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could thyroid replacement trigger Lupus???

Discussion in 'Medications' started by Amanda F., May 17, 2016.

  1. Amanda F.

    Amanda F. Member

    Hi everyone,

    Ok, let me reword my question - do you think thyroid replacement could worsen Lupus? I am not yet dx with Lupus. I am diagnosed with Hashimoto's (based on antibody tests). Here are my thoughts...

    My first symptom was a reddened sore throat. The blood test showed Hashimoto's so my endo put me on levothyroxine. He gradually increased my dose to 75mg per day and I felt NO different. He finally dismissed me, saying "Hypothyroidism is not your problem". I didn't take him literally - I thought he was being condescending and accusing me of being a hypochondriac. So I never went back.

    Then I found an MD who specializes in HRT. I've seen a LOT of quack docs. But to his credit, he's never prescribed or treated in a way that seemed wreckless to me. (But that's why I'm posting...want to know your thoughts).

    Over the course of 7 years, he has slowly increased my dose. He has tested my levels every 6 months. About 3 years in, he added hydrocortisone (HC) because I had symptoms of adrenal insufficiency, my feet started to ache horribly, and I was not benefitting from the thyroid meds at all. He explained that cortisol and thyroid metabolize one another in the body (you must have enough of one to benefit from the other...otherwise they don't metabolize). He further explained that thyroid supplementation drives DOWN cortisol (because it metabolizes it). From everything I've read, it seems to be the case. And sure enough, my horrible aching feet stopped aching.

    So he continued to increase my thyroid and HC doses because my other symptoms were never improving. At one point, I was on 125mg T4; 25mg T3 and 50mg HC. I had random tachycardic episodes (despite normal bloodwork) so I decided to wean down to 125mg of T4; 20mg T3; 50mg of HC. And I have remained at this dose for 2 years. But my symptoms are getting worse. My carpal tunnel has now turned into moderate pain in my wrists/elbows/shoulders. I'm developed a popping in my shoulders. None of my other symptoms have improved.

    Then I read about Lupus and had a few "aha!" moments. My latest one was, "If HC is used to suppress the immune system in diseases like Lupus...then that must also mean that a person's own endogenous cortisol acts to control autoimmunity. And, in a person with borderline Lupus (someone who's teetering on the edge), what would happen if you gave them thyroid replacement and REDUCED their cortisol???".

    Agh! I know I had a problem before I started taking thyroid meds. But now I wonder if I might have triggered it to "flare". What do you all think? I have GOT to get off the thyroid meds...never helped anyway!

    Thanks!
    Amanda
     
    Lupusdude likes this.

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