Thyroid Issues, Rheumatoid Arthritis & Symptoms

graphic for medical tests, bandage, shot, xrays, pills

Shots, pills, imaging tests, blood tests and more doctors.

Thyroid Issues

Today was my first appointment with the Endocrinologist (gland doctor). I talked to two doctors, one inspected my throat area and they looked at recent blood tests and previous ultrasound of my thyroid. They discussed the nodule as being vascular which has blood vessels in it and a biopsy could lead to bleeding. We discussed symptoms I have been having from feeling like my body is on fire to feeling extremely cold, weight loss at 10 lbs a week during “flares”. To trouble swallowing, choking when I drink or eat at times during flares. Trouble breathing  usually during the evening hours.

They decided to start by ordering better imaging and seeing what the thyroid is doing from what I understood. They also ordered more blood tests which I did before we left. As we were pulling out of the parking lot I received a call from their office. The imaging appointment had been setup, it is a two day test and I must not eat any seafood for 7 days prior to the test.

Day one I will go in at 9:30 a.m. and take a pill around 10 then wait 4 hours and go in for the images. Then I will head home for the night probably around 4 p.m.. The next morning I go in at 9:30 for images again. Sounds fun right? I do this in about a week, then go back for results around mid August.

Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis and/or Other Diseases and/or Side Effect of Drugs?

It seems pretty common to see other RA patients that have a long list of diseases and medications listed in their forum signature. Sometimes the symtoms of the multiple diseases commingle, making it hard to know what is causing the issues. Sometimes while talking to other RA patients we discover we have some of the same symptoms that we have not discussed or mentioned to anyone. That happened to me this past week on Twitter while discussing in direct messages some symptoms with another patient who is currently having thyroid test done as well. The symptom we discussed was the feeling of our tongues stiffening at times. We did not go into more details but I will explain how it happens with me.

At times I have felt like my body was on fire and during those times I usually lose weight quickly. But also during those times sometimes I get so cold that my body will not stop shaking (hard shivering) and it just seems to get worse until it feels like the back of my tongue is stiffening up or getting hard. I have found if I get myself under blankets I slowly start warming up and the coldness stops. Both being overheated and severely cold are very scary. These symptoms are usually happening during a hard flare, for me the last time was during a hard shoulder flare in January when I had trouble with the weight of my head causing increase pain (see Bad Week, Hard Lessons). But the feeling of being extremely cold happens less for me than the feeling of my body being on fire.

Symptom List

So here I will try to list the symptoms I have or have had since December of 2003. How many of these symptoms have you had?

  • Fatigue
  • Brain fog
  • Fever
  • Stiffness – all joints or many at the same time.
  • Swollen Joints – feet, hips, shoulders/back.
  • Tender Joints – all or many at the same time.
  • Sore muscles
  • Loss of feeling in legs, feet, arms or hands. Usually both at the same time. Improved after starting B-12 shots weekly.
  • Pins & needles? legs, feet, arms or hands. Improved after starting B-12 shots weekly, if I miss a shot I start feeling pins & needles after 10 days without it.
  • Popping Joints – snap, crackle and pop has a whole new meaning.
  • Crackling in neck area.
  • Swollen muscles – from shoulder down spine and over to ribs.
  • Pain
  • Optical Migraines – No pain just shimmering light. Have not had one in months until today, just had one while making lunch. Usually stops after 10-15 minutes sometimes last a couple hours.
  • Depression
  • Anxiety – Increasing times in the last 2 years.
  • At times during extreme pain I cannot stand noise at all, no television, radio or other people talking.
  • Forgetfulness
  • Shoulder and spine so weak that I can not take the weight of my head. During this time I cannot lay flat on a bed because it will cause extreme pressure in my forehead.
  • Feeling like my body is on fire.
  • Sweating
  • Frequent Urination – usually my first sign that a bad flare is coming, I will have to go every 5-10 minutes and it is like I haven’t went in hours.
  • Increase Bowel Movements – 4-6 a day.
  • Freezing – body shivers like crazy and sometimes my tongue starts feeling like it is stiffening from the throat forward.
  • Broken teeth
  • Sore Jaws
  • Stiffening jaws – Usually while I am trying to eat, my jaws will stiffen more making it harder to open my mouth and eat.
  • Swollen lymph nodes – They swell up and go down in size.
  • Night sweats
  • Eyeballs feeling extremely itchy and dry (only happened once during the night).
  • Dizziness – started in the last 2 years. Many of the drugs I have been on and are currently on have stickers on them that they may cause dizziness.
  • Feeling like I just walked through spiderwebs across my front of neck, lower cheek, chin area and down top of my arms with some numbness. This happened a few times after my worse hip flare. Hips were a little weak still and I was riding on the motorcycle.
  • Feeling bruised across throat
  • Ear pain – feels like something swells up.
  • Crackling noise while massaging throat (thyroid area), I found applying pressure and massaging that area reduces or ends the pain.
  • Choking started in the last 2 years when eating or drinking
  • Trouble breathing in the last 2 years.
  • Food being forced back up my throat has happened 4-5 times in the last 9 years. The Endocrinologist said to be sure to tell the RA doctor this symptom, not sure why that one was important.
  • Dry, red and thick skin on feet (in the beginning, went away after starting Enbrel)
  • Recently fluttering in multiple places. Started feeling that after I started muscle relaxers and Vitamin D. RA Doctor suggested it was nerves fluttering.
  • Bumps on index fingers between joints, sometimes itchy. Just started in the last 2 weeks.
  • Thyroid nodule in right lobe and tiny cyst in left lobe (found with imaging and ultrasound).
  • Popping in forehead (last year while trying Prozac, never again. Psychiatrist recommended to have thyroid checked and I didn’t really need Prozac.)
  • Extreme headache which causes vomiting, a couple times this past year.
  • Mouth and throat drying out when I lay down, this started in the last year.
I probably have forgotten some of the symptoms I have had. What are some of the symptoms you have experienced? Have you had any strange ones?

9 Responses to Thyroid Issues, Rheumatoid Arthritis & Symptoms

  • Tanya Martin says:

    Oh and swollen lymph nodes.

  • Tanya Martin says:

    Cold hands & feet.
    Clump of veins on leg swelled up during January hard flare.

  • Tanya Martin says:

    20 plus lumps in back muscles. Physical therapist said it was some type of acid built up, they crackled while she massaged them.

  • Jenn says:

    Brain fog
    Swollen Joints (now but not often before)
    Tender Joints
    Pins & needles, tingling
    Popping Joints – snap, crackle and pop has a whole new meaning.
    At times during extreme pain I cannot stand noise at all, no television, radio or other people talking. Totally!!
    Forgetfulness (severe)
    burning in feet (over a year ago)
    Frequent Urination – I keep complaining about it and the docs just shrug
    Increase Bowel Movements – 4-6 a day.
    Freezing – not shivering so much as cold.
    Sore Jaw
    painful jaw
    Night sweats
    Eyeballs feeling extremely itchy and dry (only happened once during the night) – I have severe dry eyes!
    Feel like a bug is crawling on me or water is drinking on me
    sore throat
    Just recently can’t swallow big pills. Throat feels like is it inflamed/smaller around.
    Trouble breathing
    Food being forced back up my throat (see above for me) btw, sorry cause talk about a hard thing to live with.
    Mouth and throat dry all the time
    cold hands and feet (raynauds)

    What I have different than you: chronic bursitis, baker’s cysts back of knees, swelling on back of hands (told it was the bone), eyes very much affected.

  • Melissa says:

    I got bumps on my fingers a few months ago. They lasted quite a wihle and a couple of them itched (I had about half a dozen on four different fingers). It was odd and I thought it was just me!

  • Annette says:

    There is a little joint in your throat that can be inflamed and cause problems. It’s the crico-arytenoid But that doesn’t account for many of your problems. That’s a lot of weight to lose. Anxiety used to be my worst symptom. Hope you get some answers

  • Tanya Martin says:

    @Melissa I thought it was strange that it was on the same fingers both sides. Kind of like some RA Symptoms hit. My doctor thinks it was an allergic reaction to soap or something.

    @Annette I thought the times I would rub and hear it crackle that it might of been those small bones in the throat area….

  • Pingback: Muscle Relaxers, Other Drugs, Different View on RA & Hope | Tanya Martin

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Biotinidase Deficiency Not RA
Diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis in Dec 2003 because of joint pain and fatigue. Found out on July 19, 2013 that I really was profoundly low on Vitamin B7 because of a rare disease called Biotinidase Deficiency. When I found out I was very weak, hardly could get out of bed, could not turn my head without getting light headed, dragging my feet when I tried to walk, struggled to breath daily for years and was having many many other issues. From the first 24 hours of taking Biotin my symptoms started to disappear and my body started getting stronger again.
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