Thyroid Conditions-The Connection to Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

This past week I have had 2 patients with undiagnosed thyroid disease. Both of these patients had multiple symptoms consistent with a low thyroid and had been to several different physicians. One of these patients suffered from fibromyalgia.

Patients and colleagues alike often ask me about the connection between fibromyalgia and thyroid disease. I tell them that having a low thyroid can have a profound impact on one’s overall well being. Symptoms of low thyroid or hypothyroidism can include fatigue, depression, hair loss, sleep disorders, constipation, weight gain and inability to lose weight. Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, in addition to diabetes and even Celiac Disease, have been associated or exacerbated by a low thyroid.

Most standard blood tests include a TSH and T4 level. However, other tests such as a free T4, free T3, and reverse T3 give a better assessment of thyroid levels. Many patients come to me with symptoms of hypothyroidism and they have been told they are “borderline”. However, there is nothing borderline about their symptoms!

Some patients have been treated with Synthroid, which is T4. Most patients are not aware that Synthroid or T4 is the inactive thyroid hormone and it must convert to T3 or reverse T3. Some patients say they see some improvement on Synthroid, others see no improvement. When I switch them to a pharmaceutical T4/T3 or compounded bioidentical T4/T3, they see a huge improvement. With patients with more debilitating symptoms, I sometimes used compounded sustained release T3.

The right dose often of thyroid hormone replacement therapy can be life changing! Contact us today for a consultation and see how we can help you.

- Dr. Dean Mitchell

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