Can anybody help me with body and joint pain related to hypothyroidism?

Hi all! Great to have found this site. I haverecently started on armour after being on levothyroxine for nearly 25 years, starting on a 25mcg dose rising to 125mcg over the past few years without any improvement at all, in fact deteriorating. My main symptoms areall over body and joint pain, brain fog, insomnia, constipation, temperature imbalances and dry skin and eyes. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia 13 years ago but have read recentlythat John Lowe believes it is an integral part of hypothyroidism.

I am currently on a 2 grain split dose of armour and some of my symptoms have improved slightly but the body and joint pain is the same or worse. Does anyone have any advice to help me with this as it is really debilitating. Thank you in advance for any help anyone can give me. Brenda

16 Replies

  • Hi fierysue/Brenda- glad you found us, and welcome!

    As my GP also suggested CFS for me, basics, have you sorted vitamins and minerals too? they tend to go hand in hand with thyroid problems, suggest you get tested for Vit D, Vit B12, irons folate and ferratin too, for starters. Sadly the late John Lowe made a lot of sense. J :D

  • Hi spareribs. Thank you for the quick reply and the information. I will speak to my GP and ask if I can get the tests done.

  • Hi Yes I agree with spareribs. ,especially vit D which is important. If low have your calcium tested too and treatment on a script with frequent blood tests. D has to be slowly increased ,according to calcium and it takes 3 months to alter in the blood. So, it takes a long time. When I started armour, many years ago, I needed a higher dose to start with , then able to decrease. Since T3 was available I also take a little T3, 20mcg. My FT3 has always been very low, even on armour. It might be worth asking for a Free T3 test. A lot of NHS Labs will not do it but, there are other ways.

    I hope you feel better soon, even with armour my doses were only slowly increased, although, it does alter the blood tests very quickly ( unlike Levo).


  • Thank you Jackie. It seems I have so much to learn but I'm wanting to get my life back so will do what I need to to get better.

  • B12 blood test is very important. Even although GP may say 'within normal range' we should aim for a serum level of at least 500 and upwards.

    Some info

  • Thank you shaws for information. I'll look at the websites and glean what I can from them. I'm on a steep learning curve I can see!!!

  • Hi Fierysue, I have been suffering with crippling knee joint pain for a few months & saw an advert to reduce inflammation in joints which related it to hypothyroid. This is odd because I can't see that the ingredients would affect the thyroid at all, being mostly from the deadly nightshade family: tobacco leaf, green tomatoes, green peppers etc.. However I tried it & here's the really weird bit - it worked! Not after a week or two but right away. Really brilliant. Now you may say I am never pleased but have to admit to feeling a bit suspicious. Why was it working? Was there going to be a downside? With tobacco heavily involved, is it going to be addictive? It is called Anatabloc & is widely advertised on the web. Anyone know any more about it? I still can't believe it but it does work!

  • Thanks for mentioning this, I know of someone who regularly uses tobacco poultices and this is from the ethnobotanical database he sent me: it shows the chemical components of the solanaceae family and what they are useful for.

    So common tobacco, tomatoes and peppers all contain chemicals which are analgesic, anti-inflammatory and anesthetic, among other things, and tobacco isn't addictive applied like that. The Native Americans used it medicinally and so probably did South Americans before modern medicines were developed.

  • As Framboise mentioned, Indians used tobacco and people still agree it has therapeutic benefits. One blogger said he cured many ailments with ordinary chewing tobacco I think. He did put a YouTube video online a couple of years ago showing how it healed a burn on his arm he intentionally made. I guess you could say "he walked the walk:)"

  • Thank you wildgoose. I don't actually smoke or eat green tomatoes or peppers but i will look into the deadly nightshade group a bit more. Glad you are feeling better. Any improvement is a bonus.

  • Hi fierysue - another member on here had errible pain in her knees which seemed worse on thyroxine and didn't really improve on NDT. I believe she is now feeling much better on T3 only. Would this be an option for you to try?

    Also wondering if you possibly need an increase in Armour? Two grains is a relatively low dose. I believe Dr Lowe said most people need 2-4 grains and STTM says 3-5 grains (I am on 2.25 myself). Do you have any recent blood test results which might shed light on things any further? xx

  • Hi Clarebear!

    Thanks for your reply. I have only been on armour since the 8th December 2012 and have incresed it from 1 to 2 grains in that time. As I'm new to all this I don't know how quickly I should increase my dose. My GP only tests for TSH which is 'less than 0.01' according to him. I have asked for free T3 and T4 tests but we're not sure if the lab will do them so I'm working in the dark at the moment.

    With regard to just trying T3, how would I go about it. I buy my armour privately with my GP's acceptance. Do I need to have any tests before I start or should I just buy T3 and go off the T4 myself. Sorry to ask but I'm a real novice at this even though I've had an underactive thyroid for 25 years under medicated.

    Any more information would be a real help. Also I'm planning on attending the next meeting in Bristol so hope to pick up more information there.

  • Wow that's quite a quick increase :) It has taken me nearly a year to get to 2.25 grains as I have had to do it very gradually due to the horrible side-effects I (used) to get from increasing. Have you had a look at the STTM website - there is alot of very useful info about about NDT and increasing there:

    It maybe that you just need to give the NDT a bit more time to fully feel the benefits.

    Your GP sounds good as at least he/she is monitoring you. Hopefully the lab will test FT3 and FT4 as your TSH is suppressed (which is normal on NDT but they probably won't know that).

    I haven't tried T3 only myself and would suggest buying Paul Robinson's book "Recovering with T3, My Journey from Hypothyroidism to Good Health Using the T3 Hormone". I think Paul basically says thyroid blood tests are fairly useless on T3 only as they just reflect how long it has been since your last dose.

    Your doctor could prescribe you T3 more easily than NDT as it is a licenced drug and appears in the British National Forumulary. If he/she won't it would be a good idea to find a doctor who will. TUK have a list of private doctors who are more sympathetic/prescribe T3/NDT:

    Clare xx

  • Thanks Claire! I will give the ndt a bit longer. My Gp did put me on synthetic T3 for a short while (10mcg) but I had really bad headaches, nausea and very bad heartburn so I had to give up on it. That's when I went on armour. Maybe I could try natural T3 if the armour doesn't work???

  • I think some people find T3 difficult at first but find that it often settles down after a while. As far as I am aware there isn't any natural T3 or T4 on their own - just in NDT such as Armour. If the Armour doesn't suit you then there are other brands which may suit you better such as Naturethroid (hypoallergenic) and Erfa which is from Canada. xx

  • Thanks. I really appreciate your information and advice xx

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