HRT Patches - Any Point?

Hi everyone.

I have been using HRT patches for approx 4 months now but am beginning to wonder why. Initially my shortness of breath was relieved by HRT but my Levo dose was decreased 7 weeks ago and the shortness of breath is returning.

I now question why I even need HRT? My Mum didn't have any replacement and women for millennia didn't have it. I'd passed through the menopause without even realising, apart from my periods stopping. The GP suggested taking HRT after dismissing my malaise as being thyroid related.

I'm pretty sure the on going health issues I have are not due to menopause and I can do without HRT side affects.

Any views please?


19 Replies

  • Hi BlueMundo,

    I think hormones and thyroid go hand-in-hand. I wouldn't go without, would be my opinion, as it only set you up for further complications is what my doctor told me. I mean your body is supposed to have these hormones. It effects weight, mood, skin, hair -- really everything. I've been without my thyroid medicine and also hormone meds too and I have to tell you my body knows when it's not getting it. And without it I wasn't doing good.

    And yeah, it's frustrating keeping up with it all, but it truly is worth it in the long run. Lots of times the easy road is not the right road, is what I found out in life.

    Take care of yourself Blue Mundo and keep us posted.



  • Hi Debber, thanks for your lovely reply. I really just don't know what to do anymore. I guess I thought that with the shortness of breath coming back the HRT was really not doing much. Maybe I'm being hasty...

    I just wish I knew what was out of sync so I could start to feel better.

    Thanks again and I'll let you know how I get on.


  • How are your levels of Iron - ferritin - folate - VitD - B12 ? Do you have any blood test results for your thyroid levels ? Shortness of breath could be low Iron or Low T3.....

  • Hi Marz, thank you for your reply. I have just had thyroid tests done through the GP but expect they've only done TSH. I see my GP on Monday and will ask him if he would consider doing the tests you suggest. I paid for those tests, apart from folate, last summer and was low in all of them so took supplements. (FT3 was slightly over top end but I was on T3). I will retest privately if the GP won't do it.

    My thyroid and health was fine (I thought) until the Head of Lab wanted to speak to my GP about my results in March 2014. It's because of his 'input' that I no longer take T3 and am back on this roller coaster ride.

    Thanks again and have a good evening.


  • Hi,

    Have you thought of sourcing your own T3 and dosing at a slightly lower T3 dose than you were on last year?

    I've been on HRT patches for 6 months and feel a lot better tbh-hot flushes gone etc, but wasn't easy getting used to the patches. Had to cut into 2 for first few moths because of nausea, but that seems to have settled down now.


  • Hi Rach67, thanks for replying. I'm glad you are feeling better on the patches.

    The thing is I didn't even know I'd finished with the menopause, let alone gone through it. I had minimal hot flushes and I hadn't had a period for more than 18 months. Just thought I was perimenopausal and the main event was around the corner! I was very emotional before the HRT patches so I think they've helped there...

    I have plenty of T3 stashed away to start taking them again but I've lost confidence in self medicating for some reason. I will reassess after I have a full thyroid profile done - probs have to pay privately for that!

    Thanks again.


  • Hi BM, I didn't know I'd gone right through the menopause and out the other side either! I'm 47 & I just thought it was me to be "hot +sweaty" permanently! I was going to stop the HRT as hated the nausea etc but it does seem to have settled with time, hot +sweaty no longer and concentration/memory better. Maybe give the HRT a little longer or cut it into 1/2 or 2/3rds? As long as you continue to bleed monthly, think that is the main thing.

  • I think when your thyroid hormones are balanced and optimal you will feel improvements. Especially if your B12 - Ferritin - Folate - VitD - Iron - have improved and are optimal.

    I think your comment in your introduction about HRT was very relevant. It wasn't always there. I somehow think introducing it was a quick fix for women at a difficult time - when perhaps more in depth tests/investigations should have been done to establish the root cause - thyroid ?? Women have often been short changed in modern medicine. Just my thoughts.... :-)

  • I think there is a tendency to stereotype women of a certain age by the medical profession Marz. I took my daughter to an Endo yesterday and ended up talking about my weight gain. The Endo told me tales of a woman my age he saw recently who had put on 2 stone. When he questioned her she told him she had recently gone back to work and further questions highlighted that she ate 2 chocolate hobnobs each day. That would explain her weight gain. I told him I don't eat chocolate or biscuits. He then said it's also what you drink. I told him I haven't drunk alcohol in over 10 years. Well be says if you have a hot chocolate every day... I said I don't drink hot chocolate! The icing on the cake was when he said he struggled to maintain his weight because he exercises so much! I don't wish ill health on the guy but if he could walk a mile in our shoes maybe he'd be a little more empathetic!

    On that note, have a lovely day Marz.


  • Whenever you reduce or increase thyroid medicine, Blue Mundo, there is a symptom is what I found out. Did you say your doctor reduced your medicine? I'm going through that now myself. I'm on three grains of Nature Throid and my doctor wants me to go to five, but I'm going to increase slowly and just take a half at a time for a couple of weeks. When we get at a good balance things are healthy and we need to always keep striving for that. My doctor told me that you don't give your body the hormones that we normally have it sets us up for other complications. I so believe that. An example of that is my cholesterol. My cholesterol was horrible before my thyroid medicine and my hormone replacement. And I do know from my own experience when I was off hormone replacement that I wasn't at the top of my game.

    Take care of yourself sweetie. Keep me posted on how you're doing and don't give up.

    Love, Debber

  • Hi again Debber, yes the Doctor reduced my meds and also hinted strongly to stop taking T3. I followed his advice. I don't know why!

    But you are right, changing doses throws something new up which is what had me questioning my self medicating route. I lost confidence in my own self management for some reason. I really can't remember why.

    I haven't had my cholesterol measured. Would be interested in having that done. Did your GP do it?

    How are you finding Nature Throid? Have you tried thyroxine and T3?


  • Hi Ya Blue Mundo,

    What was your T3? I hope you get to feeling better soon and keep on reaching to find your level.

    Yeah, I had my doctor checked everything. My cholesterol was good. My doctor prescribes the Nature Throid for me. I think my body is starting to absorb it, too. I can tell. My nails have started growing again and I'm feeling more energetic. Although I bet I will probably have another bout as it seems to go that way when getting leveled and tweaking medicine. But once it's found, it's so worth it!

    You take care of yourself and keep us posted.

    Love Ya BM,


  • Get a new blood test for your Thyroid hormones. I think you are undermedicated due to your meds being reduced (I assume due to your TSH level). Shortness of breath is a symptom.

    Make a new appointment for a thyroid hormone blood test as early as possible and leave approx 24 hours between your last dose of levo and the blood test. It can skew results otherwise. Also ask for B12, Vit D, iro, ferritin and folate if you've note had them recently. We are usually deficient.

    If your hormones were reduced only because of your TSH level, read the second question on this link. It is very important.

  • Thank you Shaws, I'm seeing the GP on Monday and will try to convince him to do the suggested tests. If not I'll have to get private tests.

    Following the GP thyroid way has really highlighted to me that we are all considered the same and there can be no deviation in treatment. We are simply to be treated like their medical books say we should be and if you don't feel well you're stuffed.

    Anyway, enough negativity on such a sunny day. Thank you for replying and I hope you are feeling well today.


  • I'm very well thanks and hope everyone is soon. The weather is lovely today.

  • All the synthetic hormones are bad for you, especially fake progesterone. You need HRT only if your symptoms are so bad that you can't cope. Mine were, although I tried to manage them for 7 years with herbal products and so on. Historically, there were a lot of mad old biddies and so on. Those were the post menopausal women the herbal remedies didn't work for.

    Shortness of breath was not a symptom of low sex hormones that I had - I had it later because of low B12 and ferritin. Alternative sweating and shivering (so you need to kepe changing your soaking wet clothes), almost acid-burning hot flushes every 90 mins or so, inability to sleep, weepiness, depression, brain fog - those are more likely to be menopause symptoms.

  • Thank you for taking the time to reply Angel_of_the_North. As I mentioned, I only had a few hot flushes over the course of 18 months and no night sweats or inability to sleep. Staying awake is always a problem. I have a tendency to suffer from depression and low mood. I had a family issue that caused a lot of stress and came at a time when my thyroid meds were being changed and I certainly couldn't handle the pressure of that situation.

    I think my doctor zeroed in on low sex hormones as he couldn't explain why I had the symptoms I did. Reflecting on the few weeks after I started using HRT patches it coincided with the period that my thyroid meds had been on a set dose. I'm not dismissing the correlation of all hormones creating balance but I think the strongest influence is coming from my thyroid.

    I just find it strange that when my thyroid dose is dropped I get the achy legs going up stairs and achy arms doing laundry, plus breathlessness.

    I'm really not sure what to do. I will ask my GP to test what has been suggested and if not I'll get them done privately. It's all so expensive tho!

    I had considered B12 injections but I know my doctor dismissed that even when my B12 was very low. B12 Patches helped but I had to use them every day to get a benefit and I just can't afford to keep coughing up for them.

    I have tried very hard to cut out refined sugar as well. Avoid gluten as well. Being veggie I'm running out of foods to eat if I try to avoid dairy as well!

    Thank you and I hope you are well on this sensational day!


  • Did you take methylcobalamin B12, sublingual? If you took cyanocobalamin it might not have had the desired affect.

    If you can ask your GP to do a Free T3 blood test (they don't often, or the labs don't if TSH is 'in range'). But T3 is necessary for us to be well but often cannot convert sufficient from levothyroxine.

    P.S. depression can also be due to low Free T3.

  • I'm a gluten-free vegan - there's loads to eat! But I find I have to take sub-lingual B12 or I get neurological (and other) symptoms very quickly. My ferritin is also too low.

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