Hyperthyroidism Breaking News

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;

Hair loss

Weight loss

Irregular menstrual periods

High blood pressure



Rapid heartbeat

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!


23 Replies

  • My suggestion for keeping bones healthy is to take NDT , instead of t4 and t3. The calcitonin in NDT is there to stop the calcuim from leeching outof the bones and into the blood stream.

    Suppose this report will just induce the medics to stop dishing out thyroid hormones.

    Oh joy! :-(

  • Galathea, they might if TSH <0.10 meant a patient was hyperthyroid, but as you know, FT4 and/or FT3 have to be over range to diagnose hyperthyroidism.

  • Were you low in Vitamin D like me and many others?

    I think that's an underlying factor in both hyper and hypothyroidism (and many other conditions too), and often with other deficiencies.

    I also think my nodule was leaking hormone which contributed to hip pain and frozen shoulders as second frozen shoulder disappeared straight after PT op.

  • Spare, it was my sister. I don't know whether she was vitD deficient then but her vitD was only 40 a couple of years ago and she was supplementing D3 for a while.

    My vitD wasn't tested prior to thyroidectomy but 18 months later was <10.

  • Yes we know that but it appears that far too many doctors and endocrinologists do not know. My doctors used to really worry about my tsh of 0.01 or 0.02, with lots of dire warnings and threats.

    I think they have given up now.... They haven't

    even called me in for testing this year... So they will lose out on their extra payment.... :-)

    G x

  • Are people with hyperthyroidism generally more likely to undertake more activities which put them in a situation where a bone fracture is a potential consequence?

  • Knotty, I wouldn't have thought so.

  • Thank you very much Clutter for drawing attention to this.

    Would it be possible for you to access the full article and post a link? I tried to do it, but you either have to pay or subscribe. Perhaps it's easier for Thyroid UK to do?

    For your information I have osteopenia. I had increased my T3 dosage last year and felt well, but my bone scan showed quite significant bone loss (more than in previous years). My TSH has been undetectable for over 2 years. I am currently trying to find a balance between feeling well and reducing my risk of osteoporosis.

  • Sirmot, I doubt TUK subscribes but you can ask louise.warvill@thyroiduk.org.uk whether they do.

    I'm not convinced my mild osteopenia is due to TSH suppresson for 2 years. I had menopause <42, have a tall slight frame, low BMI and severe vitD deficiency in 2013, all risk factors. Dose has recently been reduced by 12.5mcg as endo thinks TSH can be less suppressed.

  • Thank you Clutter, I'll check with Louise.

    There seems to be a consensus among a number of research papers that it's good not to have the TSH totally suppressed in order to reduce the risk of osteoporosis, even when T3 and T4 are in normal range.

    I also have a similar risk profile to you. But what I found disappointing was the amount of bone I lost last year which coincides exactly with the increase in my T3 dose from 20 to 32.5. I think there is a link in my case and that I was probably overmedicating although I felt well. My osteopenia is quite severe, which is why I worry.

    I hope you're feeling well on the reduced dose of T3? I have reduced by 15 mcg and so far so good. I think I might be using it more efficiently since I went on a non-gluten diet 3 months ago.

  • Sirmot, It was T4 which was reduced. I feel fine on the reduced dose. I'm not convinced by a lot of the research which I believe extrapolates results from low TSH in hyperthyroid patients who also have high FT4 and FT3 which hypothyroid patients don't.

    Nevertheless, I'm happy to minimise risk by reducing dose as long as it doesn't make me feel ill.

    Do you take anything for osteopenia? I was just told to continue with vitD supplement which was reduced when was over range in Dec. I have vitD and calcium profile tests next week.

  • Sirmot, see Margo's posts below.

  • Hi Clutter, I take calcium, magnesium, D3, K2, Boron, plus bio-identical progesterone and estrogen. I tried strontium citrate but made me feel very sick, so stopped. But am thinking of trying another brand again.

    Lots of people recommend strontium citrate.

  • I had a DEXA scan this morning and will be waiting for the results with bated breath. I was diagnosed with osteopenia and then osteoporosis, I managed it myself with Strontium Citrate, K2 and Vit D and my bone loss improved to the point that I no longer have osteoporosis. I have dropped Strontium for the past 6 months but continued the K2/D3 and am curious as to what the results will come back with.

  • Margo, that's excellent, did you have any adverse effects from the strontium? Please post your results when you have them.

  • Yes of course Clutter. I have posted this good news before. Re. Strontium I am never sure if I had affects or not seeing as I often don't feel 100%. Depending on the results as to whether I go back to taking it. BbAlso I would like to add my TSH has always been undetectable due to T.T. Having had thyroid cancer.

  • Margo, It's good to know that even if suppressed TSH was the cause of your ostoporosis it can be reversed.

  • Clutter I had osteoporosis before thyroid cancer and low TSH.

  • Margo, You've improved yours AND TSH is suppressed - flies in the face of doctor's warnings :-D

  • Exactly Clutter.

  • many congratulations Margo. I hope you will see further improvement on your recent DEXA scan. I know how it is waiting for the results. I would be very interested to see your results.

    Did the strontium make you feel sick at all? What brand did you take and how much?

  • As I mentioned earlier sir mot I wasn't aware of any side affects, particularly as I never felt that good at any time. That said I seem to recall feeling a bit sick, but was never sure if that was my breakfast, or the other supplements as I was/am taking a lot. Hope that makes sense. Anyhow watch this space, when I get my results of the DEXA I will post, and I may be back on Strontium. Strontium Support II Advances Series

  • Thanks Margo. I think I might try strontium again. Looking forward to seeing your results! take care

You may also like...