This was certainly true for my sister who has Graves and fractured her wrist and broke 5 ribs when she fell down stairs. She was subsequently diagnosed with osteopenia which is improving after bisphosphonates (taken intermittently, not regularly), RAI and after she started running.
If you’ve ever broken a bone, you know what a pain it can be (literally)! Have you had this experience or do you know someone who has? Have you broken more than one bone? New research is showing that there may be a correlation between increased risk of fractures and hyperthyroidism. An article was recently posted in the JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) and it is drawing attention to this condition.
The title of the article posted is, “Subclinical Thyroid Dysfunction and Fracture Risk”1. It included over 70,000 participants. Some of the participants had subclinical hypothyroidism and others had subclinical hyperthyroidism. The study concluded that individuals with even slight hyperthyroidism had a greater risk of hip and other fractures. The conclusion goes on to say that that statement is especially true among patients with TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) levels lower than 0.10 mIU/L. No association was found between subclinical hypothyroidism and increased risk for fracture.
So what is hyperthyroidism? We’ve written a lot about hypothyroidism, we are the National Academy of Hypothyroidism after all, but what about hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism, put simply, is the opposite of hypothyroidism. It is when the thyroid is in an overactive state and producing too much of the thyroid hormone. The symptoms of hyperthyroidism include;
Irregular menstrual periods
High blood pressure
And now, increased risk of fractures
When the thyroid is in a hyper state it causes the metabolism to speed up which leads to restlessness and nervousness in many individuals. This over stimulation can eventually lead to a crash where the individual experiences extreme fatigue/exhaustion. Hyperthyroidism isn’t always a stand-alone condition. Sometimes it can be caused by Grave’s disease (an autoimmune disease).
So if you are exhibiting some of the above listed symptoms, take extra care for your bones and overall health. If you’ve noticed that you have had various fractures (more than most people), make time to go have a full thyroid panel ran and find out if you are hyperthyroid. Or if you have been diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, talk to your doctor about what you can do to keep your bones safe and healthy! If you have any suggestions for bone health, share them with us below!