Each of these symptoms can be the result of thyroid problems, but I didn’t realize how much until I developed a case of something which appeared to be very similar to something called “Painful Subacute Thyroiditis” (SAT). SAT can exhibit all these symptoms together and more. This condition is supposedly rare, but I find myself wondering if its simply another one of those conditions that is woefully under-diagnosed and/or mis-diagnosed. My own physicians didn’t recognize it despite the similarities. If anyone reading this has experienced these symptoms, I would recommend reading the section on SAT here. It may be another clue to yet another thyroid problem which exists in much great numbers than is currently recognized.
Another potential aspect to consider in all this is something called “Accessory Thyroid Tissue” or “Ectopic Thyroid Tissue”. This is where parts of thyroid tissue can be located anywhere from the very base of the tongue, down through the normal location of the thyroid gland at the base of the neck, and continuing down towards the thymus gland. I often wondered if I had this, because whenever my thyroid gland symptoms flared, these other symptoms, especially at the base of the tongue, the “thick tongue”, and the difficulty swallowing, occurred. Additionally, it felt like my thymus gland was flaring as well, as I describe here; however, another possibility is that I have accessory thyroid tissue and this was occurring. According to Wiki, “Lingual (base of tongue) thyroid is 4-7 times more common in females, with symptoms developing during puberty, pregnancy or menopause. Lingual thyroid may be asymptomatic, or give symptoms such as dysphagia (difficulty swallowing), dysphonia (difficulty talking) and dyspnea (difficulty breathing)”.
In my case, I developed SAT-like symptoms which were clearly and unequivocally iodine induced in Year 5 post Cipro. However, that is when the symptoms became so extreme and obvious, that I finally recognized it. I was not able to get an ESR or TG measurement done during the acute phase; I wish I had, as high levels of these are considered diagnostic for SAT. So I can’t say with certainty that my suspected self-diagnosis was the traditional or classic case of SAT. However, symptom wise, it certainly was a good fit, and I suspect I may have had a waxing and waning milder case of this as part of my floxing syndrome overall. This SAT developed on top of the Hashi’s that I have, which makes recovery of my thyroid gland somewhere between very slow to non-existent in my opinion. I also think it has exacerbated my symptoms and suffering from them overall as well.
I also wonder how many floxed people originally went to their physicians for the above symptoms and were given an antibiotic such as FQ’s for them. I wonder how many of these cases might have been SAT or some other type of thyroiditis, instead of or in addition to the non-specified “sore throats”, “bronchitis”, “flu’s”, “fevers”, and “sinus infections” typically diagnosed . I would suspect that if SAT/thyroiditis was in fact occurring, then giving an FQ as the antibiotic of choice under these conditions might be the worst thing that can happen. Treating any type of thyroiditis with an FQ might be the final trigger to a thyrotoxic reaction and/or autoimmune reactions to the thyroid system in general. If the thyroiditis is definitely infectious, then of course an appropriate antibiotic or anti-fungal would be warranted, but knowing what I know now, I would never use an FQ antibiotic under these circumstances unless an infectious cause was definitively ruled in.
For more discussions with my updated thoughts on these particular symptoms, see the page “Anatomy of an Iodine-Induced Flare“.