A common issue with thyroid disease is that many symptoms are considered part of the aging process. These symptoms include brain fog or memory loss, unexplained weight gain, and muscle weakness. However, stiffness in the joints, muscle weakness or body pain can be a symptom of thyroid disease. The thyroid is a gland in the neck that releases hormones responsible for the metabolism and other bodily functions. Muscle weakness or pain can occur if the body isn’t producing the correct amount of hormones. If the thyroid produces too many hormones, energy in the body is used too fast (hyperthyroidism). If the thyroid doesn’t produce enough hormones, the body uses energy too slowly (hypothyroidism).
However, both conditions can cause myopathy. The Muscular Dystrophy Association states “myopathies are diseases that cause problems with the tone and contraction of skeletal muscles.” Skeletal muscles are “muscles that control voluntary movements.” Symptoms vary by severity. They include:
-weakness and atrophy (shrinking) of the muscles around the shoulders and hips
-muscle breakdown (in extreme cases)
Patients who have hyperthyroid can develop Hyperthyroid Myopathy. The Muscular Dystrophy Association says this involves “weakness and wasting of muscles around the shoulders and sometimes the hips. There also can be weakness in muscles of the face and throat, and in the respiratory muscles.” In an extreme case, it can cause acute muscle breakdown, or rhabdomyolysis.
Hypothyroidism is much more common than hyperthyroidism. In fact, The Cleveland Clinic reports “hypothyroidism can affect up to 20% of women over the age of 50.” That means that this type of myopathy is much more common as well. Hypothyroid myopathy symptoms include:
-Stiffness or pain in the joints
-Aches, tenderness or stiffness in the muscles (especially in hips and shoulders)
-Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
-Joint swelling in hands and feet
If you are experiencing muscle pain or weakness, it could be because you have a thyroid condition. Over the counter pain medicines such as Ibuprofen may cause temporary relief. Hover, they can’t fix the root cause. To get the best treatment, come in to Complete Care Health Centers and see one of our providers today.