Thyroid UK
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Thyroid or menopause

Is it thyroid or menopause. I’m approaching 60. Since I was 50 I have jumped from a size 14 to 18. Struggled to lose weight. My late mother was the same until she was diagnosed age 83 with thyroid issues. Her weight and dress size dropped from 22 to size 16. It was lovely to see her have a waist again. I found out from her cousin she had thyroid problem and her daughters have. I use to have lovely nails but I have vertical lines and they split. My hair has thinned out enormously after hairdressers always commenting my hair was thick and a lot of it. My joints ache. Suffer sleep issues. I know my doctor will fob me off. Comtemplating getting a private test but half me thinks is just the menopause. Had a hysterectomy at the age of 41. Just need advice. Thank you.

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The only way to know is to test. With strong family history then it increases your odds of having Hashimoto's

Either got to try to persuade GP to do testing, but they often are unable to test FT3 or antibodies. Both essential

For full Thyroid evaluation you need TSH, FT4, TT4, FT3 plus TPO and TG thyroid antibodies. Plus vitamin D, folate, ferritin and B12.

Essential to test thyroid antibodies, FT3 and FT4 plus vitamins

Private tests are available

thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/testin...

Medichecks Thyroid plus ultra vitamin or Blue Horizon Thyroid plus eleven are the most popular choice. DIY finger prick test or option to pay extra for private blood draw. Both companies often have money off offers.

All thyroid tests should ideally be done as early as possible in morning and fasting. This gives highest TSH and most consistent results. (Patient to patient tip, GP will be unaware)

If antibodies are high this is Hashimoto's, (also known by medics here in UK more commonly as autoimmune thyroid disease).

About 90% of all hypothyroidism in Uk is due to Hashimoto's

1 like
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Thank you for replying. I am tempted to do a private test. I will look up the tests. Why don’t GP’s test for FT3’s?

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Apparently due to budget restrictions it's too expensive. Someone on here did a freedom of information request to discover cost to NHS for FT3 test....... 92 pence

It's also very important to test vitamins and antibodies

If antibodies are high this is Hashimoto's. Medics would say it's irrelevant to know as the medical treatment is the same. But patients do need to know as there's masses we can do with diet and supplements to improve symptoms and health

Hashimoto's affects the gut and leads to low stomach acid and then low vitamin levels

Low vitamin levels affect Thyroid hormone working

Poor gut function can lead leaky gut (literally holes in gut wall) this can cause food intolerances. Most common by far is gluten

According to Izabella Wentz the Thyroid Pharmacist approx 5% with Hashimoto's are coeliac, but over 80% find gluten free diet helps significantly. Either due to direct gluten intolerance (no test available) or due to leaky gut and gluten causing molecular mimicry (see Amy Myers link)

But don't be surprised that GP or endo never mention gut, gluten or low vitamins. Hashimoto's is very poorly understood

Changing to a strictly gluten free diet may help reduce symptoms, help gut heal and slowly lower TPO antibodies

Ideally ask GP for coeliac blood test first

thyroidpharmacist.com/artic...

thyroidpharmacist.com/artic...

amymyersmd.com/2017/02/3-im...

chriskresser.com/the-gluten...

scdlifestyle.com/2014/08/th...

drknews.com/changing-your-d...

thyroidpharmacist.com/artic...

Having said that, Thyroid patients who don't have Hashimoto's have still found noticeable improvements by going gluten free as well.

Leaky gut is common side affect. Or thyroid problems a common side affect of leaky gut....whichever came first.

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That’s really interesting. The last couple of years I’ve suffered with gurling stomach cramping pains they put it down to ibs no tests done. Excessive flatulence which is embarrassing. Also I can’t have too much salt that irritates my bladder and vinegar. I’ve been getting right side pain in the hip and back. Waiting for mri results. Just feel like I’m falling apart. Becomes very depressing.

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Get full vitamin and thyroid testing plus coeliac blood test

Either from GP or get private tests

Then regardless of coeliac blood test try absolutely strictly gluten free diet for 3-6 months. You might be amaized.

If it helps stick on it (it's easier to do than you might expect)

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Thank you reply. Will look into all what you suggested.

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Has your GP done thyroid function tests?

You need

Thyroid antibodies

Free T4

Free T3

Ferritin

Folate

B12

Vitd3

Cholesterol, is likely to be high which is also indicative of hypothyroid

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No a couple of years ago I had to take folic acid for four months. Recently waking up with a tingling in the hands like nerves firing up. Hard to explain. Gp sent me for a blood test hadn’t come back to say anything wrong. No the gp hasn’t done a thyroid test. I think I previously may have had one done with my old gp that come back as nothing. But then again they were useless. When I go back to the gp for the results of my mri I’ll ask for one.

I research my family tree most of my mums side of the family died of Atherosclerosis. I was also told from a relative that haemochromatosis is present ie my mums late uncles side

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Hello Saffchops60

I am sorry to hear of your problems and hope you get the advice you are seeking and help from your GP.

May I please follow you, as, I too have the same nail problems and think hair after having had good nails and very thick hair, and have 'filled out' and I am 61 and had a hysterectomy at 34, so very similar.

(I am btw on thyroid medication and have been for many years)

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Hi thy01d

Has the medication helped you? I have to look into the private testing. Just waiting for mri results first on back. How long have you been on thyroid medication? How did you find out you had a problem with your thyroid?

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Hi Saffchops, nice to hear back from you. Here are my answers, a bit long for clarity.

Yes, the thyroid med that I am now on has helped greatly with the fatigue but not nails or hair or weight. I was undiagnosed for many years then on medication that made me worse for over 15 years, so it's been a long journey. I have been on the current med for about 15 months.

I honestly can't remember how I was diagnosed, it was over 20 years ago and I had been saying I was exhausted since the hysterectomy, not just saying, falling into an unconscious-type sleep during the day, sometimes for hours at a time. It was some triviality I mentioned while with the doctor that made him run thyroid function tests - at the time I looked well, was on the slim side with very thick hair, so had none of the classic indicators.

My own belief, which could be quite wrong, is that the hysterectomy worsened the thyroid problem, which retrospectively my (then) GP thought I had been having since early teens.

I doubt if any of that helps you and my current GP is extraordinarily anti HRT so I have no idea which of my symptoms are a result of the thyroid and which oestrogen/progesterone related.

I hope you have a good and helpful GP and soon are on the road to a full recovery.

May I follow you?

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