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Which vitamins/supplements please? Stiffness and muscle pain...

Hi all, apologies as I'm sure this type of post is already on here.

I'm looking for advice re vitamins and supplements.

I have an underactive thyroid and have been on 75mcg levo for almost 3 years. In this time, I have never felt well. I've seen my GP so many times with so many different aches and pains but am yet to get to the bottom of it all.

My main symptom is stiffness. I am slightly stiff first thing and it can take me a little while to get going. Then if I sit for any length of time, I stiffen up or if I try to do any activity at all...

I have a lot of muscle pain, flank, shoulders etc

I have swollen/tender lymph nodes. 

I have tinnitus.

My whole body is often extremely tender to touch.

I have been through early menopause.

I'm 45 but feel 75...

I need help as I can't spend the rest of my life feeling like this :(

A blood test a couple of years ago showed Vit D deficiency, so I'm currently taking D3.

What else could I take to help myself seeing as the GP can't/won't?

I'm thinking about B12, calcium,folate but don't know if these are the right thing or what dose etc?

Any input would be really helpful! Thank you :)

8 Replies

Can you get a copy of your test results from your Gp and post them on here so people can help interpret them for you? Most people find they are deficient in B12, Vit D and Ferritin. Your dose of levo is quite low too so may be that you need more. Do you know what your TSH is? Magnesium is also a good supplement to take, it helps your body use the levo and is good for muscle pains, digestion etc..too. There are different types though..I take magnesium citrate as I tend to suffer with constipation and it helps relieve that but there are others so you may have to experiment. The one I use is Solgar 400mg. If you are taking D3 are you also taking Vit K? If not you need to as it helps direct the calcium to where it's needed (you will make more calcium as your Vit D levels increase). Selenium is also important to help convert T4 to T3. Apparently Organic selenium is best. Have a look at the Stop The Thyroid Madness Website, there is lots of useful info on there as well as Thyroid UK.

You really need to get some tests done though if you haven't already. If your GP won't help then you can have them done privately for around £100 or so..there are links on Thyroid Uk website.

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NatChap, we need Vitamin K2 with vitamin D.

Vitamin K usually refers to Vitamin K1, which isn't what is needed.


Yes I know, sorry should have been more specific but if you google Vit D and K it does explain the types as even K2 is broken down into different forms.



I am sorry you are suffering, even when on levothyroxine.

My personal opinion is that 75mcg is too low for your needs. If you've not had a recent blood test you must ask for a new one and say that you are having troublesome clinical symptoms (Your doctor is probably unaware of even one symptom as most of them appear to be).

Ask your GP for a full Thyroid Hormone Blood test (he may not agree or lab may not do the ones he requested). That is TSH, T4, T3, Free T4 and Free T3, Vitamin B12, Vit D, iron, ferritin and folate.

The test should be the earliest possible and don't eat before it. but you can drink water. Also leave approx 24 hours between your last dose of levo and the blood test (put tablets elsewhere as you might forget and take before test). 

If lab doesn't do FT4/FT3, if you can afford it you can get a private one from one of the recommended labs.

Pain/stiffness are clinical symptoms of undertreated/untreated hypo: a couple of excerpts:

Question: Thank you so much for the information on your website! I've had untreated hypothyroidism for five years. I have most of the symptoms of hypothyroidism, but the worst is my muscle weakness and pain. My doctor says my TSH is "high-normal. Because of that, he says my symptoms can’t be caused by hypothyroidism and he refuses to prescribe thyroid hormone. Instead, he diagnosed me with "fibromyalgia" and referred me to a rheumatologist who confirmed that diagnosis. The rheumatologist gave me an antidepressant and ibuprofen. These haven’t helped at all. Both my doctor and the rheumatologist said my muscle symptoms can't be caused by hypothyroidism."

"Dr. Lowe: You’re right and your doctors are wrong: Muscle problems are common among patients with untreated hypothyroidism. (They're also common among patients with untreated thyroid hormone resistance.) The most common muscle problems are weakness and excess muscle tension. The muscle tension often activates trigger points that refer pain. In the most severe and rare form of muscle involvement, called "Hoffman’s Syndrome," muscles become enlarged and stiff."

"I trust that if he remains uncooperative for long, you’ll cut your loses and find another doctor with a balance approach who will cooperate with you. It’s your life, and you deserve to live it in health and happiness. But your chances of achieving these under the care of an extremist medical technocrat are very slim indeed.





If you were vitamin D deficient two years ago, have you ever been re-tested since? What kind of supplement are you taking and what dose is it?

Vitamin D can build up to toxic levels if over-supplemented. On the other hand, if your supplements are too low a dose your vitamin D level might hardly shift at all. Ask your doctor for a test. If he/she won't do it you can get yourself tested with a finger prick test.



When I got my own vitamin D levels up to optimum it made a huge improvement in my aches and pains.

Have you had complete testing for your thyroid and do you have results for it? You really need to know TSH, Free T4, Free T3, TPO and Tg antibodies. Low T3 can lead to painful muscles and joints. This is another thing your doctor could test for you, but whether or not he/she will is another matter.

You can get thyroid testing done with finger-prick tests too.


Click on the blue badge on the left hand side of the page with the words Thyroid Check Plus Ten on it.

And you can get discounts on some testing courtesy of Thyroid UK. Follow the links on the following page :


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How much Vitamin D are you taking? If you just take the standard 800iu over the counter supplements you won't get any worse but you won't improve your levels. People take colossal amounts (eg 20,000 iu) for a couple of weeks to improve their levels, then take at least 800iu to keep them there, often taking 2000iu a day over the winter months.


That's interesting to know. My test results showed 39 for Vit D, my GP said although that's within range it would be better to be above 50. When I told him I'd started taking supplements after seeing the results via Patient Access he said that should be fine and said the pain in the Achilles should start to diminish in about 90 days. It's been just over a fortnight on 25 mcg (1000 iu) and the pain in a morning or after a prolonged period of sitting has reduced already, though the stiffness hasn't. Maybe I'll double the dose for a week or two and see what happens? GP has also suggested I get retested for Thyroid function and Vitamins in six months. 


Hi thank you all so much for your help! I was never retested for the vit D deficiency - I think it just got overlooked with everything else I have going on. I've been taking 3000 iu for about a month... I'm definitely going to try and get retested or at least get it done myself. How would I know if I'm taking too much as I'm worried about 'toxic levels' mentioned above! Xx


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