Thyroid UK
87,559 members102,275 posts

Heavy Periods sometimes lasting 15 days

Looking for advice. My daughter of 20yrs has been having heavy periods and irregular, sometimes lasting 15 days, off for a few, then back for more days. Light to medium some of the time, heavy other times. She was recently given tranexamic which she took and then a prescription for the pill, which she is loath to take. She tried the pill for 6 mths and didn't feel good and besides, we prefer to get to the route cause. She feels agitated at times and also has the usual 'downs' that can come with your menstrual cycle. My Mum has Thyroid issues and what I have read, these are all related - sex hormones, thyroid, etc. I myself had terribly heavy periods which resulted in a hyst last year after fibroids were discovered - afterwards I read too my Estrogen can feed fibroids.

Our daughter has never had blood tests taken before and I have read here there is a specific way to take the tests and what to ask for, so your guidance in this respect would be helpful. Which sex hormones, which thyroid tests etc?

Thank you in advance

26 Replies
oldestnewest

She can try and ask her GP to check her thyroid hormones but she will probably struggle due to her age and many of their beliefs that only if you are a particular age .e.g post menopause can you have thyroid issues.

The alternative is to have a private test. The test should be done in the morning as early from waking up as possible. Your daughter should fast over night only drinking water. If she takes vitamin B complex tablets she should stop taking them about 5 days before as biotin can lead to distorted results.

1 like
Reply

Than you bluebug. We live in South Africa and pay for our own tests, so we should be able to ask for these. Do you agree doing these tests will get to the route cause as apposed to 'putting a plaster' on the issue, so to speak?

1 like
Reply

Nope as sometimes young women can have heavy periods with no route cause that disappear in a year or so.

Are her periods very painful?

1 like
Reply

Link to private test providers - thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/testin...

The ones used on here are Medichecks and Blue Horizons.

You should go to their websites. Medichecks have thyroid offers on Thursday while Blue Horizon has them at random times of them month.

You have a choice of pin prick tests, or paying extra and going to a hospital.

You want these tested:

1. TSH

2. Free T4

3. Free T3

plus if possible ferritin, folate, vitamin B12 and vitamin D

The reason to get all these done if possible as even if there is nothing wrong with the results she will have a base line which she can compare her tests to in future years.

If her TSH is risen or her Free T4 is out of range she can then take a copy of her test results to her GP. The GP is likely to repeat the tests. If the GP does she must make excuses to ensure she is only tested in the morning and again the test has been done after fasting over night.

3 likes
Reply

BTW as your daughter is 20 she can post on here herself.

It is a good idea that she takes an interest in her health, understands when to have tests and knows the basics as unfortunately GPs frequently refuse to allow young adults have their parents chaperoning them in appointments.

2 likes
Reply

I will ask her to join - she'll love the interactive site and the fact that people actually care here and think out of the box. I wanted to show her the feedback first. Thank you

1 like
Reply

I was about to add if her periods are painful she definitely needs to be referred to see a gynaecologist and checked to see if she has any physical abnormalities.

I remember a friend of mine in her mid-twenties at the time discovered that she had fibroids because she went to Australia. She wouldn't have been told in the UK until she had difficulty trying to have children and even then only if she was lucky.

2 likes
Reply

Good point, thank you so much xx

1 like
Reply

Heavy periods are one of the many signals of a thyroid disorder. It's also an indication she has too much estrogen. One or both of these reasons is likely the cause. I have had Hashimoto's disease since I was about 25 and I had heavy periods all the way to menopause. My Hashimoto's was largely not controlled until I was about 40. Progesterone can help. We make progesterone when we exercise but if you have Hashimoto's sometimes you don't have the energy to do that. So adding progesterone by way of an experiment is one idea. You can find progesterone in the natural form from wild yams and Turmeric there are other natural forms as well. Going gluten-free is a must for most folks with thyroid disorders and especially Hashimoto's. Adding selenium and vitamin D3 is another must. Without blood tests it's a bit of a hit and miss thing but you can try the D3 and the selenium the wild yam and turmeric. Alternative medicine doctors say that as many as 85% of people with thyroid disorders improve by going gluten-free. It's mostly the wheat gluten that is the biggest culprit. At 20 it's hard to convince young folks that they are not invincible. So likewise it may be hard to convince her to give up something like wheat and bread. It's so sad but more and more women are developing these wheat sensitivities and thyroid disorders. She is most probably one of them. The good news is that it can be hugely managed and if not cured put into remission - just by diet and and supplements alone. And if she does get her blood tested and finds out that she has a thyroid disorder taking the natural desiccated thyroid replacement really makes one feel a lot better and yes also helps with the heavy periods. It's amazing how much the thyroid can help or hurt if it's out of kilter! Or you can find yourself chasing first this disease and then that - when all the time it's that small little butterfly shaped thyroid gland suffering from something exposed to it in the environment. Wishing you and your daughter well this disease is not well understood and we are not treated properly by mainstream medicine. So get ready for a fight. Or find a really good functional doctor.

3 likes
Reply

Hi and thank you, this is just what i was looking for an acknowledgement of "Heavy periods are one of the many signals of a thyroid disorder" as well as some of the other things you have mentioned here including "It's amazing how much the thyroid can help or hurt if it's out of kilter!" - thank you xx

Reply

Another thing to consider...

Heavy periods can (not surprisingly) lead to women being low in iron. But for some reason I've never understood, low iron can lead to heavy periods. It's a vicious cycle. The only way to break that cycle is to optimise iron levels and keep them optimal.

Lots of things are affected by iron levels - serum iron, ferritin, transferrin saturation, total iron binding capacity (TIBC), unbound iron binding capacity (UIBC), haemoglobin, red blood cell count, haematocrit, mean corpuscular volume (MCV), red blood cell size. There are probably other things I don't know about.

Many doctors in the UK will measure haemoglobin and decide iron status or anaemia status just on that. Others may use ferritin as the single thing they have to test. If the patient doesn't have any genetic oddities in the way that their body deals with iron, and doesn't have any other medical conditions which affect iron, then this may be fine. But just in case there is a problem, in an ideal world patients would get a full iron panel and a full blood count at least a couple of times to see if any oddities show up while fixing a low iron level.

If someone has other deficiencies e.g. vitamin B12, then some measures associated with iron get affected by that too. So iron deficiency on its own will push ferritin down, B12 deficiency on its own will push ferritin up. Put both conditions in the same body and ferritin may look totally normal. See the table at this link :

irondisorders.org/Websites/...

If someone has hormonal problems then obviously they need to be treated appropriately. But iron and other nutrient deficiencies must be dealt with too, for the patient to have a hope of feeling well.

1 like
Reply

Thanks Human Bean (my nick name for my lirrel dog 😊). I'm always amazed at how informed you guys are here. Thank you so much for this. It will also help me as I was told recently my haematocrit count is very low.

I've heard of someone who was literally wasting away on their death bed, a Med Dr in fact, who it was then discovered had a deficiency in B12 which they up't and he became well again and even able to practice as a paediatrician again 😳

Reply

I think I know the case you might be talking about. The man gets mentioned here :

1 like
Reply

Yes, how scary is this. Thank you for sharing again. I think all people need to see and be aware of this.

1 like
Reply

Hello nonconventional,

Although there is a lot of great advice here w/thyroid health. The heavy periods you speak of regarding your daughter , make me feel she is estrogen dominant. I learned a lot of my health miseries are also driven by hormone imbalance . Despite having Hashimotos I found this invaluable.

saragottfriedmd.com/what-to...

I find you looking for advice for her outstanding! I came from very strict upbringing & 20 yrs old is still young in my heritages' eyes. Great hug to both of you😊

1 like
Reply

Thank you and thanks for your encouragement. Yes I'm also wondering about estrogen dominant. I hope to get to the bottom of this soon with all the responses from this site. The best ever - so many medically thinking, 'non-convential' people here - love it - lol

1 like
Reply

Im confident you are on the right path & wish you both good heath things 🎀

Reply

I suffered with flooding periods for years. I would suggest having a Mirena coil fitted. It helped me and changed how I could live my life. Also I would just book an appointment with a GP and talk through your concerns. I am sure they will do a full blood test and check the thyroid levels. But even if your daughter receives thyroid medication it won't have any effect on heavy periods. Best of luck.

1 like
Reply

Thank you. Yes here, they won't easily test for thyroid unless you ask and then, as many of you have already experienced in the UK, they will read the tests and say everything is normal. I'm pleased you mentioned that heavy periods wont be helped thank you.

Reply

reproduction issues ie any thing to do with periods and hormone imbalance is controlled by the adrenal glands which have 50 hormones as opposed to 5 in the thyroid.. my awful irregular periods / ectopic pregnancy and infertility has now been linked to hypoadrenalism NOT my hypothyroidism

4 likes
Reply

Sorry to hear about your ectopic pregnancy. I hadn't heard of hypoadreanalism until you mentioned it. Thx all the info has been so helpful

Reply

you won't ever hear a doctor mention hypoadrenalism as big pharma doesnt have a drug for it...I was treated for hypo for over 10 years but as my thyroid couldnt convert levo from T4 to T3 it just ended up making me very very ill with toxaemia..

most good naturopath can help support the adrenals .

good luck

Reply

Yes you are right . And trust yourself . Heavy bleeding is a hypo symptom . Try to find an open minded Endo/Dr that LISTENS . I would probably suggest that your daughter should have her iron levels and ferritin checked . She might just need iron supplement for starters . Having adrenals checked out would be very advisable . Thyroid and adrenals work in unison .

Wishing you satisfactory resolutions .

3 likes
Reply

Thank you - she has just started herself in an iron suppliment, which she'll probably need to stop before she is tested. It seems testing Thyroid & adrenals would be very worthwhile

Reply

Great !!!! Your going in the right direction .

Wishing you success as you proceed for a meaningful resolution .

Reply

I had exactly the same thing, and my advice is get her to a gyn doctor as soon as possible, as she is likely to be suffering from, either ENDOMETRIOSIS, FIBROIDS. I went through my adult life, like this until the gyn did a D & C. which is a painless wee op, taking no more than 20 minutes. No pain afterwards, but oh!! so much relief. unfortunately in my case, It wasn't until I had my two kids, and demanded a hysterectomy, that they discovered the endometriosis, which by that time was growing on several of my organs, outside of my womb. Endometriosis, is the lining of the omb growing on other organs, and by the time a period is due, all the Endometriosis bleeds as well, but as we women know, there's only one place all of this blood can go to, hence the severe and very painful period. GOOD LUCK. XXXX

Reply

You may also like...