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The Connection Between Fibromyalgia, Thyroid And Lupus

Dr. Karl R.O.S. Johnson, DC, Guest
Help My Chronic Pain
Thyroid Nation

Thyroid problems can often be found in those that also have been diagnosed with lupus or fibromyalgia. Lupus, fibromyalgia and thyroid problems share similar symptoms, and all are difficult to diagnosis from each other. It’s hard when all one can tell a doctor that is that something is terribly wrong. To make matters worst, symptoms might change on a daily basis, and symptoms for all three illnesses can vary with patients. There does seem to be a connection with those getting diagnosed with one of these illnesses and having two of them, or lupus, fibromyalgia and thyroid problems.

DrJohnsonBookThe thyroid is an endocrine gland in the front of the throat. It makes necessary hormones, T3 and T4 that regulate metabolism. Even slightly higher (hyperthyroidism) or lower (hypothyroidism) amounts of these hormones can cause significant health problems. Symptoms can include weight gain or loss, depression, anxiety, fatigue and insomnia, to name a few. Thyroid problems are diagnosed with a blood test for the thyroid hormone levels of T3 and T4. However, sometimes an individual can have borderline levels of these hormones and still have symptoms. Dr. Johnson uses functional ranges in blood tests using concepts in functional medicine.  These functional ranges are more “tight” than traditional average blood lab ranges that you see reported on your test results.  Blood test results are put into a special Blood Nutrition software program.  Using functional ranges is one of the “secrets” to why Dr. Johnson can unravel the mystery of the patient’s illness, that other doctors have not had success with.  Another secret is using the methods developed by Dr. Datis Kharrazian, to determine if an individual has one or more of the 24 patterns of thyroid malfunction.

Fibromyalgia is one of the most difficult of the illnesses to diagnose. Often a doctor will simply eliminate other problems such as thyroid illness or lupus. There is a limited test where pain, near 12 joints in the body, is tested. Symptoms of fibromyalgia include mainly fatigue and joint and muscle pain. However, a number of other varying symptoms can be found in patients. Fibromyalgia and thyroid problems may easily be connected and hard to tell apart from one another at borderline thyroid hormone levels.

Lupus is an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system attacks tissues in various parts of the body. Internal organs such as the lungs and kidneys can be attacked. The linings of the organs can be attacked causing a host of overall pain in the body. The symptoms can vary greatly but mainly include skin rashes, photosensitivity, mouth ulcers, chest pain or problems breathing, neurological problems or blood disorders, as well as fever, fatigue and hair loss. Some of these symptoms are very close to those with fibromyalgia and thyroid problems. Diagnosis of lupus is done by testing for high levels of antinuclear antibodies. As with the thyroid hormone level tests, borderline levels of antinuclear antibodies may still cause health problems.

There has been studies that indicate those with lupus may be more likely to develop thyroid problems. Since thyroid illness can also be an autoimmune disease, this connection makes perfect sense. Today fibromyalgia has only a limited test. as nothing physiologically can be found connecting all patients with the disease. But, because of the common symptoms, one suffering from thyroid illness or lupus might also have fibromyalgia even if a doctor can not diagnose it.

Fatigue, pain and symptoms that can occur in all three illnesses connect lupus, fibromyalgia and thyroid illnesses. Not all doctors might see the connection and instead only treat one or two of these diseases, then wonder why a patient is still experiencing problems. The connection between the illnesses is something that Dr. Johnson and other like-minded doctors are looking into. With the advent of specialized testing developed by Dr. Aristo Vjodani, we are finding a possible link.

Dr. Karl Johnson believes in the philosophy of “treating the patient, not the diagnosis”, for patient care. Johnson Neuro-Metabolic Therapy is a multi-pronged diagnostic and treatment approach whose goal is to balance body chemistry, reduce imbalances in brain function and mitigate the effects of stressors on the body.  In short, we “dig deep” to find out the underlying cause to your chronic condition nightmare.

About the Author

dr-johnsonDr. Karl Johnson, DC  is a certified graduate of the American Functional Neurology Institute and is Board Certified in Integrative Medicine through the American Association of Integrative Medicine. He is also extensively trained in Functional Endocrinology, Functional Blood Chemistry Analysis, and Science Based Nutrition as well as Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Techniques (Advanced Level II Certified) and Nutrition Response Testing (both Functional Neuromuscular Muscle Testing methods).  Another distinction of Dr. Johnson is that he was fortunate to be one of the first to be certified in Motion Palpation by Dr. L. John Faye, DC in 1983. Dr. Johnson is a Certified Gluten Practitioner and is listed as such at Currently Dr. Johnson, DC is enrolled at Functional Medicine University and the International Academy of Medical Acupuncture. After successful completion of the programs, he will have earned a fellowship from both organizations.

Questions or anything to add about fibromyalgia, thyroid disease and lupus? We want your thoughts in the comments section–Please!

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  1. How do you tell a Dr your sick and in pain so they will believe. I’ve been suffering with graves since I was a child and I’m 40 now and suffering with my kidneys my whole life on top of other problems but a solid few months with them and I can’t get anyone to take me serious.

  2. Hi I have fibermyalgia and orthostatic tremours yes a double whammy just alway ingred feeling like the flu and pain in the legs and hands and neck and feet everyday !

    • Dianne, I’m so sorry. I don’t have Fibro but I have many friends that do and are in a ton of pain. 🙁

      Keep us posted on your progress.
      ~Danna 🙂

  3. I have been diagnosed with an undefined
    Autoimmune disorder (suspect Lupus) fibro and Hasimotos autoimmune thyroid condition. Reading this article leads me to believe my Autoimmune is Lupus! They have treated the Thyroid and Fibro but not the autoimmune disorder and I feel that why I’m struggling so much.

  4. I had my thyroid gland removed at the age.of 15! I’m sure no one knew the effect it would have on my health, so therefore, I was never told. I’ve suffered through all my adulthood, never getting answers. Now I’m 62, with type 2 diabetes, fibromyalgia, sjogrens, bad arthritis, lung disease, you name it. Finaly properly diagnosed at the age of 59. Yet I still have other issues my dr refuses to admit are caused by any of what I currently have wrong with me. I do research periodically, to keep myself up to date. The pain I get now, is situated in one spot. Each time it flares in same spot, my knee. Then in a day or three, it disappears. I just wish I had someone to talk to, that understands.

  5. Jennifer Rabalais on

    Can you be my doctor???? My doctors seem to be quacks. They can’t figure out anything wrong with me. Plus when I present with new or additional symptoms, they tell me we will discuss them on my next visit. I have a “rash” of so many symptoms. but I feel my biggest issue is lack of insurance and the right doctor. I am in New Orleans, LA. Do you have any suggestions? I am tired of feeling like S**T all the time with no relief in sight. Plus I am sick of hearing how different people try to compare the way they feel with me like some competition on who feels worse. I seriously want to just go away. But I have a family with young children. PLEASE help.

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