Are These Perimenopause Or Thyroid Symptoms
Estrogen production becomes more erratic with the onset of the menopause transition, which can begin as early as one’s 30s, with changes in monthly cycles typically becoming noticeable during our 40s. Perimenopause duration varies from one woman to the next, extending for months or years. It comes with an;array of symptoms, from night sweats to changes in menstrual cycle frequency and character. Shifting hormone levels, especially estrogen, are responsible for mood swings, foggy thinking, and waves of hot flashes. Added to that are sleep disruptions and the discomfort of vaginal dryness.
The ups and downs in estrogen that occur during the menopause transition influence thyroid function because estrogen regulates the hormone binding protein, thyroid binding globulin . When estrogen levels are high, the liver produces more TBG. Thus the amount of T3 and T4 that are available in the bloodstream temporarily drops until the thyroid gland is stimulated to produce more. Conversely, when estrogen levels temporarily drop, during a skipped menstrual cycle, for example, TBG levels drop, and the amount of ‘free’ T3 and T4 increases temporarily. These shifts in thyroid hormones are not well understood but may influence some of the symptoms that women experience during perimenopause.
For some women, weight gain and irritability may be an indication of thyroid issues. The question becomes: How does a woman know if her symptoms are related to perimenopause or due to a thyroid condition?
Perimenopause Starts Around Age 40
Menopause is defined as the point when its been a full year since your last menstrual period. For women in the United States, this occurs around age 51. You may not realize that perimenopause starts as early as your late 30s, as changes in hormones begin to cause symptoms such as fatigue, brain fog and fuzzy thinking, and weight changes. You are also more likely to develop a thyroid condition as you age. This makes it confusing to tell if symptoms are due to perimenopause, thyroid disease, or both.
Difference Between Hyperthyroidism And Hypothyroidism In
Do You Know The Difference Between Underactive And . It affects the function of every organ in your body and if it is not working properly, it can send your body. How to tell the difference. The difference between hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. Both are thyroid diseases, but their symptoms are polar opposites.
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When Should You Consider Testing
If youâve been gaining weight, or your LDL cholesterol has been going up unexplainably, you should consider getting tested. If you have other definite symptoms of hypothyroidism â like cold sensitivity, slowed heart rate, a puffy face, or goiter , you should speak with your doctor about being tested.
If youâre a senior older than sixty, you may benefit from getting tested even if you are generally healthy. A blood TSH test is the single most sensitive and reliable test when checking for an underactive or overreactive thyroid.
What Is A Menopause And Hypothyroidism Diet
A healthy diet is one of the most beneficial things that anybody can do for their health but is especially critical if you are going through menopause or have a thyroid condition. While there is no specific diet regime to follow, there are a few guidelines to consider. Implementing a healthy diet may help reduce some of the symptoms associated with each condition.
First, its important to recognize that thyroid issues and menopause can both impact your metabolism. This means that it may be easier for your body to gain and hold on to weight. For this reason, you should always ensure that youre eating the recommended amount of calories and nutrients that your body needs to thrive. As your metabolism slows down, you may not be able to consume as much sugar or starches. Avoid processed foods that dont nourish your body, as these are typically empty calories. As a rule of thumb, you should focus on consuming more fresh fruits and vegetables and lean meats.
Supplements may also be helpful if you are going through menopause or have a thyroid condition. Iodine, selenium, and zinc are all beneficial for people who are experiencing thyroid issues.
Suppression Of The Hypothalamus
The hypothalamus is a region of the brain that has been likened to the utility center. It functions to maintain homeostasis, or a steady state in the body by regulating hormone levels , sleep, temperature, hunger, and the autonomic nervous system .
Suppression of the hypothalamus may occur due to problems with the mitochondria in hypothalamic cells, the organelles that are considered the “energy furnaces” of cells.
Some researchers have suggested that such dysfunction of the hypothalamus may be the root cause of both disorders and that, by itself, hypothalamic dysfunction can cause many of the symptoms attributed to thyroid disease and fibromyalgia.
Menopause Occurs In Phases
These are the different stages of menopause:
- Premenopause: The fertile phase. It is the period of active menstruation and stretches between the first and last menstrual periods. It runs for about 30-40 years.
- Perimenopause: This is the period around menopause. It begins when you hit 40 or around that, and lasts for 4-11 years. It is marked by fluctuating estrogen levels and declining levels of progesterone. These two hormones are important in the menstrual cycle, and estrogen, in particular, has a big part in the interaction between hypothyroidism and menopause, as youll soon see.
- Menopause: Menopause is said to have set in if a woman does not see her period for 12 consecutive months. This happens around 51 years. It can reach up to 60 years for some.
- Post menopause: After these 12 months are over, then the woman has really entered into post menopause. The term is used interchangeably with menopause, however.
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Hormone Imbalance In Thyroid And Menopause
Our dosha are intricately connected with each other. Any disturbance in one has cascading effects on others.
Melatonin Is A Master Hormonal Conductor
You may think of melatonin as a sleep or jetlag remedy. But its a support for hormone function. For me, after years of erratic periods during perimenopause, supplementing with 3 mg of melatonin nightly regulated my cycle and relieved morning fatigue for years. While more studies need to be done on the effect that melatonin has on thyroid hormone levels, you can learn more about the hormonal power of melatoninincluding improved T4-to-T3 conversion and elimination of morning depression in menopausal womenin this special report on the Reversal of Aging.
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Thyroid And Menopause: Confusing The Symptoms
According to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists , millions of women with menopausal-like symptoms, even those taking estrogen, may be suffering from undiagnosed thyroid disease. While symptoms such as fatigue, depression, mood swings, and sleep disturbances are frequently associated with menopause, they may also be signs of hypothyroidism. A survey done by the AACE showed that only one in four women who have discussed menopause and its symptoms with a doctor were also tested for thyroid disease. The thyroid plays a role in regulating overall body metabolism and influences the heart, brain, kidney, and reproductive system, along with muscle strength and appetite.
The case presented above illustrates how the symptoms of hypothyroidism can be attributed to menopause. While the issue of menopause needs to be addressed, it is also important to remember that the incidence of hypothyroidism increases with age and can co-exist with other conditions.
Treatment For Thyroid And Menopause Symptoms
The symptoms of menopause and thyroid are shared of course. And if the two conditions are present at the same time, then you have to treat both.
For example, you decide to tackle, say, menopause because youre experiencing weight gain. You could take medications or what have you, and menopause symptoms are regulated.
But that will not effectively stop you from gaining weight. This is because you have not quelled the contribution that hypothyroidism is making to weight gain.
You have to treat both conditions, and the good news is that you can tackle them both naturally.
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Hypothyroidism
Symptoms of hypothyroidism develop slowly, often over several years. At first, you may feel tired and sluggish. Later, you may develop other signs and symptoms of a slowed-down metabolism, including:
- Feeling cold when other people do not
- A hoarse voice
- More than usual menstrual bleeding
You also may have high LDL or “bad” cholesterol, which can raise your risk for .
How The Thyroid Works During The Menopausal Transition
During the perimenopause transition period, aging ovaries tend to produce unpredictable levels of the reproductive hormones progesterone and estrogen.
This irregular hormonal activity can be confusing for the body, resulting in erratic periods, mood swings, and hot flashes. Vaginal dryness, breast tenderness, night sweats, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, and forgetfulness are also quite common during perimenopause. Most women experience fluctuating hormonal symptoms in the eight years to a decade leading up to the actual menopause.
Hypothyroidism and menopause transition seem to go hand-in-hand, since both usually affect middle-aged women. This has led researchers to believe there might be a connection between perimenopause and thyroid function.
It all comes down to estrogen levels which decrease dramatically during the menopausal transition. As a result, menstruation cycles become longer, farther apart, and generally unpredictable. This stifles the hormonal balance throughout almost the entire body, including the pituitaryâs TSH and thyroid hormones.
Irregular estrogen levels may also affect thyroid function. Specifically, estrogen affects the thyroid glandâs ability to produce enough triiodothyronine and thyroxine to meet the needs of the body. In response, the pituitary gland releases more TSH into the bloodstream in an attempt to stimulate the thyroid.
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Life After Diagnosis Your Next Steps
Ive written an entire book on the subject of tackling hypothyroidism alongside menopausal symptoms and I successfully navigated these changes in health myself! Within weeks, I felt a difference physically and mentally, and it was all down to specific lifestyle changes I made.
Your body is an ecosystem everything is connected, and if your thyroid is underfunctioning, theres usually an underlying reason. You can take medication for hypothyroidism, Graves disease, and Hashimotos disease but youll only be masking the symptoms. Why not take charge and heal your underlying issues instead?
While its impossible to provide an extensive list of changes to make especially because youre an individual with specific needs here are a few simple steps to get you started:
Above all, try not to panic. Although youve been handed a diagnosis youve also been handed a key to fixing things. While it may take a bit of time to get back to your old self I can tell you from the other side that its totally worth it!
Why You Shouldnt Ignore Thyroid And Menopause Symptoms
Now, if you keep up with your assumption of menopause symptoms for long and ignore your health problems; there is high chance that the hypothyroidism may progress to create chronic health issues.
This way, you may be left on the mercy of medications and treatments for a very long time.
So, if you are struggling with thyroid and menopause like symptoms; the first thing you need to do is to stop ignoring your health issues and get proper diagnosis. This way, you can prevent health risks that arise due to hormone imbalances in menopause and thyroid.
And in this post we will help you to learn more about thyroid and menopause.
Firstly, we will see how thyroid and menopause can cause similar types of symptoms and what exactly is the connection between them.
Secondly, we will look into how you can find out whether your symptoms are due to thyroid or menopause?
And lastly, we will look into Ayurvedic natural ways encompassing herbs, diet and lifestyle to address the health issues.
What You’ll Learn | Click on Topic to Go There
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Hypothyroidism Vs Menopause: Us Prevalence
The thyroid is a two-inch long, butterfly-shaped gland that weighs less than one ounce. It is located in the front of the neck below the voice box. Essentially, it stores hormones and releases them into the bloodstream. Those hormones affect metabolism, brain development, breathing, heart and nervous system function, body temperature, muscle strength, skin moisture level, menstrual cycle, weight, and even cholesterol level. About 4.6 percent of the U.S. population has hypothyroidism. ;Hypothyroidism and early menopause has been well documented. Some women with hypothyroidism have experienced menopause before age 40 or during their 40s.
In 1998, there were about 477 million postmenopausal women in the world, but our global population is aging. By 2025, that number is expected to climb to 1.1 billion. Age is not always a factor though. There are some people who experience menopause prematurely. Women who receive cancer treatment, surgical removal of ovaries, or those who have a family history of early menopause may stop having a period earlier than expected. Some studies also show that early menopause has been linked to smoking, a history of heart disease, and never having children.
Is It Thyroid Disease Or Menopause
You can judge whether you have thyroid disease or menopause from the following standards.
1. ; Age
Many women begin to experience menopause between the ages of 45 to 52, although the age range may vary, occurring sooner or later in life for some. However, the age range for the symptoms of thyroid disorders is much wider. Usually, low activity of the thyroid gland and overactivity of the thyroid gland can occur in women anywhere from 35 to 65 years of age.
2. ; Aches and Pains
Although aches and pains over multiple areas of your body can be associated with both thyroid disease and menopause, there are some distinct differences. While menopause typically causes breast tenderness, muscle tension, and joint pains, thyroid disorders can cause a fluid buildup in the hands, arms and legs.
3. ; Hair Loss
Another condition associated with both a dysfunctional thyroid and menopause is hair loss. Menopause typically results in;female pattern hair loss to the head and pubic areas, whereas hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can cause the possible loss of eyelash and eyebrow hair as well.
4. ; Other Differences
Constipation is more of a;hallmark of hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism is also uniquely known for causing visual disturbances, anemia, and cold intolerance.
How to Distinguish Them with Test
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How Are Thyroid Nodules Treated
Treatment depends on the type of nodule or nodules that you have. Treatments include:
- Watchful waiting. If your nodule is not cancerous, your doctor may decide to just watch your condition. You will get regular physical exams, blood tests, and perhaps thyroid ultrasound tests. If your nodule does not change, you may not need further treatment.
- Surgery. Surgery may be necessary to take out nodules that may be cancerous or large nodules that cause problems breathing or swallowing.
- Radioiodine. This type of treatment is helpful if you have nodules that make too much thyroid hormone. Radioiodine causes nodules to shrink and make smaller amounts of thyroid hormone.
What Is The Difference Between Menopause And Perimenopause
Most women feel a multitude of emotions about menopause. Many are naturally curious about the process and often have a number of questions, including: What is menopause? What is perimenopause? What is the difference between menopause and perimenopause?
Continue reading to learn about three three stages of menopause, including key distinctions between the first two phases perimenopause and menopause.
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Sensitive Skin And Skin Discoloration
Thyroid hormones also influence the quality of your skin in a variety of ways. With hyperthyroidism, you may notice itchy and dry patches of skin.;
Your face may feel softer and swollen. You may even notice swelling around your fingertips. Other symptoms include darkening of the skin, rashes, lumps, and reddish spots.
Testing For Thyroid And Hormones
Given that there is a gray area between the symptoms of hypothyroidism and menopause, itâs only through testing that you can know for sure what your condition is. If you are found to have an underactive thyroid, your doctor can prescribe thyroid replacement therapy to normalize thyroid hormone levels. If itâs menopause, there are some medications you can take to alleviate certain annoying menopausal symptoms. Your OB/GYN may also recommend menopausal hormone therapy.
The good thing is that there are different types of tests you can take to see if thereâs anything wrong with your thyroid if youâre going through menopause:
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Thyroid Function And Disorders
The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped just at the base of your neck, on the front part, that is. It is responsible for producing two types of thyroid hormones:
- Tri-iodothyronine about 6% of total hormone production
- Thyroxine , rest 94%
These hormones are mainly responsible for metabolism. If theyre imbalanced, the rate of metabolism can be too fast or too slow, depending on the type of the disturbance.