The body is controlled by chemicals known as hormones. These are produced in minute quantities by minute organs, but have great control on almost all body functions. There are different hormones, each determining different functions like how tall a person will grow, how strong the bones will be, how well a person can react to stress and the reproductive ages. There is also a master gland called the pituitary which is situated somewhere deep in the brain, which controls all these organs. Small variations in the amount of these chemicals in the body produce significant effect on their respective control organ.
Thyroid is one such major gland, which produces a hormone called thyroxine or T4 as it is commonly called. This controls metabolism and emotional health to a large extent. Reduced amounts of T4 is very common in women, and with altered metabolism, there is increased musculoskeletal pain in various joints.
Here are some of the best ways to reduce Joint Pain from Hypothyroidism:
- Step Up to Low-Impact Aerobics: Twenty to 60 minutes of near-daily aerobics — really any exercise that gets your heart pumping — can help speed up your metabolism and counter weight gain, a common hypothyroidism symptom and a contributor to joint pain. But if you have joint or knee pain, choose low-impact aerobics. Swimming is the ideal low-impact aerobic exercise — the water buoys your body and cushions joints.
- Strengthen Your Muscles: Strength- or weight-training exercises build muscle mass, which uses more calories than fat even at rest. That promotes weight loss and can ease the strain on your joints. Stronger muscles also directly help protect nearby joints. For example, strengthening exercises such as squats, lunges, and leg lifts develop the muscles that support the knees. Start slow with 15 repetitions of each exercise. Then build up to three sets of 15 reps each.
- Get Plenty of Sleep: Sleep is the time for muscles and joints to recover. If you're not sleeping well, you are not recovering as fast as you could be. What's more, when you're sleep deprived, you're likely to crave junk and comfort foods that can contribute to weight gain, which adds stress to your joints and increases joint pain. Aim for seven to eight hours of quality sleep each night.
- Stick to a Healthy Diet: Replace the junk food that can lead to weight gain with choices that enhance your health. For example, add fatty fish to your diet. It's a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, known to decrease inflammation, which may be contributing to your muscle and joint pain. Coldwater fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, and tuna have some the highest amounts of omega-3s. Also be sure to get lots of fresh fruit and vegetables high in antioxidants, which may counter inflammation, too.
- Practice Yoga: Yoga poses are a great way to provide relief for joint pain while also increasing flexibility. For shoulder pain, look for poses that open your chest, like this simple pose: Sit with your feet flat on the floor. As you inhale, stretch your arms over your head. Clasp your hands together over your head and then turn your palms up toward the ceiling. Drop your shoulders and straighten up as if pushing through your head. Hold for 30 seconds. Release your hands, bringing them down behind you. Next, clasp your hands behind your back and lift your arms. Hold for another 30 seconds.
- Don't Let Fatigue Win: Fatigue is one of the most common hypothyroidism symptoms. Even though you might feel listless, you'll benefit from exercise because it will rev your metabolism and help you maintain flexibility despite muscle and joint pain. If you're too exhausted to complete a full exercise routine, break it up into several short bouts — even 10 minutes done three times a day will be effective. Also, stretching and relaxation exercises within two hours of bedtime may help you sleep better.
- Meditate for Stress Relief: Having a chronic condition such as hypothyroidism can be stressful, and that stress can actually contribute to pain and tension. That's why it's important to find ways to reduce stress, such as the practice of mindfulness meditation. This form of meditation teaches you how to distract yourself from what's bothering you by refocusing your attention, often on your own breathing.
Thyroid hormones help all your organs work well. They control how your body uses food for energy.
What Do Thyroids Do
Thyroid hormones affect your metabolism rate, which means how fast or slow your brain, heart, muscles, liver, and other parts of your body work. If your body works too fast or too slowly, you won’t feel well. For example, if you don’t have enough thyroid hormone, you might feel tired and cold. Or, if you have too much thyroid hormone, you might feel nervous, jumpy, and warm.
What hormones does my thyroid gland produce?
The thyroid gland produces thyroxine (T4), which is a relatively inactive prohormone and lower amounts of the active hormone, triiodothyronine (T3). Collectively, T3 and T4 are referred to as the thyroid hormones. Twenty percent of the body’s triiodothyronine is made by the thyroid gland; the other 80% comes from thyroxine converted by organs such as the liver or kidneys.
The thyroid gland also produces calcitonin from cells called C-cells. Calcitonin is understood to play a role in regulating calcium levels in the body, but its exact function in humans remains unclear. Thyroid hormone is one such chemical which has effect on all organs of the body including the joints. Vague pains may be due to thyroid disorders. They are easy to manage with treatment. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an endocrinologist.