. I had to stop all together and start over with Naturethroid.  

Since I started with the headaches, 8 months ago, I became constipated and lost lots of weight. How can I be constipated with my frees in the upper range?

My doctor has never mentioned adrenals although he tested my cortisol once (blood, one morning draw).

Thanks!!  A.

1756321 tn?1547098925
Scientific evidence shows that magnesium can help prevent and treat migraine and cluster headaches. There is a book on the subject: "How to Use Magnesium to Prevent and Relieve Migraine & Cluster Headaches Naturally" by J. S. Cohen MD. Chelated magnesium has an absorption rate of 40%; magnesium oxide (the cheapest form available) has an absorption rate of around 4%.

Excerpt from "Are You Magnesium Deficient?" from Health Dimentions:

"A magnesium mineral deficiency may cause the following symptoms:

* Nervous anxiety
* Depression
* Constipation
* High blood pressure
* Sleeplessness
* Muscle weakness, cramps and spasms (this one is a definite sign of magnesium deficiency, possibly even calcium)
* Premenstrual Syndrome
* Hearth rhythm irregularities/ angina
* Cravings for chocolate and caffeine (which also causes the body to lose more magnesium)
* Back pain
* Headaches, cluster headaches, migraines
* Stiff and aching muscles
* Bones and joints that need continued chiropractic treatment
* Hypoglycaemia
* Diabetes
* Nervousness
* Hyperactivity
* Osteoporosis
* Kidney stones
* Attention deficit disorder [ADD]
* Adrenal exhaustion/chronic fatigue syndrome
* Exhaustion from exercise"
Avatar universal
Could you please post your latest lab results along with their reference ranges.
988694 tn?1332363079
Thanks!! I was reading online and you could be right. I am losing weight because I do not feel like eating. Plus my urine smells weird.

I made an appointment with my neurologist but doesnt have anything available until two more months and I need some relief now. I would like to be tested for magnesium without a prescription...do you know where I could do that?

I read that also melanin is good for cluster headaches. I also have sleep apnea whir worsen my condition. Thanks!!!

988694 tn?1332363079

Back in November I had these results, I was taking 2 grains of NT and 37 mg of Cytomel. I felt very nervous and anxious and could not concentrate, I had constipation, hair loss, bleeding before period, and the usual headaches:

TSH: 0.01    0.4-4.50
Free T4: 0.8  0.8-1.8
Free T3   4.2  2.3 -4.2
Reverse T3: 28   11-32

I started then taking 100 Synthroid and 2 and 1/4 grains NT. After a month in this dose:
TSH: 0.01          0.4-4.50    
Free T4:  2.2        0.8-1.8
Free T3:  5.2        2.3 -4.2
reverse:   58         11-32

My doctor reduced after that result my NT. Thanks!!
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1756321 tn?1547098925
Queensland, Australia
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