Joint/muscle pain is a common symptom of hypothyroidism.
What tests has your doctor done so far? She should have done, at the very least, TSH, Free T3 and Free T4. Those will confirm hypothyroidism immediately. If she hasn't done those, ask for them right away. Hypothyroidism is not hard to confirm.
If you have hypothyroidism, your doctor should prescribe thyroid replacement hormones. Typically, if the muscle/joint pain is thyroid related, hormone replacement will ease the pain and you should not need narcotics or other pain killers. If the hormone replacement doesn't alleviate your pain and/or other symptoms, either your hormone dosage isn't high enough, or your pain may be related to something else. I also have osteoarthritis and am never entirely pain free.
If you have hypothyroidism, she should then test thyroid antibodies to determine whether or not you have Hashimoto's. The tests she should order are Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies (TPOab) and Thyroglobulin Antibodies (TgAb). You need them both, because some people have one or the other and some have both, but either/both can diagnose Hashi's.
Thank you, I will write that down.
The first tests she ran came back "normal", she said. She is a family practice doctor. Researching on my own, it seems like people have different ranges of normal. I am requesting a copy of the lab work and she wants to run a more complex text next time I come in. I schedule the backup appt with an endo simply because (my insurance covers it so why not, and) my primary care doc doesn't really seem to take me very seriously.
God I hope this is what it is, just so I have a CAUSE. I have felt like utter crap since my second child was born almost a year and a half ago, and I've been able to lose NOT ONE POUND of pregnancy weight in that time. I eat better now than I EVER have! I've never been sick in my life, my husband thinks I'm just fat and lazy and it's ruining my marriage.
Anyways, thanks for the help!
You're absolutely correct that there are different levels of "normal". Just because one's results fall within the "normal" range listed on the lab report, doesn't mean that's normal for that individual.
If she wants to run a more "complex test" that tells me that she may have only done a TSH test, which is not a thyroid hormone at all. TSH is Thyroid Stimulating Hormone and it's a pituitary hormone that's supposed to stimulate the thyroid to produce more thyroid hormones. Many doctors believe this is the only test that needs to be done to diagnose a thyroid condition and they couldn't be further from the truth.
Be aware that many endos have the same belief in TSH that primary care doctors have, so it's very possible that you could hit the same brick wall with an endo.
You should always obtain a copy of your labs, every time you go to the doctor and be sure to keep a copy for your records. I have every one of mine since about 2000 and they are a running record of my condition(s).