Carpal Tunnel & Hypothyroidism

| October 22, 2017 | 0 Comments

Think of carpal tunnel as running an engine with no oil or playing a fiddle with a dry bow. There’s a “wristband” of ligaments that wraps around your wrist called the transverse ligament. Bundled beneath it are ligaments and the median nerve that move and innervate your fingers. Each time you flex your fingers, it’s like a piston moving in a cylinder or a bow gliding across the strings of a fiddle.

All of these movements create friction and heat. In order to lessen this friction, you keep oil in your engine and you rosin your fiddle bow. The lubricant for joints and ligaments are glucose/amino acid compounds called “glycosaminoglycans”. Glycosaminoglycans are what make snot slippery enough for critters to slide out of your nose.

The linking of glucose to amino acids requires energy. Energy is produced when we burn sugar in the presence of oxygen, using thyroid hormone as the spark plugs. Low thyroid=low energy=reduced glycosaminoglycans =increased friction, heat and tissue damage.

Anytime there is tissue damage, whether ligaments or roadkill, critters come in to their Intelligent Design duty of recycling. Unless you’re dead, your immune system responds with inflammation. This creates swelling that compresses the median nerve.

So, two objectives in treating carpal tunnel. The “capping the well” strategy is done with M. O. A. B. (Mother of all Balms). This will immediately stop the inflammation that causes the swelling in carpal tunnel syndrome that short circuits the median nerve. Second objective is to restore glycosaminoglycans, add oil to the engine, by providing thyroid hormone. This is most effectively done in peripheral neuropathies (Same strategy with diabetic peripheral neuropathy) using thyroid cream applied directly to the wrists.


Read more from the Mayo Clinic below.

Hypothyroidism — a condition in which your thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormone — is an uncommon cause of peripheral neuropathy.Peripheral neuropathy is damage to your peripheral nerves — the nerves that carry information to and from your brain and spinal cord (central nervous system) and the rest of your body, such as your arms and legs.

Peripheral neuropathy may be caused by severe, long-term, untreated hypothyroidism. Although the association between hypothyroidism and peripheral neuropathy isn’t fully understood, it’s known that hypothyroidism can cause fluid retention resulting in swollen tissues that exert pressure on peripheral nerves.

One of the more common areas this occurs in is the wrists, because the nerve serving the hands goes through a “tunnel” of soft tissue, which can swell, pressing on the nerve, resulting in carpal tunnel syndrome. The vast majority of carpal tunnel syndrome cases are not due to hypothyroidism, but this would be the most likely area for this to occur with hypothyroidism.

Signs and symptoms of peripheral neuropathy may include pain, a burning sensation, or numbness and tingling in the area affected by the nerve damage. It may also cause muscle weakness or loss of muscle control.

See your doctor if you know or suspect you have hypothyroidism and you’re having troubling or painful symptoms in your limbs.


Treatment of peripheral neuropathy due to hypothyroidism is directed at managing the underlying hypothyroidism and treating the resulting symptoms. This may include:

  • Levothyroxine (Synthroid, Unithroid, others), which is a medication for hypothyroidism that often improves the symptoms of neuropathy
  • Exercising and maintaining a healthy weight, which can help minimize stress on your body as well as strengthen affected limbs

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Category: General Health, Inflammation, Joint Health

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