Do you suffer with both, Thyroid Disease and Fibromyalgia??
In previous articles we demonstrated that patients with fibromyalgia lack the essential amino acid “phenylalanine” and also the amino acid “tyrosine” and the neurotransmitter “dopamine“, both of which are derived from phenylalanine. The lack of dopamine would explain the brain gray matter loss found in patients with fibromyalgia.
As the graph below shows, both of the thyroid hormones (thyroxine and triiodothyronine) are also derived from tyrosine, so we would expect to see an association between fibromyalgia and hypothyroidism (a condition in which the thyroid gland does not make enough thyroid hormone).
According to the National Institutes of Health, hypothyroidism is an associated disorder of fibromyalgia (Bazzichi, 2012).
We would also expect to find evidence of a lack of tyrosine in patients with hypothyroidism. Just as we would expect, researchers in the following study found low levels of tyrosine in patients with hypothyroidism.
The serum tyrosine level as an index of thyroid function.
Serum tyrosine was measured in 22 normal subjects…10 patients with hypothyroidism… Low values were obtained in hypothyroidism…
Symptoms of hypothyroidism:
- Sensitivity to cold
- Thin, brittle hair and fingernails
- Weight gain
- Joint or muscle pain
- Heavier menstrual periods
- Dry, pale skin
Take home message:
Fibromyalgia patients lack the enzymes that digest dietary proteins. Proteins contain essential amino acids such as phenylalanine. Research confirms that patients with fibromyalgia lack phenylalanine and the amino acid tyrosine, which is derived from phenylalanine. Tyrosine is needed to produce both of the thyroid hormones. The lack of tyrosine would explain the association between fibromyalgia and hypothyroidism.
Also, notice from the graph what else we should find lacking in patients with fibromyalgia. Dopamine is needed to produce adrenaline and noradrenaline. We will discuss the lack of adrenaline and noradrenaline in patients with fibromyalgia in our next post.