Debilitating joint pain: Calcific tendinitis and a correlation with thyroid disorders

Finally. I've been transitioning from T3 only to NDT (Nature-Throid) for nearly four weeks. It has been rough, mostly because of excruciating joint pain.

A couple of years ago I saw a rheumatologist for my persistent joint pain in feet and hands. You could see the bulging joints in some of my fingers. He turned out to be utterly useless, as he diagnosed me, albeit reluctantly, with RA. My labs did not point there, as he admitted, and neither did my actual symptoms. Still, he prescribed a drug that gave me tinnitus after one dose. I still have the tinnitus, though I stopped taking the drug after two days.

I had postulated to him that I thought I had calcific tendinitis. That was disregarded.

Fast forward to last week. I met for the first time with an endocrinologist, though I wasn't hopeful, and am already under the care of a fantastic naturopath. I met with the endo because my pre-diabetic numbers have been slowly rising. I eat really well, no gluten, nightshades, or dairy, and sparing on the sugar. I exercise every day. I'm not overweight.

The endo told me that the Endocrine Society uses only one test, TSH, and that my TSH indicated I shouldn't be medicated at all. I knew this beforehand. I told her about my joint pain, showed her my hands, which are obviously disfigured. She recommended that I see a rheumatologist.

I am seeing an orthopedist next month. Hoping for a definitive diagnosis of hydroxyapatite crystal deposition disease. And, to finally come to my point, I did a search on "correlation between hypothyroidism and calcific tendinitis". Here's the paper I found: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articl...

Thyroid hormones and tendon: current views and future perspectives.

Just wanted to put this information out there. I've experienced traveling "joint pain" for years. This past week I'm in excruciating pain in my knees and shoulders. But I know the pain will end, eventually, after my dose is optimized. Knowledge is power, and I feel powerful today.

-C

9 Replies

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  • I know someone who described the pain as 'travelling'. The eventually were diagnosed as having rheumatoid arthritis.

  • I was tentatively diagnosed with RA. It's not RA, though. Seeing an orthopedist to confirm my self diagnosis.

  • I do hope it's not a chronic condition and it will disappear with proper meds.

  • Hi Corteena - This is interesting. I've had severe joint pain for several years - my shoulders have been the worst. I was (mis)diagnosed with fibromyalgia due to this. Fast forward to early last year when my shoulder pain was just about unbearable. I was waking many times through the night - every time I turned or moved even slightly in my sleep it was excruciating.

    So, I finally managed to get my doctor to X-ray my worst shoulder. Suddenly she stopped saying "it's just your fibromyalgia" and sent me for an urgent ultrasound scan. Guess what? Calcific tendonitis in my shoulder. I suspect I have it in my feet and, possibly, knees and ankles too. Thankfully, a steroid injection in that worst shoulder has eased it for now. At least I can move it now, and I can sleep at night. :-)

    I'm convinced there is a link between all this.

  • Yes, I have been convinced, too. This paper is opening up all sorts of ideas in my head on what is related to my form of Hypothyroidism--Hashimoto's. I am thankful that my naturopath is a free thinker and allows me to discuss these ideas at length. I'm deeply distrustful of western-trained physicians who refuse to think out of the box and rely solely on evidence-based medicine, with no room for conjecture.

  • A fascinating article. I've been given foot supports to wear inside my shoes due to severe foot pain and swelling in one foot. I was told my tendons had "overstretched" due to a degree of hypermobility. I also have shoulder pain that wakes me as I turn over in bed. I have always practiced Yoga and tried to keep mobile I spite of the extra weight that piled on once I began taking Levo..

  • The only way you will know for sure is to see an orthopedist. I saw a podiatrist, who took x-rays, but didn't know what to look for, so she was unable to help me. You could see an orthopedist, mention the paper, and ask if what you have could be calcific tendinitis.

    I also was taking a D3 supplement for a while. My most recent labs came back with D3 far above the reference range, so I stopped by taking it. The feet and hand pain and swelling went away within a week.

    I've since read about D3 supplementation, and am now only getting vit D from sun exposure. 15-20 minutes per day via my skin.

  • Thank you for the info. It was an orthopaedic chap who arranged for the foot supports.

  • I'm going to ask for either an ultrasound of my joints or an MRI when I see the orthopedist in June.

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