Thyroid cancer starts in the thyroid gland. Cancer begins when cancer cells grow uncontrollably. The thyroid gland makes hormones to regulate your heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature.
The thyroid gland is situated at the front of the neck, below the thyroid cartilage. It can’t be felt or seen in many people. It has a butterfly-like shape, with two lobes, the right and the left, joined by a narrow gland piece called an isthmus. People are often confused about whether they’re having thyroid foot pain. However, we will try to clear your doubts with the below-provided info about thyroid cancer and foot pain.
Thyroid Cancer Symptoms
Thyroid cancer can lead to a wide variety of signs and symptoms:
- A quickly growing neck lump
- Neck swelling
- Thyroid foot pain
- Pain in the neck, sometimes also in the ears
- Voice hoarseness and other changes that don’t go away
- Difficulty in breathing
- Difficulty swallowing
- A cough that doesn’t happen because of cold
While not common, thyroid foot pain occurs in this condition. Most symptoms can result from non-cancerous conditions or neck area cancers. Thyroid foot pain and lumps are common and often benign. If there are any signs, it’s vital to consult your doctor.
Does Foot Pain Occur Because Of Hypothyroidism?
Many people experience thyroid foot pain and muscle & joint issues with hypothyroidism or thyroid cancer. Certainly, hypothyroidism can result in:
- Tenderness, stiffness, and muscle aches, mainly in the hips and shoulders
- Stiffness and thyroid foot pain
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Swelling in small joints in the feet and hands
Thyroid patients experience foot pain after putting on uncomfortable shoes or spending some time on their feet. However, frequent foot pain might point to another underlying issue. Hypothyroidism results in different foot pain types, like muscle and joint pain.
Feet Care With Hypothyroidism
There are many options for hypothyroidism foot pain treatment. Firstly, be sure to wear shoes that are supportive and comfortable. You should put on shoes with high heels that are narrow at the box or don’t have enough support and are hard on the muscles, ligaments, and joints.
Hypothyroidism also aggravates the muscles and joints in the feet, causing thyroid foot pain. After mixing all such factors, putting on unsupportive shoes results in pain in the feet. Rather, select shoes with a roomy toe box and low heels with support.
You can also relieve thyroid foot pain with the help of orthotics. Orthotics or custom arch supports are put on inside shoes. These are made up of foot mold, so they can perfectly fit the feet and support you when you need them. You can also slip such devices into shoes that you put on every day, and it lets you get a perfect fit.
Hypothyroidism is bad news, but the positive side is that it is manageable. You can ask your doctor about custom arch support or orthotics to get relief from thyroid foot pain. They might suggest you try special shoe stores to get these devices.
OTC Pain Relief
Common OTC pain relievers like ibuprofen (Motrin IB, Advil, others) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) help reduce thyroid foot pain. However, having adequate thyroid replacement is the main treatment option and helps lessen the pain.
Thyroid Impact On Feet
The thyroid gland takes out and regulates hormones and is responsible for everything from peripheral nervous system functions to heart rate. So, you can be surprised to find that the same disorder makes you feel brain foggy and tired and can also lead to foot changes. Also, your feet become alert that something is going on with the thyroid. Let’s know how thyroid foot pain occurs:
You Can Have Cracked And Dry Feet.
While we know that many reasons are why someone can have cracked and dry feet, including winter weather, and long-distance runs, your thyroid can play a major role in thyroid foot pain. Most people with hypothyroidism complain of cracked and dry skin on their feet and soles, mostly the heels. You would also feel painful and deep fissures or that the skin is almost leathery in appearance and thickness. It can be a sign to check the thyroid.
Your Hands And Feet Seem Cold
As the thyroid is responsible for metabolism, the underactive thyroid slows down metabolism, which causes a drop in body temperature. Due to this, you notice that your hands and feet seem to be cold to touch. You would also notice that thyroid foot pain worsens in cold weather. Some hypothyroidism patients also deal with a condition known as Raynaud’s phenomenon, where the hands and feet are cold enough to turn white or blue after they turn numb.
You’ve Got Swollen Feet.
Again, many things can result in swollen feet; however, you should get a thyroid check if you notice swelling in the ankles and feet with thyroid foot pain. People with hypothyroidism are prone to form tarsal tunnel syndrome, leading to permanent nerve damage. You can have a podiatrist for regular care when you’ve got a diagnosis of thyroid disorder.
When you see any thyroid foot pain changes and want a close look, you should consider showing a podiatrist. Should they suspect that the thyroid disease can be at play, you can also consult with your doctor for any blood work.
Who Is At Risk?
Risk factors increasing thyroid and foot pain include:
Female sex: Thyroid cancer can occur more often in women than men. Experts can think it to be related to the estrogen hormone. Being assigned the female sex organs at birth leads to high estrogen levels.
High radiation levels exposure: The radiation therapy treatments to the head and the neck increases thyroid cancer risk.
Certain inherited genetic syndrome risks: The genetic syndromes that increase the risk of thyroid cancer are familial medullary thyroid cancer, multiple endocrine neoplasias, familial adenomatous polyposis, and Cowden syndrome. Some thyroid cancer types running in families are papillary thyroid cancer and medullary thyroid cancer.
Keep in mind that people with hypothyroid feet have a high risk of developing other autoimmune diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis causing more frequent thyroid foot pain. The doctor can point out other joint pain reasons when stiffness, swelling, and pain don’t improve after adequate thyroid treatment. So, we can say that every foot pain doesn’t cause thyroid cancer, but every thyroid cancer brings foot pain.
Most thyroid cancers respond well to treatment and are not life-threatening. After thyroid and hypothyroidism foot pain treatment or surgery, the body needs thyroid hormones for functioning. You would need thyroid replacement hormone therapy to get rid of thyroid foot pain. Synthetic thyroid hormones like levothyroxine take over for thyroid hormones that the body doesn’t make. It’s best to consult your doctor at the earliest if you experience symptoms like fast heart rate, a neck lump, fatigue, or unexplained weight gain or loss.
At University Cancer Centers, we believe in rolling out the best cancer treatments and care to the patients and helping them throughout the treatment process. If you have any symptoms of thyroid cancer, feel free to request a call for a consultation.