HRT and Thyroxine. Should you take both these drugs?

According to my research (which I did some years ago) taking HRT for menopausal symptoms and also Thyroxine for underactive thyroid, is a real NO NO! Research from a excellent source, probably a USA university, said that if you take HRT for a number of years (usually 5 is the recommended maximum) to help through the menopause, when you come off the HRT your bone thinning will double because of the combined long term effect. I no longer have the reference for this research but can say from personal experience that it is highly likely to be true. I stayed on HRT for 10 years having already been on it for 6 years, because I was afraid to come off it having read this research. I have now been off it for around 18 months and recently had a bone scan. My bones are now extremely thin and verging on osteoporosis whereas a scan 5 years ago showed them to be slightly better than average for my age. I am 63, just about to retire and this has been a real bombshell. Although I am of slight build (a risk factor for osteoporosis) I eat an excellent calcium rich diet, my vit D levels (which is essential for calcium absorption) are normal and I am/have always been very active. I powerwalk a young dog on two fast walks a day of 1 hour each (high impact activity is recommended for bone density) plus train with him and I am on my feet for probably half of the day at least. My doctor has prescibed me high doses of calcium and vit D (I am already getting plenty naturally) and in two weeks will be prescibing me a drug for osteoporosis. So no matter how much you want the supposed benefits of HRT, if you are taking thyroxine (I was on 125-150 a day during that period of my life, now down to 100-125) PLEASE DON'T. Its not worth it the risk!

16 Replies

  • Hi Kliaz, have your thyroid numbers been excellent, especially your FT3? You know progesterone is a proven bone builder and should outnumber estrogen 25:1 and maybe even more. And how effective is your adrenal function? You'd be surprised at how involved they are with all the other hormones. You have a wonderful regimen.

    This video is exceptional. Please do not go on the bone builder that I assume you will be prescribed until you watch it.

  • I don't understand why you ceased the HRT, which was probably what was protecting your bones.


    You may find the above article interesting. Recent research indicates that the calcium prescribed is not well absorbed and can remain in arteries and soft tissue. VitK2 ensures calcium goes to the bones - and does not linger elsewhere I have read. Calcium blocks the absorption of magnesium which is crucial for bones. Most of us are deficient in magnesium.

    Calcium is utilised by the osteoCLASTS which are involved in the breaking down of old bone. It is osteoBLASTS that are involved in the building of new bone,

    Good levels of B12 are also required for bone formation. Levels need to be around 1000 if you have a thyroid issue. Also as Heloise mentions FT3 levels also need to be optimal.

  • kps

    I haven't heard of an acceleration of bone thinning post HRT when used alongside thyroxine and have searched for evidence but haven't located anything even connecting these.

    All research says HRT will help new bone formation and protect against brittle bone disease as estradiol has a bone preserving effect.

    Nutrition, lifestyle and genetics contribute to the pathogenesis of osteoporosis but also low levels of estrogen (normal in menopause) and elevated sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) caused by high levels of thyroid hormones (especially T3) and HC will all encourage osteoporosis. As can low thyroid hormones and vitamin deficiencies (indirectly) and PPI's and stomach acid reducers.

    SHGB can also be affected by other factors like age, weight, sex steroids, and insulin but hip fractures are associated with higher levels of SHBG.

    I am considering HRT but my biggest concern being high levels of TBG binding with T4 and lowering hard won & extremely precious good thyroid hormone levels.


    Oesteoporosis - A Natural Approach to Helping

    oestrogen & osteoporosis


    Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and this information is not intended to be a substitute for medical guidance from your own doctor. Please check with your personal physician before applying any of these suggestions.


  • Now, if a study showed that women who took HRT and levo had decreased bone density after stopping levo, that doesn't mean that the combination caused the problem. it might mean that all that was protecting the bones was the HRT and, as with many hypos, malabsorption and under medication meant that they did not have the right vitamin and mineral profile to build bone. And perhaps they were too tired to exercise. Who funded the study? Vitamin and mineral deficiencies don't sell drugs.

  • I think your bone thining will be due to the OPPOSITE of what you think - it was coming OFF the HRT that has caused it. I have had Osteoporosis or Osteopaenia all my life as a result of being born without ovaries (no natural hormones of my own) and have been regularly monitored with bone scans. I do think it is a balancing act because I've been very well on NDT and HRT together until the HRT was doubled (result = totally cured of Osteoporosis) which has suddenly upset my apple cart and I'm having to up my NDT. Hyperthyroid symptoms made the GP bring my NDT down as a knee jerk reaction which has made me ill but now on increased dose and slowly pulling round. I hasten to add I teach weight lifting and dance and most days take around 10,000 - 15,000 exercise (highly active) steps per day to do the weight baring activities I need too to keep the Osteoporosis away from my door. I am sure funding us women on HRT would prefer we thought it was dangerous (and came off it quick to save them money) and would be prepared to fund research that scares us into thinking it is. It would be interesting to know who funded the research you read all that time ago. Without enough female hormones you may suffer terribly in the vagina department (as I did, which is why I was prepared to double my dose). You may suffer from VA (vaginal atrophy) and atrophy of the uterus which causes extreme pain, bleeding and in my case, the walls became so thin (under 2mm) that I couldn't walk with the pain, which was in the womb as well so I was curled up in agony. I could not teach my precious dancing or even socialise as I was in too much pain. Along with this you get urethral pain (as the tissues have shrunk away and no longer doing their job of protecting the urtheral entrance into the vagina) and endless rounds of infections as the entrance is left unguarded by nice soft plump tissues. On double the dose, I now have a thin but symptom free 4mm wall. Please be very carefull of telling people to avoid HRT. For some it is absolutely essential and the combi of thyroid meds just needs careful monitoring (more Thyroid meds I have found when HRT increased).

  • Tibolone, a different type of HRT used for over 30 years now. Protects your bones and doesn't interfere with breast or uterus tissue. Is used by GP's and specialists where women have problems or are of increased risk with standard HRT drug therapy. I think it is wonderful and I would never willingly come off it.

  • Sorry for coming in on this but just to say thank you Karen for the above information. I was prescribed tibolone but could not figure out the difference in it and other popular brands. Thank you.

  • I've done a lot of research on it so I'm comfortable with the decision to keep taking it. It is a different type of HRT from all the others.

    I've spent countless hours researching it and reviewing all of the long term trials etc. There are forums where women are in their 70's and 80's and say they will never come off it and they are quite healthy and happy. Also in the same forums you find women this age whose GP has decided to take them off it for no practical reason except their bias, and the women's lives have collapsed, compared to how they were, and their posts are very tragic to read.

  • Well, iMHO, no one should take horse pee and progestin HRT, but my private doc says it is fine to take bioidentical HRT and thyroid meds. If you can't make your own hormones, you have to make up the difference from somewhere.

  • I'm 55 and have been on HRT for 7 years.

    I see a specialist rather than my GP for HRT advice. Her opinion is that you are on HRT for life, the main reason being that it protects your bones. My mother and grandmother had osteoporosis and she feels that I should be on it for this reason. Thank goodness as I feel I have some quality of life whilst on it!

    I use a gel rather than tablet form and natural progesterone.

  • I'm 44 and have been taking HRT for 22 years and Thyroxine for 8 months. My GP says I'll be on HRT for another few years and that there's a greater risk not to take it. I have osteopenia, but not had another bone scan yet. It's worrying to see these posts, but I believe I would be worse without HRT 😊

  • I have been on HRT 30 years this year. I also take Levothyroxine 125mg for the last 13 years and I really hope this doesn't mean that everyone gets the very condition that they are taking HRT for. I did try to come off HRT but came on with menapausal symptoms 30 years after HRT had stopped them. So went back on my LIvial. Osteoporosis runs on both sides of my family and Hrt has so far stopped me getting Osteoporosis. I was told I needed it for life, although some GPs disagree with this. I don't really want to turn into a 90 year old woman when I am only middle aged. I haven't heard of this research. But I know there are a lot of negative news reports out there. My mother has Osteoporosis now as she can't take HRT at all and has very little exercise due to heart failure. I am surprised to hear being active hasn't protected your bones. I hope they can stop it getting any worse.

  • Livial is Tibolone ! See my posts above. You are NOT taking the same kind of HRT that is linked to a lot of the problems concerning HRT.

  • I have been on bio identical HRT for 12 years , which was prescribed when I lived in the USA ...... I will not live without it! since I have returned to the UK I get mine prescribed by a Dr at the Marion Gkuck clinic along with my NDT .....

  • i would believe anything bad about non- bioidentical, drug hormone replacements..estrogen comes from horse urine, or so i have heard.

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