Oestrogen: I had a total hysterectomy in 201... - Thyroid UK

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Oestrogen

Icicles
Icicles

I had a total hysterectomy in 2012, and had been suffering menopausal symptoms at the time (mostly hot flushes, lack of energy and quality of life massively deteriorated) I took HRT up til the Hysterectomy when the gynae oncologist surgeon told me not to take anything with oestrogen in it because it could cause problems with any residual endometrial cells. This seemed like quite a clear message to me so I have struggled on with hot flushes and various other menopausal miseries. I saw my GP again earlier this year when I really wanted her to consider a trial for my slightly unusual TSH, she, of course, dismissed me and suggested I consider oestrogen patches or something. I peeled off and came here and I am 3 months into a trial of whether NDT is appropriate, and that’s still very ‘early days’ I am tempted to see whether some of my symptoms are related to oestrogen deficiency, which I will undoubtedly have. I have read opinions here which link oestrogen to T3 production/ availability/ amounts.

My GP went ahead and contacted the Gynae Oncologist surgeon who did my op and he said that he saw no reason in my notes not to take oestrogen!!!!!! To top it off, my friend has discovered a breast lump which is related to oestrogen which has frightened me! When I read anything about oestrogen on line, it usually confirms my fears and what I think that he was getting at at the time, that oestrogen ‘feeds’ endometrial cells, and I had an endometrial tumour so rampant that it had destroyed my appendix, although it wasn’t cancerous, he did suspect it was, hence the total hysterectomy.

Seeing GP in the morning to explore options. Does anyone have any advice, help, support for me. I suspect I will be told to stabilise my thyroid first, but with this hot weather, it’s so tempting to try to eradicate the hot flushes which I have now had for 8 years with no let up and in fact worsening!

It’s long, sorry, and thank you in advance

21 Replies
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Think it will be hard to stabilise thyroid until you know what you’re doing re oestrogen as it will affect your requirement for thyroid hormone. Are you doing all the simple stuff, avoiding alcohol, coffee, spiced food, sweaters synthetic fabrics etc etc etc Have you tried drinking cold water at beginning of flush / sleeping with window open (makes big difference all weathers!)? Doesn’t sound like you’re keen on oestrogen now. Think hot flushes die out eventually for most. So difficult for you with all your hormones messed up. You’ll get there in the end I’m sure. Good luck x

Icicles
Icicles
in reply to Aurealis

Hello Aurealis, thank you for this. Over the years I have got used to handling them, but in all this heat, the frequency and intensity has tripled. I feel like I have really had enough now. I realise that oestrogen impacts the uptake or conversion and ultimately the amounts of T3 available, so I could get to an effective dose and then have to change it again if I start taking oestrogen. Oh crikey. I’ve gone about this the wrong way!

Aurealis
Aurealis
in reply to Icicles

Don’t think there’s a wrong way, it’s interdependent, have to aim for a finely balanced integrated hormonal system, just start somewhere! If your thyroid levels are out your hot flushes will be worse so there is sense in trying to sort it first in case it sorts everything. Good luck, let us know how you get on x

Icicles
Icicles
in reply to Aurealis

Thank you. Will do x

I had a total hysterectomy in 2003 and was put on HRT immediately after the op and have continued to do so in spite of all the scare stories. I don't think you should take any notice of the negativity around the subject but instead try it and listen to your body. If it makes you feel better continue if not stop taking it. Have a look at this site which is the women patients site for the British Menopause Society -- there's lots information as well as a help line. womens-health-concern.org

Icicles
Icicles
in reply to RosamundG

Thank you Rosamund, that looks like a great link just having a quick click through. I felt like you do before I had the hysterectomy, I was very happy. But what he said and warned me about made sense, I could find articles which confirmed it. Now that he can’t remember or has changed his opinion, I feel angry, because what he said has had an enormous negative impact on my life.

Do you mind me asking what type of HRT you take? I have read something about transdermal treatments, I was on tablets before.

Thanks again

Aurealis
Aurealis
in reply to Icicles

I believe the balance of the research evidence has shifted over the years in favour of hrt so it’s likely that you were given best available advice at the time, but now there is more evidence of positive benefits and fewer of negatives the advice is different. You will find evidence for and against online but you need a balanced view from someone who has kept on top of developments over time (in my view anyway). So a medic you trust may be your best bet x

Icicles
Icicles
in reply to Aurealis

Ok, I’m going for it! I’ve had enough! Thanks x

sweetsusie
sweetsusie
in reply to Icicles

Icicles - I'm a 70-year-old woman who was scared to death by the big HRT study that was done a few years ago, so I wouldn't take HRT. I have regretted! My quality of life has been horrible..I lost my marriage...lost my sex drive...lost all energy, etc. I was a mess. I finally talked my doctor into allowing me to go on HRT and it has changed my life!! I'm on my 4th month and I feel so much better now! No longer fatigued...no longer depressed...etc.!!!! Best thing I've ever done for myself, and my doctor is a hero in my life, because most doctors won't prescribe HRT if you're over 60. Anyway, I take the lowest amounts possible of estradiol (0.5 mg) and norethindrone (1.0 mg). I also have a girlfriend who lives in Wyoming and she has been taking HRT for YEARS and YEARS with no ill effects. She told her doctor that if he took her off of it, she would kill him!! I was still having night sweats and hot flashes at age 70, too! They NEVER went away..I was suffering. Too much bad hype about HRT in my humble opinion. I say go for it..no need to suffer.

Icicles
Icicles
in reply to sweetsusie

Thank you so much for this, Sweetsusie, it’s really kind of you to share that with me. I saw the years stretching ahead of me and no sign of the symptoms abating. I hesitated to post this question for weeks, I wish I hadn’t waited, like I wish I hadn’t waited to see my doctor. I’m going for it, what are we waiting for...? Xx

sweetsusie
sweetsusie
in reply to Icicles

You're very welcome, Icicles...I bet with those hot flashes, your call sign (Icicles) is kind ironic, huh?? HA! Hope you feel better soon!

Icicles
Icicles
in reply to sweetsusie

Haha, indeed! Thanks so much xx

Oestrogen can decrease thyroid hormones even more, and you probably need progesterone more than oestrogen (but you probably need both and maybe testosterone as well). You need to know what your hormone levels are and then consider bioidentical hormone replacement by someone who understands that one size doesn't fit all - expensive!

Thank you angel of the North, I am looking into this more seriously now.

Hidden
Hidden

I have a theory about hrt. I too had a total hysterectomy in 1999 for cancer and was told not to take hrt. I'm going to revisit this issue as that is 20 year old knowledge now. I recently posted a statement based on info from this forum that our thyroid hormones, our adrenal hormones, and our sex hormones are all equally important, work in conjunction with each other and should be viewed re importance as an equilateral triangle. This leads me to think that if a doctor is prescribing hrt it must be done not in isolation but in conjunction with an endocrinologist who is in charge of our thyroid and adrenal glands so that doses are balanced and working well with each other. And, please, don't give the power for prescribing thyroid hormones to the gynecologist. I believe the odds would be high we would end up with 2 lab tests-the ubiquitous TSH and T4- possibly a starting dose of levothyroxine and some kind of female hormone patch. Would you try to board an airplane with a train ticket? Just my brain trying to climb outside the box!

Icicles
Icicles
in reply to Hidden

I like this, irina

Shaws posted something that I can’t find now by, maybe Dr Lowe, about women being entitled to NDT, Transdermal Oestrogen and Testosterone and to go out and get it!

I did my private blood test this morning and will hopefully have results later this week and will approach Endocrinologist with questions about HRT. I’m so glad I asked this forum for help, thank you for taking the time to reply to me.

Hidden
Hidden
in reply to Icicles

Your welcome. Helps me too. Haven't thought about hrt for years since I was told it wasn't for me. I'm seeing my endo again next weer (Labs tomorrow). Will bring this up.

Icicles
Icicles
in reply to Hidden

Good for you! There’s so much to do, I am kicking myself that all the great things I’ve done in the last 6 years have been punctuated by hot flushes and bad sleep, why did I do that to myself? Definitely need to think more about that in therapy! No need for the next 6 to be a repeat x

Hidden
Hidden
in reply to Hidden

PS Maybe we can view these three hormone groups like B vitamins. All are needed and if any are missing or out of sync, none will work optimally.

please don't believe all the scare stories - these were based on totally messed up research analysis from about 15 + years ago ( abit like the MMR scandal ) … if you have no family history of Breast of Cervical then the risks are minimal especially if you take the Gel and then take the progesterone separately as eliminates the clot risk too ( which is tiny ). There are many health benefits of HRT - it lowers osteoporosis and other serious health problems … check out themenopausedoctor.co.uk

Icicles
Icicles
in reply to cazza1001

Thank you cazza, I was sooooo happy on HRT before the hysterectomy, that oncologist has a lot to answer for. I feel almost giddy at the prospect of cracking on and just getting on with life. It’s so nice to hear from you, I wish I had done this weeks ago xx

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