Question from a newbie: Connections between Hypothyroidism, high BP & Menopause?

I'm new here and am guessing other, more experienced hands may have talked about this but I couldn't find anything, so here goes:

What experience do others have of hypothyroid symptoms pre and post menopause and the impact on blood pressure? I was diagnosed with no thyroid function a few months after the birth of my second child; I'd been going repeatedly to the GP with tiredness (He: 'well, you've just had a baby'), hair like straw and falling out, huge round fat face, watery eyes and a total inability to function, which was worrying as at the time I had just been promoted to Chief exec. My GP rang me at work when the tests came back after my fourth visit, and I was hauled out of a board meeting and told I must go and see him at once...no consolation to say then, I told you I was ill!

I was prescribed 250mcg levothyroxine daily which I've been on ever since. He said I needed such a high dose because I was, quote 'a large lady'...I am 5ft 3 and weighed then 11 stone (now it's 13 sadly).

Fast forward 22 years and the bleeding every month is getting so bad that, again I can't function - my current job involves a lot of speeches and presenting and it's no fun when you flood midway through (as happened more than once). Eventually prescribed HRT (Elleste) and also a Mirena coil, a year and a half ago.

So far so good. HRT working but I may be through the menopause for all I know! Now my BP is high - too high and I am being prescribed Ramipril which made me cough so badly I was sick. I do need to lose weight - never managed to shed the pounds I put on when pregnant - and take more exercise and I'm trying to do both. But my question is really what impact either the levothyroxine or the HRT might be having on my blood pressure...rather than take more pills, is there any sense in a suggestion that I stop with the HRT, or decrease my thyroxine?

Grateful for your thoughts and experience before I brave the GP surgery again.

4 Replies

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  • 1974Janeen,

    Can you post your last thyroid results with the ranges (figures in brackets after results). If you have to get them from your GP receptionist post them in a new question.

    Has your iron or ferritin been checked? Heavy flow can be due to iron anaemia.

  • My last tests were in Nov 2015

    TSH 0.14 (it was 0.05 in 2014) range 0.05-8

    Free T4 17.4 (it was 16.7 in 2014) range up to 18?

    T3 5.4 (it was 4.4 in 2014) range 3.5-8

  • 1974janeen,

    You were adequately replaced last year, TSH was low-normal, FT4 high in range and, FT3 high in range. You appear to be euthyroid (normal) so I think it's unlikely your thyroid levels or medication are causing high bp.

    You should have annual thyroid tests so it is time you had another. Arrange an early morning and fasting (water only) blood draw when TSH is highest, and take Levothyroxine after your blood draw. It would be a good idea to ask your GP to check ferritin and iron too.

  • Thank you, much appreciated. I have wondered why I am on such a high does of levothyroxine, compared with other people, but assume everyone is different. I am curious about impact of HRT on BP and will explore with my GP. I have just booked in for blood tests again...

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