Paleo – It’s not my RA

So, as you all probably know, I went bust on the AIP protocol.  I’ve been feeling off for a couple of months now.  In general, my joint pain is increased (still very mild), I’m cold with periods of hot flashes (I’m 41 and have been concerned about early menopause), my periods are more frequent, heavier, and irritating my joints, I’m irritable, disorganized, forgetful, having trouble with word recall, fatigued, not sleeping well, feeling very weak, etc….

I had an appointment with my rheumatologist yesterday (golly, I LOVE him), and I went into detail on my woes.  I asked what menopause does to RA (blood tests don’t indicate I’m going through menopause, but my body is being so weird).  The basic response was that menopause didn’t really explain everything going on.  I then talked about my thyroid, stating that in the past it’s gotten “off” (my thyroid was radiated in 2007, following a hyperthyroid diagnosis of Grave’s Disease, so I now take thyroid medication).  That might explain some of my weird symptoms, and could we test my thyroid.  My doc agreed to test my thyroid citing research that his hospital did.  It found that healthy people with lower functioning thyroids (higher TSH levels) reported more fatigue and pain than folks with higher functioning thyroids (lower TSH levels).  If necessary, he would refer me back to the endocrinologist.

This morning, the good doc called with my blood test results:

  • Vitamin D: 26 (low, should be above 30)
  • C Reactive Protein: 0.7 (0-1.0 is normal)  THIS IS MY BEST EVER CRP SINCE DIAGNOSIS!!!!!  My doc was THRILLED!  This indicates NORMAL levels of inflammation in my body, despite my pains.
  • Sed Rate: 17 (normal is 0-20)  YES!!!  Again, this indicates NORMAL levels of inflammation!
  • TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone): 4.82 (0.5 – 4.5 is normal).  This is VERY VERY off for me.  Anything above 2.0 usually causes me considerable issues. In the past, a 3.8 caused me to not be able to have a bowel movement for over a month.  In this test, high means low and low means high.  My thyroid levels are very low.

Doctor’s opinion:  My RA is very stable, and my increased joint pain is likely from my thyroid level being too low.  Increase thyroid medication. Need to talk to me primary care doc for this.

Good news is, all of my weird symptoms can be attributed to my thyroid (which had been bordering on too high, not too low previously).  Bad news, it’ll take 6 weeks or so to get them back to normal.  Maybe then I will feel better!

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