Menopause & hypothyroidism does anyone have any links to reading material or advice on how to get through both?

I'm 49 & in the peri-menopause stage. Have had 23yrs of living with an underactive thyroid relatively ok. However, now everything is so topsy turvey with hormones irregular heavy periods ( i have two very small fibroids) cannot take the pill or coil & have decided to just go with the flow & see what happens. I am very lethargic so off to doctors on Friday to ask to check on thyroid ( i really don't like nana naps in the afternoon but that is what is happening to me now) Vit D was about 52 when last checked 6 months ago. I cannot find info on internet about women going through the menopause and having an under-active thyroid it's all about discovering your thyroid is under-active while going through the menopause. it would be nice to have some info from women going through the same problems. Btw i exercise regularly but am struggling to eat healthily as I feel like I'm on a permanent pmt & craving food to eat. I never used to have cravings as much as i do now. Anyone have similar symptoms? I would appreciate your feedback Thank you!

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18 Replies

  • Hi Lilybelle

    Sorry you have had no replies.

    I have created a new category for menopause and moved this question there - hopefully someone in the same position as you will find it easier.

    In the meantime, I would suggest popping back on once you have your thyroid bloods....



  • Hi, Lilybelle, only just saw your post. I have this book which has some useful info:

    One caveat in that a lot of it (in my opinion) is taken up with more general thyroid info that you may have read elsewhere before. (Not knocking it for this as many readers who haven't previously read up on thyroid may well need it, but thought I'd better mention it.)

    I'm 45 and peri-menopausal at the moment, but I'm not sure what proportion of the symptoms are due to impending menopause and which are hypo-related. Good luck anyway and if you don't get any replies it can sometimes be down to timing and the new, "improved" :-p site format "burying" your post among a sudden influx of them, rather than nobody being able or inclined to answer, so usually worth asking again if you get no joy first time around. :-)

  • Thanks ladies for your replies - Taffhamster i will check that link many thanks.

  • Hi

    I am 50 and think I am pre menopause , under doctor for iron deficiency at moment but starving for sweet foods in fact any food, missed 2 periods so far, tired all the time, stressed, was told thyroid was fine on last test but did not get full test results, only just started to ask for them. Had terribly itchy scalp as well given special shampoo to combat this. Got foot pain as well with my foot and toes cramping on one foot only, very painful.

  • Hi Lilybelle,

    I would also be interested in any specific information for hypos on menopause.

    I am 54 and about 18 months post menopausal. I have hypothyroid for 17 years and although not much energy, was cruising along ok until menopause kicked in. Now I have symptoms similar to ME... exhaustion to point of almost collapsing, intolerance of bright lights, low mood, irritable, feeling of heavy weight on my chest when I lie down, insomnia, etc, etc!! I have almost given up. I've been reading books and websites on thyroid and adrenals and although very good, I am nearly more confused now and feel that I am going round in circles! My problems definitely got worse around the time of the menopause.

  • Thank you both! Sharon I'm emphasis with the eating part- I feel like i'm on a constant pmt and have cravings that I am struggling to control but I know is adding to my weight gain. And Dougie like you I'm am searching the net for info but it's all about discovering if your undetected thyroid is the prob not what already living with a under-active thyroid contributes to your menopause symptoms. Dougie I am getting to the stage of feeling exhausted every day that is why i'm off to the doctors today. I feel it is going to be a 'one day at a time struggle' for me. Thanks again for your input.

  • I am 50 and started my menopause at 42. I suffered quite a bit with the hot flushes and mood swings like everyone else. Now I am through it. The hot flushes have dropped a lot and I have no mood swings. I was on HRT for a short while but took myself off of it because of the chance of cancer happening.

    About 7 weeks ago I found a lump in my right thyroid due to having a bad cough. I have had to have it removed because the FNA was inconclusive and the doctor said i could still have cancer. I have to wait for 4 weeks now for the results. But as you mentioned Menopause I have put 2 and 2 together and I believe that could have caused my thyroid to react like this.

    Anyway good luck

  • thanks for your response greeneyes and I wish you lots of luck in having a good result in a few weeks. I find it quite unbelievable that there doesn't seem to be any studies or much info on the effects of thyroid and menopause after all both are to do with hormones. We must just struggle through i suppose.

  • Lily belle,

    I have been under active for 20 odd years due to radio active iodine on my goitre. I am 45 & peri menopausal. The key to managing not only your peri menopausal symptoms but also supporting your thyroid function to work to its optimum is based around your adrenal glands functioning properly, if this gland is strong and healthy it manages your hormones which are the key to so many functions needed to support your body. There are supplements and things you can eat/do to support your adrenals. I can certainly let you know what they are if you think it may help you? X

  • Hi Janey thank you for your response. I would appreciate any recommendations of supplements to take. I try and eat a balanced diet but if you can add what foods are better to eat to support your adrenal glands then please do mention those as well. Thanks again :-)

  • Hi Janey, I am perimenopausal and think i am going mad at times after having my levothyroxine decreased and pretty sure after reading some bits and pieces then doing the adrenal questionnaire that my adrenal function is very low - could you forward the supplements and things to do/eat that you know of to me to support adrenal function - many thanks.

  • Hi I am 59 menopause commenced when I was 40. I was on HRT for 12 years but came off it 4.5 years ago when I was diagnosed with under active thyroid. Until 6 months ago I was on 75mcg of levothyroxine but felt tired, had gained 6 stone in weight, aches and pains everywhere, inability to walk without pain and breathlessness after 100yards and my life was dreadful. My endo has increased my levo to 100mcg 6 months ago and I feel no better and have sporadic blood loss ,like a light period, without any other symptoms.

    Hormones? Just another joyous addition to the thyroid condition I am suffering? I really can't take much more of this. Why is there no money being put into thyroid research? There are so many many many additional problems which are a nightmare to explain or get treatment for as an entire disease. No wonder GPs can't decide what to do! They treat the individual problems rather than admit they all fall within this insidious condition.

  • Im 57 now..menopaused at 53.and a half...Things seemed ok for quite a real hot flushes...I have been hypothyroid since roughly 41 (it was pretty stable on synthroid)...BUT...thyroid started playing ping pong up and down...The doctor was chasing it around with lower doses of synthroid (levothyroxine), then seem to change quite quickly too. At one point I almost didn't need the med at all...I guess its a balancing act of hormones due to menopause....but roughly year and a half ago, different symptoms (subtle) joint, muscle, thining hair( more)..even more tired than ever etc..They say lupus!!! Funny about the time your going thru menopause there is more stress around, leaving home, parents passing away , moving etc...(Thats the recipie)...I guess the autoimmunes can walk hand in hand..but stress/hormones/small percent inherited like 5%..Im super keeping eye on my thyroid..and wont let my reading go above 3.0, even though here in Canada the norms go up to like 5.0. I d be very ill,bagged out, and quite tubby at 5.0...There was research on that in the USA, that the true norm readings are really 0.3-3.0...which makes many more likely hypothyroid.

  • Hi I am 53 with a thyroid problem and I am going through the menopause I can't stop eating I have a weight problem my family do not understand I live in Bristol and would like to find a diet buddy

  • Hello - I was searching for exactly your own concerns and found your post from 2 years ago- I have today just been diagnosed as going through menopause and my GP wants me to consider HRT- I have been under active thyroid since 32years - now 53- so just wondering if you ever did get anywhere with getting good info on thyroid disease and HRT?


  • Interested as I feel the same. Having muscle issues in my back hips and shoulders plus extreme fatigue since coming off birth control and entering perimenopause. Wondering if hrt would help rebalance my endocrine system. One gp said fibromyalgia chiro says my hips are misaligned but nothing seems to help.

    Read a book that explains how the thyroid ovaries and adrenals are all a balancing act. Been thoroughly tested by endo and rheumatologist who say all is fine but I feel awful and getting depressed.

    I have two beautiful horses who I am struggling to get full enjoyment of as I don't have the energy.

    I'm 48, healthy diet and was active but getting less so. Wonder if going on hrt would help balance my hormones but unsure what then happens when you want to come off hrt. Surely at some point you have to learn to love with a different balance. My hair is thinning my eyebrows are disappearing. I've put some weight on but not massive.

  • OMG!! I am 48 years old going through the same thing. Been hypothyroid for years and now in menopause. I feel like my hormones are at war! I, too, have had difficulty finding information for women with both as opposed to finding out about hypothyroidism during menopause. This week I feel like I could snap at any time. Weepy, exhausted like a completely drained battery but cannot sleep through the night (insomnia), irritable (like I want to come out of my skin), am on my 3rd period this month, am heavier than I have ever been and eating seems to be the only calming agent I can find. Also, I have been depressed feeling like I have no memory for facts/figures/concepts anymore. I am a teacher and feel like I am actually losing knowledge on a daily basis! (Brain fog) As I actually write down all of my issues/concerns, I am wondering if anyone feels like I do or if I am so much more messed up than most women. My thyroid levels (TSH) have been coming out ok the past two dr visits. (Around 2.5). I am on 200 mcg of Levothyroxine. But I haven't felt normal for months...well, years, actually. Lately, though, it's been really bad. And my problem is that every doctor I go to only seems to treat very specific problems so I feel very alone trying to piece together a medical treatment. My dream would be to find a doctor or treatment center that would/could treat all of my symptoms simultaneously. Is there even such a dr or center that exists? Sitting here crying fearing that this is just my new norm that I will have to get used to. (Is that even possible?)

    So sorry...didn't mean to drag on the way I did! Guess I needed to vent more than I knew! So if you any of you haven't written me off as a complete freak, any suggestions on where to begin to seek treatment/help with all of this? Is there anyone in the same situation as I am??

  • Hi! I only just found this site to try and find answers. I feel bad that no one answered your post - please don't feel like you are "complete freak" like you wrote - actually that made me laugh out loud as it's definitely how I feel also! It's actually what made me respond! :)

    You are going through exactly what I am going through. I'm 48, been hypo for years and so much of what you have said is so true for me. Weepy, exhausted, foggy, etc. I feel like it has been months, but really, it has been years. I'm starting to really freak out - and starting to do research to try to feel better. I'm hoping for good things for both of us in the future. If I figure anything out, I'll let you know.

    I recently switched to thyroid from synthroid but don't know if that's making much difference. I've started progesterone to try to get my periods to "normal" instead of 3 weeks long each month, so we'll see how that goes.

    If you've made any headway, please let me know and I'll keep you updated if I find any magic out there!

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