Can An Underactive Thyroid Cause Joint Pain?
Joint pain is very common with people who are suffering from hypothyroidism; a symptom that is often associated with stiff muscles, tenderness and aching, which are results of the thyroid’s inability to produce a sufficient amount of thyroxine. Mild painkillers will usually do the trick in relieving the painful symptoms; although, this is a temporary treatment at best. The most effective manner of avoiding some of the more common symptoms of this issue is to treat the problem, and not the symptoms, and this includes promoting the healthy functioning of the thyroid gland, instead of simply focusing on treating the pain. Levothyroxin and Synthroid are two treatments that individuals can currently opt for to help with an underactive thyroid, and both of them assist in treating the associated pain symptoms, which can be difficult to manage if they continue to arise on a regular basis.
Pain is not the only unwanted side effect of hypothyroidism; the associated symptoms can range from mild to severe, which is why the condition should not be left untreated. Myopathiesm, for instance, is a disease that affects the skeletal muscle system within the body, and this could end up resulting in joint pain, swelling and tenderness throughout the body. While this condition isn’t fatal, if someone is left to deal with the pain on a regular basis, it can become very uncomfortable and detract from their quality of life, which is something that should be prevented as much as possible. Another risk associated with an underactive thyroid is the potential for the patient to develop rheumatoid arthritis, especially if the condition is ignored for long periods of time, or if it is not handled correctly.
The areas of the body that are more vulnerable to symptoms of pain and discomfort include the joints, which could become very tender and possibly become too painful for the person to move around freely, as well as tenderness within the muscles of the hips and shoulders. Joints will often begin to swell up, especially in the areas of the hands and the feet, and the knee joints can also become very tender. All of these areas tend to be those that people use on a regular basis, and so over time, it can become more and more painful for them to use their entire range of motion within areas such as their legs, hips and arms.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that tends to affect the smaller bones within the body, especially those within the hands. Tarsal tunnel syndrome, on the other hand, affects the feet, and it often causes a pain or a burning sensation, either within the balls of the feet or in the arches; in some instances, the condition could extend to the toes, thus affecting just about every facet of this area of the body. It is thought that around one third of patients who are suffering from either Carpal tunnel syndrome or Tarsal tunnel syndrome are actually individuals who initially experienced hypothyroidism and yet left the condition untreated long enough for it to develop further.
Myopathies might be degenerative, but they are certainly not as serious as conditions such as muscular dystrophy. Basically, this means that the former can be treated very effectively if it is caught early enough and the right treatments are administered to prevent the condition from deteriorating to the point where it has become a chronic pain disorder; this is especially effective in preventing the onset of rheumatoid arthritis, which makes it particularly appealing for a patient that is progressing in age.
While conditions such as joint pain and muscle stiffness do not immediately indicate a problem with the thyroid gland, it is important that individuals have the condition assessed before making the decision to treat it with painkillers or aspirin on a regular basis. When the more painful symptoms are combined with high cholesterol levels, lethargy, weight gain or dry and brittle nails, it might be a good idea to have the thyroid functioning tests to determine whether it is producing enough thyroxine. If this condition is left untreated, the associated symptoms could end up worsening, and if they become more severe, these issues could lead to the enlargement of the heart, or even a condition called Myxedema, which can be life-threatening.
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