Poor metabolic health increases chronic pain occurrence1. Suboptimal thyroid status links with poor metabolic health 2. Maybe we address thyroid status and reduce reliance on opiates?
Part 4 Of A Series
This is a continuation of prescribing trends I have noticed in my pharmacy data from Island Drug / La Conner Drug. By-in-large it appears we are reaching for highly prescribed medications to treat symptoms of an underperforming thyroid, rather than support the thyroid itself. Please click here for Part 1 on cholesterol, Part 2 on Antidepressants, and/or Part 3 on blood pressure medications.
Thyroid In Pain
Opioid pain medications are among the top prescribed. They come with risks from impaired driving to addiction. We all want less opioid prescriptions.
Thyroid dysfunction is an active participant in many pain syndromes. Here are just a few categories, there are more, and many we can’t tie to thyroid.
The muscles require sufficient energy dynamics to function properly. Obvious in the contraction process. Interestingly, muscle relaxation requires the same or more energy. The thyroid is a major energy regulator. Therefore, it is not surprising low thyroid function is a contributor in muscle disease/injury 3. Myopathy (muscle disease) affects 79% of hypothyroid patients4. If you correct low thyroid, symptoms can get better56.
Studies have show overlap between low thyroid and both arthritis 78and rheumatoid arthritis910.
Collagen is integral in many connective tissues. Supplementing with collagen has shown to help reduce pain in both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis11.
Interestingly, fluoride degrades collagen structural quality1213. As we saw earlier, fluoride hinders thyroid performance. So, fluoride hurts thyroid, and collagen – a double whammy for pain management.
Headache and migraines are prevalent. An underlying factor is energy status. Times of energy deprivation, for whatever reason, impact occurrence. Thyroid’s integral role in energy fits here. A study reported treating low thyroid reduced migraines from 14 per month down to 1.8614!
The database I set up for analyzing thyroid usage in this series was helpful here again. 90% of the Opioid Analgesics Island Drug / La Conner drug dispensed in the last two years were to people with no thyroid medication in their profile. 90%
Thyroid medications will not replace opiates. However, these data and overlapping mechanisms point to exploring thyroid health before relying on opiates for ongoing pain relief. I spent space in Part 1 on cholesterol on supporting thyroid health – click here for a direct link to these recommendations. Starting with gluten and fluoride avoidance, plus adding nutritional support can go a long way.
As I continue looking into this thyroid connection, the recommendation grows stronger that you know your thyroid status, especially if you take routine opiates. Keep in mind, the “normal” range for TSH (the mainstream thyroid lab test) is far too wide. Anything over 2 is a candidate for intervention. Please reach out if I can help you through this evaluation.
- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4909918/ ↩
- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3821514/ ↩
- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4037849/ ↩
- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK519513/ ↩
- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4162016/ ↩
- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2664572/ ↩
- https://ard.bmj.com/content/71/7/1216 ↩
- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7740308 ↩
- http://www.err.eg.net/article.asp?issn=1110-161X;year=2014;volume=41;issue=2;spage=58;epage=65;aulast=Elattar ↩
- https://www.rheumatologyadvisor.com/home/decision-support-in-medicine/rheumatology/thyroid-syndromes/ ↩
- https://www.omicsonline.org/open-access/efficacy-of-oral-collagen-in-joint-pain–osteoarthritis-and-rheumatoid-arthritis-2167-7921-1000233.php?aid=87350 ↩
- https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/0378427482902740 ↩
- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6856987 ↩
- https://headaches.org/2017/08/21/treatment-subclinical-hypothyroidism-may-help-individuals-migraine/ ↩
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