Thank you for your great question. I work with many patients that suffer from lyme disease and many patients that suffer from hypothyroidism. There are many things to consider when it comes to your case and much of it should really be flushed out with a health care provider who is well versed in both of these areas but I will review some key concepts to review and think about.
It sounds like you have been treated for lyme disease but you may need to entertain the possibility that all aspects of that infection have not been totally resolved. Co-infections can persist and I suggest that you make sure to consult with someone about the possibility of additional treatment for the seemingly related symptoms and possible co-infections. There are excellent herbal protocols that can be administered under the care of a properly trained provider that may help to further eradicate any infectious related components that could be contributing to your nerve pain. Nerve and bottom of the foot pain can be symptoms often correlated to the co-infection bartonella so you may want to bring this up to your current or future providers. If your pain is related to the presence of an undertreated infection it will likely persist to some degree until that is resolved.
In the meantime there are some nutrients to consider for supporting your nerves which might give you some relief from the pain.
• The enzymes you referred to work as a natural anti-inflammatory. They help to break down pockets of inflammation in the body, which is often the cause of pain. Your friend with fibromyalgia got a great benefit and you may as well. Make sure to take them on an empty stomach (30 minutes before a meal or 2-3 hours after a meal) for maximum pain relieving effectiveness. They will not interact with your thyroid medication. Only people taking prescription blood thinners or anti-coagulants need to be concerned.
• Alpha lipoic acid is also a fantastic nutrient for the nerves. Most of the clinical documentation is in the context of nerve pain associated with diabetes but I have seen good results with post-chemotherapy induced nerve damage and other types of nerve pain as well, including lyme disease. It is very safe with little know side effects (may lower blood sugar in diabetics) and will not interact with your thyroid medication although you should always take your thyroid medication at least 60 minutes before any food or supplements. Typical doses for nerve support are usually between 600-800mg/day taken in divided doses.
• Turmeric can also be a wonderful anti-inflammatory and pain reliever. Supplemental forms are not all that well absorbed so it is often necessary to take relatively high doses. Sometimes it can take up to 2000mg-3000mg/day to get a significant benefit. Again, it is very well tolerated with no known side effects. Some people can have loose stool at higher doses so if that happens just reduce the dose.
It is important to consider that it may take a combination of the above listed items to get a significant benefit. Herbs and supplements have a low potential for toxicity and side effects if used correctly but sometimes require a cumulative effect for more serious problems.
Your thyroid issue is not likely contributing to your nerve pain but because so much of my clinical practice is focused on patients with thyroid disorders I thought I should make mention of a few things. It also may very well be the issue behind your inability to loose weight and your fatigue.
First, is important to make sure you are getting appropriate thyroid lab testing. This will include a TSH, Free T3, Free 4, Reverse T3 and thyroid antibodies (the antibody testing is necessary because you have Hashimoto’s). Without this suite of testing it is difficult to know for sure how your body is actually using the thyroid hormone medication and what is going at the cellular levels. Just having a TSH and Free T4 is not enough information to make a detailed assessment. It may be adequate for someone not having any symptoms but for someone with signs of a low metabolism it is a must.
I would also suggest trying to find a doctor to manage your thyroid who is open to discussing the different types of thyroid replacement medication. Levothyroxine (aka Synthroid) is often not the best option for many thyroid patients. Using cytomel or other forms of T3, or the natural desiccated thyroid extracts like Nature-throid or Armour thyroid are sometimes necessary to help people effectively regulate their thyroid issue.
I hope this information was helpful and that you are able to find a support structure of providers that can facilitate the therapies and testing needed to help you feel well.