Underactive Thyroid + Rheumatoid Arthritis

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Hi ya,

I was diagnosed about 5 years ago however, I had been having 'symptoms' for years. Finally I found a doctor that would listen to me and wouldnt keep trying (I refused!) to put me on anti depressants, she diagnosed me with a underactive thyroid I now take 125mg of thyroxine.

I have been fine for the last 5 years or so......... apart from the usual thyroid associated niggles. However last year the muck really did hit the fan with my health. It started in April when I woke up one morning to find that my tongue had swollen to 3 times (not a pretty site at 2am :lol: ) its usual size. Anyway I carted myself off to the hospital and they (after then having an anaphylaxic episode) ended up pumping alsorts of drugs into me and diagnosing me as having an allergic reaction to 'something'

Stay with me I really am trying to keep this short :shock:

I was then sent for the usual reaction tests and it came up with zilch, nada, nowt, NOTHING. Gave me an epipen, inject that if you have to and signed me off :x I did some 'tests' myself.........ate peanuts etc, most of the things that you may have a reaction to but, nothing happened and I became convinced it had something to do with my thyroid. BUT, would they listen? Would they heck as like.

These little episodes went on for about five months, I was also having strange sensations in my fingers and experiencing pain in the balls of my feet. Doctors again poo poed this and were fairly dismissive AND, as I was kickboxing at the time just put up with it.

Come September however my body really let rip, I was in so much pain......everywhere, hands, feet, elbows knees, you name it...........it hurt. Again was send for tests and nothing was coming back. I did some research of my own and just KNEW I had rheumatoid arthritis but how I was going to convince the powers that be that I was right!!

Anyway.........eventually the blood tests DID prove I knew my own body better than they did (they NEVER apologise either, have you noticed?) and I am now on Methotrexate (not a very nice drug BUT...........) and am feeling much better.

The bottom line is (because I COULD write a lot more but dont want to bore you much more!!) I am CONVINCED that all of these problems are related to the fact that I have an underactive thyroid and I would like to know if any of you have had similar problems? I really would be interested in hearing from you.

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13 Replies

  • Posted

    hi there paganwolf

    I have had an under active thyroid for over 8 years I am 175mcg and I have had problems with my hips,spine,hands and my balls of my feet (when you get up in a morning the first steps out of bed is like walking on a burning nervous sensation only way i can describe it?) anyways at least you have been relieved in a sense.......as I have had no final diagnose as all the tests I have had all I have had is it may be possible scenario?????MRI scan showed ddd and hips show joint space is narrow???? :oops: Anyway I hope you are feeling better, take care.

    SES

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  • Posted

    Hi Ses,

    My thoughts are with you, I know what the pain is like. It took a while for the RA to show up in the blood tests. I hope you get sorted soon.

    PW

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  • Posted

    Hi there Paganwolf

    Thanks for your reply,

    I have been like this for over 6 months now and I was wondering what to do as I see my doctor on Tuesday and I am going to say to him that I don't want all my effected bones to get deformed, due to not having the correct medication, spacing showed in my spine thats a degenerative condition ddd, and I had a x-ray on my hips that showed spacing????? surely the doctor could see there is something similar here, he just said because I had congenital dislocation of the hip when I was born it could be related to that!!!! or it could be???? Osteoarthritis,.......... flipping guessing games!!!!!! I am sure my doc thinks I am imaging things!!!!!

    anyway thanks for your reply sorry i took time replying, Hope you are feeling good today.

    Regards

    Sara

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    • Posted

      Hi Sara, Have your doctor test to see if you have a positive HLA-B27, this is an abnormal protien that is associated with a disease called Ankylosing spondylitis, I have this antigen but do not have Ankylosing spondylitis, I have an anual X-ray for the spacing you are speaking of to confirm I do not have this disease yet. HLA-B27 is also associated with several other syndromes such as MS, spondyloarthritis, reiters syndrome, and several others. I was diagnosed in my early 50s fortunately I have a great doctor who said I only know a little about this, so you go do some research and so will I. While doing that research I encountered a huge amount of information, showing that I had had symptoms going back to my early teens, getting more severe in my 20's when I have my first bout of Iritis (my immune system trying to destroy my optic nerve). but through all the uears I was treated more or less like a hypochondriac. Though I don't have a full diagnosis yet my symptoms, including thyroid problems come and go, I feel better that I am finally believed, I try not to worry about the future as I have seen an non-blood relative struggling with Ankylosing spondylitis, for several years now, but I may not have that.

      Best of luck to you Sara I hope you find your answers. Ask if that hip thing is in the sacroiliac joint  (hollow feeling spot where the pelvis joins the spine)

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  • Posted

    it is often linked if your thyroid is classed as autimmune (hashimotos thyroiditis)
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  • Posted

    Thanks Guest

    Yeah I have read that too but my doc doesn't think this way???? he says my hip problem is due to my ddd.....somehow aches and pains spreading somehow!!!!!

    Regards

    SES

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  • Posted

    Hi,

    I'm going through a similar experience, my GP is not helping at all, I got to the point of getting so fed up that I decided to go to France to get tested, it helps when you can speak the language I know. I have been told so far that I need to investigate a high level of TSH which could mean a hypothyroidism, I also saw a podiatrist and rhumatologist who after an all over body exam, blood tests, x-rays, a few days under anti-inflammatories, thought that I should take a second opinion as he suspected an auto-immune disorder and possibly ankylosing spondylitis which is a bit like rhumatoid arthritis except that your connective tissues get inflammed, then your body immune system repairs the damaged tissues with bone growth to solidify the whole skeleton - something to look forward to being fused together ! However being professional the french specialist, stressed that the two could be linked and the treatment of the thyroid gland problem could improve the suspected ankylosing spondylitis. Have also a look on Mayoclinic.com \"ask the specialists\" section or something to that effect and type hypothyroidism and scroll down to hypothyroism and joint pain question - interesting read.

    I do not earn much, as a single mother of twin teenagers with one being asperger syndrome I work part time in horticulture, I receive tax credits and disability living allowance for my son, however I managed to amass enough to pay for private care in France, it is so much cheaper and no NHS restrictions in screening. In parallel I am trying to get some attention from the english medical system and I have been told today that the NHS routine blood teast for thyroid gland problems consists only of the TSH test, they do not look at your levels of T3 or T4, being a stubborn thing I have insisted to have thewhole works done, however the new GP that I decidedto go with told me that there is no guarantee that he will be allowed to do the whole works by the NHS as there are strict guidelines and restrictions. This is what you get for paying your dues for 20 odd years with no healthproblems and when you need them they won't spend the money on you, it's sick isn't it ! :x

    I'll keep you posted on my progress, don't be despondant, I have cried many tears and sometimes I want to end it all and then hope knocks at the door and the love of my family rescues me from depression. It is hard I know, some of my pelvic area is already deformed and that feeling of the bottom of my feet having been shrunk while I was asleep or resting and of my nerve endingsby the side of the arch of my feet being turned into a tight tennis ball makes me unable to stand for long or sit for long either, anti-inflammatorieshave their limits, mornings take some courage to get out of bed. :cry:

    Some arthritis sufferers have the antigen HLA B27, search info on that on the net, thyroid sufferers have HLA DR antigen, look on wikipedia for info.

    Most ankylosing spondylitis have the HLA B 27, but I don't, so there is a chance that hypothyroidism is at the cause of my problems. :lol: :P

    Look into dieting, I am doing that as well and I will gather some analysis of what I have found that makes good and practical sense and will post it on here soon. Some guy in america has removed starch, sugar and lactose out of his diet and hasn't look back since, he's got the HLA B27 and AS still but they're in remission and is back to rock climbing and other hair raising past times from being a 38 years old man crippled with pain and limited motion (Joel Godin), then there is Dr Seignalet's diet which is not regarded as useless by rhumatologists in France. :P

    There is a lot to do, a lot to look into and seive through, but at the end of the day it is your body, your health and it is a priority, and never mind the NHS, look forhelp elsewhere, even abroad, look upon it as an opportunity to learn a new language and get your mind of this for a while during the week.

    I'm going back to France on

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  • Posted

    hi there looking for answers 2

    My doc thinks it is Polymylgia and Occupational health thinks it is Fibromylgia, , I am seeing a rhuemotologist in mid september and so hopefully I will get answers then????? I have had steroids for a week last week and they were wonderful, I felt normal for a few days but my doc said he couldnt give me anymore as I had to wait for the correct diagnosis from Rhuemotologist?

    My thoughts too because I was taking anti inflammatries for such a long time would this effect my blood test results as I have all sorts of tests for RA etc and sed rate etc but now I am on Gebapentine and I am told not to take the declofenac how do these anti inflammatries effect your blood tests??????

    As with dieting the chronic fatigue I feel I have lost my overall appetite so I have to kinda force my food down lol

    thanks for your reply

    Kind regards

    SES

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  • Posted

    hi there

    I have been to see the Rhuemotologist and guess what...... I have mechanical back strain!!!!! She didn't have my medical notes, or looked at my xrays!!!!! and how do you get mechanical back strain in your hands and feet ( have pain everywhere!!!!!) She didnt check for any tender points just wrote a few notes on a bit of paper........The occupational health doctor says it could be FIbromyalgia and when I told the rhuemotologist this she said it could be!!!!!!!

    My sed rate was 32 another test was alleviated but because my underactive thyroid showed it was going overactive she didn't want to know as she said it was down to maybe why the results were increased!!!! I am so fed up........do these so called professionals think we are imagining things......as when I went to a Pain Clinic relating to my degenerative discs he said get on with it and said there was nothing wrong with me and yet he gave me gabapentine which is for nerve pain!!!!!!! I don't think I will get answers as no-one wants to listen sad

    SES

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  • Posted

    Hi there all, my Doctor is telling me to ignore the Rhuematologists diagnosis and guess what he has put me on some new tablets and they seem to making my life NORMAL, Meloxicam I don't know why they are working but this is the best I have felt for almost a year!!!!!!! I take twice 7.5mg per day, and they take the pain completely away with one Tramadol, where as previously other anti inflammatories only eazed it a little ?????? Diclofenac I used previously. Hurray at last!!!!!!!

    SES

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  • Posted

    hi im 22 years old and have just been diagnosed with hypothyroidism i too get pain in the balls of my feet my mum has reumathoid arthritis she is not on any med yet i think this is because it didnt show in her blood but its obvious she has it in the mornings she cant move her hands she says its really painful and effects her ankles aswell. she describes it like her hands lock up takes a while until she can move them in mornings.

    im just curious because i believe there is a link as i can remember my mum having dry skin, hair loss, and put on a bit of weight a few years ago even though she hardly ate. i looked at her neck and compared it to mine her goiter is definatley enlarged also im wondering did she have a thyroid problem that has gone untreated and has this led to her having RA??

    Also if this is possible is there anything i cud do to reduce my chances of getting RHEUMATOID arthritis LATER IN LIFE??

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  • Posted

    Have never dream't,that there is a connection between under active thyroid and rheumatoid arthritis until now when i googled it. I was diagnosed with RA in 1993(i was 19) and with under active thyroid in 2001, when i stopped smoking in 2006 i started having severe sore throats on and off so was sent for a camera down my throat which showed up nothing, Ihave suferred on and off with severe throat problems for the last 7 years and no one has never suggested a connection,

    I joined a gym last september and lost two and a half stone and decided that if i was fit to do this i didn't need diclofenic anymore(which i have been on for almost 7 years) I weaned myself off it (stupidly) until i did myself damage at a training session and have now been waiting on an appointment with either(doctors choice) an orthopedic surgoen or a rheumatologist, how long i will wait is anyones guess but i am soooo frustrated and just want someone to tell me exactly what is happening. will keep you guys posted

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  • Posted

    If you are hypothyroid or suspect you are hypothyroid and get a diagnosis of fibromyalgia, ME or Chronic Fatuige please vist www. stopthethyroidmadness .com.
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