Carpal tunnel syndrome

Seems it's probable that I have carpal tunnel syndrome and have to go for nerve conduction tests (deep joy!). I know it is linked to hypothyroidism, but as my results show optimum levels - TSH less than 0.5 and T4 at high end of range - I am at a loss as to why I have it. I am on 100mcg Levo and B12 jabs. Just had bloods done for ferri tin, folate. Any ideas gratefully received.

41 Replies

  • How's your Vitamin D?

    I don't supplement summertime and just got my result back - it went down by 30nmol/l since March - despite being out in the sun as much as possible. 4/5 years ago was having nerve conduction tests for carpal and cubital, then neck MRIs - tests weren't conclusive but they offered bilateral ops anyway, which I thought strange. J :D

    I will try to find Dr Lowe's view on carpal tunnel.... (his site is archived and some links no loger work)

  • My Vit D was 'insufficient' and my GP gave me 800iu a day which I thought was nowhere near enough so I got gel caps off Amazon that were recommended on this site and take 10, 000iu a day. Thank you for your reply, much appreciated.

  • that's just a temporary high loading dose then, how long have you been taking them for?

    it took all summer 2 years ago to up my inadequate 40 to 50. I was taking 4,000iu (4 drops, no stomach issues) and I'm now trying sprays, D3, B12 and magnesium body spray balanced with multivits & cod liver oil.

    Don't forget to test regularly for Vit D (and calcium). J :D

  • I've only been taking them for a few weeks. A few years ago my reading was 7 and I was given a loading dose of 200, 000iu a day for 7 days then 100, 000iu once a month.

  • Even 'tho my levels are over 100 now, elbow, wrist, shin and finger pain tell me when I need to supplement. I still get dead arms and pins & needles 'tho, but like gabkad I've a dodgy neck - and no NC tests higher than elbows either (extra cervical (neck!) ribs at C7 found by x-ray) :D

  • Oh yes. I had this done not once but twice. Why? Both time negative. The problem was in my neck. MRI = two herniated discs (C4, C5). Bonus!! The second nerve conduction test, to my understanding was supposed to be checking from the neck. But no, for whatever reason, this is not what was done.

    The second time when I was sitting on the examination table with my legs hanging down, the pain management guy asked me if I have any pain 'down there'. I thought, wth? Played stupid. I made a big deal of looking down and my feet and asked 'where?'..... 'down there'........'down where? There?' looking at my toes....'no I don't'...... 'no, not there. ''Down there."' I thought, first of all, my chief complaint was pins and needles in my arm and hand. Not, you know, my p**y.

    This went on for a bit. If a doctor who apparently specializes in vaginal pain (vulvodynia) can't actually use the anatomically correct terminology even though that had nothing to do with why I was sitting there in the first place, I wasn't going to make his job any easier. Which also made me wonder why he was standing there in the first place.

    You know when someone here posted the stupidest things doctors have said? Well, this one is right up there. Wow.

    So, basically, have you had any problems with your neck?

  • Love that tale - brilliant. No, no neck probs. I had full spine MRI done as I have small fibre neuropathy and that was OK. I am an administrator and have used a keyboard for over 20odd years so always out it down to that.

  • Ah. Still and all, maybe carpal tunnel but maybe postural and neck related as well. The position of the monitor and how we hold our heads has huge influence.

    I hope you'll be alright. Whatever happens. The surgery is no big deal.

    I work with my hands and whenever my thumb goes numb or my third, fourth and ring finger go numb, it's always because of how I've been holding my head. I sit up straight, shake them out and I'm okay. Rarely happens these days.

    One biggie for me was at night. My arms would alternate turning into dead. I'd wake up several times every night having to sometimes grab the dead arm with the still alive hand and shake it. Terrible. This was even sleeping on a water pillow and making sure, as much as possible, that my top arm was supported by a pillow.

    Nowadays I sleep in a Mayan hammock. This was a leap of faith because I was very concerned it would not support my neck and I was wasting my money. But no. I have not had a single morning in three years with a stiff neck. 1 night in a bed with who cares what sort of pillow and I waked up multiple time because my neck ends up hurting. The only time my hand gets numb is if somehow during my sleep I reach above my head and intertwine my fingers in the netting. Otherwise, it's great. No stiffness in the neck, no nightly numb arms. Occasionally I get pain in my right hip area because that's the side I start on when I go to sleep. I am not able anymore to sleep on my left side. Sometime later I end up on my back. I wake up in the morning feeling so comfortable (except when busting for a pee) I don't want to get up. But heck with it, I can get out in the morning and feel like a human and not like a rusty robot. Three years now and never going back to a bed. Those Mayans were genius.

  • that's interesting... a hammock, not sure how you'd get out!

    I wake up frequently with a numb arm & hands (opposite to the side I'm lying on) - the reason for my visit to the GP 10 years ago! (can't switch off the alarm clock).

    I try to go to sleep with the top arm behind me a bit, shoulder back, to open the brachial plexus, but darn body forgets when asleep! - I'm a 'toser' lol!

    If I found the energy to run to the bathroom I'd do a very good Ace Ventura flailing arms after darts impression! :D

  • The proper way to get out of a hammock is to put the legs down on either side and just stand up. It's very easy. But I have a duvet in it so this adds unsquishable width. I get out on one side. It's encouraging of muscle development. :) Would be better if I had hooks in the ceiling except that needs a hammer action drill into concrete. And then there's rebar in there too. There are studs in the walls and possibly that might hold but I'd hate to find out what it feels like to end up on the floor in the middle of the night. People wonder if I can fall out of this thing. Gotta be kidding. It's impossible to fall out.

    My numb arms were exactly like yours. Same same. Sometimes I would wonder, this can't possibly be good longterm. I don't know if it can cause permanent damage. But waking up four or five times during the night to shake out was ruining my sleep. Now I sleep like the dead. Usually I fall asleep right over on the right side but there have been times, like when the cat decides to sleep on my legs and I don't want to disturb him (he's just so cute) I fall asleep on my back and never move all night. Not because I can't. It's total comfort. That's what I read about bed sleeping: we roll around because we are not comfortable.

  • Wow gabkad how I would love to meet you!

    Do you sleep alone or do you manage a twosome.

    My husband has googled these as I write and there are some with a family of four in them.

    I love to read your posts.

    Mary x

  • Thanks Mary.

    Only the occasional cat shares the hammock. Oscar Wild particularly enjoys occupying it by himself. He looks so cute all curled up. He was the runt of the litter and has stayed permanently kitten like in his body proportions. The sweetest cat on planet earth.

    This one is XL family size. It's huge! Too huge for one person, actually. It's cotton, thick cords, and washable (in the bathtub) then hung out to dry. I've had no issues with broken strings or anything like that and I've been sleeping in it for 3+ years now.

    What with the bloody hypo business, minimalism is where it's at for me. Easy to vacuum under it.... no dust mites. I hate laundry, so a duvet cover is all this needs. The wool duvet works best. The contents don't shift and it's not overly bulky. The really well stuffed down duvets are too hot and awkward. The silk one is not puffy enough. For my back I use a heating pad under the duvet. Yes, I did extensive experimentation before I found the 'Goldilocks' solution. LOL! People think this all is eccentric but if they had my back for a while, they'd change their minds right quick. I bought a Brazilian hammock too but it was too constricting. Only good for naps not for every night sleeping.

    Speaking of little fuzzy buddies, Oscar just jumped in with me for his afternoon nap. He'll have it all to himself in a few minutes.

    Lately I have discovered the perfect solution to minimizing cat fur on the sofa cushions: The cats now have their own Martha Stewart cat huts and beds. They appear to prefer these to lying on the sofa. Thank heavens. I was wondering why, three weeks after vacuuming the cushions, there's barely any cat fur on them. This was an 'aha' moment. Using the Furminator helps a lot but the Angora kitty has no undercoat or guard hairs. Just fluffy fur so not a candidate for Furminating. She gets brushed but it doesn't really help that much. She just smears her white fluff all over the place. She's spending nap times in the cat hut (one foot and tip of tail sticking out right now). Even the carpet is furless! A miracle.

    One sofa has sheepfur rugs on it. Fur does not stick to fur. I found that out a while ago. But the cushions are still fair game.

  • Sounds lovely, trouble is I need to pee several times a night and would probably end up with concussion lol.

    If you can't fasten it to the ceiling is it on one of those frame thingies.

    Love to all your pussies :·) Mary

  • Yes, mine is on a frame. If it would have wall hooks like the ones in South America, it would be higher off the ground and getting out to pee at night would be easy.

    Oh my, have you seen this? Wow.

    Mine is like this: If no one is in it, it just hangs flat and thin. Don't know how they make them puff out like this for the picture.

    Peeing at night is also a comfort factor. One of my friends visited for a couple of nights and slept on the waterbed in the spare bedroom. Usually she gets up 2 or 3 times to pee. For both nights she only woke up at 4:00 a.m. She found the bed very comfortable.

    Waterbeds (waveless) are great too. No pressure points. She was able to sleep on her injured side and also slept on her back which at home she cannot do. Just waterbeds weight a lot! I can slide that one along on the floor if I have to, but it's only a double. Anything bigger than that would be impossible.

    That was my daughter's bed. She misses it. But now she's married and you know how it goes: you sleep in the bed you make for yourself. ;)

  • Wow I like the round one, but would probably be seasick in it.

    Glad you have found something that helps you.

    As we say you made your bed so lie in it.

    Been great talking to you.

    Take care

    Mary :·)

  • I have that problem at night as well. Fed up with multiple conditions, just one would be bad enough!

  • I read a story a couple of weeks ago. I can't remember if it was on sttm or not. This American lady had suffered with hypo th for years and was on levo. She also had carpal tunnel. Well eventually she got a good doc who started her on Armour and she began to improve her hypo symptoms and she also said that her carpal tunnel disappeared after fifteen years of suffering. Sorry I can't remember where I read it. Just a thought that armour has t1 and t2 as well as 3 and 4.

  • Thank you for your post. Most of my conditions seem thyroid related so I'm going to see my GP about a trial of Armour. It's all getting a bit ridiculous now with one thing after another.

    Thanks again.

  • Add magnesium, if you are not taking any, and 50 mg of vitamin b6 daily for a couple of months this will help a great deal. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a classic sign of B6 deficiency.

  • I've got some magnesium oil spray to try out. I'll look into getting B6.

    Thank you very much

  • Do you take B complex to support your B12?

    I have Epsom salt baths as well as the mg oil - lovely and relaxing :)

    (if we're low in one vital mineral it's likely we're low in lots, they work together)

  • Yes I take B complex every day

  • I would wonder about Vitamin D too. I have had Carpal Tunnel every winter along with tennis elbow. I work outside with horses. It has always cleared up on its own in summer. Since I started trying to work out what was wrong with me a year ago and started taking various supplements, I think mine is caused by a lack of vitamin D which I initially dismissed as a possibility because I work outside. I take 2500 IU a day now and my Latest Vit D result at end July in v hot sunny weather was 81. previous one (my first vit D test was 60 in April taking 1400 IU a day which got me through winter still functioning) I guess I will have to take a bit more this Winter. the wrist splints at night helped me quite a lot.

  • I've got wrist splints from physio on Friday but there are so many conflicting reports on how best to use them. I'll contact orthopaedics on Monday to see what they say.

  • I have just got carpal tunnel back, despite surgery 6 years ago, I have recently been diagnosed as having an over active Thyroid my gp said it may settle as they balance my thyroid, but orthopaedic consultant says he is referring me to a hand specialist, as he believes I have severe carpal tunnel, which will need surgery, He said he did not know of a connection between carpel tunnel and Thyroid problems, Lets see what hand specialist, and endocrinologist say! I will be interested

  • Do you feel OK otherwise because if ferritin is low and you cant convert the levo correctly into t3 that could be the reason

    so a free t3 test would help

    blood tests are not god though even if the medics think they are

    you may be better on NDT because a lot of the nerve and tendon pain seems to go when on NDT rather than synthetic thyroxine

  • It's something I'm looking into at the moment. When my hand swelled up the other week, gp did a blood test for inflammation and said if it came Back negative (which it did) then it was a fibro flare up. It didn't get any better so I saw another gp who arranged the x rays which found I had mild arthritis. She wasn't sure it was CTS as well so sent me to orthopaedics to check and now I have to have nerve conduction tests.

  • It is quite tempting to try and blame these things on one condition. If you have a multi system autoimmune thing going on as I seem to (and maybe you do too?) then it is much harder to find the cause. RA commonly starts with Carpal Tunnel for example - if you are looking for a cause this would be much more likely than thyroid.

    I have some kind of peripheral/ small fiber neuropathy with Hypothyroydism and RA and am waiting to see a neurologst now. I take Vitamin D, Magnesium with B, B12 tablets, sylenium and 100mcg Levo plus Gaberpentin for the neuropathic stuff presently (it is making me very dizzy and extra tired). I'm gluten free and avoid dairy too - model of health in terms of lifestyle but still very unwell.

    I suggest that you ask your GP to get your Rheumatoid Factor checked (if negative you can still have RA or other types of inflammatory Arthriris conditions) and your imflammatory markets (ESR and CRP). If raised then this shows you have inflammation going on in your body which would make sense of both Carpal Tunnel and neuropathy - imflamation goes with autoimmunity.

  • cooking in aluminium or non stick coated pans or foil can also cause utter hell with joints etc

    its a factor that few doctors know about let alone recognise

    also check with your water supply company as to what they use to treat or add to water supplies

    in many areas that's aluminium salts of some kind and flouride

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is also a clinical symptom of hypothyroidism. Maybe if your GP adds some T3 to a reduced T4 (if your feeling well otherwise) it may be helpful. Even though your TSH is low, you you may need a suppressed TSH.

    Before I had hypo I had carpal tunnel syndrome due to work and was told it would need a operation to fix. I was reluctant and I found a good doctor whose physiotherapist worked wonders and I haven't had a problem since.

  • hy iv had carpal tunnel its got nothing to do with thyroxine as its call doing repettive work i had mine sorted at the hospital its only bandagesd up for 8weeks so it as nothing to do with the tablets your taking

  • may I ask if it was only one one side or bilateral?

  • It's bilateral, but slightly worse on the left. I am right handed, but as well as the thyroid connection I'm also an administrator on a keyboard all day.

  • Carpel tunnel is a symptom of Hypothyroidism..i would not have anything dose until your free t3 is tested and reverse t3 too. I would get labs done privately. I doubt you are being properly medicated for your thyroid and i bet you have other symptoms as well.

  • That is my next course of action. Even the neurologist that diagnosed my small fibre neuropathy said it was most probably a 'thyroid/migraine thing'!

  • The Thyroid effects everything..which is too bad!!! Good for you for taking charge of your health and being aware.

  • I don't have carpal tunnel but I have treated people who have. Have you looked at any alternative therapies such as Positional and/or Fascial Release? This can be particularly useful for people who have had surgery as surgery leaves scar tissue and Scar Integration techniques can help to reintegrate the scar tissue.

  • I had carpal tunnel syndrome about 20 years before I had any hypo symptoms. I would say that carpal tunnel is not always associated with hypo. Hypo people seem to be more prone to carpal tunnel but that doesn't mean carpal tunnel is always caused by hypo. There are several other things that also predispose to carpal tunnel. Using vibrating machinery (eg pneumatic drills), riding motorbikes, being female and under 5 ft 4ins tall, and a variety of other occupational factors can increase your chances of getting it. I had operations on both my hands when I was 40. Don't leave it too long or you can get permanent nerve damage. If your doctor suggests surgery go for it.

  • Mine was associated with work but it is also a symptom of hypo too when fluid builds up.

  • I've got it as a result of taking the antibiotic ciprofloxacin which was prescribed for cystitis, don't ever take this drug if you are prescribed it, as it would make your carpel tunnel problem worse, it did mine.

  • Thank you your replies, everyone. I've made an appointment to see my gp about NDTso I'll know more before I have the nerve conduction tests. Maggie xx

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