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Date of last update: 10/17/2017.

Forum Name: Endocrinology Topics

Question: Can hypothyroidism cause all these symptoms?

 Tony_Ohio - Wed Feb 23, 2005 9:07 pm

Hi. I'm new here and wanted to pose a question. First, I'm 39, male, about 190 lbs(now). I was recently diagnosed with hypo and gerd. I'm now taking levothyroxine 25 mcg and Protonix 40 mg. I'm sorry if this is long winded but I need to go back to the beginning when all this started.

In Sept of 2003 I started exercising, nothing strenuous, but just walking. By the 3rd day I was feeling sore somewhat. The next day I had a very uncomfortable tightness in my chest. I had this feeling for around a month or so and then decided to go to a doctor. I had a chest xray and an ekg....both negative. He gave me an antibiotic (Avelox). I finshed it and felt no better. About a month or so later the tightness subsided but I started getting this fleeting kind of a sharp pain in my left inner thigh. It would last anywhere from a couple seconds to a couple minutes. It was sharp and stinging. It would show up sometimes when I was standing, or sitting, or lying down. Sometimes it would occur every day, sometimes more than once a day. Sometimes I might only get it once a week or less. This went on for a few months.

A couple months into getting the pain in my thigh, I also started experience dizzy or vertigo spells. Maybe lightheadedness. It only lasted a couple seconds. I also got what I thought felt like hot flashes. They would come and go, too. Then I started getting these "tingling sensations" in different parts of my body. In my legs, toes, arms, fingers. Then I started getting them in my chest. They felt like little bursts of electricity lasting a few seconds and then dissipating. Those were the worst. They seemd to happen when I was laying down

I went to a new doctor and he ran blood tests, everything negative. He also ran an emg on my left leg where I had the pain. Also negative. It's funny because I had done some research before I went to the second doctor and I found that the symptoms I was having could be from hypothyroidism or MS. He ran a TSH test and I asked him point blank if my thyroid was ok and he said it was fine after looking at the results on my followup visit to him. I didn't think anything else of it. But I wasn't satisfied with nothing being found.

Another couple months later after still having these symptoms coming and going, I asked my mother's doctor if she wanted a new patient. I made an appointment with her for a few weeks later, but when I got there she still hadn't received my medical charts. She did diagnose me with GERD, though. I had told her about 2 incidents when I had been abruptly awakened in the middle of the night choking and coughing and feeling vomit coming up my esophogus. On the next visit with her, she had gotten my chart and came in the room pointing at the TSH test results that the previous doctor had ordered. It was 12.9. She put me on the levothyroxine that I am currently taking at 25 mcg. I just took another TSH test and am due to see her again at the beginning of March. Her office called me to make sure I was coming for the appointment and the nurse I spoke with told me my TSH level had come down "a little". She said the doctor would adjust my meds on my next appointment.

Anyways, over 1 year later, I still have tightness in my chest, particularly on the left side. I get those "tingling, electric-like" sensations periodically, although they do seem to have subsided some. Now though, I just had those sensations in a new head!. They were on each side of my face in my temples. I also had a long lasting headache that accompanied them. I still get a little vertigo it seems to me. It seems like someone is pushing my head forward when I get that. But this soreness in my left side chest area near my armpit(more in the chest, though) is really bothersome. I still get these fleeting tingles all over on occassion, too.

One more thing I wanted to tell you, whoever is listening, is that right after all this started, when my chest first got tight and uncomfortable, I had this one "BIG" episode when I was just starting to drift off to sleep. I was at that stage when I was just almost out and entering "sleep", but still a little cognizant when, all of a sudden, I felt this feeling like my body was collapsing into itself and then it ended with a "BOOOOOOOM!!! Needless to say, I jumped up from my laying down postion. I was sweating a little and breathing hard. It took me some time to calm down. I never experienced anything like that before in my life. It scared me to death. It happend 2 more times to me, both when I was laying down going to sleep, but not to the extreme of that first time. I told the doctors about it but never heard from any what it was or could have been.

I'm sorry for being so long winded. I guess my only question is can hypothyroidism cause all of the symptoms I described? The tingling and electric-like sensations? My tight chest(constantly sore now)? Sometimes, too, I think I can feel my heart flutter and beat faster for no reason. Does anyone know what to make of this? I've had 2 EKG's both negative. I'd appreciate any comments.

 Theresa Jones, RN - Sat Feb 26, 2005 6:28 am

User avatar Hi Tony_Ohio,
The signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism are: Fatigue, weight gain, feeling cold, constipation, dry skin, coarse, dry hair or hair loss, depression, mental confusion, slow heart rate, muscle aches or cramps, high cholesterol levels, etc. So in answer to your question I would attribute muscle aches to the hypothyroidism. Gerd can also cause chest pain especially when a person is laying down simply because this position allows the stomach acid to regurgitate (back up). However, the tingling sensations I probably would not relate to either disorder (although not impossible). You mention MS, did your physician evaluate you for this also? The description of a tingling sensation, is this a prickling type of discomfort? An MRI is a diagnostic study that helps to diagnose this condition. I would certainly encourage discussing this with your physician so a diagnosis can be made or ruled out.
 Tony_Ohio - Sat Feb 26, 2005 7:38 am

Thank you Rntdj. No, I have not been evaluated for MS. When I first went to the latest doctor, I described all of my symptoms and she said they could be from hypothyroidism or MS. During that first visit, she had not yet received my chart from the precious doctor with test results I had just taken. On that first visit, she diagnosed me with GERD because of symptoms I was having including a nauseated stomach feeling. heartburn(I hope it is), and regurgitation that occured on two seperate occasions while I was sleeping. On the next visit, she had received my chart and the TSH test that I had taken previously was extremely elevated at 12.9. That is when she diagnosed me with hypothyroidism.

I told her about the "tingling sensations" in all parts of my body that come and go and last from 1 to 5 seconds. I, also, told her about that "tingling, electric-like sensation" in my chest that I would get when I was lying down. This week I had that same kind of feeling in my left and right side temples of my head. I go back to see her on March 3 and I will be telling her about that then. To me, a lay person, it seems highly improbable that I could have all of these things go wrong with me all of a sudden. And then add an MS possibility on top of that? Can MS cause hypothyroidism or GERD?

I just took another TSH and T1 and T3 test and the nurse st my doctor's office told me that my TSH level came down "slightly". I have seen my doctor once since I started on my meds when I took my mother to see her for a checkup. Then she told me she would more than likely adjust my meds on my next visit.

The only reassurance I'm holding on to right now is from others diagnosed with hypothyroidism who belong to the "About" hypothyroidism support group who have also confirmed that they too have had or currently have tingling sensations in parts of their bodies. They all also say that the symptoms take a great deal of time to subside and since I'm on such a low dose levothyroxine (25 mcg), I shouldn't expect to feel much better if at all. And I really don't. Another thing I'm holding on to is that I don't have L'Hermittes sign.

My energy level is as low as low can go. I went to bed at 5:00 pm last night and awoke at 4:00 am this morning. I am chronically constipated. I have been in my life for as long as I can remember. I remember having a lot of trouble as a teen going to the bathroom. Sometimes, I will go 4 or 5 days or more between bowel movements. As a matter of fact, I just had a BM yesterday for the first time since this past Sunday. But, I went again this morning, too. It's always been like that. For a short period of time, my BM's will be near normal and then begin to subside in regularity. Then I'll be completely irregular for some time and then it will slowly start to become more normal again. And then the cycle starts all over again.

Over the past year I have put on about 12 to 15 pounds for no apparent reason. I'm sure some of that has to do with the fact that I have a low level of energy and I am not as active as I once was. I have actually (purposefully) cut back on my calories to keep my weight in check. I weighed 180 lbs for at least the last 15 to 17 years. I now weigh around 195 lbs.

I took a cholestoral test for my previous doctor. My LDL was 100 and my HDL was 39. He called my LDL "high". On occasion, I feel what I think are heart palpatations. They feel like a fluttering in my chest. I took 2 EKG's which both came out negative.

I feel sort of anxious, too. My chest has been "uncomfortable" for over a year now. I get that burning feeling, too. It comes and goes. I don't see it as more prevalent when I'm lying down.

I think my doctor wants to treat me for the hypo first and see how I respond before heading down the MS roadway. I know a lot of the symptoms I am having do compare to those of MS. I'm hoping it's not that. I'm praying it's not that.

All of this started in Sept/Oct of 2003 after I started exercising some. I started walking with some intermittant jogging. On the third day my chest felt heavy and I quit. I had that "body collapsing" episode and I went to a doctor. Chest X-ray negative, EKG negative. Then I got that stinging pain in my left inner thigh area. EMG test on left leg negative. Lasted a few months and subsided. Then I started getting those tingles in different areas. I got some lightheadedness on occasion. And some hot flashes. Then I started getting that tingling, radiating pain in my chest when I would be lying down. The best way I can describe it is....... it is similar "in feeling" to a stone being dropped into a pond from straight up in the air. The ripples radiate outward fromt he initial impact of the stone. That's what those tingles feel like. They have a center point where they start and they radiate outward. The ones I just experienced in my temples are just like the ones I had in my chest. They only last a couple of seconds. The ones I had in my head early this week were accompanied by a low-level headache. I haven't had them since Monday.

I appreciate your input. I'll let you know how my doctor visit goes and what changes or tests she orders. Talk to you soon.

 Theresa Jones, RN - Sat Feb 26, 2005 7:54 am

User avatar Hi Tony,
I would very much appreciate an update on your follow-up visit. Tha fatigue, weight gain etc. are certainly symptoms of hypothyroidism. To my knowledge MS would not cause hypothyroidism nor GERD. MS is difficult to diagnose because many of the symptoms mimic other diseases and is essentially diagnosed by exclusion along with the diagnostic studies of course. Symptoms may come and go over the course of the disease. I would suggest that you discuss diagnostic studies upon your return appointment. Good Luck to you and thank you for using
 adhdadult - Thu Sep 08, 2005 10:15 am

I actually came across your post from doing a search about 'brain tingling' that I have been feeling lately - but I would like to reply particularly to your "BOOOOOOOM" experiences as I have had them too and I know what they are.

Firstly I would like to note that I discovered this unsuspectingly and hence did some research on what happened to me and then redid through practice the same thing.

I was out at a concert when this happened. I had nothing to drink but water. Midway through the night I noticed all the lights flashing and my hearing was starting to falter. I told my friends I was going out for some fresh air, but before I got out something very weird happened. I was walking through the crowd, when I felt a weird sensation and I could see myself from behind walking away from me. I then saw myself begin to fall to the ground while I started to float up toward the ceiling. I found myself looking down at my body while the crowd was circling around me. I then saw someone pushing through the crowd to get to me and they bent down towards me and "BOOOOOOOOOM" I felt like I was forcefully pulled back into my body with an extremely loud creaking boom. I opened my eyes to see the crowd circled around me and a body guard dragging me from the scene. I remember mumbling to him, 'I saw you coming' - He must have thought that I was mad...

This led to research and OOBE (Out Of Body Experiences) and Astral Projection. Months later after reading some books I recreated what had happened while lying in bed. The basic jist of it is that you relax your body totally while attempting to keep your mind active or awake and the do some type of visualisation to get 'out' of your body (I suppose you could refer to this as your soul). If it goes to plan you leave your body - " I felt this feeling like my body was collapsing into itself" - which is your 'soul' leaving your body, sometime I have raised up out of my body, rolled out of my body, and also this collapsed feeling falling through your body to find myself looking down at myself or floating around the room while I see my 'soul' in a ghost form seperate from my body. You obviously don't get to this stage, as you become extremely freaked out by what is happening rather than relaxing. When something startles you then you return to your body. As I discovered this is often accompanied by a loud BOOM noise (I'd liken it to a tear in the time/space continum - but thats a little overboard). So what you experienced was an OOBE but perhaps the first stages of it and not the complete cycle.

I know it sounds freaky. But after lots of research I found than lots of people experience exactly the same things and there are also lots of books on the issue.

All the best,

 Big_T - Tue Sep 20, 2005 3:29 pm

Hi. Just thought I'd post a follow-up since it's been awhile.

I've been on the Synthroid for about 9 months now. I started out with 25 mcg for a couple months, took a blood test where the serum TSH still was high, and had the doseage increased to 50 mcg. I have been taking the 50 mcg for about 6 months. I just took another blood test and the doc increased the dose to 62.5 mcg which I will be starting soon as soon as I finish the 50 mcg pills because I had just purchased them.

Some of my symptoms that I reported initially have seemed to subside. I haven't been getting those tingles all over my body nor the hot flashes. I am somewhat better with the energy level than I was, but am still nowhere near where I was before. I tire pretty easily. Every once in a while, I still get some bloating in my stomach. I had an upper GI done and it came out negative. I have stopped all GERD meds and haven't taken any antacids, but maybe on a couple occasions in the last several months. My bowel movements have been more regular. I still get some bouts where I miss a day or two. They are better.

The strange thing I do still experience is that "burst of tingles" or "zapping" feeling I get in my chest, especially when I lay down. The funny thing about it is that if I lay down and am just laying down, like watching TV, I really don't experience them. I seem to get them only or 99.9% of the time when I am lying down AND I close my eyes attempting to go to sleep. I haven't been able to pinpoint anything that this may reveal. It sounds weird, but that's what happens. It's a pretty uncomfortable feeling. Every time it happens I think it is my heart or something like a blocked artery or something. All the heart tests I have taken, which I know can miss things sometimes, have been negative. I don't know. It's weird.

Another thing I have noticed over the past several months is an occasional throbbing in my neck. Just sometimes. And I occasionally feel a tingling at the base of my neck area in the back, particularly when I bend forward and place the neck in tension in the back.

I just took a lipid profile and my LDL was high at 146 and my HDL was low at 29.

A couple months ago, before I stopped the GERD med Protonix, I took a renal test and it came back high at just over 2. I don't remember the units...sorry. I repeated the test after stopping the GERD med and after waiting for about a month and it came back 1.4......still high, but improved. I found out that Protonix can invoke an increase in the measure of serum creatinine( that's the units) in the blood. I hope my kidneys aren't permanently damaged.

Before I go back for my next exam in December, I will be taking more blood tests. I'll have the TSH checked again, "free T4", BMP, and a CBC. I'll post a follow-up then if you're interested.

I hope that any of the information I post can help anyone else experiencing similar symptoms or conditions. For now I'm just going to start my 62.5 mcg Synthroid doseage and see what happens.

 jjalliance - Tue Oct 18, 2005 11:29 pm

Hi there,
I to have had some of symptoms you refer to, they started about a year ago. I have a vibration in my chest that only occurs right before I go to sleep and I wake up with it. I get pins and needles as well, and sometimes the vibration feels more like a tremor in my upper body. I believe it is sometimes brought on by exercise but I am not certain, I do also get a sharp pain in my left hip, and I had something similar waking up in the middle of the night to a ringing in my ear, that is why I replied to you because your symptoms were so similar. I can get light headed when I stand up and I do get dizzy spells. I have noticed other people with these kinds of symptoms before on internet sights (mostly the vibration in the chest right before sleep and waking up with it) but I have never replied. I have also noticed that noboby really knows what is wrong with them and they are unable to get any definitive answers. I have had some tests done as well that have come up negative and have been told nothing is wrong me. I try to ignore my symptoms and move on but sometimes they get worse and I these symptoms are hard to ignore. I guess my fear is that they are going to get worse. I will say this I watch my diet much more now, I don't drink alcohol anymore and I try to exercise regularly now. These are things I didn't always do so well in the past but I am getting better at. The exercise is difficult because sometimes I think that it brings on my symptoms( the vibrations at night in my chest mostly). Anyway if you get any information you could share it would be much appreciated.
 ely - Sun Jan 21, 2007 6:38 pm

I just read your post and I can't tell you how relieved I feel that I am not the only one who has experienced these unusual symptoms. I'm a female and 32 years old. I have had nearly every symptom you describe and I have gone to doctor after doctor. My endocrinoligist kept telling me it was not thyroid related, but after your posting I seriously question that. If we both have hypothyroidism I believe it must be related. I too have had hot flashes and cold flashes, brain fog, tingling, dizziness and even the breathing problem you described. The doctor who responded to this post suggested that you be tested for MS. I went through having a brain MRI and everything was fine. Your post has given me hope that the right endocrinoligist might be able to shed some light on all this. However, I'm not sure what my next step will be. Your post was extremely helpful. Thank you!
 gadget - Tue May 26, 2009 11:39 pm

I take zetia 10mg 1 time a day, also lovaza 1 gm 4 a day . I also take xanax 0.5mg 3 times a day for panic disorder. My question is , I have always had good blood pressure but since i've been taking the zetia i feel tired and my blood pressure has changed . My wife works for our local health department , so she takes my blood pressure 3 or 4 times a week and the last 5 times she has taken it , the numbers have changed from 120 / 78 to 118 / 100 . What i want to know is can any of these meds cause this change and with the bottom number being so close to the top number , is this something i should worry about . Sometimes i wake up in the middle of the night with some chest pain but never anything major. and if you feel this is something i should talk with my reg. doctor about, then what questions should i ask and if any what kinds of test should be done to make sure everything is okay.
 restless1 - Wed Jun 16, 2010 7:02 pm

I am new to this site, but after finding this particular discussion I had to post. I am female, age 34.

I don't HAVE hypothyroidism (nor any other diagnosis) (I am NOT on meds of any kind either) and I have all of the same issues you have all expressed.

My symptoms started with headaches as a kid/pre-teen, then fatigue, then insomnia, then constipation (which turned to IBS for a small amount of time) - now just chronic constipation...I also have the vertigo spells and dizziness. I black out when I get up, exercise or bend down too fast. I also have the equivalent to an electrical shock running up my left arm from time to time that only lasts about 5-10 seconds. PLUS I have heart palpitations, shortness mixed with heaviness of breath and tearing sensations in the chest... AND I have the BOOOM out of sleep ...not to mention I fall asleep at the wheel.

Docs have run every test they could think of so far - all have turned out negative.

But TWICE this week (while sitting in my reclining chair) - I have had those out of body experiences that basically include the tingling all over body (but not pins and needles/no pricking just tingling), the hot and cold temp changes, the dizzyness and vertigo/soul leaving the body/disoriented sensations. Both have lasted less than 20 seconds but it literally takes my whole body and mind over.

I am conscious when it happens obviously but I feel out of control over my consciousness if that makes sense. It's like I am FORCED to surrender to what is happening. Even though I have NO CLUE what this is.

Anyhow...I KNOW that all the tests have come out negative - but my son is starting out with the same symptoms I had near his age - - and to be honest I don't want him to follow in these steps.

Then there is this bigger fear that this is some sort of mini stroke or heart attack waiting to happen that I won't be able to come back from if I don't get this diagnosed.

Should I be alarmed? Should I go and see someone about these episodes? What is this? I don't get it.
 Animom70 - Fri Jun 25, 2010 4:38 pm

An OBE? Seriously? I don't think so so do not listen to that guy. I too have hypo, 15 years now, due to cancer and now no thyroid at all. The "boom" you desribe happens tp me all the tim, almost like I am falling then I am jolted awake. I have all the tingly, electric vibrations and shocks you describe a well. Fibromyalgia, MS, Lupis, nerve disorders are al common with hypo, or any thyroid disease. And next time you go to your doc, ask for a complete thyroid panel, TSH,T4 and T3 levels. You can have abnormal TSH and normal T4 and T3, and vise versa. So get it checked. It sounds like you have found a pretty good doctor though, but an endocrinologist is who you really should see. Believe me, they are better at knowing wht's going on than a GP, but too, I did have an awesome GP where I used to live and had no need for an endo. I hope this is the case for you.
 Chopper - Thu Jul 29, 2010 4:37 pm

Wow, after months of searching out answers to my own problems on this site, FINALLY I found a list of systems and circumstances close to my own. The thread creator basically described all of the symptoms I have. When I had my blood checked several months back, my PCP assured me my thyroid was fine. The only thing I have to add to the conversation that hasn't already been stated is for those seeking answers to check out gluten sensitivity issues. I recently received a book from my sister entitled "Dangerous Grains" that explains gluten related health issues. All I can say is that it matches many of these symptoms, and if all else fails you might try out a gluten free diet to see if it helps.

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