Health & Support
Moderators: tigermoth5, autopilotfrank193, nycgirl, bierorama, ksylvan, peaches0405

synthroid and joint pain

Quote  |  Reply


my endocrinologist put me on 25 mcg of synthroid as i was diagnosed with subclinical hypothyroidism. i did well for the first few weeks and after that i started getting joint pains on my leg. i did try stopping synthroid for a few days and then the pain disappeared. Does any one here has noticed any pain while on synthroid? i"ll talk to my dr, but would like to hear from people who are on synthroid.




52 Replies (last)

I'm taking the same thing and haven't had any problems except thinning of the hair.  Do you have this too?  Have you (or others on here) taken synthroid in the past?  If so, has it worked?



i havent noticed any thinning of hair yet..its been only 6-7 weeks since i started taking synthroid. i have never taken it in the past. 

I have been on .137 synthroid for over two years and havent had any joint pain... but I have noticed that my eye lashes fall out more frequently

Ive been on Synthroid since 1989 so 21 years.  For me, joint pain can either be a sign of too much thyroid medication (which suppresses the TSH too much and mimics hyperthyroidism) or I am too hypo (TSH way too high and not on enough Synthroid).  I get pain and an "inflammed" feeling in my knees and a deep aching in my upper arms and legs.  It seems to be worse if I am on too much Synthroid.  I will also get irregular and fluttery heart beats, nightsweats and just generally sweating more (which is rare for me because usually I am always cold), anxious like I am about to jump out of my seat at the slightest sound, fatigued, hair shedding (which also happens when on hypo end of things).  Even after all these years I sometimes still have a hard time differentiating between my symptoms of being overmedicated or undermedicated.  The sweating is usually a good sign for me that I am overmedicated though.  I have been on doses of Synthorid ranging from 150 mcg down to 50 mcg but mostly its been 112 mcg over the years. 

If I were you I would let my doctor know your symptoms and not stop and start the medication yourself because I have done this myself and it just makes things a whole lot more complicated and hard on your body.  Also, it can take a good two months or more for thyroid medication adjustments or when starting out for noticable differences to begin to show.  That's why its recommended not to get your levels checked too soon but wait at least three months.  Once the right dose is determined and you are symptom free for some time then levels are checked six months to a year.  Since you havent been on your meds very long I would guess you are still hypo and havent really given the meds a chance to work but I only know what you posted and am certainly not a doctor.  Out of curiosity do you have other symptoms?




thanks for responding.i am having only 25 mcg of synthroid and my tsh is not too high. it was 4.5 and after the recent blood work its 2.25. my dr said he would like to see it in a lower range. but i am wondering whether i need that much now after reading your post. (mimicking hyperthyroidism). will discuss with my dr. i dont have any other symptoms other than joint pain.



I've been on 25mcg of synthroid for about a month and not sure if it has taken affect.  Naturebound: since you have been on this for a long time what changes can I expect to happen?  I have noticed that I'm not as fatigued as I used to be and don't need to take naps during the day.  I still do sweat during the day at times, but it wasn't as bad as before..where I felt I had hot flashes.  Does the thinning of the hair ever go away?  How did you know you had to be on synthroid for as long as you have?  My doctor mentioned mine may be a case of a having a temporary underactive thyroid.

Original Post by dancerqueen1:

I've been on 25mcg of synthroid for about a month and not sure if it has taken affect.  Naturebound: since you have been on this for a long time what changes can I expect to happen?  I have noticed that I'm not as fatigued as I used to be and don't need to take naps during the day.  I still do sweat during the day at times, but it wasn't as bad as before..where I felt I had hot flashes.  Does the thinning of the hair ever go away?  How did you know you had to be on synthroid for as long as you have?  My doctor mentioned mine may be a case of a having a temporary underactive thyroid.

 Sorry its taken so long to get back to you.  Its been so long since I started on thyroid meds I dont remember how long it took to feel better in the beginning.  I had a goiter (painful swallowing and lump in throat) and had it checked while I was already IP as a teenager dealing with anorexia and major depression.  I remember having to do a barium swallow and xrays and blood work and then being told I had a hypo active thyroid and being put on Synthroid.  I believe I was started on the lowest dose and then had it increased until my labs were stable.  But the goiter disappeared within a few weeks.  I am guessing within 2.5 months my hair improved immensely because I remember going into the hospital with quite thin hair and leaving with very thick hair, I kid you not.  In fact since I have been on thyroid meds my hair has completely changed and become more course than it was as a child.  I also lost a lot of hair after this last relapse last year and remember going to my hairdresser and him mentioning how much hair was coming out of me and clogging the sink when he washed it.  I had already been on thyroid meds but because I was starving myself and getting thinner and thinner I kept needing a higher and higher dose of meds to counter the constant symptoms of low thyroid and my high TSH readings.  My doctor at that point was really frustrated with me and told me things would not improve until I put on weight.  It took three months into weight gain for my thyroid levels to even out with meds and for my hairdresser to comment that my hair was growing back beautifully.  Its so complicated with an ED because it causes the same types of physical symptoms as hypothyroidism...slowed metabolism, cold all the tiime, fatigued, hair thinning, aches, insomnia, bloating, etc. 

My hypothyridism is not a direct result of my ED but seems to be hereditary (entire immediate family has it as well as maternal grandmother who died from complications of thyriod disorder in the early 1970s).  So for me I have to take thyroid meds for life.  Even when I was at a healthy weight and didnt have ED for years I needed my thyroid meds.  I tried to quit taking them years ago when I went off to college and became dangerously sick.  I couldnt function at all, had very very low pulse and trouble getting out of bed I was so exhausted.  Within weeks of being restarted on thyroid meds I was feeling so much better.  I have to have my levels checked every six months to a year but because of all the struggles I have had with ED and with having a total hysterectomy/removal of both ovaries and hormone hell trying to get balanced on hrt for a few years there I had to have thyroid checked every three months to monitor it because it also interacts with my hrt and every time one needs an adjustment the other seems to as well.  I have had to learn to listen and feel for all the subtle symptoms and I still have trouble discerning what is what at times.  I am also prone to bouts of depression and hypothyroidism has a profound effect on mood. 

I have definitely heard of cases of thyroid being thrown out of whack by EDs and recovering without further medication once weight was restored for a time.  Sounds like for now the meds are helping you.  Thats great!  Did your doctor mention having your blood levels checked again in the future?  Generally they are checked every two to three months when you first start on meds.  Hopefully you wont need to be on them for life but it is quite common for this to be the case.  It is important to make sure not to be on too much thyriod med and hence having levels monitored every six months to a year, because overmedicating can cause a whole host of serious problems, one being osteoporosis/thinning of bones which is also a side effect of hyperthyroidism untreated.  I believe this is another reason I have osteoporosis so young.  Luckily thyroid meds are cheap and not hard to take.  Just be sure not to take it too close to taking calcium or drinking milk as calcium inhibits absorption of thyroid meds.  so does soy.  I take my thyroid meds mid morning and calcium supplements later in day, and dairy products four hours apart from thyroid meds.  Hope this helps!

If you have just started with the meds, your doctor will probably want to adjust it based on what you report to him when you go back and your blood work.  Tell him about the joint pain.  I have been hypothyroid since 1982 and have had many adjustments.  Also, don't stop taking it without discussing it with your Doctor.  That can be dangerous.  Good luck, and welcome to the club!  :)Undecided

I have been on Synthroid for several years now and have had a great deal of hair loss.  It has finally stopped but I have several spots that are almost bald and have not started to grow back.  My hair also has no life to it and I have tried every product out there to help this problem.  I also have very dry skin and when I asked my doctor about it he just told me it was part of Hypothyroidism.  The only moisturizer that I have found that works is a mixture of Grape Seed Oil and Olive Oil.  It may sound crazy but it works!  Anyone else have any ideas about how to get my hair to grow back?

I have not had the joint pain you are describing, but I have had extreme difficulty losing weight even though I am doing all the right things! I had my thyroid checked and it was within normal range- I thought for sure it must have been my thyroid's fault for my lack of success.... has anyone ever heard of the thyriod hindering weight loss even if it is in "normal" range?

I too have been on .150 for years and years, perhaps decades for Hashimoto's Syndrome. Your post is most illuminating. I also live with Seasonally Affective Disorder. What is ED?

To AG and nenke,

I too am on synthroid.  I have arthuritis, but am interested in [now wondering] or knowing if it has anything to do with taking synthroid.

Nenke,  I do believe there is a connection of thyroid problems and trying to loose weight,  It can get so discouraging.  I have to take a chesel to get any weight off. and it seems i have to give up sooooo much.  I told my husband, i wonder at times if its worth it.  He said yes, it is, he keeps encourageing me.

I will be interested in hearing from both of you.


I have been on synthroid for a long time. My dose is 150mcg. It was just decreased. It takes 6 weeks for the changes in your lab values to show up. I am having jointpain also. My endocrinologist told me to start taking calcium 500mg and Vit D 2000 i.u. It is helping slowly.

My hair has thinned alot, my skin gets dry easily, my nails are brittle, weight gain is awful and not to mention the issues with constipation. All I can say is embrace a healthy diet and exercise as best you can. It's not easy when you just don't know who to believe about what the best diets are anymore and the high stress lives we lead compared to years ago.

Quote  |  Reply

How interesting!  I have also been taking synthroid for the past three years.  My dose is 75mcg.  I also suffer from depression and severe anxiety disorder.  I am 47 and have actually been feeling depressed of late (despite the meds) because of how my hair has thinned over the past couple of years.  It was always so very thick, and it's not anymore.  I thought it was just aging, and it might be, but I had no idea that synthroid can cause thinning hair.  I mentioned it to my doctor and she just said that I was too young for that.

In any event, I don't think that I have any additional joint pain because of it.  And it helps with my fatigue which has been a major issue.  I just love this site!

Take care,


Have you had your TSH levels tested since taking synthroid?  Perhaps the dosage your doctor gave you was actually not ENOUGH.  I wonder, because before taking synthroid, I had terrible joint pain that didn't go away until my dosage was correct.  Maybe have your levels tested again to see if the medicine is working well enough?

Hair loss and thinning is completely normal with thyroid problems. I don't think it has to do with the medication though. I know when my levels get more hypo my hair starts to thin and I lose more. 

One missed dose of medication can effect your readings, so continue to take them. It is really bad to just stop taking it. Talk to your Dr about your joint pain.

I have been on 88mcg of synthroid for almost 1.5 years.  I have Hashimoto's hypothyroidism.  For me, synthroid has been amazing.  It took about 3 weeks for it to take effect and what I noticed was that I had tons of energy.  Before synthroid I was tired all the time, my hair was thinning, and I had hormonal issues. On synthroid all of this has disappeared.

As a disclaimer, it took about 3-6 months for my doctor and I to find the perfect dosage AND I can not take generic synthroid as I fluctuate too much on it which is apparently common.  I would make sure you talk to your doctor and be patient.  You are on such a miniscule amount that changes will take time.

hey all, thanks for responding. 


meehoneybee, i too have difficulty in losing weight. i have been trying to lose weight from last 2 years after having my son. i started gaining eventhough i was exercising and eating well. thats when dr tested my thyroid levels. TSH came out as 4.5, so she referred me to an endocrinologist and he put me on 25 mcg of synthroid. when they tested two weeks back, its 2.25, but dr asked me to take synthroid for some more time. so far i have lost only 2 pounds. i am still working out and eating healthy. 



I have taken Synthroid for about 10 years now and went from 50 mcg to 75mcg about 5 years ago.  In Jan of 2009 I went on a diet and lost 100 pounds.  My doctor says I lost too much weight.  I'm 65 and have never had my weight this low ever!  Anyway, I am still on the same 75 mcg of Synthroid.  My hair has thinned out and is so limp and ugly.  It feels like baby hair-fine.  I never thought it could me the meds causing it, but after reading these posts I am going to go to my Dr. and have my blood tested.  I am getting deep muscle pains in my upper arms and legs.  I am so thankful  to have this website.  Thanks, Carole

I have Hashimoto's also, and am on 100 mcg of Synthroid. My endocrinologist told me to never take the generic brand only brand name Synthroid. I had nodules on my thyroid a little over a year ago which were biopsied and normal. My TSH level last month was 0.2, and my nodules had shrunk (I had a thyroid ultrasound to show this about the nodules). So my endocrinologist wants to keep me slightly hyperthryoid on 100 mcg so the nodules won't grow. I was just taking 88 mcg, but still felt tired. On 100 I have more energy, but have some constipation (been taking fiber supplements for this and seems to help), also noticed when I exercise my knees get sore (that may be just because the exercise requires a lot of knee squats). I too have to very much monitor what I eat cause I can gain the weight fast, but if I watch it closely I can lose fast also. It's true what one poster put - you really do need to embrace a healthy diet and exercise for your whole body to feel well with thyroid conditions.

Best wishes,


52 Replies (last)