This incredibly thorough article was written by Dr. Westin Childs, a leading expert in thyroid health. To learn more I highly encourage you to check out his excellent articles at www.restartmed.com or follow him on Facebook!
Is your intuition telling you that your hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s is causing your chronic pain?
I’ve got news for you:
Your intuition may be right.
Let me show you how hypothyroidism causes chronic pain… but most importantly, let me help you learn how to fix it!
To understand how this works you really need to understand the concept of Tissue Level Hypothyroidism…
Tissue Level Hypothyroidism
(Dr. Mercola and Dr. Lowe discuss the relationship between Chronic pain, Fibromyalgia and Hypothyroidism)
Chronic pain in the setting of untreated Hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s disease usually points to tissue level hypothyroidism.
Tissue level hypothyroidism refers to the idea that you can have adequate levels of thyroid hormone floating around in your blood stream, but because of inflammation or other causes it isn’t able to get into the cells to turn on your genes.
This is also known as Thyroid Resistance. And it is probably one of the most commonly missed thyroid conditions.
Standard laboratory tests can only measure what is happening in the blood stream.
We don’t care what’s happening in the blood stream because thyroid hormone has to get into cells to do its job!
If you have adequate thyroid hormone floating around in the blood, but none of it can get into your cells, then you have what’s known as tissue level hypothyroidism.
The Link Between Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain and Hypothyroidism
This is especially true if you’ve been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia.
Chronic pain and Fibromyalgia accompany each other, however no one has been able make the connection as to how or why.
But, if you look at the symptoms of Fibromyalgia and Hypothyroidism side by side you begin to see something amazing:
Fibromyalgia and Hypothyroidism present in almost the exact same way…
Fortunately, there was a researcher named Dr. Lowe who put this all together for us.
He linked tissue level hypothyroidism as one of the main causes of Fibromyalgia. And he did this through a concept known as ‘deductively formulated theory‘.
This method of problem solving takes all of the competing theories that cause a disease and by the use of mathematical analysis pumps out the hypothesis that is most likely to be correct. (This is the same logic that Albert Einstein used to come up with his hypotheses – like the theory of relativity).
He also showed that the majority of patients who fell into this category really needed some form of T3 therapy to have resolution of their symptoms.
His data showed that approximately 2/3 of his patients improved on Natural Dessicated Thyroid Hormone (Medication like Armour thyroid, Westhroid and Naturethroid) and another 1/3 required higher doses of T3 only therapy(Liothyronine or sustained release T3).
(Up to 1/3 of patients with Fibromyalgia failed to improve on NDT and required T3 therapy!)
He found that the pain of fibromyalgia could only be reversed if patients were on a high enough dose of thyroid hormone (exact dosing is highly variable andindividualized).