fibromyalgia.) In Chapter 5, I discuss the other autoimmune conditions that may accompany autoimmune thyroiditis. Among them are arthritis and other joint conditions. Although the “thyroid troubles” aren’t to blame for the tendon troubles and trigger finger, they suggest that you may be prone to other diseases. The main ones besides arthritis are celiac disease, hypoadrenalism, diabetes type 1, and pernicious anemia. Each of these conditions has its own set of symptoms. The fact that you have thyroid troubles along with arthritic problems suggests that you’re suffering from another disease as well. Ideally, you may be able to cure your other troubles by curing your thyroid disease. Unfortunately, other conditions run their own course, so you may suffer from other symptoms even if your thyroid condition becomes normal. If you have autoimmune thyroiditis (chronic thyroiditis), you have a tendency to suffer from other autoimmune diseases. Although you’re still unlikely to experience them, your chances of getting one are greater than someone who doesn’t have autoimmune thyroiditis.
Taking Antithyroid Drugs Long Term My husband bought Thyroid For Dummies so that we could learn more about my hyperthyroidism. I was stunned to read that no rule says that antithyroid pills cannot be given for more than a year, because I was led to believe otherwise. I was told that I could only take methimazole for 1 1/2 to 2 years after which I would have to take radioactive iodine if my thyroid did not go into remission. About 3 months after ending methimazole, tests showed I was again hyperthyroid and I was advised to take radioactive iodine. As I’ve noted previously, no reason exists not to take antithyroid drugs for as long as you need them. About 50 percent of the patients who take antithyroid drugs go into remission. If you don’t fall into this lucky group, you can still go back on the antithyroid drugs for another trial. Many of my patients have gone into remission after a year on antithyroid drugs, but some have required two or even three years. I eventually try to take all of them off of methimazole, because I don’t like to use drugs as a general rule. But if a patient has a recurrence and is willing to continue to try drugs, I don’t hesitate to put her on antithyroid drugs again. However, some people are allergic to antithyroid medication, while others experience a fall in white blood cell count when taking the drug, which reverses when they stop taking it. In such cases, I first try the other common antithyroid drug. If that too is a problem, I go on to radioactive iodine.