The Fibromyalgia and Hypothyroid Connection

Fibromyalgia and Hypothyroidism

Research has demonstrated that thyroid disease and fibromyalgia are strongly associated. One research study has found that almost 15% of individuals with hypothyroidism will also develop fibromyalgiaMany health scientists are speculating that both diseases share a similar origin.

What is the thyroid?

The thyroid is a gland in the neck near the Adam’s apple. It produces thyroid hormones when the hypothalamus stimulates it. These hormones affect protein synthesis, bone growth, metabolism and even modulate the body’s sensitivity to other hormones, including adrenaline. Thyroid hormones are even implicated in healthy sleep cycles.

What is hypothyroidism?

This condition is typified by an abnormally low thyroid hormone production. The levels of thyroid hormone production negatively affects growth and development as well as many important cellular processes. In essence, it will start to slow down your body’s functions.

Symptoms include: fatigue, dry or pale skin, thinning hair, brittle nails, feeling cold, weight gain, constipation, depression, fertility problems, and slow heart rate.

What is hyperthyroidism?

This condition describes an overactive thyroid gland. Overactive thyroid glands produce too much thyroxin. This causes body functions to accelerate.

Some symptoms include: restlessness, nervousness, your debility, poor sleep, hand tremors, weight loss, palpitations, shortness of breath, thinning hair, itchy skin, and menstrual changes.

What is the connection between fibromyalgia and thyroid hormones?

  • It is speculated that fibromyalgia originates from an increased sensitivity to pain on account of neurochemical imbalances in the brain and spinal cord.
  • Since the thyroid is responsible for establishing the human body sensitivity to a number of hormones, scientists have speculated that fibromyalgia and the thyroid are somehow connected.
  • While there is no definitive evidence proving this connection, the thyroid is implicated in the management of serotonin, which is a brain chemical that is involved in the pathology of fibromyalgia.
  • Since the thyroid hormone is also implicated in the regulation of sleep cycles, it is thought that hypothyroidism, with its negative effects on sleep quality, is connected with the development of fibromyalgia.
  • As we have explored in another post, one research study demonstrated that healthy subjects who were subjected to disrupted sleep over the course of 7 to 14 days resulted in displaying symptoms indistinguishable from fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia and thyroid resources

  1. Fibromyalgia – A Medical Mystery Solved
  2. The connection between Fibromyalgia and Hypothyroidism
  3. Thyroid Hormone: The Most Overlooked Treatment For Fibromyalgia

Final thoughts

Hypothyroidism, which is to say too little thyroid hormone regulation, is a compelling explanation of fibromyalgia. If you are experiencing what you think is fibromyalgia, or perhaps have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, it may make sense to examine the health of your thyroid.

Consult with a physician to determine the best next steps in evaluating your fibromyalgia symptoms and the possible role of your thyroid.