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Dr. Brims
Dr. Brims, U.S. Licensed Physician
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 9599
Experience:  U.S. Licensed Physician, general surgery and internal medicine experience
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Total thyroidectomy, severe hypothyroidism to level of non-functioning

Customer Question

Total thyroidectomy, severe hypothyroidism to level of non-functioning. All traditional endocrinological and psychological diagnostic/treatment plans a complete bust. Strong pain meds work but can't get enough to be up and around but about half of the time. Question is, what does the fact that pain meds work point toward in diagnosing which part(s) of the endocrine system is malfunctioning? There are patient advocacy approaches that rule out thing one a time (e.g. thyroid, adrenal, pituitary, hypothalmus, etc.) but rather than have to check in somewhere and pay someone to administer and record all the tests and measurements, wondered if the fact that pain meds work point to a specific area? Targeting the thyroid alone (with natural hormone replacement) has not provided the answer.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 3 years ago.
Hi--just to be clear here, what exactly is the source of your pain?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Orginally stumbled upon efficacy of pain meds for the hypothyroidism while recovering from shattered ankle. Then arthritis started twisting my joints so I got on a small, constant script for daily pain.

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 3 years ago.
OK. But I'm still somewhat confused here. Are you saying that you think some sort of endocrine problem is causing your pain?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I'm not trying to investigate pain but rather what part(s) of my endocrine system is causing this severe hypothyroidism. Was hoping the fact that pain meds work in relieving the hypo symptoms would point to certain endocrine organ. It will take months of diagnostic/treatments to try to track down the problem on my own using the patient advocacy approach mentioned earlier.

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 3 years ago.
OK. I assume you understand that without your thyroid gland you would have no thyroid hormone in your system and unless you had replacement with something like Synthroid or Armour thyroid you would be severely hypothyroid?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Was afraid of this. Try to get over 10 years and dozens of doctors into a paragraph and you get the kind of confusing question and answer dialogue we have going here. Sorry but this isn't going to work.

Expert:  Dr. Brims replied 3 years ago.
Hello, welcome to the site!

My name isXXXXX and I will try to assist you with your medical question, and any medical information you seek

I would like to help if you are still open to dialogue, would you like my help?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Does the fact that pain meds help with hypothyroidism give you any hint as to which part/parts of the endocrine system is not working? And yes, of course hormone replacement for the thyroid is the starting point but we are far beyond that fact. I'm facing an alternative treatment approach that uses natural hormones but approaches one organ at a time for diagnosing and treating. This takes many weeks and I only have enough pain meds to be able to function about half the time. So I'll have to check in somewhere that is open to this alternative approach or hire someone to come in and administer the plan. I'm wondering if I can shortcut all this time and expense by looking at what the pain meds are affecting that would cause it to be effective against hypothyroidism. Its not just my baseline condition is "down" and pain meds get me "up". I literally cannot function in my normal hypo condition. Am trying to get endocrine system working again. As an example, on fellow patient ended up with a custom thyroid hormone replacement level, adrenal gland supplement, and something for his pituitary gland. IOW, its complicated and time consuming and I will be unable to accomplish it in my current condition. I'm only able to carry on this dialogue tonight because I have a limited amount of pain meds that allow me to function. Most of the time I am barely out of bed.

Expert:  Dr. Brims replied 3 years ago.

I'm sorry to hear you are in so much pain


The pain medication may mask the effects of hypothyroidism by decreasing the pain caused by hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism will lead to a decrease in your basal metabolic rate which may cause pain as a side effect. It is unlikely to be related to your adrenal glands because if your adrenal glands were affected I would expect you to have severe low blood pressure and require admission into the hospital.


Your parathyroid glands may also be affected causing increased calcium which can lead to arthritis and severe pain, sot the parathyroid glands may also be affected, and the pain medication may improve these symptoms

Expert:  Dr. Brims replied 3 years ago.
I'm sorry you are unsatisfied with my answer, is there a part of your question you feel I did not answer or is there any ;art you would like me to expand on or clarify?