Joint issues - which supplement change triggered this? (Iodine, Malate, B1, etc)


Senior Member
Transitory joint discomforts started up for me recently, which I've not had anything like before. First was my right elbow which, after a few days, painfully locked up while I slept with it fully bent, having to carefully ease it straight, then keep it that way.

It clicked/clunked a bit more than normal, when fully straightening it, every once in a while. I initially considered that this new issues might somehow be related to using a new computer mouse. Then the other elbow also started hurting here and there. Then my left knee. Shoulders a bit. Other knee. Middle finger knuckle of left hand. Nothing too debilitating as yet, thankfully. Mostly just passing discomforts, also the odd ache in middle of each upper arm.

I have osteoporosis (talked about on phosphorus thread) with no medically obvious cause, so suspecting a worsened issue with collagen formation (which I know is common for us). So I worried that this might be some extension of that. Or something else.

What conditions might I consider? I don't think rheumatoid arthritis...? Although it seemed worst at night, when inflammation might be higher, right? I was unsure exactly what tissue was the problem - maybe the tendons or meniscus(?) of elbow were inflamed, rather than cartilage...?

Anyway, I thought about posting this in the Skeleton, Skin, Muscles, Hair, Teeth and Nails section. But it seemed to me that this little flare-up was triggered by one of (or a combination of?) my recent supplement changes. So I wanted to pick your brains on unusual/unintuitive effects of these supplements...

In recent months I was groping about in the dark trying to get a new change to give me the energy to think clearly enough to start sorting myself out again, in a more deliberative way. As I've appended to the time-line graph below, I tried and am suspicious of:

(1) Magnesium malate (1000mg) - doubling up, from only at bedtime, to breakfast too, in place of (a slightly greater higher dose) magnesium citrate tablet. I made the change because I was wondering if I was taking too much magnesium, relative to other things. E.g. calcium, I don't supplement extra potassium at all as it just seems to make me more fatigued. Seems weird that changing the form of magnesium could cause this. But it was my top suspect from the close timing. Can different citric acid cycle substrate concentrations modulate immune activity or anything particular?

(2) Lugol's Iodine (5%, titrated up to 1 drop with breakfast) - in the hopes of bolstering my thyroid. Enough to perhaps tolerate reintroducing some goitrogen (sulphurous) veg, without getting the mild hypothyroid symptoms that made me stop. Low thyroid/iodine previous hurt my wrists, with carpel tunnel and dry eyes; quite different to this thing. I was already getting 1mg iodine from SSS multi-mineral, which gave me a boost, years back. I've low-normal T3 and high-normal rT3 (probably a mild problem overall). Iodine was my joint top suspect, from timing alone. Which makes no sense, as it's anti-inflammatory.

(3) B1 (mornings)- after seeing a social media (re)post of a PR poll, where most saw benefit of mega-dosing. Despite Bs seemingly not agreeing with me previously, I thought due to histamine intolerance (at least in part). Wanted to give it a fair shake on its own, without others. It clearly backfired by the time I got up to a single tablet, killing my executive function to focus on things (e.g. it cut me off half way through a blog post on Covid). Increasing the amount of sleep I need further and paradoxically shortening my average daily cycle from ~25.6 hours to ~25.1. I'm going to post asking about this in the B1 thread too...

(4) Adrenal cortex (whole, bovine "Adrenavive 1") - which had given me a definite boost, this time last year, but largely wore off early this year. I was too nervous about scary sounding consequences of it to go much past half a capsule (in the morning). Don't suspect this as much, from the timing; I'd been slowly tapering it off for a month or so, ending a couple months before elbow issue.

2021-10-29 Sleep cycle graph + B1, etc 3.png

Having stopped the extra iodine and reverted the magnesium malate, my joints seem to have settled back down (touch wood). Right elbow's not locked again for a few days (half a dozen times in total). But its still a bit more delicate, so I'm being careful. Going back to magnesium citrate in the morning gave me insomnia and wrecked my energy for a couple days, then was fine. (I initially tried 1/2 at night in place of malate too, but gave up on that.)

I also got lucky in discovering that my daily humus supper had become a new (IgG) food intolerance, some time in the last few years. Excluding it gave me a return of executive function that's let me re-engage on this forum and start pursuing private testing (and chasing up my wayward Rheumatologist). But hole in meal options which I'm mostly dancing around, so far.

That intolerance is my only gain in all of this; I've still been needing more time in bed since the B1. Up from 10h sleep + 2 getting going, to often 12h sleep + 2 on my phone (14 total). With a sustained shift from ~15 day repeating pattern, that was stable for 7 years (since I temporarily fixed it), to a consistent ~20 days, now. I'm quite puzzled about how these effects of B1 have persisted. I know about various substances that B1 can cause shortages of - I'll hopefully talk about that separately in the B1 thread.

I'll be grateful for any insight, common experience, comment, etc, below. I might get around to making a mega-post about my whole health history and the rest of my current diet/supplement regimen sometime, too. (Sorry about length, as always.)
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