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Thyroid UK
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Newbie hypothyroid pins and needles joint pains?

Second post from newbie as my first set of replies were very helpful!

I've recently been diagnosed hypothyroid (hash's) following birth of my baby 6 months ago and have started levo at a very low starting dose of 25mcg to be retested in 6 weeks. My symptoms were originally fatigue and dizzyiness but recently (last week) I have been experiencing joint pains in both hands and feet (hurts when gripping things especially) also have tingling/mild pins needles with it.... Is this a hypo symptom? I've only had two doses of levo so assuming it's not the medication. I'm only 35 so hoping it's not a different condition like arthiritis? I have this sinking feeling that following the birth of my baby i may have developed a series of autoimmune conditions as I feel worse now than when I was heavily pregnant and had no medical conditions before and was generally a very healthy person.

Any advice would be grateful thanks :-)

12 Replies

They could be symptoms of hypo but could also be symptoms of low nutrient levels. Ask for the following to be tested

Vit D





Thank you I have 3 of the 4 tested as follows

Serum folate 3.3. (3.10-30.50)

Serum vit b12 205 (187-883)

So both lower end of normal range... would it be worth getting a supplement? Would a normal vitamin be enough or could I get higher levels and not worry about overdosing!

And my ferritin was really low at 5 which I was originally tested about a month ago and since then have been taking 2x 200mg of Ferrous sulphate since.

I have not been tested for vit D however stupid question probably but if I get a lot of sunshine could this still be low? Should I ask to test it next time?

Thanks :-)


Yes, I would ask for vitamin D to be tested but if you tell your GP you get a lot of sunshine they might not test for it. Just tell your doctor a lot of people who are hypothyroid have vitamin D deficiency, there's a lot of evidence for a link.

Your folate is low but you should check what to do about vitamin B12 before starting to supplement folate as even though you are in range you may still be deficient. Post your results on the Healthunlocked Pernicious Anaemia forum to get advise on those and what tests to ask you GP for.

If you supplement vitamin B12 after getting advice you need to take a good B complex to balance the B's.


Tiff35 Your nutrient levels are truly awful.

Serum folate 3.3. (3.10-30.50)

- this should be at least half way through it's range so that would be 17+

Serum vit b12 205 (187-883)

Do you have any signs of B12 deficiency b12deficiency.info/signs-an... If so you need to post on the Pernicious Anaemia Society forum here on Health Unlocked for further advice healthunlocked.com/pasoc

I have read (but not researched so don't have links) that BCSH, UKNEQAS and NICE guidelines recommend:

"In the presence of discordance between test results and strong clinical features of deficiency, treatment should not be delayed to avoid neurological impairment."

And an extract from the book, "Could it be B12?" by Sally M. Pacholok:

"We believe that the 'normal' serum B12 threshold needs to be raised from 200 pg/ml to at least 450 pg/ml because deficiencies begin to appear in the cerebrospinal fluid below 550".

"For brain and nervous system health and prevention of disease in older adults, serum B12 levels should be maintained near or above 1000 pg/ml."

That's good enough for me and I keep mine around 1000. Sublingual methylcobalamin lozenges are what's needed to supplement B12 yourself along with a good B Complex to balance all the B vitamins.

See what they say on the PA forum and if it's a case of self supplementing without further investigation by your GP then you would need the 5000mcg strength of sublingual methylcobalamin lozenges and a good B Complex like Thorne Basic B which will help raise your folate level.


ferritin was really low at 5 - taking 2x 200mg of Ferrous sulphate

Do you have the range for ferritin? Did you have an iron panel, full blood count and haemoglobin test to see if you have iron deficiency anaemia?

I believe your ferritin is way, way below range and I think an iron infusion should have been given, which would have raised your level in 24-48 hours whereas iron tablets will take months.

If you have iron deficiency anaemia, and with your ferritin level, then you should have the maximum dose of ferrous sulphate which is one tablet three times a day.

Take each iron tablet with 1000mg Vitamin C to aid absorption and help prevent constipaton. Always take iron 4 hours away from thyroid meds and two hours away from other medication and supplements as it will affect absorption.

For thyroid hormone to work ferritin needs to be at least 70, preferably half way through range.


Some people can be out in the sun all the time and still be low in Vit D. If your GP wont test it then for £28 you can do a home fingerprick blood spot test vitamindtest.org.uk/index.html As all your other nutrients are dire, I imagine your Vit D will be low too.


Tiff35 I've just noticed that you are Hashi's. Have you read up on it? I'll give some links to some information, you should educate yourself about Hashi's because doctors tend to not think it's important.

Hashi's is where antibodies attack the thyroid and gradually destroy it.

The antibody attacks cause fluctuations in symptoms and test results.

You can help reduce the antibodies by adopting a strict gluten free diet which has helped many members here. Gluten contains gliadin (a protein) which is thought to trigger autoimmune attacks so eliminating gluten can help reduce these attacks. You don't need to be gluten sensitive or have Coeliac disease for a gluten free diet to help.

Supplementing with selenium l-selenomethionine 200mcg daily can also help reduce the antibodies, as can keeping TSH suppressed.





Gluten/thyroid connection: chriskresser.com/the-gluten...


You are so right SeasideSusie . I know someone that had the same symptoms pins and needles in her fingers and some aches and pain breathing issues. It turned out that she stopped taking her nutrients and after reinstating the nutrients her symptoms resolved . Nutrients are very important especially to help our thyroid meds work optimally .

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I agree I really think two babies in two years has taken its toll on my body! It's time for me to look after myself now because I haven't ever felt so awful.

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Thank you so much for your detailed response SeasideSusie I am certainly going to check my vitamin D levels and try and get on top of the others too as I feel pretty awful and need to be on better form to look after the little ones. You have given me so much to go on and read so that's my plan for this bank holiday! Thank you again for your time I really appreciate it :-)

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Having a baby takes a lot out of you & I didn't realise at the time that baby jaundice was due to my low Vit D. Fast forward 20 years later, I got a private Vit D test & discovered my pins & needles, joint/shin/rib pain was due to low Vit D - avoided carpal/cubital tunnel ops by supplementing.

Now my balance/foggy brain problems are probably low B12 - despite being a meat-eater - so supplementing again, B12 spray (there was a recent article on the PAS forum here on HU, about how Hypothyroidism can progress to nutrient malabsopbtion /low stomach acid) J :D

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Thank you for experience I really hope I can fix this with some supplements. Planning on testing my Vit D levels ASAP. Im just trying to figure out the best over the counter vit B and folates to take.


Hi Tiff35, your story sounds very similar to mine. I was diagnosed with hashimotos when my son was 6 months old. I also suspect that it was triggered by my pregnancy and was previously very healthy even through my pregnancy. 25 is quite a low dose to start you on, I was started on 50 and raised to 75 a month later and was feeling fine up until about a month ago. My TSH was quite high before levo at 51, was yours similar or lower? That might be why they started you so low? Recently I've been getting leg cramping and twitching with pins and needles in my feet and across my shoulders and well as fatigue and feeling cold and off my food. Im going back to the GP for more tests this week as I know something's wrong and they wanted me to wait until May for another blood test!


Hi Newmummy thanks for taking the time to reply, it’s an old post but reading it back not much has changed!!

They never got to the root of my twitching and pins and needles and was told by GP it was not related to thyroid and a referral to a neurologist said nothing sinister and that I have just become more aware of my body and being a fairly small person we tend to have more benign twitches??!

Well I know I never had these symptoms before but now I just try and ignore them but they have certainly improved since I stopped Levo in the summer. That said my TSH is out of range- last one was 15 in September so have been advised by GP to go back on (after this post I raised to 75 in April time last year however these other symptoms seemed to get worse not better, I was also having palpitations so I slowly weaned off to stop and I felt better for a while for it.)

I am due another blood test next week and I am hoping it’s within range but I don’t think it’s likely.

My plan is to start the medication again to see if it’s definitely related to my neuro symptoms or not? These symptoms are worse for me than any hypo symptoms I have which is fair bit!

My TSH has never been has high as yours, were you suffering quite a lot?

Did your neuro symptoms come a long time after medication? Mine happened almost as instantly as I started the Levo but since being off it they haven’t disappeared so it’s confusing. My immunity seems really low too I have been ill with every virus going over the last few months.

Sounds like you need another blood test x


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