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Old 04-01-2010, 07:10 PM   #1
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Question Joint Pain

I am currently waiting for labs to come back from my rheumatologist, but we are trying to figure out if my joint aches/pain along with other symptoms such as flu like low grade fevers, bone aches, muscle aches, chills, extreme fatigue that accompany the joint pain are related to my thyroid or if it is rheumatoid arthritis.

He suggested it may be thyroid related because he could feel no damage or changes to my joints at this time and my range of motion is not affected. My joint pain began slowly and it really picked up in Feb.

For me, I get a week or so break between flare ups. It started with my fingers, then all hand and finger joints, then toes, heels, neck, both wrists. Recently my knees began to ache and now finally today my left ankle.

The thing is, within these 4 months, I have been both hypo and hyper as well as treated an untreated and based on how my joint issues go, I personally feel that it is a seperate issue. Again, I will have to see what my labs say for RA, but 1/4 of people never test positive so my fear is I will be one of those people.

I am wondering if anyone else experiences as much joint aches and pains as I do?? Do you also get the flu like symptoms of low fevers, chills, deep bone and muscle aches as well?

Thanks!

 
Old 04-01-2010, 08:35 PM   #2
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Re: Joint Pain

I feel your pain! I also am hypothyroid.....currently on 112mcg Synthroid. I have had bone pain and joint pain starting 2 years ago. My thyroid levels are better than they were but my FT4 and FT3 have not made it up to the mid point yet. I just have a problem because my TSH is now below one and the doctor (and Endo) think the dosage is high enough. I also have heart palpitations and don't know if it is thyroid or hypercalcemia related so am reluctant at this point to even suggest an increase. Also seem to be suffering a lot of anxiety lately with the bone and joint pain. I also think my bone and joint pain is not related to the thyroid. My GP actually sent me for a bone scan about a year ago because my calcium level has been high. The bone scan came back saying "Mild degenerative changes are identified within the cervical spine. Mild to moderate degenerative changes are identified within the lower lumbar spine. Mild to moderate arthritis is identifiedWITHIN THE BILATERAL SHOULDERS, BILATERAL ELBOWS, BILATERAL WRISTS, BILATERAL HIPS, BILATERAL KNEES, BILATERAL ANKLES, LEFT 1ST MTP JOINT, LEFT SECOND MTP JOINT". (haha..not the right MTP joint as that has already been fused because of arthritis!) BUT my RA factor, CRP, ANA, ESR, anti SSA/SSB, anti ENA were ALL negative! So even the Rheumy that I was referred to said I DO NOT HAVE ARTHRITIS???? How can that be when I ache at every joint and the bone scan was positive. My calcium levels have been high for almost 2 years now! Vitamin D is low, B12 was 320 (211-911) which is low according to what I have read but doctor says it is fine. RBC is low 3.88 (4-5.30) and has been just below each test but hemoglobin and hematocrit are fine so doctor is not worried. I also have confirmed keratoconjunctivitis sicca (dry eye syndrome).

I am seeing a new GP next week for another opinion. I am so tired of hurting! I hope you get some answers and if you do.....please pass them on. I DO feel your pain. Hoppy

Last edited by hopalong_too; 04-01-2010 at 08:40 PM.

 
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Old 04-01-2010, 11:17 PM   #3
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Re: Joint Pain

Just remember that there is a decent portion of people that don't ever test positive. I am glad my rheumy doctor recognizes that. He told me to keep looking for changes in my hands and such. I recently started to photograph my hands to keep a record. Today marks day 6 of intense joint pain and symptoms which I never experienced it this intense and for this long at the same time to date. I got my labs drawn in the middle of this, so if there was ever a time to test positive, I hope it is now.

I wish you well and get a second look at your condition with your bone scans.

 
Old 04-02-2010, 04:02 PM   #4
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Re: Joint Pain

It seems a lot of women with hypothyroid have joint pain. I know I do if my levels get low. i started out hyper and have been on methimazole. When I went from slightly hyper to hypo in less than 2 months, I experienced the worst pain in my neck and shoulders for the first time in my life, it was awful.! I went to physical therapy,a chiropracter and even a neuro doc. All he saw was a pinched nerve in my 6 and 7th neck vertebre. I had two cortizone shots and was much better. I still get achy joints, like yesterday, felt achy all over,knees, shoulders, right side of my back.. today I am fine? I'm only taking 1.25 of methimazole 3 times a week now and I swear the day after I take it, I get joint pain. My tsh was elevated at my last lab and my FT4 was about .85. I think I may not need the med anymore and am turning hypo now instead. I have been weaning off for the last 3 months but I fear my endo is being too careful with me. I don't think I'm going back hyper at this point! Have you tried Motrin? Or have your doc prescribe a muscle relaxer when it gets bad. They helped me a lot when it got bad. I also took Mobic, which is a prescrip too., it's for inflammation and helped somewhat. It's like an NSAID too. It's tough to not know what it is though. It seems the people who test negative for stuff suffer more whatever the auto immune issue is, I don't know why? I hope you feel better soon. Make sure you get labs done every 4 -6 weeks to see where you are.

Last edited by Bran'sNana; 04-02-2010 at 04:04 PM.

 
Old 04-02-2010, 10:57 PM   #5
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Re: Joint Pain

Thanks for the response, I am running quite hyper right now. I am not taking anything for the pain, it is something I can deal with and I like to keep all drugs out of my bodu if possible. I am only taking Armour right now.

 
Old 04-03-2010, 03:52 PM   #6
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Re: Joint Pain

The first thing that comes to mind here is hyperparathyroidism, have you had your PTH tested? What are your calcium levels?

You need to keep an eye on your ferritin levels here too. I have had many rheumatologic pains and disability (always seronegative for any antibodies) and it turns out I'm overloading iron. Without testing my ferritin I would not have caught it.

Last edited by javelina; 04-03-2010 at 03:56 PM.

 
Old 04-03-2010, 07:25 PM   #7
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Re: Joint Pain

Javelina,
Are you SURE you are overloading iron? There are some autoimmune diseases that triple or quadruple the ferritin level. Any type of inflammatory and/or autoimmune disorder such as lupus or arthritis can give a false "good" reading on ferritin. The disorder will cause the ferritin level to be high as it reacts to the disorder, when in fact, you are still anemic. Just a thought. I just find it weird (and so did my doctor) that my RBC are low but ferritin was in range.

I am assuming you are mentioning the hyperparathyroidism to Alexa as she started the thread. If you mean me, just let me know.

Last edited by hopalong_too; 04-03-2010 at 07:27 PM.

 
Old 04-03-2010, 11:37 PM   #8
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Re: Joint Pain

I never thought of hyperparathyroidism, but I will bring it up to my endo when I see her in a few weeks. Luckily, she is fairly open to any suggestions from me, so we can look into this.

I just seem to not be a typical thyroid patient since this has begun. I have both antibodies, sometimes TSI, Graves antibodies lower into normal range, but I often have HYPER symptoms and HYPO labs.

Recently, I am HYPER lab and mixed with the symptoms, however, the symptoms I experience are pretty intense. Now, I have this joint pain, which is significant that has been amping up regardless of what I am or am not taking. I will look more into your suggestions, thanks you. It is greatly appreciated.

 
Old 04-04-2010, 08:21 AM   #9
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Re: Joint Pain

Hopalong, look up the hyperparathyroidism.com site and the advanced diagnostic criteria states that any sustained high calcium levels (10 or higher) is probable hyperparathryoidism unless proven otherwise. Also bone pain is a major symptom. Alexa, not sure if that's what is going on with you or not, have you had your calcium levels tested? Do your bones hurt or just joints? How about your hands, do they swell and hurt? A major diagnostic critera for RA is morning stiffness that lasts an hour or so. There are cases where people are seronegative for RF but still have the disease and the way to find out is to get an MRI of the hands. Synovitis in the MCP joints is a pretty definite marker.

In my case I've been repeatedly tested for practically every antibody under the sun (RF, ANA, TPO, TG, SS-A, SS-B, etc) and have aways had negative results. I do have MCP synovitis and this caused my rheumy to put me on plaquenil for a while but I had my suspicions that the cause of the joint pains were coming from somewhere else and I d/c'd the meds with no change on or off of them. My low thryoid seemed to be a more likely cause and replacing thyroid hormones helped a lot. But I was still having problems that were mystifying so I did more testing. My ferritin was 179 eight months ago and when I retested it a few weeks ago it had jumped to 379. I withheld vitamin C and retested along with my iron panel and had below range TIBC, UIBC, normal serum iron, and a transferrin saturation of 52%. My ferritin was at 289. These are all indicators of iron overload or hereditary hemochromatosis (any transferrin sat over 45% is especially a marker and any ferritin above 200-- or the more activist sites say 150, is cause for more testing and monitoring). I've sent off my HH genetic test and am waiting for the results and have an appt to see a hematologist. Iron overload can cause many joint issues as well as hypothyroidism, pituitary and adrenal dysfunction (and all their resultant symptoms).

So there is more than one reason to test ferritin it turns out, the vast majority of hypos have low levels (mostly from low stomach acid from the low metabolic function) but there are actually over a million hemochromatosis patients in this country alone and many go undiagnosed because doctors don't test ferritin or other iron panels like transferrin saturation much anymore. They rely soley on H&H to look for anemia and that's about it (both of which are usually normal with HH patients, as well as serum iron, which is only a snapshot of blood levels, not an indicator of tissue levels of iron).

Last edited by javelina; 04-04-2010 at 08:25 AM.

 
Old 04-04-2010, 02:13 PM   #10
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Re: Joint Pain

I have major joint and muscle and bone pain and aches. I went to the rheumatologist a few days ago. He thinks it is thyroid related, but I am still waiting for the labs to come back. He doesn't think it is RA because I haven't lost range and motion and I don't have joint damage, but this just began within the last few months for me.

It lasts a good hour, but when I really have the joint pain, the stiffness doesn't go away at all, it lasts day and night. It keeps spreading too. I looked up hyperparathyroidism and I can fit that description, so I am going to have my endo test me and look into that when I see her in a couple of weeks if my RA is negative.

 
Old 09-18-2011, 05:24 AM   #11
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Re: Joint Pain

I do. This is my first time hypo and thought a ton of bricks hit me... this is serious stuff, and definitely no fun. Sorry you are having such a hard time! There has to be something to help us...

 
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