Discussions By Condition: Medical Stories

Levothroxine and Joint Pain

Posted In: Medical Stories 5 Replies
  • Posted By: sui generis
  • July 5, 2008
  • 07:13 PM

I stared Levothyroxine (Synthroid, T4) 6 years ago, and started to have mild hip pain soon after. Over the next 3 years the joint pain increased and spread to include my knee, shoulder, fingers, and foot. The shoulder pain became so intense that I could not raise my arm without screaming pain. After three years, I stopped taking my 100 mcg of Synthroid and within 10 days I could feel the pain lessening. It took 3 months to gain complete pain free movement of my joints back. A year without T4, and I had a TSH of 16 and my PCP sent me back to the ENDO, She said it was the dye in the pill and she put me on 2 @ 50 mcg of Unithroid. In three days I could free the joint pain returning, after a month the joint pain was getting much worse. The pain varied from day to day. I noticed on Easter that the pain was a little less, and that for the previous three days I was eating out a lot. At home I ate a lot of low carbohydrate foods. They contain some soy protein. I completely avoided SOY protein and within 1 week all joint pain stopped and has not returned. Atleast for me, I cannot have any SOY protein and Levothyroxine at the same time.

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  • don't they say that soy contains female hormones???? Combined with the thryoid...well, I would investigate further but seems like you can't combine them. Have you read the RX in detail to see what foods you are suppose to avoid. I manage on Lovoxyl, name brand. On you on any other meds?
    Monsterlove 2921 Replies Flag this Response
  • This was my first “thread post” on WD, I wanted to start with something small and direct, CAUSE and EFFECT. My entire Hypothyroid story has three parts and is still evolving. Thank you for your estrogen hormone response, it has been a question that I posed to 5 Drs and I was FOO FOOed by all. Here is Part 2 of my Story.In 2002 PCP sent me to an ENDO, and I was put on 100mcg of Synthroid for a slow thyroid. Soon afterward I developed silver dollar sized rashes on both my cheeks. The Allergist describes them as vasodilatation. They were deep tissue sore and had flaky skin on top. In 2003 when I saw the PCP again for a TSH test and resupply of T4, I mentioned my rashes and the PCP gave me a steroidal cream. The cream did nothing, and nothing that I was using on the surface of my face was causing the rash. I stopped taking a multiple vitamin that contained Ginseng and the rash on my right cheek cleared in days and the rash on my left cheek lessened to a ½ dollar size. But it remained red and deep tissue sore. The rash seemed to be less red and sore in the Morning and get steadily worse through out the day, and it varied in intensity day to day.In 2004 when I saw the doctor again for a TSH test and resupply of T4, I mentioned my rashes and the fact that now my left Hip and left shoulder joint were a little sore and not clearing up after being rested. He said take a NSAID. During 2004, I found out that Flaxseed intensified my cheek rash, so I eliminated them from my diet. The rash remained.In 2005 when I saw the doctor again for a TSH test and resupply of T4, I mention that my joint pain was increasing, and that more locations on my left side were inflamed and that there was a slight burning sensation in my left calf muscle. He said take a NSAID. During 2005, I found out that sesame seeds also increased my cheek rash, so I eliminated it from my diet. The rash remained. The rash and the joint pain seemed to be less sore in the Morning and steadily worsen through out the day. In late 2005 the pain in my left shoulder, left hand knuckles, left hip, left knee, left foot eggshell, and left big toe was intense, and constant. I could not raise not left arm without screaming pain. NSAID didn’t help at all. Finally in January 2006, I stopped taking the T4, and in 10 days I could feel improvements in the joint pain and in 3 months all the joint pain and the burning in my left calf had stopped. But the cheek rash remained. I did not take T4 for the next entire year. In 2007, I saw the PCP again for a TSH test and scored a level of 16. I explained my intense joint pain problems and how they went away after I stopped the T4. The PCP sent me back to the ENDO, who tested me for RA, Sprue, SED rate ( all tests were fine) and the ENDO put me back on 100mcg of synthetic T4 ( using 2, 50mcg pills hoping that it was the dye). Within 3 days I could feel the joint pain just starting up, after a month the pain was certainly increasing again. I noticed that the pain was worse on certain days and those days corresponded to my eating some food that had little Soy protein in it. I completely avoided Soy Protein and the pain stopped and has not returned. The Cheek Rash remained the same. (I opine….I can eat soy and have no T4, or I can take T4 and have no Soy, But I cannot have both at the same time.) Note, Soy is a strong Isoflavone Phytoestrogen. Note: although my TSH was in the 3‘s, I was tired in the afternoon, but not tired at night, my body temperature was 96 degrees. Also in mid 2007, I discovered that my cheek rash was really inflamed by Dairy protein and Oatmeal, which when I eliminated them, it brought my cheek rash down to almost ( not completely ) but almost nothing. Interesting to me is that, Ginseng, Flaxseed, Sesame, and Oatmeal are all high sources of Lignan Phytoestrogens, and I think milk has a lot of cow estrogen in it.My PCP sent me to the Allergist, I gave him this similar information and he skin tested me for allergic reactions. I had no allergies to any of the foods that cause to cheek vasodilatation reaction. He ordered up Antibody tests and they revealed nothing. I am not making Antibodies (IGE) to the food proteins. My serum Cortisol is on the high side of normal (20.7) It is not Leaky Gut or LUPUS. He suggested that I go to a very good RA specialist. The PCP, the Allergist, and the ENDO all say that it is not the T4 pill and to keep taking it…I have found that Antihistamines block the increase in the cheek rash when I eat Dairy. I have been convinced for years that T4 is the root cause of all these problems. Part three of my Thyroid story will cover new, recent, and escalated symptoms and my attempt to use ARMOUR and CYTOMEL to solve them. Stay Tuned. I hope that this helps someone else.
    sui generis 11 Replies Flag this Response
  • :eek::eek::eek:This is Part three. But first a little backround info on me. I’m male, 55yrs old, never had any real medical problems in my life, Up until 2002 I had not seen or needed a doctor in 17 years. Other than Levothyroxine and now Klonipin for my ears, I have never been on anything other than antibotics during dental surgery. My blood pressure stays around 110 over 70. I eat a High fiber, low glycemic load, low saturated fat, low omega 6 fat diet. Hasimotos runs in my family. No other autoimmune diseases do. Allergies do not run in my family. 170lbs, 6 ft. November of 2007, a TSH test of 5.8 revealed that I needed to increase my daily Unithroid dose of 100mcg to 125 mcg. (using 2 and ½ , 50 mcg pills). In 3 weeks, after going from 100 mcg to 125mcg of synthetic T4, I was creating gobs of throat Phlegm and my ears swelled shut. The Phlegm reaction in my throat (was not near the adam’s apple) The ENDO said that its not the T4. In the morning, there was no phlegm, about 3 hrs after I took the T4 it started to flow. If I ate the slightest amount of dairy it got worse. I started a food log, and discovered that Egg whites and refined wheat also increases the throat phlegm, but not the cheek rash. Aspartame was a problem, in fact it seemed that almost anything that I ate increased the phlegm. I tested Claritin and it lessoned throat phlegm reaction. My ears remain very swollen. I also had little weird reactions such as; I would feel heat in my throat and my face would flush, my palate would go super super itchy for 20 minutes, and then stop. The skin on my forearms felt creepy and itchy. I felt chilly. I was depressed. This is when my PCP sent me to the Allergist and he found nothing.The PCP, the Allergist, and the ENDO all said that it is not the T4 pill and to keep taking it… I stopped taking the Pill on February 26th, by the 3rd day off the pill my depression lifted, by the 11th day off the pill the mucus has lessened greatly and my ears had lost most of their swelling.( when the swelling went down they started ringing, maddeningly). Without T4 in my system and the foods that annoyed my cheek, the vasodilatation, was the least it had been in 6 years. On the 13th day off the T4, I took 50mcg T4 and my ears swelled again. I had to start taking T4 again because my Thyroid really swelled up. My minimum goal was to get back to taking 100mcg without the Phlegm or swollen ears. I opine that T4 is the trigger and a complement to my food reactions (Dairy, oatmeal, etc.) and the subsequent Cheek rash. The increase of T4 to 125 mcg has manifested an increased sensitivity to Egg whites and Wheat, and I think fish oil capsules added to my ears to swelling. (and I may never know what else I am allergic to!!!). Somehow Synthetic T4 and certain properly digested foods are causing Vasodilatation. Maybe linked to Phytoestrogen, or its just a coincidence that the most commonly allergic foods happen to have a lot of Phytoestrogen. I saw a new ENDO, he allowed me to go on ARMOUR. The half life of T4 is 6.7 days, T3 is 2 days, I absorb after digestion 75% of the T4 and 95% of the T3, and mcg for mcg T3 is four times more metabolically active than T4. My ENDO trusted my to control the transition from Unthyroid to ARMOUR. After having been on 90 mg of ARMOUR for 3 months , the phlegm is slight, the ear swelling has stopped, but ringing in my ears is maddening. Along with the ringing, there also seems to be an accompanying pressure increase in my ears. If I take antihistamines during the day, the ringing will usually have stopped when I wake up in the morning, and sometimes it takes a few hours for the ringing to return. If I take Clonazepam in the evening it lessens the ringing or at least I can ignore the sound better. The question is, were my ears damaged from the swelling or is the T4 level still bothering them. I went to an ENT, I got nothing. PS for all you ARMOUR fans out there, I feel much better on ARMOUR than Synthroid, My next idea is to use CYTOMEL plus ARMOUR to lower the T4 level that I am supplementing and to see if I can lower the Histamine reaction, and save my EARS. Here is the plan…….1st 60 gm of ARMOUR plus 10 mcg of CYTOMEL2nd 45 gm of ARMOUR plus 12.5 mcg of CYTOMEL3rd 30 gm of ARMOUR plus 17.5 mcg of CYTOMEL4th 15 gm of ARMOUR plus 22.5 mcg of CYTOMELLast 25 mcg of CYTOMELMy ENDO does not like CYTOMEL, he says, Thyroid blood tests won’t give enough information. I need to find a MD or DO who will write me a Cytomel prescription so that I can follow through with my research, and test my theory. I see no reason to see a Rheumatologist if I suspect a Levothyroxine problem and it seems so easy to test my theory. My thanx to anyone who read this. I promise that I will post any progress.
    sui generis 11 Replies Flag this Response
  • I’m posting my progress. An ENT looked at my ears and throat, and listened to my story, then he proclaimed “Allergic Rhinitis” to something that I am inhaling. He gave me Patanase, and Patanase did not help at all. Allergic??? I have an IgE of 4. I’m not “Allergic” in the usual sense. I did a scan on “Non Allergic Rhinitis” and there is such a thing. There is a NAR to estrogen. I have noticed that most of the foods that I create histamine to are high in estrogen. I bought T3 off the Web, and stopped ARMOUR and took 40 mcg a day of T3, for 6 weeks. The histamine reaction in my throat and the fluid in my ears was definitely reduced. Not completely gone. I tried to get my Endo to measure my adrenal hormones, so I could see if hormonal non allergic rhinitis could make sense. My Drs tell me I’m crazy, but they have been so wrong, so many times, I would have to be crazy to believe them. I think I have enough of the pieces to this puzzle now. I just cannot find a MD with any scientific interest.
    sui generis 11 Replies
    • September 24, 2008
    • 02:07 AM
    • 0
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  • Well, I thought that I would post my latest update. I believe that T4 lowers my DAO ( diamine oxidase) enzymes. 3 capsules of HISTAME with a meal will suppress the allergic reactions. I'm experimenting right now with vitamin b6, C, and copper, to see how they help.
    sui generis 11 Replies Flag this Response
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