What Is Postpartum Thyroiditis
Postpartum thyroiditis happens when a womans thyroid gland becomes inflamed after having a baby. This condition affects a small percentage of pregnant women, or about 3 in 100 to 2 in 25.
The thyroid is a tiny gland in the front of your neck. Its job is to make thyroid hormones. These hormones travel through your bloodstream to all parts of your body. Thyroid hormones control how your body uses energy. They affect almost every organ in your body. When your thyroid doesnt make the right amount of hormones, you dont feel well.
Postpartum thyroiditis may first make your thyroid overactive . This means it sends too many thyroid hormones out into the bloodstream. This can make parts of your body work too fast. But over time the condition leads to an underactive thyroid . This means it doesnt make enough thyroid hormones. Then parts of your body slow down.
Symptoms Of Uterine Polyps
Some women never experience symptoms from polyps. Polyps may also occur and then go away on their own. Its important to watch out for key signs that may indicate lingering or increasingly aggressive symptoms caused by persistent polyps. See a practitioner who knows the difference between polyps and fibroids. Symptoms caused by polyps may be:
- Irregular menstrual bleeding
- Vaginal bleeding
Polyps have the potential to become cancerous. Fibroids, by definition, are not cancerous and cannot become cancerous. But in both types of uterine growths, its essential to consult with your doctor, determine which you are experiencing and then agree on a treatment plan. Being pro-active, in this case, means taking control of changes in your body. Changes that genuinely do need to be dealt with.
Fibroids can be treated with non-surgical embolization. However, polyps usually require surgical removal instead of non-invasive techniques.
Are Thyroid Nodules Ever Surgically Removed For Reasons Other Than Cancer
Yes. Surgery might be considered if a nodule is large and causing a visible mass in your neck, or if its pressing on your windpipe or esophagus , which can cause discomfort or difficulty breathing or swallowing. In cases where a thyroid nodule is cranking out excess amounts of thyroid hormone, surgically removing the nodule can cure the hormone overproduction.
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Uterine Fibroids Endometriosis And Thyroid Health
Uterine fibroids and endometriosis are two common conditions found in women with thyroid and autoimmune thyroid conditions. Both of these conditions appear to be caused by imbalances of estrogen metabolism, although inflammation is also a big factor. In this article Ill talk about these factors, along with how uterine fibroids and endometriosis relate to thyroid health. Ill then wrap things up by discussing how to address these conditions naturally.
Uterine fibroids are the most common benign uterine tumor, with an estimated incidence of 20%40% in women during their reproductive years . Although they frequently dont cause any symptoms, in some women they will cause uterine bleeding, a feeling of pelvic pressure, urinary incontinence or retention, or pain . The main reason why fibroids are considered to be due to estrogen metabolism issues is because they rarely appear before the onset of puberty, and they usually resolve after menopause, although this isnt always the case.
Endometriosis is defined as the presence of endometrial-type mucosa outside of the uterine cavity, and they are also considered to be estrogen-dependent since this condition usually appears during the reproductive years , although they occasionally form during postmenopause. These endometriotic lesions usually cause pelvic pain and infertility.
The Problem With Elevated Estrogen Levels
But why do women develop high estrogen levels in the first place? Well, there are three main reasons:
Noninvasive Or Minimally Invasive Procedures
A newer and completely noninvasive surgical procedure is forced ultrasound surgery . You lie down inside a special MRI machine that allows doctors to visualize the inside of your uterus. High-energy, high-frequency sound waves are directed at the fibroids to ablate, or destroy, them.
Myolysis procedures shrink fibroids using heat sources like an electric current or laser, while cryomyolysis freezes the fibroids. Endometrial ablation involves inserting a special instrument into your uterus to destroy the uterine lining using heat, electric current, hot water, or extreme cold.
Another nonsurgical option is uterine artery embolization. In this procedure, small particles are injected into the uterus in order to cut off the fibroids blood supply.
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What Is Thyroid Its Function And Dysfunction
The thyroid is a gland that can be thought of as the bodys thermostat. It is located in the base of the neck and produces thyroid hormones. Thyroid hormones impact a lot of processes in the body including metabolic rate, heartbeat, and the female menstrual cycle. In fact, all cells in the body have thyroid hormone receptors meaning they have an effect on the entire body. Overproduction of those hormones and underproduction of them are thyroid disorders that can lead to respectively speeding up or slowing down the bodys functions.
Sometimes, for unknown reasons, the bodys immune system mistakenly perceives the thyroid gland for a foreigner and starts producing antibodies to attack it resulting in inflammation of the thyroid gland. This health condition is called thyroiditis. Thyroiditis often leads to a decreased thyroid function or in other words, hypothyroidism. The most common cause of hypothyroidism in the United States is Hashimotos thyroiditis. It is an autoimmune disorder that tends to run in families.
Why do you need to know all that? Well, the reason why we briefly explain thyroid disorders is that estrogen dominance contributes to the thyroid dysfunctions:
Who Is At Risk For Thyroid Cancer
About three times as many women get thyroid cancer as men. The number of women with thyroid cancer is also going up. By 2020, the number of women with thyroid cancer is expected to double, from 34,000 women to more than 70,000 women.9
Thyroid cancer is more common in women who:10
- Are between the ages of 25 and 65
- Had radiation therapy to the head or neck, especially in childhood, to treat cancer
- Have a history of goiter
- Have a family history of thyroid cancer
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Schedule Your Consultation Today
Once you have been diagnosed with either fibroids or polyps, begin building a treatment plan that will keep you healthy and safe. At the Fibroid Treatment Collective, weve helped countless women find relief from fibroids through non-surgical Uterine Fibroid Embolization. This specialized approach allows you to avoid surgery. But it is not appropriate as a uterine polyp treatment.
If you think you might have uterine fibroids or polyps, contact us today to schedule a consultation. Well begin working with you to determine the cause of your symptoms and the treatment most suited to relieve them. Taking action now is the best way to end the uncertainty and anxiety that keep women caught in a cycle of fear and bad health.
What Does Uterine Fibroid Pain Feel Like
There are a variety of feelings you might experience if you have fibroids. If you have small fibroids, you may feel nothing at all and not even notice theyre there. For larger fibroids, however, you can experience discomforts and even pains related to the condition. Fibroids can cause you to feel back pain, severe menstrual cramps, sharp stabbing pains in your abdomen and even pain during sex.
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What Are Uterine Polyps
Uterine polyps are very different from fibroids. The lining of the uterus begins to produce polyps instead of being normally shed during menstruation. Polyps are essentially an overgrowth of cells that would usually be flushed out as part of the female bodys natural build-up and shedding of the endometrial lining. While fibroids and polyps occur in the same area , its important to recognize they are very different types of growths.
What Are The Differences Between Fibroids And Thyroid Disorders
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of your neck, beneath your Adams apple, and is a part of the endocrine system. The thyroid is a major hormone gland and also a regulator of metabolism. It uses the iodine found in your diet to control your metabolism and converts oxygen and calories into energy.
A woman might experience an overactive thyroid when the thyroid gland makes too many hormones, while in an underactive thyroid, the gland makes too little hormones. Hormonal imbalances like these lead to thyroid diseases, such as:
- Graves disease
- Thyroid nodules/goiter
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What Are The Symptoms Of Postpartum Thyroiditis
When the thyroid becomes inflamed, it first sends a lot of thyroid hormone into your blood. That causes hyperthyroidism. During this time, you may not have any symptoms. Or any symptoms you do have may be mild and not last long.
After this first phase, you may fully recover. Or your thyroid may be damaged. A damaged thyroid can become underactive. This condition may also go away. Or you may have an underactive thyroid for the rest of your life. In this case you may need hormone replacement.
Each persons symptoms may vary. Symptoms may include:
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 osteoporosis, 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.
Viral Or Bacterial Infections
Both autoimmune disease and fibromyalgia sometimes occur following an infection with the Epstein-Barr virus or Lyme disease.
Epstein-Barr virus infections, in particular, have been implicated in autoimmune diseases when a component of the virus resembles proteins in the body or due to the immune system being overactivated in response to the infection.
How Are Adenomyosis And Uterine Fibroids Diagnosed
Along with a medical history and pelvic examination, diagnoses of adenomyosis or uterine fibroids are made through imaging such as ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging . X-rays and cat scans may be done to confirm fibroids.
The only true diagnosis of adenomyosis can be made based on pathology of the uterus which is evaluated after a hysterectomy .
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What Causes Thyroid Dysfunction
Thyroid dysfunction, in most cases, is caused by the overproduction or underproduction of thyroid hormones. Besides these, it could also be caused by Hashimotos disease and Graves’ disease, both of which are autoimmune disorders that cause the bodys own immune system to attack the thyroid gland.
In the case of Hashimotos disease, the damaged thyroid gland initially overproduces hormones and subsequently stops producing hormones altogether, causing hypothyroidism. While in the case of Graves Disease, the thyroid gland release high levels of thyroid hormones, causing hyperthyroidism.
In certain cases, hypothyroidism may also result from a problem with the pituitary gland. This gland is responsible for producing TSH or thyroid-stimulating hormone that tells the thyroid to do its job. Other causes of hypothyroidism include temporary inflammation of the thyroid or medications that affect thyroid function.
Treatment Of Nodules That Are Overproducing Thyroid Hormone
Nodules that produce too much T3 and T4 may be treated in several ways: radioactive iodine, alcohol ablation, or surgery to remove the nodule and thus cure the excess hormone production.
Radioactive iodine is given as a pill and causes the thyroid gland to shrink and make less thyroid hormone. Radioactive iodine is only absorbed by the thyroid gland, so it does not harm other cells within your body.
Alcohol ablation involves injecting alcohol into the thyroid nodule using a very small needle. The treatment causes the nodules to shrink and make less thyroid hormone.
What Causes Thyroid Problems
All types of hyperthyroidism are due to an overproduction of thyroid hormones, but the condition can occur in several ways:
- Graves’ disease: The production of too much thyroid hormone.
- Toxic adenomas: Nodules develop in the thyroid gland and begin to secrete thyroid hormones, upsetting the body’s chemical balance some goiters may contain several of these nodules.
- Subacute thyroiditis: Inflammation of the thyroid that causes the gland to “leak” excess hormones, resulting in temporary hyperthyroidism that generally lasts a few weeks but may persist for months.
- Pituitary gland malfunctions or cancerous growths in the thyroid gland: Although rare, hyperthyroidism can also develop from these causes.
Hypothyroidism, by contrast, stems from an underproduction of thyroid hormones. Since your body’s energy production requires certain amounts of thyroid hormones, a drop in hormone production leads to lower energy levels. Causes of hypothyroidism include:
Untreated for long periods of time, hypothyroidism can bring on a myxedema coma, a rare but potentially fatal condition that requires immediate hormone treatment.
- A pituitary disorder
- A defective thyroid
- Lack of the gland entirely
A hypothyroid infant is unusually inactive and quiet, has a poor appetite, and sleeps for excessively long periods of time.
Key Points About Postpartum Thyroiditis
- Postpartum thyroiditis happens when a womans thyroid becomes inflamed after having a baby. It may first cause the thyroid to be overactive. But in time it can lead to an underactive thyroid.
- Experts dont know what causes this condition.
- You are more likely to get it if you had antithyroid antibodies before pregnancy. Other risk factors include having type 1 diabetes or a history of thyroid problems.
- A blood test can often tell if you have an overactive or underactive thyroid.
- Treatment is based on how severe your symptoms are.
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Who Is At Risk For Uterine Fibroids
Various factors can increase the risk of developing fibroids:
- Age: Fibroids become more common as women age, especially during their 30s and 40s and up to menopause. After menopause, fibroids are much less likely to form and usually shrink if theyre present.
- Family history: Having a family member with fibroids increases your risk. If a woman’s mother had fibroids, her risk of having them is about three times higher than average.
- Ethnic origin: African-American women are more likely to develop fibroids than other ethnicities .
- Obesity: Women who are overweight are at higher risk for fibroids. For very heavy women, the risk is two to three times greater than average.
What Types Of Health Care Professionals Treat Thyroid Nodules
Endocrinologists and thyroid specialist surgeons deal with these problems on a regular basis. But many family practice physicians, general internists, general surgeons, and otolaryngologists are also adept at addressing thyroid nodules. The important thing is that the physician be experienced with and comfortable evaluating and treating this condition.
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What Will I Experience During And After The Procedure
The doctor or nurse will attach devices to your body to monitor your heart rate and blood pressure.
You will feel a slight pinch when the nurse inserts the needle into your vein for the IV line and when they inject the local anesthetic. Most of the sensation is at the skin incision site. The doctor will numb this area using local anesthetic. You may feel pressure when the doctor inserts the catheter into the vein or artery. However, you will not feel serious discomfort.
If the procedure uses sedation, you will feel relaxed, sleepy, and comfortable. You may or may not remain awake, depending on how deeply you are sedated.
You may feel slight pressure when the doctor inserts the catheter, but no serious discomfort.
As the contrast material passes through your body, you may feel warm. This will quickly pass.
While you are in the hospital, your pain will be well-controlled with a narcotic.
After staying overnight at the hospital, you should be able to return home the day after the procedure.
You may experience pelvic cramps for several days after your UFE, and possibly mild nausea and low-grade fever as well. The cramps are most severe during the first 24 hours after the procedure and will improve rapidly over the next several days. While in the hospital, the discomfort usually is well-controlled with pain medication delivered through your IV.
Study Finds Link Between Uterine Fibroids And Thyroid Nodules
A new study has found a positive association between uterine fibroids and thyroid nodules in Chinese women.
Uterine fibroids and thyroid nodules are both strongly impacted by estrogen, and both have a high prevalence among women of reproductive age. Despite these similarities, few studies have explored a possible association between these two conditions, and those few yielded results that were not statistically significant. A new study published in Endocrine Journal investigated potential connections between uterine fibroids, thyroid nodules, and thyroid function.*
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What Are The Symptoms Of Uterine Fibroids
Most fibroids do not cause any symptoms and dont require treatment other than regular observation by your healthcare provider. These are typically small fibroids. When you dont experience symptoms, its called an asymptomatic fibroid. Larger fibroids can cause you to experience a variety of symptoms, including:
- Inability to urinate or completely empty your bladder.
- Increased abdominal distention , causing your abdomen to look pregnant.
The symptoms of uterine fibroids usually stabilize or go away after youve gone through menopause because hormone levels decline within your body.