Hypothyroidism is a condition in which your thyroid gland (a small butterfly-shaped gland) that is responsible for regulating your metabolism, does not produce enough thyroid hormones needed by the body. It is called an ‘underactive thyroid’, and can lead to a host of health problems.
It can be caused due to multiple reasons such as an iodine deficiency for a long period of time, exposure to radiation therapy, or certain medications for other health conditions
India has more than 42 million people living with some form of thyroid disorder. Although it is an easy-to-treat condition, most people don’t recognise it until much later when symptoms such as sudden fatigue or hoarseness of the voice begin to appear.
Your thyroid gland secretes a hormone (Thyroxine) that controls your metabolism, which is the body’s way of converting the food you eat into energy. People with an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) have less of Thyroxine (T4) hormones, which can directly affect the strength of your muscles and cause injury or functional impairment.
People who have uncontrolled hypothyroidism can also experience swelling in their joints, caused due to a fluid buildup due to slowed metabolism, that can cause joint pain.
Every 1 in 10 Indians suffers from hypothyroidism. It is especially common in women between the ages of 35 and 65. The symptoms of hypothyroidism can vary from person to person, and usually starts with fatigue and weight gain. However, hypothyroidism is not easily detectable until more symptoms appear.
Very rarely, hypothyroidism can lead to serious joint or muscle damage. However, there are certain conditions that can lead to significant damage:
Hypothyroidism is usually accompanied by joint pain and muscle weakness. However, there are certain ways to manage this pain and lead an almost-normal lifestyle:
Joint pains caused by hypothyroidism can be easily managed with thyroid normalisations. In the meanwhile, coping strategies include massages, warm water baths, and gentle exercises.
Nevertheless, there are other medical conditions that cause joint pain like Rheumatoid Arthritis. It is advisable to seek medical consultation to determine the exact cause of your joint pain.