Heart disease, kidney dysfunction, diabetes, and skin infections are common culprits considered when a patient presents with swelling of legs and feet, but the possibility of hypothyroidism should always be considered. Swelling (edema) is a classic symptom of hypothyroidism and this includes swelling all over the body. In 2013, a 21-year-old presented with generalized swelling including pitted edema in both legs and feet. In contrast to non-pitting edema, pressing of the pitting edema will cause an indentation to remain on the skin well after the pressure is released. Her edema subsided with thyroid medication. According to professor of medicine Dr. Neki, peripheral (the extremities including the arms, legs, feet, and hands) is found in 55% of hypothyroidism patients and periorbital edema (swelling around the orbits of the eyes) is found in 22%.
The number of people that write to Hypothyroid Mom about plantar fasciitis, the pain along the bottom of the foot especially the heel that shoots through them especially when they step out of bed in the morning, can’t be a mere coincidence. In the case of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Graves’ disease, the immune system can also attack the joints and muscles frequently in the feet and ankles. Like carpal tunnel syndrome, thyroid patients are also more vulnerable to develop tarsal tunnel syndrome. Add to this the increased risk of developing gout , burning feet from painful neuropathy , and plantar fasciitis , and the incidence of foot pain in thyroid disease becomes very clear.
Paresthesia can present in hypothyroidism. Researchers explain that the axonal myelin sheath, the insulating layer around nerves, begins to degenerate without sufficient thyroid hormone, and regeneration of damaged nerves also slows. Autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Sjögren’s syndrome, pernicious anemia, arthritis, and Type 1 diabetes can all present with paresthesia. I would guess that the majority of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Graves’ disease patients that follow Hypothyroid Mom have multiple autoimmune diseases.10 signs your feet are warning you about a thyroid problem – Hypothyroid Mom