Is there a link with underactive thyroid and circulation problems?

In the last 4 weeks I have had pins and needles in my hands, and been aching all over. I went to the GP who said I was Vitamin D deficient (confirmed by blood test) and apparent thyroid dosage still correct 100mcg. I have been taking a Vitamin D3 supplement but not much has changed - some improvement with circulation. Thanks

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21 Replies

  • Hi Fifi

    Have you had your iron and b12 levels checked? I had exactly the same issue and was iron deficient and has only cleared up recently.

  • Hi Penny, thanks - no I haven't had that checked, but I already take Femforte II which includes amongst many other things 2000 RDA for B12. I have been susceptible to iron deficiency before, so perhaps it's that (although that usually results in anemia and tiredness). F

  • Definitely agree about getting B12 checked. I was diagnosed hypo a year and a half ago. Pins and needles in legs and feet, sometimes hands. Started on 25ug of levo, upped (finally) to 50ug a few months ago. Also got B12 checked, which was very low. It appears the combo of levo and B12 injections have had an impact. No more pins and needles anywhere. Low B12 apparently has very negative effect on nerve function.

  • Hi Cinnamon, thanks - as per my response to Penny, whilst I haven't had my B12 checked, I have been taking a supplement for a while now at 2000 times the RDA. F

  • Hi FifiJakes, the supplement you are taking only contains 50mcg of B12, which is a tiny fraction of the dose needed if you are actually deficient in this vitamin. Also, I assume it is a capsule you are swallowing whole? hence reliant on the stomach for absorption. Unfortunately, many of us with thyroid disorders, and those with classic pernicious anaemia, cannot absorb vitamins and minerals very well through our stomachs. This can be due to a low stomach acid environment, or antibodies against parietal cells and/or intrinsic factor, or as a side effect of other drugs we are on. I would take the advice of others and get your B12, folate, and ferritin/iron tested. It annoys me that the reflex reaction of docs is to hand out drugs rather than investigate the problem - taking all that ibuprofen isn't going to help your stomach much either, or solve your problem. H x

  • Hi Hampster1 - will ask my GP to do extra blood tests to check as you suggest.. many thanks, F

  • B12 is probably the culprit,as commented above.

    Your GP seems switched in, for a change and addressing your probs. Get B12 checked.

    Circulation probs are not the same as neuropathy [B12 low]- so if not fixed by the cold weather returning you will be able to tell better by then.

    Lack of activity with HypoT won't help keep you moving and your circulation up -but it seems this is being taken care of at present.

    Regular gentle exercise is best- in any event.

  • I cycle 2hours a day and have a very 'co-ordinated' diet. Think it may be more congenital or somehow 'familial' as an ailment.

  • Thanks Tegz.. please see my responses to Penny and Cinnamon. I walk every day probably amounting to around 3-5 miles, I am surprised to get pins and needles and stiffness in my hands during warm weather and it just doesn't make sense.. will just have to keep an eye on it. I did go back to the doctors and saw a locum who suggested I also take 400mg of Ibuprophen 3 times a day - which hasn't really made any difference. F

  • Painkiller? -prob thinks it's Rheumatic

    On the vitamins front don't forget your body stores [ideally] 6 years worth of B12 for the' bad times'- so if gone low it takes time to build up again esp.self dosing.That's why injections are the preferred route for v. low levels.

    You also need Folic acid to use B12 -and B vits need each other, too.

    There's a more accurate test to see if you're absorbing it OK.

    The Methylcolbamin version of B12 is more easily absorbed.

    I would push for a blood test if taking it long term, anyway - so you know where you're heading.

  • This is very interesting about 6 years storage of B12. My doctor won't even test me despite me having macrocytic anaemia so I have been dosing with 5000mcg sublingual B12. My MCV has come down since I've been doing this. The other week I ran out of my B12 and within a few days the vertigo came back. It went again a couple of days after taking the B12 again though. I wonder if this is because my stores are very low. Seems I will have to continue with this dose for a while!

  • Hi CarolynB, body stores of B12 is a very contentious issue, you might be interested in this thread:


    The general gist is that these stores would probably not be accessible to anyone with a broken enterohepatic circulation, hence the need for continual high doses. It's kinda beyond my understanding, but thought I would mention it. H x

  • Thanks. I shall have a look. Obviously my B12 levels drop quickly enough to trigger the vertigo again. It would be good to know why :)

  • The same article discussed how the body makes B12 in the gut from friendly bacteria [an old favourite] which is how Vegetarians get [or squeak] by. This pre-supposes a healthy colony of said friends and to this end Prebiotics, like Kefir, are the real deal and probiotics far less effective, whatever the sales blurb on the latter.

    I've not eaten red meat for decades and still have a not too low B12 - but maybe not good enough for Thyroid needs.

    I haven't over the years done much B12 adding -till now.

    I'm surprised your GP won't test you with your history, though.

    Maybe the MCV check is enough.

  • Hi Tegz, if you're a vege you can get your B12 from dairy products, very bioavailable this way in fact. It's the vegans who have to be careful... and like you say, even then a healthy person would take a long time to become deficient, all else being equal :-)

  • Yeah- I'm glad I can do dairy, not being Vegan! I must admit I had to default back to fish some years ago and both these intakes have probably helped. The true Veggy diet is not that easy to keep to healthily, tbh.

    It is though, generally healthier than not [on the figures] when adhered to properly -with protein and vits/minerals kept right.

  • That was a very interesting read. I'm guessing I've been deficient for a while as my MCV was well above range (which, according to my doctor, is nothing to worry about!) I suppose, if I am able to use my B12 stores, that they are pretty much non-existent at the moment anyway. This would explain why it was only a few days before I started exhibiting symptoms. If I am unable to use my B12 stores, I expect I will find out next time I run out (I'm not planning to run out ever again. It was horrible!)

    I don't know if I have PA as my GP won't test and won't even test for B12 (actually, I think he would if he was allowed to).

    Thanks for all the information. This is quite a complicated subject!

  • No kidding!

  • Hi Carolyn. thanks and wasn't aware (or atleast had forgotten about stores of B12).

  • Thanks Tegz, very helpful advice. Many moons ago I used to be low in vitamin b, so used to take Vitamin B complex. I will have a look at the doses of these things and see if I need a complete review of my current supplement intake I take 5 tablets everyday now and not sure they are doing the job. I also hate taking painkillers and have managed to stay off antibiotics in the main for 20 years too. Thanks again and will post again when things appear to be righting themselves!

  • Hypothyroid

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