levothyroxine and proximal muscle problems

Posted , 38 users are following.

Hi, I have been using levothyroxine for past few years and have recently developed servere muscle problems in hip/groin area (adductor/ periformus and upper thigh) and in both shoulders. Despite being tested for all sorts of problems no firm diagnosis has been made as all the tests have been negative. My question is - has anyone had anything similar or had side effects to taking levothyroxine?

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91 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi there I have been taking levothyroxine for 5 months now and Ive noticed I get muscles cramping all the time but Im also on tabs for blood pressure so it could be somethin to do with those Im going to ask the doc next time I go will let you know when I find something out


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  • Posted

    HI Garywuk,

    I have had an under active thyroid since 1998 on 175mcg per day and I have suffered over 18 months now with pain in my hip with pain that moves around along with fatigue, I have fibromyalgia, not a nice disease.

    You should not suffer with pain talk with your doctor ! to see if you can get pain relief and do keep a diary of the symptoms and then he/she may help you better?

    Kind Regards

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  • Posted

    ask your doc to check for Fibromyalgia
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  • Posted


    I've been taking thyroxine for 2 years now and have been experienced muscle pain and muscle fatigue which has got worse. Almost a year ago, I came off thyroxine for four months and my muscle pains subsided. I don't know about anyone else but my muscle pain has been brought on since I started thyroxine. When I bring this up with the medical profession they dismiss the whole thing.

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  • Posted

    Hi guys

    thanks for the various replies.

    this condition came on about 7 months ago and have been tested for all sorts of Rheumatic conditions including fibromyalgia but all have been negative. I do have a slight raised SED rate but nothing drastic. I have even had an MRI scan on my hip groin area and no signos of inflamation, despite haing increased pain in area. I have emailed my consultant to see to raise the issue of a link between thyroxine and these pains.

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  • Posted

    one other thing to have checked is your vitimin D.....there is a strong link between vit d and thyroid..and vit D deficiency can cause muscle and joint pain tingles and cramps...just a thought!!


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  • Posted

    Hi there,

    Yes my sed rate is raised and is 35, but I have had no explanation to why it is raised? Like Jack says Vitamin D test could be done to eliminate that too. but the pain that you have should be ruled out and so a proper history and physical exam coupled with blood work and/or x-rays may be done to rule out:

    * Hormonal imbalance

    * Anemia

    * Infection

    * Muscle disease

    * Bone disease

    * Nerve disease

    * Joint disease

    * Cancer

    * Rheumatoid arthritis

    * Thyroid-stimulating hormone levels should be checked routinely because this condition can mimic many of the symptoms of fibromyalgia

    * Polymyalgia rheumatica

    Fibromyalgia is very hard to diagnose and as I have had several so called professionals to deal with that didn't listen to me I had over a year of pain and fatigue before I saw a Specialist that new about \"Fibromyalgia\"

    Fibromyalgia Tender Points

    Upon physical examination, the fibromyalgia patient will be sensitive to pressure in certain areas of the body called tender points. To meet the diagnostic criteria, patients must have:

    1. Widespread pain in all four quadrants of their body for a minimum of three months. Pain is considered widespread when all of the following are present:

    * Pain in the left side of the body

    * Pain in the right side of the body

    * Pain above the waist

    * Pain below the waist

    * Pain in the neck, front of your chest, mid-back, or low back

    2. At least 11 of the 18 specified tender points of fibromyalgia (see diagram below). These are areas of pain on touch but without signs of redness, swelling or heat in the surrounding joints or muscles. For a tender point to be considered \"positive\" you must feel pain when someone pushes with their finger with an approximate force of 4kg (roughly the amount of pressure needed to change the colour of the skin). Some health care providers may use an instrument called an algometer during the examination of the patient to ensure that only a 4kg load is being placed.

    I hope this helps you?

    Kind Regards

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  • Posted

    Hi All

    Once again many thanks for all your thoughts and advice. FYI I have been tested for many of the symptoms you have listed and the onnly ones so far that have come back are a VIT D defiency (this has been stablised with injections and tablets) and possible polymyalgia - although they sonsultant has yet to determine if this is the case. To help me though I have been given a couple of steriod injections which have helped but do eventually wear off. The pain i get in the muscles, especially in the hip/groin area and upper thigh, is very much like the muscles are already taut and when I go to move they are over streached (hence the pain).

    I used to be very active and was training for this years marathon but had to pull out because of this and so I am gettinge very frustrated that nothiong has been properly diagnosed or any appropriate treatment offered.

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    • Posted

      Hi Gary, like you I was having hip pain. I have myxoedema and was diagnosed with trochanteric bursitis in my right hip (which they now call trochanteric syndrome). I'm just about to get my fourth injection! I am now also undergoing physio for my left shoulder.  I have fibromyalgia. My personal opinion is that these episodes are connected. I don't think the thyroxine itself is to blame, rather moreso that it is T4 only. A normal thyroid produces T1, T2, T3 and T4 and I think this is responsible for many residual symptoms we as suffers get.  Good luck with treatment.
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    • Posted

      Hi Tanzi,

      i am in your shoes exactly! Hip bursitis and shoulder pain ( frozen shoulder, rotator cuff, are a few that I've heard). I never attributed it to my thyroid or the medication just thought it was inflammation in my body!  I had radioactive iodine 16 years ago and put on synthroid and now most recently endo added cytomel(t3) because it was low! First time ever? May I ask why you think it is t4 med causing the problem? Thanks and good luck 

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    • Posted

      Hi Rachael

      i don't think it's the T4 per se rather that the omission of everything else that a normal thyroid would produce has a knock on effect. I very much would like the opportunity to try natural thyroid hormone but it's just not an option on the nhs here :-( it does seem odd that many hypothroid patients have these muscular issues and yet no one has asked questions or investigated.  It is a much under researched area of medicine which affects so many. I certainly emphathis with your predicament as I'm in constant pain and it is very hard to get motivated when pain takes over your life. Best wishes

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