Wrist aches like they have shackles on them ? - Thyroid UK

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Wrist aches like they have shackles on them ?


Does any one else get a gnawing ache around their wrists and ankles ? ( it feels like shackles) along with this I am getting swollen hands, fingers and feet. My face is also puffy and my lower back aches too. I don't have this every day, normally around those special times of period and ovulation.!! Although I did get these symptoms a lot when I was on thyroxine.



13 Replies

You say "when I was on thyroxine". What meds are you now taking and the dose. Have you had a recent thyroid gland blood test? If so get a print out from your surgery complete with ranges as labs differ and post on a new question. Have you had a B12, Vit D, ferritin, folate and iron as these are important.

It sounds as if you need an increase.

Hi. Thanks for replying. I cannot tolerate thyroxine and have been struggling for a number of years. So I am coping at the moment between times of taking nothing and re- trying meds. Not great I know. I have been trying to increase things such as iron, vit d and b12. I haven't had a test recently as I know from 9 years on this journey that I am hypo ( last tsh test was around 6) but I cannot tolerate meds high enough to get well. I guess that I am trying to work out if my symptoms are more hypo or adrenal fatigue.

....have been troubled of late with aching wrists and hands and was dropping things too ! Decided to double my dose of B12 about 2 weeks ago and hey presto they are better ! I take 1000mcg in the morning and the same in the evening. You cannot overdose on B12 as it is water soluble.

Before I was diagnosed with Hashimotos in 2005 I suffered with swollen ankles whenever I sat for any length of time - and after a flight it was awful. Used to sleep with my legs bandaged up having kept the bandages in the fridge all day !! All that is behind me now - thankfully.

Lower back pain can often be associated with UAT as the biggest muscles in the body support that area of the spine. With having UAT the muscles will be weaker.

Sorry to hear you are unable to tolerate Thyroxine. Many people on this forum discuss the Purified form. Have you tried that ?. Also regarding your concerns re adrenals there is a website that discusses that topic with a questionnaire to complete - Adrenals v Thyroid.


Nine years is just too long to be feeling poorly - hope you soon find some answers.......

CarolineAnne in reply to Marz

Thanks. Haven't tried the purified stuff. I have really really tried to give thyroxine a fair old go but no joy. It feels like I'm dying on the stuff and I have tried armour, that was the same. T3 was so much better but could only tolerate tiny doses. Have spent the last couple years sorting out other issues. Had a vit d of 7 and vit b12 of 211 and ferritin of 23. D and b12 good now, iron is still an issue due to digestive problems. I retry thyroxine periodically but feel better off it. Most of the dragging aches and pains went after getting low vitamin levels up. Still have big issues with digestion, fatigue and energy levels and muscle weakness and not being able to walk. Can manage to have a little bit of life with pacing but hormonal times seem to knock me for six.

I would like to get more of my life back and so keep researching and trying to figure this stuff out.

Sad story of your poor bandaged legs- the things we have to get through! Glad you are better and thanks for the link.

Best wishes

Carolineanne x

Hi CA. That's a fairly familiar sounding profile of symptoms - I was hypothyroid for many years, had auto immune issues and despite fairly decent replacement since 2005 still get episodes of wrist and ankle pain like you describe. Also back pain.

It's quite hard to pin down likely causes. I get attacks of gout at times, and the joint pain can feel quite like it - but isn't in that it's definitely hormone/health status related and can clear in an hour or two. It's not arthritis either - for this reason.

I went down with lower back problems that required surgery during the seriously hypo years. The episodes of trouble I get seem also to correlate with periods where replacement or whatever is temporarily off - perhaps it causes a loss in muscle tone.

Puffy ankles are another symptom that comes and goes that agin may at least in part be related to replacement/general health.

The top suspects are stuff like passing thyroid replacement problems, a reaction to the small amount of the type of T4 and/or T3 i take, deficiencies or quite likely auto immune flare related - but it's very hard to tie down and in truth i don't know.

It does indeed sound like you could have metabolic issues, so it's probably best to keep on trying to sort out a fix as if it's low thyroid or adrenals it wouldn't necessarily be the best for your longer term health.

There's a lot of differing makes and types of thyroid hormone - from various synthetics, to T4 and T3 and some of the natural products as well.

Many of us for example report bad reactions to T4, and some don't do well with ancillary ingredients in synthetic hormone - so there are lots of options to try out presuming you can get a doc lined up to help with this. Not to mention some reason to think you may find a regime that works for you.

Keep your chin up, and keep on taking responsibility for yourself. I went for over 15 years with worsening hypothyroidism and went down with quite severe illness that led to a thyroidectomy. Despite this a way forward eventually emerged, and so far i'm still causing trouble and while not my youthful self feeling pretty good much of the time...


CarolineAnne in reply to vajra

Thank you Ian,

Someone recommended a good private Endo to me a while ago but as its private I have been putting it off. I think that I will have to take the plunge and find the money.

I do have hope that there is a way for everyone- you just have to discover it!

Best wishes

Carolineanne x

I agree with the others. My first sign was coming down the steps in the morning and wondering why my ankles were paining so. My legs have given me a lot of trouble since I became hypothyroid....a lot of weakness when walking but I was on Synthroid (now on Armour).

Some think that the ovaries also help the thyroid and as they deplete, the thyroid may burn out and of course the adrenals are very involved as well. That's why in my opinion the thyroid needs support so as not to tax the rest of the endocrine system. But I am not in the medical profession.

Some people do well as Dr. Lowe did, on straight T3 and no thyroxine at all.

CarolineAnne in reply to Heloise

I definately did feel better on t3 but I couldn't tolerate higher doses and my doctor would not prescribe it. I have really suffered with my legs, my left one just goes completely when I walk. Doctors don't seem able to explain why and they do not seem that bothered. I have been astounded that a youngish woman loses the ability to walk for most of the time and they do not seem to want to get to the bottom of it. I had two muscle tests that showed myopathy. So this must be down to the hypo as they haven't offered any further testing. Although, it's strange that one of the gps in my practise actually told me that she wouldnt treat me with a tsh of 5.77. I wonder what she thinks is causing my weakness !!

Best wishes

Carolineanne x

Heloise in reply to CarolineAnne

I was stuck on too low dose and now I cannot raise my dose past one grain. I hope this didn't happen to you. I knew I could not work again since I can't stand for any length of time. No strenuous stairclimbing either but you are young and I would hate to see those limitations on you. Have you tried any of the naturals you can get without prescription or get your GP to prescribe Armour?

Heloise in reply to CarolineAnne

Sorry, I see you did try Armour, just noticed.

Hi CarolineAnne

I sympathise with you as I too have experienced wrist and ankle pain for a few years. Sometimes it was so bad I couldn't push a door open and had trouble walking. I am hypo and take 50mg levo each day along with other medication for a heart condition.

A couple of months ago I had an allergy test at my local health shop because I have IBS. The test showed I was intolerant of certain fruits. So I've taken all citric fruits out of my diet and my IBS is still exactly the same but all my joints especially my wrists are considerably better! I don't know if this is a coincidence but I thought I would share it with you.

I hope you find some relief soon.

I'm sorry to hear of your pain. Us hypos have a lot to deal with huh? Do you know I really do believe that a lot of problems can be helped through the food we eat or don't eat. I find it interesting. I am always reading the stories of regaining vitality and energy from the raw fooders or the paelo eaters. Unfortunately I don't always practise what they preach!

Last year, whilst suffering awful back pain I read a book about ankylosing spondylitis and how a lady had discovered that ibs was one of the symptoms and eliminating starchy foods lead to a significant reduction in symptoms and pain. Isn't it great when you can identify a problem food and reduce your symptoms? Thanks for sharing Tats.

Best wishes

Carolineanne x

vajra in reply to CarolineAnne

I too can vouch for the usefulness of managing diet and intake CA.

I'm not squeaky clean, but was forced to go the classic drop the simple carbohydrates and processed foods route - to replace them with moderate amounts of largely organic complex carbs and protein. Which meant no wheat, shop bread (some on spelt is OK), sugar or milk. Also no confectionery, cakes, processed meats and the like.

They produced bloating and more to the point my gut was continuously in trouble - no stability, nausea, cramps, infections and so on - which dragged down my overall state of health and left me very low. It might have messed with my thyroid replacement too by compromising absorption.

It's hard not to think that at least some of us are designed to run on the caveman diet - lots of vegetables and more moderate amounts of protein.

Never tied down what was causing it (suspect a food additive used in commercial breads and confectionery), but a prize symptom was that for many years when hypo i'd every month or so break out in enormous patches of urticaria/hives all over. Like somebody had slipped large patches of say several inches in size of 1/4 in rubber under my skin - very painfully itchy.

:) My prize hypothyroidism denying GP used to just poo poo it as nothing - that i must have come in contact with something allergenic. I just gave up on doctors, and set out to find what was happening myself.

These days (post much better replacement and years of dietary care) it's down to occasional outbreaks of more normal hives if i get nailed by something when i eat out. Most of the time i can tolerate small amounts of the nasties - although they can produce symptoms much like a mild hangover.


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