The Link Between Hypothyroidism and Neuropathy

General Neurology located in Albuquerque, NM

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The Link Between Hypothyroidism and Neuropathy

If you have hypothyroidism and are experiencing numbness, or tingling, you may have neuropathy. Hypothyroidism can lead to nerve damage and dysfunction. Get the right treatment to manage both conditions.

If you’re living with hypothyroidism, you may be well aware of the impact it can have on your metabolism, energy levels, mood, and general ability to function. But did you know that hypothyroidism can also lead to nerve damage? 

Here at Neurology Specialists of AbluquerqueDr. Timothy Ownbey provides comprehensive care for patients with a full range of neurological conditions, including neuropathy. In this post, we’ll explore the link between hypothyroidism and neuropathy and what you can do to manage your symptoms.

What is hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism is a condition in which your thyroid gland fails to produce enough thyroid hormone. This hormone is essential for regulating your body's metabolism, and when it’s low, you may experience symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain, cold intolerance, and depression, to name a few. 

Hypothyroidism is more common in women and can be caused by a variety of factors, including autoimmune disorders, surgery, radiation therapy, nutritional deficiencies, and certain medications.

What is neuropathy?

Neuropathy refers to nerve damage that can cause a wide range of symptoms, including pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness in the affected areas. Neuropathy can be caused by a variety of factors, including diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and certain medications. It can also be caused by exposure to toxins, such as heavy metals or chemotherapy drugs.

The link between hypothyroidism and neuropathy

Hypothyroidism may affect the peripheral nervous system and lead to neuropathy. This is because thyroid hormone is essential for maintaining the health and function of the nerves. When thyroid hormone levels are low, the nerves may not function properly, and this can lead to nerve damage and neuropathy.

In addition, hypothyroidism can also lead to other health problems that can increase the risk of neuropathy. For example, people with hypothyroidism are more likely to have diabetes or prediabetes, which can also cause nerve damage. They may also be more prone to vitamin deficiencies that can lead to nerve damage, such as a lack of vitamin B12 or folate.

Managing hypothyroidism and neuropathy

If you have hypothyroidism and are experiencing symptoms of neuropathy, it is essential to work with your doctor to manage both conditions. Here are some steps you can take to manage your symptoms:

#1 — Get your thyroid hormone levels checked regularly 

Work with your doctor to ensure that your thyroid levels are in the optimal range. This may involve taking thyroid hormone replacement therapy, such as levothyroxine, which can help to regulate your thyroid hormone levels.

#2 — Address any underlying causes of your neuropathy

Address conditions such as diabetes that may contribute to neuropathy. This may involve making changes to your lifestyle, such as improving your diet, exercising regularly, or quitting smoking.

#3 — Treat symptoms of neuropathy

Medication and other therapies, such as physical therapy or nerve stimulation can help manage neuropathy symptoms. Some common medications used to treat neuropathy include antidepressants, anticonvulsants, and pain relievers.

By taking steps to manage your hypothyroidism and address the underlying causes of your neuropathy, you can reduce your symptoms and improve your quality of life. Remember that managing hypothyroidism and neuropathy is a long-term process, and it may take time to improve. 

If you’re dealing with neuropathy, let our team help you manage your condition and improve your wellness. Get started today by calling the Neurology Specialists of Albuquerque team. Our scheduling coordinator is pleased to assist you in scheduling a visit with Dr. Ownbey.