Right on target. The relationship between hypothyroidism and fibromyalgia has been known for quite some time. The thyroid is responsible for a myriad of conditions. When we understand how it works and what happens when it's not in an optimal state, it's easy to follow the dots.
I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 1988. I've had it ever since I can remember. The outside of the hips also are pressure points that can really flare up when hypothryoidism is not in check. Sometimes the shoulders feel as if a Mac truck sits on them. Even the collarbone can radiate pain. There is not a doubt in my mind that fibromyalgia is a result of hypothyroidism.
When I became hyperthyroid with Grave's Disease (the result of four decades without treatment for hypothyroidism), all fibromyalgia symptoms ceased. Gone.
As hypothyroidism set in again after treatment for Grave's... fibromyalgia came back with a vengeance!
Bloating and gut issues, immense fluid retention, headaches, brain fog, confusion, even clinical psychosis can happen to a person with elevated TSH levels. All sorts of problems surface when hypothyroidism is not properly treated. The good thing is that with proper treatment, all those things go away.
There are a myriad of reasons why proper treatment for an individual is so elusive: many things can get in the way of vitamin, mineral, and replacement hormones being absorbed by the body. It's a moving target for so many of us. Doctors don't have the time to help us tweak our medications; and, unfortunately, they don't want to put the medications in our hands to do the job ourselves. If we are not allowed to tweak our doses as needed, we will forever be dependent on physicians who simply don't get it and don't care.
And for those who have absorption and T4 conversion issues, T3 is the way to keep the thyroid hormones up so that a person can function wonderfully while completing the quest of getting their absorption and/or conversion issues under control.
Not all who have hypothyroidism are overly complex cases, but any case can be somewhat complex seemingly overnight. Because our bodies change daily. We are not completely the same person we were yesterday. Thyroid hormone resistance can mean we keep asking for our doses to be increased while all tests say otherwise. It's not about the tests. It's about how we feel.
Even without thyroid hormone resistance, after some time, most need to make some adjustments in dosage. This is something we have to pay close attention to and prove we know what is best for our bodies. This is why so many people are suffering while doctors continue to preach Big Pharma's mantra: that levothyroxine easily replaces thyroid hormones; all the while telling the patient to continue on the same dose for ridiculous amounts of time while the patient is ready to tear out what little hair remains on their head!
"No worries!" Yeah, right! Also, those with thyroid hormone resistance need far more medication than others... they must be allowed to have what they need without doctors playing parent as they panic at the thought that we're taking too much and that will cause more problems. Really? What the hell could be worse than what many of us are going through right now!! All we want is to regain some normalcy in life. That can't be this hard, is it?
No. It is not.
Not even when it gets complicated. And it will because we age; we're under stress (inflammation and pain are enormous stressors alone); we have illness and many here take medications besides thyroid hormone for those illnesses -- many that are caused by under-treated hypothyroidism. Those medicines themselves can also cause a number of problems. High blood pressure and high cholesterol used to be tell-tale signs of a possible hypothyroid condition. Get the thyroid hormone working properly and the high BP and high cholesterol reverses on its own. Today, doctors quickly put you on unnecessary meds and given the chance, they never take you off of them!
Proton inhibitors are killing us because the symptoms of too much acid are the same as too little acid! When we don't have enough stomach acid, that completely messes up everything! We cannot absorb the nutrients from foods if we cannot properly digest them. Lack of digestion leads to all sorts of problems. But the bottom line is that hypothyroidism causes a lack of stomach acid! Hypothyroidism slows down all the functions of the body. This is also why so many of us retain massive amounts of water. Don't give me a diuretic or a test for this or that, just give me enough of the appropriate thyroid hormone so that I may have it in every cell of my body. Then I won't need extra medicines!
Like the one for frequent urination when trying to sleep. Duh! Called "nocturia," just a little investigating shows it too is caused by hypothyroidism. What is the reason for a physician not knowing that nocturia is caused by the very same malady for which you're being treated?! Because they don't read their briefs. They don't keep up on things like they should. They have become prescription writers for Big Pharma. Unfortunately, that's what most of them do best -- and we also know that their penmanship is probably not quite as bad as the prescription they're writing!
All these connections. Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, even Alzheimer's and Dementia have been related to the often severe lack of thyroid hormone absorption. Sometimes vitamins are needed to get us to absorb our replacement hormones better. When is the last time a doctor mentioned vitamins? At least here, in the U.S. that just doesn't happen with the American Medical Association. You'd have to go to a naturpath or holistic doctor for that kind of commonsense!
It's a nightmare. But what we know is what can empower us to find out more about our own body and then do something about it. If we're not getting enough thyroid hormone in our cells and tissues and our body is screaming for change... we no longer have to make do with that.
We don't have to continue on the merry-go-round of seeing this doctor, then that one, then yet another for all sorts of symptoms we encounter -- because in all probability our hypothyroidism is causing them all. With knowledge we can figure it out ourselves.
Doctors will never stop treating symptoms and just focus on the root of the problem! For if they do, the GP we know today will become a thing of the past. Most things we can figure out ourselves. We have the knowledge of the world at our fingertips. And we have people, like all of us, who share and ask and debate so that we all can be the better for it.
And with that we too can be a part of changing the problems that plague outdated practices of conventional medicine that keep us all sick.
Otherwise nothing will ever change and people will continue to suffer needlessly with under-treated and eventually debilitating symptoms of hypothyroidism.
Forums like this one can help others find out how to help themselves! We are our only patient. I think we can handle it if we all stick together.
Appreciating each and every one here!