Hypothyroid and Menopause: Hello. Just wanted to... - Thyroid UK

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Hypothyroid and Menopause

Karenlb64 profile image

Hello. Just wanted to ask what people’s experience of having hypothyroidism and going through the menopause is. I’m feeling absolutely awful but every time I go to the gp they just put everything down to the menopause. My most recent visit to the gp I was told “you are allowed to feel like this” and offered antidepressants which I have decided not to take. I’ve just had to fight with the doctors receptionist now to get a blood test ok’d by the doctor to check my TSH levels. I’m sort of hoping that it comes back high so that there’s an explanation for how crap I feel and hopefully they can increase my dose of thyroxin and I can start feeling better. What I’d like to know is how the menopause has impacted on your thyroid condition, does it make the symptoms worse and how do I start feeling better. I’m suffering extreme anxiety, emotional, muscle aches and joint pains to name but a few.

14 Replies

Hi, I am in the same situation, am 56 and was diagnosed as hyperthyroid 4ys ago. Graves Disease.?Not sure if the menopause was the trigger?

After taking meds that didn’t appear to work I ended up having RAI which has left me hypothyroid.

Many of the menopause and hypo symptoms I find are the same and I always say I got a double dose of anxiety, sweats aches and pains etc.

I’m taking 50mg Levo daily and felt so bad ended up having private bloods done to check vitamin levels as well as T3.

I now take Vit D daily and have B12 injections 3 monthly which is helping with the tiredness.

My GP has never spoken to me about HRT and I wondered if this was because of my thyroid issues? hope you start to feel better soon.

Because I have Graves' disease I either had no periods for 6 months or continious bleeding which I took tranexamic acid tablets for. I am 60 now and don't take any hormone replacement I just sometimes use lube during sex. I feel great.

I can fully sympathise Karenlb64! :(

Is your GP a man by any chance? The so called professionals do talk crap don't they? Yes having a thyroid condition is hormonal but not in the sense they mean. You just feeling like banging your head against a brick wall sometimes. Well I know I do.

I live in the UK and it is now 06.20 am and I have not been to sleep yet. Admittedly I am stressed out with hubs in hospital. But I don't know what is worse, having heavy periods or being post menopause!

I have always had a thyroid condition, but they messed me around along time ago which I think contributed to heavy periods, even the tranexamic acid tablet did not work, would have periods and heavy ones for 3-4 weeks at a time, three days off and it would start again. Became very iron anaemic. Also have B12 deficiency, pernicious anaemia and vitamin D deficient too.

My periods suddenly stopped at the end of 2015, when I was 54, no flushes or anything. I did put it down to the fact I was grieving for my mum. Last year and this year I had some gyne problems, so have been checked for every type of cancer but now have a chronic abscess, which lead to sepsis last year and they say I am "too high risk" to do anything at the moment.

I don't ache as much only when I am due a B12 jab.

I have also been offered antidepressants as well but do not take them, so my anxiety can't be that bad evidently, but it flipping is.

I am now turned 58 and feel 108 in some ways. All they say now is, "How old are you? followed by, things start to change after 50! Thanks a lot.

Rest assured you are not on your own.

Best wishes :)

I can definitely sympathise!

I have been hypothyroid (Hashimoto's) since my mid- to late 20s, diagnosed at age 31. Now 50.

For the past few years, I've had really bad hot flushes, mostly during the night. It was not uncommon for me to wake up every hour and feel more exhausted when I got up than when I went to bed.

I have also felt a lot more moody recently. I have always had a temper, but used to be able to control it. Now, I easily freak out and it takes a while to calm down every time that happens, leaving me both physically and emotionally exhausted. I have developed high blood pressure in recent months (not sure if there is a connection but suspect there is) and am now on medication.

I've been put on HRT (bio-identical estrogen and progesterone) and that has helped with the hot flushes, but not so much with my mood swings.

I recently started Menopause support by A. Vogel. I subscribe to their newsletter about menopause and it has helped me understand my condition better. I have read there that it's common for women not to recognise themselves during menopause, to feel overwhelmed by the smallest things, to cry easily and even feel like someone else has taken possession of their body.

I recommend subscribing to the newsletter:

avogel.co.uk

Menopause support contains isoflavones which raise estrogen levels. My most recent labs showed my estrogen levels were lowish despite the HRT. I had been taking progesterone continuously (100 mg of micronized P every night) instead of cyclically (200 mg ten days a month). I then read here that progesterone, especially micronized P, can suppress estrogen levels, so started taking it cyclically instead, in the hope that it would raise my estrogen levels (I use estrogen daily; I used to stop all HRT for five days each month but felt worse and my doctor said that shows I need to be on it continuously).

I have no qualms about being on HRT if it can help me through this. The night sweats were terrible and negatively influenced my quality of life. Being able to sleep through the night since going on HRT is a blessing. Now, I just have to find a solution to my mood swings and slight depression.

I read in the most recent newsletter from A. Vogel that it's common to feel absolutely terrible in the years leading up to your last period and a couple of years after that, and then things tend to settle down as your sex hormones drop to permanently low levels. The editor of the newsletter says she felt like a new person once that happened to her, and I am hoping the same thing will happen to me. When you're in the middle of it it feels like it's never going to get better, but it will. My periods stopped for several months earlier this year, but came back with a vengeance after I started taking progesterone cyclically instead of continuously. I'll turn 51 next month and that is the average age for a woman's last period. Fingers crossed...

JOLLYDOLLY profile image
JOLLYDOLLY in reply to

Hi,

I can relate to the shortness of temper, a bit like having permanent PMT! I also get very weepy but I put that down to grieving and being over sensitive. The joys of getting older!

Best wishes :)

SlowDragon profile image
SlowDragonAdministrator

Conversion can get worse, especially if your vitamin levels are too low

So it's essential to test FT4 And FT3

What supplements do you currently take?

For full Thyroid evaluation you need TSH, FT4 and FT3 tested. Also EXTREMELY important to test vitamin D, folate, ferritin and B12

Low vitamin levels are extremely common, especially if you have autoimmune thyroid disease (Hashimoto's) diagnosed by raised Thyroid antibodies

Ask GP to test vitamin levels (and thyroid antibodies if not been tested)

Recommended on here that all thyroid blood tests should ideally be done as early as possible in morning and before eating or drinking anything other than water .

Last dose of Levothyroxine 24 hours prior to blood test. (taking delayed dose immediately after blood draw).

This gives highest TSH, lowest FT4 and most consistent results. (Patient to patient tip, best not mentioned to GP or phlebotomist)

Private tests are available. Thousands on here forced to do this as NHS often refuses to test FT3 or antibodies or all vitamins

Cheapest option for just TSH, FT4 and FT3 £29 (via NHS private service )

monitormyhealth.org.uk/thyr...

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

For thyroid including antibodies and vitamins

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 special offers, Medichecks usually have offers on Thursdays, Blue Horizon its more random

After being diagnosed hashi in June 17, I spent ages wondering if symptoms were meno or hypo. Eventually, I began HRT and now I can see which is which so it’s been helpful. Eg hot sweats have gone, hip pains have stayed etc

I am so sorry all you ladies are going through such a hard time with the menopause and hypothyroidism. Maybe I am an exception as I sailed through the menopause, with only a few hot flushes at night.

My immunity definitely got much worse at peri menopause. HRT patches are safer than oral HRT. HRT has been a life saver for me. My symptoms were severe. I really did not want to be here. My anxiety at night was unbearable. Tried natural menopause for three years, but failed miserably. Most natural stuff has soy in. Must not have soy with auto immune disease. Hope you get there, there is light at the end of the tunnel! 😉

Hi there - sorry to hear you are feeling like this. I feel EXACTLY the same as you and a few people have gently told me it could be the start of the menopause (I am 48). My periods are fairly regular though, give or take the odd one that comes on 6 days early, and one in April that was "stuck up me" and would not flow out of me that lasted over 2 weeks. I think when it comes to thyroid testing, they should adjust our medications for our age/sex, not just a one size fits all chart of numbers. I think I may mention this to GP next time. x Take care and hope you can get sorted soon xx

Menopause and thyroid disease = hell

Neither thyroid nor menopause are subjects most doctors know a lot about. Generally speaking you need help of someone who specialises in either (ideally both but very difficult to find such a rarity), do a lot of research abouth both conditions and make a decision what you are comfortable with to take or what you can afford to have because a lot of effective treatment is essentially only available privately.

For a lot of women perimenopause (up to 10 years prior to menopause) is when hypothyroidism kicks in because all the hormones are in the loop and imbalances in sex or thyroid hormones will generally feed one to another distabilising the whole system.

Symptoms will often overlap and stress, which might greatly drive the whole process in the first place and in many cases should really be addressed first of all, increases and it all feels like a viscious circle.

For me the sequence was to get my minerals and vitamins up to sufficient levels first, stabilise thyroid as much as possible given I don't respond to levo, then get bioidentical hormones when menopause came and got me in absolutely miserable state, and now when everything is working as well as it can I am seriously addressing my emotional and psychological wellbeing because I firmly believe that this is the root cause of all my health problems.

Best of luck with getting your hormones sorted 8-)

Hi I am in a similar situation. My GP suggested HRT but declined. I was put on antidepressants and at first when he suggested it will help with the hot flushes I was a bit apprehensive. Since I started taking with vit D and ferritin, I am much better. It is worthy a try. I was at risk of other medical conditions. My chest and joint pain resolved within a week . It is worthy exploring other measures. This forum saved my life and that of my family as I was so anxious and irritable . With the advice from this forum I knew which tests to request for

Have you checked your T4, T3, ferritin, Folate, Vitamin D and B12?

I was ill after being left under medicated on thyroxine for a number of years. I was on an optimal amount when I went through the menopause and had no problems. I have had to reduce my thyroxine slightly and had a battle not to reduce it by too much but feel I'm on a sufficient level now.

It is worth looking into things further with your GP and don't be fobbed off.

Karen

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