Dr. Karl R.O.S. Johnson's Chronic Condition Natural Treatment Blog

Intentional musings of a unique Shelby Township Michigan Chiropractic Physician dedicated to helping people find solutions to improving their health by rooting out causes to chronic conditions such as fibromyalgia, thyroid disorder symptoms, balance disorders, migraines, sciatica, ADD/ADHD/ASD, back pain, peripheral neuropathy, gluten sensitivity and autoimmune disorders so they can Reclaim Their Life!

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From the Desk of Dr. Karl R.O.S. Johnson, DC.....

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The Thyroid, Fibromyalgia and Lupus connection


Thyroid problems can often be found in those that also have been diagnosed with lupus or fibromyalgia. Lupus, fibromyalgia and thyroid problems share similar symptoms, and all are difficult to diagnosis from each other. It's hard when all one can tell a doctor that is that something is terribly wrong. To make matters worst, symptoms might change on a daily basis, and symptoms for all three illnesses can vary with patients. There does seem to be a connection with those getting diagnosed with one of these illnesses and having two of them, or lupus, fibromyalgia and thyroid problems.

The thyroid is an endocrine gland in the front of the throat. It makes necessary hormones T3 and T4 that regulate metabolism. Even slightly higher (hyperthyroidism) or lower (hypothyroidism) amounts of these hormones can cause significant health problems. Symptoms can include weight gain or lose, depression, anxiety, fatigue and insomnia, to name a few. Thyroid problems are diagnosed with a blood test for the thyroid hormone levels of T3 and T4. However, sometimes an individual can have borderline levels of these hormones and still have symptoms. Dr. Johnson uses functional ranges in blood tests using concepts in functional medicine.  Our functional ranges are more "tight" than traditional average blood lab ranges that you see reported on your test results.  We input your blood test result into a special Blood Nutrition software program.  Using a functional ranges is one of the "secrets" to why Dr. Johnson can unravel the mystery of the patient's illness, that other doctors have not had success with.  Another secret is using the methods developed by Dr. Datis Kharrazian to find out if you have one or more of the 24 patterns of thyroid malfunction.

Fibromyalgia is one of the most difficult of the illnesses to diagnose. Often a doctor will simply eliminate other problems such as thyroid illness or lupus. There is a limited test where pain near 12 joints in the body is tested. Symptoms of fibromyalgia include mainly fatigue and joint and muscle pain. However, a number of other varying symptoms can be found in patients. Fibromyalgia and thyroid problems may easily be connected and hard to tell apart from one another at borderline thyroid hormone levels.


Lupus is an autoimmune disease where the body's immune system attacks tissues in various parts of the body. Internal organs such as the lungs and kidneys can be attacked. The linings of the organs can be attacked causing a host of overall pain in the body. The symptoms can vary greatly but mainly include skin rashes, photosensitivity, mouth ulcers, chest pain or problems breathing, neurological problems or blood disorders, as well as fever, fatigue and hair loss. Some of these symptoms are very close to those with fibromyalgia and thyroid problems. Diagnosis of lupus is done by testing for high levels of antinuclear antibodies. As with the thyroid hormone level tests, borderline levels of antinuclear antibodies may still cause health problems.

There has been studies that indicate those with lupus may be more likely to develop thyroid problems. Since thyroid illness can also be an autoimmune disease, this connection makes perfect sense. Today fibromyalgia has only a limited test as nothing physiologically can be found connecting all patients with the disease. But, because of the common symptoms, one suffering from thyroid illness or lupus might also have fibromyalgia even if a doctor can not diagnose it.

Fatigue, pain and symptoms that can occur in all three illnesses connect lupus, fibromyalgia and thyroid illnesses. Not all doctors might see the connection and instead only treat one or two of these diseases, then wonder why a patient is still experiencing problems. The connection between the illnesses is something that Dr. Karl Johnson and other like-minded doctors are looking into.  With the advent of specialized testing developed by Dr. Aristo Vjodani, which are available at Johnson Chiropractic Neurology & Nutrition, we are finding a possible link.


One of the most important concepts that set Dr. Karl Johnson apart from other traditionally trained doctors is his "treat the patient, not the diagnosis" approach to patient care.  Johnson Neuro-Metabolic Therapy is a mulit-pronged diagnostic and treatment approach whose goal is to balance body chemistry, reduce imbalanced in brain function and mitigate the effects of stressors on the body.  In short, we “dig deep” to find out the underlying cause to your chronic condition nightmare.

If you found value in this article, please use the social sharing icons at the top of this post and please share with those you know who are still suffering with low thyroid symptoms despite having medical managment. Thank you, help me reach more people so they may regain their zest for living!

All the best – Dr. Johnson – Digging Deeper To Find Solutions


I have not been feeling very well for a couple of years now..I had a cbc done in 2010 and it indicated that my tsh was 5.06, glucose 102,ana screen positive 1:40, ana titer value 1:80, mchc 32.1, rdw-sd 44.5, bilirubin total 0.2, and c-reactive protein was 1.1... My symptoms are fatigue, shortness of breath, chest pain, Aching all over, ankles swelling to the point of almost not being able to walk. neck and back pain, hair falling out in the shower. if anyone has any ideas please let me know... THank you
Posted @ Thursday, October 27, 2011 11:02 AM by Angel
Hi Angel, 
Based on your tests you have an autoimmune disorder and you need proper testing and treatment to find out the trigger to WHY you immune system is out of balance.  
If you go to this page: http://www.helpmychronicpain.com/what-makes-me-unique/ you will find more information on the concept of getting to the root cause(s) and receive insight on the types of tests necessary to get you some help. To schedule a case review see this page: http://www.helpmychronicpain.com/new-patient-information/ or to schedule a consultation go to this page: http://www.helpmychronicpain.com/chronic-condition-consulting/ 
You can get back to feeling vibrant again...it just takes the proper testing and treatment. 
Best regards, 
Dr. Karl Johnson, DC
Posted @ Thursday, October 27, 2011 3:21 PM by Dr. Karl R.O.S. Johnson, DC
Love your advices on how Dr. onlY look at one thing and not the hold picture.
Posted @ Wednesday, February 29, 2012 8:23 PM by H.M. Scott-Ivey
I've been very ill for almost 4 to 5 years. Been diagnosed with hypothyroidism, chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, goiter, ibs, chronic arthritis of knees, arthritis in hands wrists shoulders hips and neck, copd, Athsma, fibromyalgia. I'm taking many medications the meds seem to not be working and my pain has worsen and become unbearable. Is it possible that I could have lupus instead of the many diagnoses my family dr diagnosed me with. What should I do?
Posted @ Thursday, June 13, 2013 5:05 AM by Morgan
Hi Morgan, 
Many of your stated health challenges can have a common denominator. Rather than treating labels as has been done in your case, perhaps using a strategy that looks at the root causes would serve you better. 
If you go to this page: http://www.helpmychronicpain.com/what-makes-me-unique/ you will find more information on the concept of getting to the root cause(s) and receive insight on the types of tests necessary to get you some help. To schedule a case review see this page: http://www.helpmychronicpain.com/new-patient-information/ or to schedule a consultation go to this page: http://www.helpmychronicpain.com/chronic-condition-consulting/  
Best regards, 
Dr. J
Posted @ Thursday, June 13, 2013 5:47 AM by Dr. Karl R.O.S. Johnson, DC
My 50 year old Chinese wife is being plagued recently by very low platelet count. 
Prednizone(sp) is what the Dr.s are prescribing and it's mostly normalizing the condition. 
Blood type is A+/rh-.  
She was diagnosed years ago with lupus, whether that was correct or not remains to be seen. 
From what I've studied, autoimmune diseases are really nothing more than allergic reactions. 
Before we submit to bone marrow tests and spleenectomies(sp) isn't there some way to test to see what allergens are causing her body to attack itself? 
Couldn't this be as simple as diet or water or even a lack/excess of something like even trace elements?
Posted @ Tuesday, March 11, 2014 7:20 PM by Dave
Hi Dave, 
Autoimmune illness is a very complicated subject and someone with AI Illness can have one or more triggers that has started the immune system to go on the attack. I do help patients at my office who have either been already diagnosed with autoimmune illness, or who have a "mysterious illness" that no one has helped them with, and discover they do have an autoimmune attack. Most people with autoimmune disease develop several others over time due to receiving typical treatments that only addresses their symptoms but NOT the underlying triggers.  
Here are some surprising statistics: 
- Autoimmune diseases are the third leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the industrialized world, surpassed only cancer and diabetes 
- 50 Million (and rising) Americans have AI disease versus 9 Million have cancer and 22 Million have heart disease 
- About 1 in 5 people have an AI disease 
- Top 10 leading cause of death in all female children and women (up to age 64) 
- More than 100 types of AI conditions 
- Currently, there is no “cure” for AI diseases 
- 1 out of every 9 women and 1 out of every 12 men has an autoimmune disease in the United States today. 
- According to the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, doctors receive minimal education in autoimmune diseases and initial symptoms are difficult to diagnose, even by medical specialists 
- A common area of autoimmune attack is the brain and nervous system…called neuroautoimmunity. 
These are common triggers for the immune system to go “haywire” 
- Anemia 
- Blood Sugar Instability-Surges & Dips 
- Adrenal Gland dysfunction 
- Hormone imbalances 
- Inflammation 
- Gastro-intestinal dysfunctions 
- Food Sensitivities 
- Environmental Toxins  
- Heavy metals  
My suggestion is that you find a knowledgeable functional medicine practitioner, who can help you uncover the underlying health challenges and get to it right away.
Posted @ Wednesday, March 12, 2014 5:35 AM by Karl R.O.S. Johnson, DC"
I have been diagnosed with lupus and fibromyalgia for a few years I have classic signs of hypothyroidism but my levels are "normal" but then low side.... And I have had a thyroid biopsy on a nodule that came back abnormal any suggestions on if I should have my entire thyroid removed or just the left side with the nodule?
Posted @ Tuesday, June 17, 2014 10:01 PM by Heather
I just posted a comment/question but I realized I typed my email incorrect
Posted @ Tuesday, June 17, 2014 10:02 PM by Heather
Hi Heather, 
Whether or not you should have surgery is a decision that you and your medical practitioner will need to make together once you find out the benefits and weight the risks of moving forward with whatever surgical or non-surgical option you choose.
Posted @ Wednesday, June 18, 2014 11:32 AM by Karl R.O.S. Johnson, DC
I've been ill for 3 years. This past year has seen a skyrocket in symptomology and my GP and other physicians are at a loss and treating only the individual aspects. I show all signs of hypothyroid or Lupus, but CBC and all blood work is negative for everything. I've had swollen and sore lymph nodes for 5 months. Lunulas disappearing, club toenails, itching, hair falling out, muscle swelling (with no inflammation in the bloodwork), heart palps, nodular thyroid, swollen and painful abdomen near the spleen, liver, and gallbladder, insomnia, vitamin B and D deficiency, lethargy and fatigue, belching, inability to cry for 6 months, and gluten sensitive dx with possible celiac result (test was performed after diet started). I need help. I feel like I'm dying and all I get is someone telling me it's gallbladder, tendonitis, and possible FM.What can this be!?
Posted @ Friday, June 20, 2014 7:54 PM by Valerie
Hi Valerie, 
Most of the patients that come to see me who have a constellation of symptoms similar to you, have had one or more autoimmune processes in full swing. You need to see someone who knows how to evaluate you and then once the cause(s)are discovered, work on getting the cause(s) handled so your body can work on healing again.
Posted @ Monday, June 23, 2014 5:36 PM by Karl R.O.S. Johnson, DC
I have had lupus & fibro myalgia for 4 years now. I was recently told I have a nodule on my thyroid. I have had hypothyroidism for 16 years. I have been with me d's since march. My to & to are on the higher side of normal & I have been losing weight RAPIDLY! (Today is wed. & I weigh 169lbs & last fri., I was at 176lbs.) Waiting for my ultrasound report.... have not been on any meds for the lupus & fm.... should I be worried?
Posted @ Wednesday, June 25, 2014 6:49 PM by Rosa Myers
Hi Rosa, 
You may be going hyperthyroid, which can make you lose weight. Continue your medical care to determine what is going on and I'm sure everything will work out fine. If you are in Michigan and you need some help with working with nutritional considerations for your situation, let me know.
Posted @ Thursday, June 26, 2014 4:27 PM by Karl R.O.S. Johnson, DC
I have been dealing with panic attacks and depression since I was 15. Finally was diagnosed with social anxiety disorder at age 18. I have also had earaches and ear infections since I was an infant (had to have tubes put in my ears at age 6). Also suffered from chronic bronchitis as a child (which I get almost every year and I'm 33) and exercise induced asthma which eventually went away or I wasn't properly treated. Through the years I have been on all different kinds of antidepressants and they didn't seem to last long. Two severe ear infections about 4 years ago caused severe hearing loss and the mri showed a cholesteotoma that needed to be removed, scar tissue and a ruptured eardrum that needed reconstructed. Before this I was diagnosed with ulcers and get the stomach flu every year which is severely painful and lasts for weeks so I take 2 prescriptions for that. Shortly before my ear surgery I experienced dizziness and severe migraines was given fioricet and told dizziness was not related to my ear but my back (saw a neurologist) and he recommended I wait till after surgery to see what was wrong with it. Long story short I have arthritis in all parts of my spine with protrusions and discs bulges to the left in my neck spine and disc protrusions that go backwards toward my middle back. I was also diagnosed with fibromyalgia and am in excruciating pain despite what my pcp np has prescribed me. (Hydrocodone 5/325,800 mg of advil every 8 hours, cymbalta 60 mg daily, klonopin 2.5 mg daily. Was on tizanidine it worked for a short time, a proair inhaler, ranitadine and pantoprazole. She's finally changing my muscle relaxant to skelaxin and my inhaler to one that works right away. My pain specialist referred me to get epidurals in both sides of my neck, which I received today. I also have allergies and get sinus congestion/headaches all the time and both my ent and neurologist said I will have these for the rest of my life. I have aslo seen physical therapists and was referred to a counselor. I am seriously at my breaking point for pain and if these new medications done help, I don't know what to do. Any suggestions? 33 year old woman in severe pain
Posted @ Thursday, July 10, 2014 4:18 AM by Jennifer
Hi Jennifer, 
I am sorry you have had so many health challenges over the years and continuing to this day. Perhaps you need to consult with a doctor that looks to the underlying causes of these symptoms you are experiencing and work on resolving what is found on specialized deep testing and evaluation. If you live in Michigan, I would be happy to help. If you live elsewhere, perhaps I can refer you to someone who can help you.
Posted @ Thursday, July 10, 2014 9:03 AM by Karl R.O.S. Johnson, DC
I have inactive thyroid. Been on meds for years. 
I have lupus in family believe I have it. I have been told I have fibromyalga. I have sleep apnea. Wondering if that is linked? Also could myofascial pain syndrome be linked? I have protein inmy kidneys and blood in urine. I need help.
Posted @ Wednesday, July 30, 2014 12:14 AM by Debra Fore
Hi Debra, 
Sorry to hear of your health challenges! You may have an autoimmune process going on which can create a lot of havoc in the body, creating many varied health issues. You need a thorough case review to evaluate what is causing your body to malfunction and not heal.
Posted @ Wednesday, July 30, 2014 11:49 AM by Karl R.O.S. Johnson, DC
Hello Dr. Johnson! 
I live in Western New York near Jamestown.
Posted @ Saturday, August 02, 2014 11:38 AM by Jennifer
Hi! Thank you for this article. I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism a couple of years ago. (which to my current Dr. was misdiagnosed for several years). I have just been diagnosed with borderline lupus. I'm really confused with the "borderline" aspect of it. My ANA and some of the other blood work from the Lupus panal came back abnormal. I have extreme fatigue to the point it's affecting my daily life, severe aches, migraines, lightheadedness, even just my daughter sitting on me or bumps into me hurts more than I feel it should. My thyroid is now coming back either too high or too low. In the last few months I've seen three doctors, One suggested sleep apnea (sleep test came back perfect), just muscle stiffness, fibromyalgia, and now borderline lupus. The only thing that I've been told to do to help it take Tylenol & Aleve & try water exercise and yoga. The Tylenol & Aleve usually has no affect or at best, takes the edge off some. I'm all for not taking a lot of meds, but isn't there something more I can do to help myself? I start back to work soon, where I work in a special education (ID) classroom. I have no idea how I'm going to have the energy to do my job the right way & be there for my daughter. Any ideas on how to increase energy levels? (Exercising doesn't give me a boost, I just sleep better if I'm not in a lot of pain.)
Posted @ Thursday, August 07, 2014 9:49 PM by April
Hi April, 
So many people suffer from autoimmune disorders in this country. I am sorry to hear of your health challenges. In order to increase your energy levels you will need to get some detective work done with lab tests by a knowledgeable natural/functional medicine practitioner. There are just too many reason why someone can have low energy. Also the triggers to your autoimmune disorder need to be sussed out. If you live in Michigan, a case review would be a great way to start.
Posted @ Sunday, August 10, 2014 8:14 PM by Karl R.O.S. Johnson, DC
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