Thyroid UK
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Hi everyone my name is Louise. I used to be a nurse before i retired early due to ill health. I have a complicated health history. My main problems are osteoarithritis, fibromyalgia, pernicious aneamia, underactive thyroid, scoliosis and disintegrating discs of spine amongst a few others. My main concern after researching thyroid symptoms is how do i know which is affecting me as the symptoms of fibromyalgia, pernicious aneamia and thyroid are all very similar.

I would love to hear from anyone in a similar position to me.


8 Replies

hi louise, I have had 2 half knee replacements for osteoarithritis and am also hypo so can emapatise with you



The symptoms of hypothyroidism and fibromyalgia are very similar because they are both caused by a slow metabolism, as is chronic fatigue and depression. So all these conditions are just different clinical presentartions of an underactive thyroid.


Hi Louise. I also used to be a nurse before I fell ill.

I fell ill with ME/CFS and had a persistent annual decline. At a pain clinic I was told I had "atypical fibromyalgia" which I only believe was a fob-off. When we look into things the thyroid causes a lot of pain and is behind fibromyalgia, when you read up on certain places.

So in my mind, you don't truly know how much of your problems are say thyroid or other medical problems until it is FULLY treated. I shout FULLY because you need to know you have full peace of mind about it. Rather than be told by GP or a consultant who isn't getting you well. Do not take things on face value until there is a good consultant you trust and you are probably on adrenal supplements and a good combination of T3/T4 or Armour or whatever is necessary along these lines.

Have you checked out things like Feritin and folate?

I came back as low end of normal for my iron stores yet I know I had symtpoms. I talked my GP into a prescription of ferrous sulphate. Basically since then, my knees do not ache now, I look a healthier colour and all that was through a ferritin of 19 which is in range, but low end.

So until you have fully ironed out the thyroid and dealt with borderline issues like my example, I do not truly think you ever appreciate how ill the thyroid can make you, how many symptoms it causes and affects all things. This is because a lot of doctors dismiss it and say you should be feeling better by now etc... You know what I mean?



Louise, I agree with Fiona. I think that fibromyalgia is a doctors favourite at the moment. Have a look at Dr Lowe's website as he is an expert on the subject.

Is your TSH below 1 and your Free T4 at the top of the lab range?

Also have you had your B12 and vit D tested?

<b>Updated on Aug 18 2010 1:58PM:</b> woops, sorry I didn't mean to put B12, you have PA so this is obviously covered


thank u for replying. I have had T3 T4 they were borderline. Not had adrenal checked i will though as i was on steriods continuosly for 3 years due to asthma. Had ferritin level done when had B12 checked it was not in normal range so on treatment for that.


Hi Louise,

Mmmm -checking your level of vitamin D is a really good suggestion -I struggled to manage my symptoms -ending up on Armour and adrenal support, still not feeling well -but was staggered after discovering i was low on vitmain D -what a massive difference taking this supplement has had on my energy and symtoms which I had put down to my underactive thyroid...... would recommend you have a nosey at the website called 'The vitamin D Council.' Sorry this doesn't really answer your question of working out symptoms and realtionship to which condition's plain tricky!


Hi Louise - just to let you know we very recently started a Pernicious Anaemia Group in association with the Pernicious Anaemia Society - the address is . If you want to join please let me know (we're not used to multi-group members so we have to make you a member).

All the best, Matt


Hi all. I am new to this site and have joined many others like it just for a little help. I have suffered with arthritis in my spine and knees since childhood (I am now 37) and have had a slipped disc in my lower spine since about 1995 which causes sciatica every now & then. The arthritis was a pain (literally) because every time I went to my Dr, he said it was growing pains, I was only a child of course, that I would grow out of it!!! I never did and my Mum continued to take me to see him with these agonising pains. Eventually, after an MRI scan at around 17 years old (it only took about 10 years for them to do something about it!!!), I was diagnosed with arthritis and was prescribed co-proxomal (which of course was later changed to co-codomal because of the many suicide attempts on the co-p). I was also diagnosed with an underactive thyroid when I was about 20 years old - so I kind of know about pain, feeling a bit blue blah, blah blah. I've just coped - is all I can say. You learn to live with the pain, to hide the pain, to ignore the pain etc etc. So school and work were dealt with by trying my best to stay positive and happy - despite the struggle in my head at wanting to scream all the time through the pain. No-one knew how bad I felt and that's just how I wanted it!

I have two wonderful children aged 12 & 10 who know I have arthritis and have helped me with certain things around the home since they could 'help mummy' and found it fun, but without ruining their childhood - they still find it fun to help me and still do help me a tremendous amount, but they DO NOT know about the latest addition to my problems, and I don't want to tell them incase they worry. For the last at least 15 years or so my (arthritis??) pain seems to have spread. I remember asking the Dr at the pain clinic many years ago if arthritis can spread - he laughed at me, told me not to be silly!!! I was told that I could have an operation on my back for my slipped disc, but that it might not be a success and I could be paralysed - GREAT, YEAH, I'LL GO FOR THAT!!! Obviously I didn't go through with it as I wanted to start a family, and have just suffered with the growing intensity of this pain taking painkillers ever since. About a year ago, I went to my Dr (now new through moving to a different County) and told him that my pain is extremely bad, My hip wouldn't move properly and I had to force it to 'click' into the right position before I could continue moving!!!! He put me on Lyrica (Pregabalin) and sent me on my way.....did it help, I don't think so. In July 2010, I went back to see him to explain the many symptoms that I was experiencing. I can't sleep (haven't for years), the blurry vision, spasms, brain fog, confusion, dropping things, being unstable on my feet, migraines, pain in my neck (even into my head where you imagine the stork of your spine ends in your head); shooting and stabbing pains all over; 6 stone weight gain (in 5 yrs) - although no appetite (an NHS health Nutritionist said I need to eat more because I've messed up my motabolism!! - Yeah, I've put 6 stone on hardly eating a thing - imagine what would happen if I did eat!!!) The list of symtoms is too long - including the fact that a lot of the time I just want to chop my legs off because they hurt soooo much!!!. He increased my dose of Lyrica and prescribed Amitryptaline (?) for the sleep problem (So it's been about a year on these now). I now sleep ok after eventually dropping off - I can also get back to sleep if I wake in the night through the pain, but the Lyrica just doesn't seem to have made a difference to the pain - which is so bad sometimes, I feel like I can't breathe and I want to chop my legs off (I think I may have mentioned that!!). I went back to the Dr and he told me that it sounded like 'Fibromyalgia' or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME. So in October I was sent to the CFS/ME clinic - who were absolutely rubbish!! I was told to complete a questionnaire and after seeing me for 20 minutes they decided that I was suffering from severe anxiety!!!!! WHICH I AM NOT!!! They didn't even ask any of my symptoms, just were focussed on whether I could read a book without falling asleep and if I just drop off (to sleep) anywhere - well, of course I don't allow myself to just fall asleep wherever I am!!!! Imagine how much of my life I would waste if I did that - so despite the fact that I do feel like I could go to sleep at any moment - BUT I make myself stay awake - they decide I'm anxious!!!! I went back to my Dr, who has simply increased my dose of Lyrica and will do so until I start having side effects until I get to the 600mg - so far, I feel no better from the pain - every symtom is exactly the same. I asked him about his first thoughts on Fibromyalgia and he said that that was what the CFS/ME (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/M.E) clinic were for - But they were rubbish, just said I needed counselling for anxiety!!! I have read a number of people's stories on other sites - every symptom of Fibromyalgia that they have relate to me and what I go through. Lots of people say that it took them years and years to get a diagnosis of FM - What do I do now???? Yes, I've suffered with the pain now for the last 20 odd years of my life, with the last 10-15 being extremely bad - the thing that made me go back to the Dr a while ago was because my eye was uncontrollably twitching non-stop and now I get sharp stabbing pains in it, like a bee has stung me in my eye ball and then it makes tears come out of it -(not because of a crying thing). If I listed all of my symptoms on here, I'd be here forever - but I know that it's not normal.....oh well, I'll just dope myself up to the eyeballs with these drugs because that's what the Dr has decided for me!!!!!!! He also suggested I see an optician for my eye problem - which I could only manage to get an appointment for in the middle of December!! Anyone got any suggestions???? Sorry it's a long post x

<b>Updated on Dec 9 2010 9:49AM:</b> Update: Dec 2010: Had my eye test at the vision is 20-20, but I am suffering with 'dry eyes' for which I now have to take drops for. Apparently, it's all part of having arthritis and thyroid problems - christ - now wonder I'm not allowed to give blood - the amount of medication I take!!!


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