Thyroid UK
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polymialgia caused by underactive thyroid ? writing this post for an old lady of 80+ fit and active for her age. she has been diagnosed with polymialgia and been given steroids and thats the end of it...but the pain and numbness in her hands is now upsetting her, 2 years ago the doctors put her on levothyroxine as said she had underactive thyroid then did bloods weeks later and said she was ok and took her off the levo ? in this time she has now developed polymyalgia, i looked it up and see it is linked to hypothyroidism her last blood test is TSH 7.43 T4 13.8 (12-22) now when i read mary shomons book it says that these results are basically underactive and being she has polymialgia am i right in thinking that this is the cause of it, and perhaps the doctor should put her back on levothyroxine to try and rid the syptoms rather than steroids which are not touching it, the doctor did not know they were linked ! until i told her. any views on this please would be very helpful thanks

5 Replies

You are right in my non-medical opinion. Her Levo should not have been stopped - how crazy are these doctors. Now she has something even more complicated and needing even more expensive drugs.

Over 15 years ago I was diagnosed with Polymyalgia Rheumatica which was then down-graded to Fibro. Much later had the hashimotos diagnosis and so treatment began. 10 years on things are very much improved....

Thank goodness you are there keeping an eye :-)


It's very kind of your to enquire for your friend. I would say she is underactive as her TSH is high at nearly 8 and barely any T4. They obviously didn't do her T3 either which I would also think would be extremely low.

She should be put back on levo now, and I agree with Marz 100%. Some doctors are so stupid dealing with patients which can result in more serious consequences for the patient, although I think the doctors should be penalised for their lack of care. Sometime hypothyroidism may be mild to start with but for your friend to be diagnosed with Polymalgia instead of having her thyroid hormones thoroughly checked and given steroids instead of thyroid hormones - I should advise she change her doctor.

It's strange, isn't it, they ignore or don't know the clinical symptoms of hypothyroidism yet can diagnose for something with the clinical symptoms alone (polymalgia) and prescribe but not for the thyroid gland.

I hope they get her levothyroxine to the optimum and that her painful condition will respond quickly. If not she should consider seeing a doctor who will add some T3 to the T4.


Hi ,thanks for feed back, they are the same useless doctors I went through and I've told her to see the one good one but I think I'm going to ask to go in with her so she doesn't get fed rubbish, they did not do any other bloods which I find amazing and am very anoyed about , I am going to show her these posts, a big thank you to you all,


Most of us have 'been there' 'done that' but hopefully the doctor will be sympathetic.

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Nataliesue, the polymyalgia is very likely due to hypothyroidism. Your lady needs Levothyroxine. Would be a good idea to test ferritin, vitamin D, B12 and folate as low levels can cause musculoskeletal pain too. It's very common for elderly people to be deficient in vitD and B12.


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