List of symptoms for Hashimoto's has changed

Last night, after a day full of the “carry heavy stuff back and forth” kind of gardening, and a couple of longish walks, I hurt all over. My hips hurt from the walking. My shoulders hurt from the lifting. The joints in my fingers and knees hurt, I guess from kneeling and grasping the trowel too tightly…? I dunno. I’m only 27. I’ve always gotten sore like this, though. It must be in my head. I must be an oversensitive loser. Or maybe it’s just the damned tension headache, now in its third day, making everything else hyper-sensitive.

So anyway. I took an Advil and sprawled on my sofa for some TV-time. The show I found was Mystery Diagnosis, one of my favorites. The woman who was telling her story had really bad headaches and knee pain. “Hmmmm” I thought, and started guessing what she could have.

She had Hashimoto’s disease.

I have Hashimoto’s disease. I’ve had it for fifteen years. I had never heard of headaches or knee pain being symptoms of it, before. And I’m a hypochondriac so I had paid attention to lists of symptoms, especially while I was in college majoring in animal physiology, and the Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Treatment was my very favorite book, the one I would curl up with on Saturday nights and read cover-to-cover. So… um… headaches and knee pain as symptoms for Hashimoto’s? That’s news to me. Let’s go Google it.

Apparently (and perhaps someone will sweep in here and tell me that, for years and years, I didn’t actually see what was right there in plain type? Better not, because I’m just sure it wasn’t there), headaches, soreness in the hips and shoulders, and joint pain in the fingers, knees, and toes are now listed as symptoms of Hashimoto’s disease.

They are not particularly listed as symptoms that are treated by a thyroxine regimen. I don’t know if, when the medical establishment was re-writing the basic profile of this disease that has been known about for nearly a century and that affects 1.5 million people in the United States alone, they couldn’t be bothered to talk about whether these “brand new” symptoms are relieved by thyroxine or not. But I sure feel like they’re not. Heck, I’d been beginning to wonder if I was getting arthritis in my hands and knees. I’d been blaming my sore hips on a touch of scoliosis that throws me off kilter. I’ve had three doctors dismiss my epic tension headaches by saying that *everyone * gets them.

Sigh. Well, heck. I guess it’s kinda neat when all of one’s complaints can be attributed to one thing. It’s very tidy.

I’ve got more to say, something about the vast majority of people with Hashimoto’s being women, and something about sour male doctors dismissing women’s imaginary aches and pains, but I’ll save it till I see how this thread develops.

I don’t really understand what you’re trying to get at, here. I don’t know much about Hashimoto’s disease, though. Are you saying that you’re surprised or dubious that joint pain is a symptom? Or that you think you have it? (In which case, consult a doctor.) I have to say, though, if you’re self-diagnosing here, you’re probably wrong. Lyme disease, for example, explains your symptoms as well, and I’m sure there are other diseases that do too.

And yes, having a diagnosis that explains all of your symptoms is a huge relief if you’ve previously lacked one. I didn’t get the impression that you’d been formally diagnosed, though. Have you?

Yes. I have been formally diagnosed. A blood test showed that my thyroid levels were low, and that was followed up with a thyroid antibody test–my levels were off the charts. I’ve been on thyroxine replacement for 15 years.

My point, condensed for clarity: I am surprised that such a prevalent disease has had its list of standard symptoms changed. Lots of people have it. It’s been a known thing for decades. Why now? Why on earth not earlier? Especially when there is such a huge amount of “unofficial” information about it that lists these problems?

What has changed, since I didn’t make that clear either, is the Mayo clinic’s description of it, which is much-parroted elsewhere on the internet.

Correct me if I"m misunderstanding. You were diagnosed with a thyroid disease, Hashimoto’s Syndrome, 15 years ago. You’ve been on medication for this for 15 years. But now you’re wondering why, 15 years ago, your aches and pains weren’t listed as symptoms of Hashimoto’s disease? Is that right so far?

I’m not a doctor and I’m certainly not offering medical advice. But I did just find an interesting series of articles using Proquest Newspapers which talk about autoimmune diseases and their prevalence in women. Absolutely fascinating and horrible at the same time.

Again, using information from the articles, a person who has been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease such as Hashimoto’s, is at more risk to contract another autoimmune disease. Since rheumatoid arthritis(which I have) is also such a disease, a person might actually be suffering from multiple autoimmune diseases, while only the most severe has been formally diagnosed. Again, I’m not tying to diagnose you, just offer some reasons why these symptoms might not have been listed 15-20 years ago.

One of the articles suggested that Hashimoto’s is more likely to strike women than men in a 50/1 ratio. Lupus, 9/1. Graves hypethyroidism, 7/1. Basically, 80 per cent of the people in the US who have autoimmune diseases are women.

The articles also suggest that these types of diseases may run in families, with a mother having one, a daughter another, etc.

Again, I’m not offering medical advice, just trying to add some information to an interesting discussion. If anything I’ve said is medically wrong, perhaps Qadgop can come in and chew me out. :slight_smile:

Eh, medicine is always evolving. I’m glad you were diagnosed and treated, though (and thanks for clarifying).

As it happens, I used the lyme disease example because I have it (and thus know more about it than about other diseases), and unfortunately, treatment for lyme disease that has gone undiagnosed for a long time (5 years, in my case) is nowhere near definitive. There’s controversy over treatment options and even the existence of the disease itself (chronic lyme disease, that is - lyme disease most definitely exists, but many doctors believe that after the initial 6 weeks of antibiotic treatment, the lyme disease has been cured and any lingering symptoms are part of a separate disorder that cannot be treated with antibiotics), and there are many other diseases that are still largely unknown as well. It sucks - I’ve been on various medicines for two years now, with no significant improvement - but I figure, someone usually has to suffer for medical science to move forward. I think we’re simply accustomed to not having to be one of them.

As for why not earlier, the irony is, although medicine is constantly changing, many doctors/medical associations are reluctant to, especially concerning diseases that are considered to be already largely understood. We have a tendency to assume that doctors know everything there is to know about disease, that they’ve already gotten most of it figured out, so it’s not really surprising that they do too. And, of course, it’s really to our benefit that a great deal of proof be necessary before endorsing changes to current medical thinking.

Correct. In fact, they weren’t listed as symptoms five years ago, either. The current Mayo Clinic page is dated circa 2005, which must have been when these symptoms were added. I like to read about diseases, especially my own, so I’ve periodically checked up on Hashimoto’s.

The only whisper about joint pain in my seventeenth edition of The Merck Manual (from 1999) is a brief note that hypothyroidism (a common side-effect of Hashimoto’s) can cause paresthesias in the hands and wrists, due to protein deposition that presses on the nerves. That makes sense with the new descriptions of Hashimoto’s, which calls the pain “rheumatoid like” or “pseudogout”.

I’m willing to give the medical establishment (whoever they are) credit for new research that reveals new things about known diseases, but people who have Hashimoto’s have been complaining of aches and pains for years. As you point out, samclem, this diseases affects vastly more women than men. I suppose I’m a little put-out by the high probability that these problems have been being dismissed by physicians so systematically that they were only finally, formally recognized in 2005.

Sorry, pseudogout is a very specific issue - calcium pyrophosphate deposition disease is what I happen to have. The pain may be gout like, but it is not pseudogout unless it involves calcium pyrophosphate crystals. And parestheia is such a soft gentle word for the level of pain that my pseudogout likes to inflict on me. It is bad enough that I would chop off my feet, but mrAru helpfully pointed out I would probably be the type to get phantom pain … :frowning:

Ah, it appears that the pseudogout sometimes follows low thyroid, not that they were using “pseudogout” to describe the pain.

Huh. This is really interesting. I have Hashimoto’s as well and had never heard about the joint pain thing either. I often struggle with pain in my knees and shoulders. Today it’s so bad that it’s hard to lift my right shoulder, and my left knee is killing me. I’ve been blaming it on overdoing it at the gym but now I’m not so sure. It tends to come and stick around for a week or two and then I’m fine for a while. I’m going to have to look into this further.

Me three. I was also diagnosed with Hashimoto’s and I also have hip pain, shoulder pain, and I get frequent headaches. I’ve always attributed these things to long hours in front of the computer. Lately, my nails have gotten really brittle and I’ve been depressed and have gained weight, which might mean I’ve gone hypothyroid. I’m glad that my yearly appointment is coming up and I can get my thyroid levels checked.

If I do start hormone replacement therapy, though, I was under the impression that that will combat any symptoms of Hashimoto’s. Is this not the case? (I’ll ask my doctor when I go see her.)

LOL, they don’t know exactly what specifically triggers pseudogout, but some of the things that can trigger it are:
diabetes, hyperparathyroidism, hypercalcemia, surgical removal of one or more parathyroid glands, surgical insult, dehydration …

So lets see - I am diabetic, had hyperparathyroidism, hypercalcemia, had surgical removal of one of my parathyroids, and essentially slept for most of 2 days post op and got seriously dehydrated [i normally will drink 2-3 liters a day minimum, I think I drank a liter in 2 days … ]

Last October was not fun 1 week post op, my foot blew up like someone shoved a basketball pump in and started inflating [3 cm edema] between about 3 am and 5 am [between when I got up to pee, and the alarm went off.] Diagnostic fun ensued over the next few weeks. I flare on no schedule known to god or man, but thankfully colchicine and indocin can knock it down from wheelchair to crutches in just under a week and back to my cane in 2.

If the level of pain is not such that blowing your brains out seems like a good idea, pseudogout probably isnt a good description for it. I live in terror of flares in both feet simultaneously instead of randomly picking a side to inflict … knock wood so far it only hits one side at a time.