Does Birth Control Affect My Thyroid
When youre on birth control pills, the estrogen and progesterone inside of the pills can affect your thyroid-binding proteins. This increases your levels. If you have hypothyroidism, the dose of your medications will need to be increased while youre using birth control pills. Once you stop using birth control pills, the dosage will need to be lowered.
The Thyroid Is A Small Gland But It Helps Coordinate Many Of Your Body’s Activities From Metabolism And Weight To Hair Thickness And Sweating
Maybe you’ve heard people say, “I’m tired because I have a thyroid problem.” Or, “I see an endocrinologist because I have thyroid issues.” But how much do you really know about your thyroid?
The thyroid is a small gland that is butterfly shaped and located at the base of the neck, just below the Adam’s apple. It’s part of the endocrine system, which helps coordinate many of your body’s activities. The gland makes hormones that regulate your metabolism. But when it’s not working right, your body can be affected in various ways.
You don’t produce enough hormone. Hypothyroidism is also known as Hashimoto’s disease or Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. It is most common in middle-aged women, but Hashimoto’s disease can happen at any age. Here, your immune system mistakenly attacks and slowly destroys the thyroid gland and its ability to make hormones. Treatment may include taking daily medication and monitoring the dosage to ensure you’re taking the right amount. Your doctor may pass on medication and take a wait-and-see-approach.
You produce too much hormone. Hyperthyroidism is also known as Graves’ disease. This autoimmune disorder happens when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the thyroid gland. It’s hereditary and is most common in women ages 20 to 30. Some treatments include radioactive iodine therapy , prescription antithyroid medications , beta blockers or surgery to remove all or part of your thyroid.
How Does My Thyroid Work
The thyroid gland is a small, butterfly-shaped organ located in the front of your neck just under the voice box . Picture the middle of the butterflys body centered on your neck, with the wings hugging around your windpipe . The main job of the thyroid is to control your metabolism. Metabolism is the process that your body uses to transform food to energy your body uses to function. The thyroid creates the hormones T4 and T3 to control your metabolism. These hormones work throughout the body to tell the bodys cells how much energy to use. They control your body temperature and heart rate.
When your thyroid works correctly, its constantly making hormones, releasing them and then making new hormones to replace whats been used. This keeps your metabolism functioning and all of your bodys systems in check. The amount of thyroid hormones in the bloodstream is controlled by the pituitary gland, which is located in the center of the skull below the brain. When the pituitary gland senses either a lack of thyroid hormone or too much, it adjusts its own hormone and sends it to the thyroid to balance out the amounts.
If the amount of thyroid hormones is too high or too low , the entire body is impacted.
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Hypothyroidism Treatment Can Help Your Periods Too
If hypothyroidism is the cause of menstrual irregularities, treatment with thyroid hormone replacement using levothyroxine normal thyroid levels, and in turn, the interactions between thyroid hormone and reproductive function will return, says McConnell.
If you have hypothyroidism, your doctor will check your TSH levels regularly and work with you to ensure you are taking the right amount of medication. Finding the right replacement dose can take time in some women, and the requirements for thyroid hormone can change with diet, age, pregnancy, and weight gain, says Spencer.
Reach out to your doctor if you have any new or concerning symptoms.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Hyperthyroidism
At first, you might not notice the signs or symptoms of hyperthyroidism. Symptoms usually begin slowly. But, over time, a faster metabolism can cause symptoms such as:
- Weight loss, even if you eat the same or more food
- Eating more than usual
- Diarrhea or more bowel movements than normal
- Fewer and lighter menstrual periods than normal
- Changes in your eyes that can include bulging of the eyes, redness, or irritation
Hyperthyroidism raises your risk for , a condition that causes weak bones that break easily. In fact, hyperthyroidism might affect your bones before you have any of the other symptoms of the condition. This is especially true of women who have gone through menopause or who are already at high risk of osteoporosis.
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Consider Supplements To Support Thyroid Function
My Thyroid Support Kit contains all you need to help optimize thyroid function. Thyroid Support was formulated to supply the nutrients needed to make thyroid hormone and support its conversion to the active form . Adrenal Support was created to optimize stress hormone production and energy, while balancing cortisol. When cortisol goes high we can find many hormone imbalances follow. Omega Plus contains 1,000 mg EPA per serving, which supports cellular health, inflammation, and immune system balance.
It is important to note that supplements are not a replacement for thyroid medication. They can help with optimal thyroid function and support your body in using thyroid hormone efficiently, which is why I often partner thyroid medication with supplements for my patients.
I sincerely hope this article helps you have a better understanding of your thyroid health and provides you with some support on your journey. Don’t forget to grab my free Hormone Balancing Starter Kit to help you balance your hormones with food. Youll get a seven-day meal plan, a hormone-balancing recipe guide, and much more!
But Im Telling You Keto Made My Period Go Haywire
I believe you! Remember, though, changes do not necessarily equal dysfunction. It is normal to experience hormone fluctuations when you make a massiveor even a relatively small but profoundchange to your diet. Sometimes those fluctuations are unpleasant or unwanted, such as a period that lasts 14 days or one that arrives a week early while youre on vacation. However, that doesnt make them bad from a health perspective. We need to respect that our bodies are dynamic systems. Changing an input will invariably change the output, and the system might need a few months to adapt to a new normal.
If your cycle becomes irregular but youre otherwise feeling good, give it a few months to sort itself out. In the meantime, check to make sure youre not short-changing yourself nutritionally or calorically. Scale back on fasting efforts, and consider shifting more toward a traditional Primal way of eating. If after a few months its still all over the place, talk to your doctor. Definitely do so immediately if youre having other concerning symptoms.
At the end of the day, if keto isnt working for you, stop. Keto gets a lot of hype, much of it deserved, but it doesnt work for every body at every time. You can always try again later. It might be that your first attempt at keto didnt work, but with a few adjustments and some self-experimentation, you can find a version of keto that works for you.
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Are There Different Types Of Thyroid Removal Surgery
If your healthcare provider determines that your thyroid needs to be removed, there are a couple of ways that can be done. Your thyroid may need to be completely removed or just partially. This will depend on the severity of your condition. Also, if your thyroid is very big or has a lot of growths on it, that could prevent you from being eligible for some types of surgery.
The surgery to remove your thyroid is called a thyroidectomy. There are two main ways this surgery can be done:
- With an incision on the front of your neck.
- With an incision in your armpit.
The incision on the front of your neck is more of the traditional version of a thyroidectomy. It allows your surgeon to go straight in and remove the thyroid. In many cases, this might be your best option. You may need this approach if your thyroid is particularly big or has a lot of larger nodules.
Alternatively, there is a version of the thyroid removal surgery where your surgeon makes an incision in your armpit and then creates a tunnel to your thyroid. This tunnel is made with a special tool called an elevated retractor. It creates an opening that connects the incision in your armpit with your neck. The surgeon will use a robotic arm that will move through the tunnel to get to the thyroid. Once there, it can remove the thyroid back through the tunnel and out of the incision in your armpit.
- Are not at a healthy body weight.
- Have large thyroid nodules.
- Have a condition like thyroiditis or Gravess disease.
Menstrual Cycle Function Outcomes
Menstrual cycle function outcomes included cycle-level characteristics: cycle length, bleed length and intensity, and follicular and luteal phase lengths multi-day hormonal outcomes calculated as 3-day geometric means of FSH, Pd3G, and E13G at various times throughout the cycle and day-specific E13G, Pd3G, and FSH levels throughout the cycle. Anovulation was also of interest but we did not have the power to examine this potential association. Four cycles from 3 different women showed evidence of anovulation, which constituted 1.6% of cycles that had sufficient mid-cycle samples to detect potential ovulation.
Menses onset was defined as the first of 2 consecutive days of bleeding, only one of which could be spotting, and which was preceded by 3 consecutive days of non-bleeding or spotting. Cycle length was defined as the first day of menses through the day before menses onset in the next cycle. In order to characterize within-woman variability in menstrual cycle length, we calculated the standard deviation of cycle length for each woman who contributed 2 cycles. Bleed intensity was the arithmetic mean of self-reported bleeding over the course of menses. The follicular phase was defined as the first day of menses through the day of ovulation. The luteal phase was the day after ovulation through the day before menses onset.
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What Happens If Hypothyroidism Is Not Treated
Hypothyroidism can become a serious and life-threatening medical condition if you do not get treatment from a healthcare provider. If you are not treated, your symptoms can become more severe and can include:
- Developing mental health problems.
- Not being able to maintain a normal body temperature.
- Having heart problems.
- Developing a goiter .
You can also develop a serious medical condition called myxedema coma. This can happen when hypothyroidism isnt treated.
What Are Thyroid Nodules
A thyroid is a swelling in one section of the thyroid gland. The nodule may be solid or filled with fluid or blood. You may have just one thyroid nodule or many.
Thyroid nodules are common and affect four times as many women as men. Researchers do not know why nodules form in otherwise normal thyroids.
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Is There A Higher Risk Of Developing Thyroid Disease If I Have Diabetes
If you have diabetes, youre at a higher risk of developing a thyroid disease than people without diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder. If you already have one autoimmune disorder, you are more likely to develop another one.
For people with type 2 diabetes, the risk is lower, but still there. If you have type 2 diabetes, youre more likely to develop a thyroid disease later in life.
Regular testing is recommended to check for thyroid issues. Those with type 1 diabetes may be tested more often immediately after diagnosis and then every year or so than people with type 2 diabetes. There isnt a regular schedule for testing if you have type 2 diabetes, however your healthcare provider may suggest a schedule for testing over time.
If you have diabetes and get a positive thyroid test, there are a few things to you can do to help feel the best possible. These tips include:
- Getting enough sleep.
- Taking all of your medications as directed.
- Getting tested regularly as directed by your healthcare provider.
What Is A Normal Menstrual Cycle
Lets briefly review what constitutes a healthy menstrual cycle, understanding that everybodys normal will be a little different. A typical cycle lasts from 21 to 24 days on the short end to 31 to 35 days on the long end, with 28 days being the median. Day 1 is the first day of your period and begins the follicular phase, which lasts until ovulation. Just before ovulation, levels of luteinizing hormone , follicle-stimulating hormone , and estradiol spike.
Next comes the luteal phase covering the approximately 14 days from ovulation to menses. LH, FSH, and estradiol drop, while progesterone rises. Estradiol bumps up again in the middle of the luteal phase. If a fertilized egg is not implanted, menstruation commences, and the whole cycle starts over again. All this is regulated by a complex communication network under the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis, which is closely tied to the actions of the adrenal and thyroid glands.
Its perfectly normal for blood glucose levels and body weight to fluctuate throughout the month as hormone levels change. Generally, blood glucose levels are lower at the beginning of the cycle and higher in the pre-menstrual period . Insulin-dependent diabetics often find that they need to adjust their dose at different times of their cycles to keep their blood sugar in check. You may also get lower ketone readings at certain times of the monthusually coinciding with a period of weight gain and carbohydrate cravings.
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When To Call A Doctor
In most cases, problems with your thyroid arent an emergency. If you feel you have some of the symptoms above, you can simply make an appointment with your doctor to discuss testing and treatment options. However, you should call your doctor immediately if:
- Youre very drowsy, cold, and lethargic. This could be the start of a myxedema coma, which is caused by hypothyroidism that eventually leads to unconsciousness and in some cases death.
- You have a rapid pulse, accompanied by a fever, agitation, or delirium. This can indicate thyrotoxic crisis, a complication of hyperthyroidism.
Its not always easy to know if you have a problem with your thyroid. Knowing some of the common symptoms of an underactive or overactive thyroid will help give you an idea of you need to talk to your doctor.
Talk with your primary care provider about testing and treatment of thyroid issues. They may refer you to an endocrinologist or thyroid specialist for follow-up care.
Things You Can Do Your Thyroid Starting Now
1. Get tested and treated if needed.
My motto with thyroid problems is test, dont guess.’ If you suspect a thyroid problem, cant seem to figure out whats throwing your menstrual cycle off, or have PCOS, endometriosis, or recurrent ovarian cysts, see your primary care provider for a proper thyroid diagnosis to see if a thyroid problem figures in. Unfortunately most doctors dont routinely check a full panel of thyroid tests, so they end up missing a thyroid diagnosis leading millions of women without answers and suffering symptoms and health consequences. Heres what I order in a complete thyroid panel, and what you can ask your doctor to do for you. It can really make a difference in your hormone health.
If you do have a thyroid problem, getting proper treatment can make a huge difference in getting your cycles back on track. In one study, 7 out of 10 women with untreated hypothyroidism were found to have irregular menstrual cycles once treated, 50% of the women experienced regular cycles. While natural approaches and nutritional and herbal supplements may help improve your thyroid health, thyroid hormone is essential to your overall hormone health and much more, and thyroid hormone medication may be essential. Test your thyroid function to find out what is going to the best starting place for you personally.
2. Take care of your adrenal health.
3. Support healthy estrogen levels.
4. Make sure youre getting your thyroid-healthy nutrients.
5. Support liver health.
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Guest Post By Dr Lara Briden Nd
The thing I love about periods is the story they tell about health. I am constantly asking my patients about their periodseven if theyve come to me for something else.
For example, my patient Sharon came to me for help with elevated cholesterol. She also reported heavy periods and premenstrual spotting, which I was very interested in. You could have a thyroid problem, I said. She had already had a basic thyroid test with her doctor, and was told it was normal. I ordered further tests, and we found that she did indeed require thyroid hormone. Three months after starting treatment, Sharons cholesterol had improved because thyroid hormone promotes the healthy removal of cholesterol from the blood . Also, Sharons periods had lightened and the premenstrual spotting was also almost gone.
Thyroid hormone affects every cell in the body. Thats why thyroid disease causes a vast array of symptoms including fatigue, elevated cholesterol, hair loss, and dry skin. Thats why thyroid disease affects menstruation.
Menstrual signs of hypothyroidism
- Irregular periods or lack of periods
- Premenstrual spotting
- Early or late menarche
Menstrual signs of hyperthyroidism
- Irregular periods or lack of periods
- Light periods