Hypothyroidism vs menopause: I thought I was... - Thyroid UK

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Hypothyroidism vs menopause

Whirlygig profile image

I thought I was starting the menopause due to symptoms of weight gain, muscle cramps/aches, low energy and mood, non existent libido, itchy skin to name a few. My menopause screening came back normal (all middle of the range) but my thyroid test results have come back as abnormal. TSH 4.2 (normal <4) and my tf4 test was 11.8 (normal >12) Despite this my doctor has dismissed my symptoms and said that I wouldn't have any with this TSH level and that you don't get muscle problems and itchy skin with hypothyroidism. He has decided that it is not my thyroid and it must be the menopause because of my age (53) despite my sister and mother having a late menopause. He initially wanted to retest in 6 months but I have pushed him to have them redone in 8 weeks.

Any advice on what to do next? Should I just wait for the next test or is worth having a private antibody test? Are there other conditions that can upset your thyroid results without having a thyroid issue? If he is right, what level of tsh do you have to reach to have symptoms?

Thanks for any help.

13 Replies
SlowDragon profile image

After first abnormal test GP should retest 6-8 weeks later …..not 6 months

Book test early morning, ideally before 9am


Whirlygig profile image
Whirlygig in reply to SlowDragon

I've booked for 8.40am in 7 weeks. Should I fast and if so for how long?

SlowDragon profile image
SlowDragonAdministrator in reply to Whirlygig

Eat as normal the day before

Ideally just have water between waking and blood test

Ensure they test thyroid antibodies and all four vitamins

Low vitamin levels tend to lower TSH

What’s your diet like, are you vegetarian or vegan or on gluten free or dairy free diet

Central hypothyroidism






Whirlygig profile image
Whirlygig in reply to SlowDragon

Hi, my diet has been affected by IBS ( which developed after being infected with cryptosporidium) which has steadily got worse over the last 5 years to the point I was unable to eat nearly all vegetables and fruit. I found a product called Lepsidol which contains Inulin, live bacteria and husk and can now eat a small amount but daily portions of some veg and fruit. Back in the summer I was found to have low folate and sodium so I now take a vitamin b complex and limit my fluid intake. I eat very little processed food and I'm fine with dairy, I have been tested negative for coeliac disease.

All my recent tests for iron, folates and calcium have all come back normal as have liver and kidney function tests. I am on 1000mg of Naproxen per day along with omeprozole for a back problem.

greygoose profile image
greygoose in reply to Whirlygig

Back in the summer I was found to have low folate and sodium so I now take a vitamin b complex and limit my fluid intake

Why limit your fluid intake? Do you usually drink excessive water? Sounds like you'd be better off increasing your salt intake than limiting your fluid intake.

Whirlygig profile image
Whirlygig in reply to greygoose

That was the doctors solution! Tbf I did used to drink a lot of fluid but I always have done as an outside worker. It has struck me as odd that none of the doctors I have spoken or seen have looked into why suddenly my folate/sodium was below normal.

SlowDragon profile image
SlowDragonAdministrator in reply to Whirlygig

IBS is extremely common hypothyroid issue

How long have you been on omeprazole

Omeprazole will lower vitamin levels

ESSENTIAL to test vitamin D, folate,ferritin and B12

Also magnesium as on PPI




PPI and increased risk T2 diabetes


Iron Deficiency and PPI




Thousands of posts on here about low stomach acid and being hypothyroid


Web links re low stomach acid and reflux and hypothyroidism





How to test stomach acid levels






Protect your teeth if using ACV with mother


Whirlygig profile image
Whirlygig in reply to SlowDragon

I've been on it for about 18 months. I have had 2 normal thyroid tests since the onset of IBS so I don't think they are linked but thanks for the info.

SlowDragon profile image
SlowDragonAdministrator in reply to Whirlygig

PPI only meant to be short term, been on it long enough to develop vitamin deficiencies

Low vitamin levels tend to lower TSH

SlowDragon profile image
SlowDragonAdministrator in reply to Whirlygig

Remember to stop taking vitamin B complex a week before all blood tests as contains biotin and biotin can falsely affect test results

Instead take separate folate and separate B12 during that week before test

SeasideSusie profile image

A normal, low or minimally elevated TSH with below range FT4 = Central Hypothyroidism (CH) .

GP may not have heard of it due to it being less common than primary or autoimmune hypothyroidism and you would need to be referred to a thyroid specialist not a diabetes specialist (which most endos are).

CH is where the problem lies with the pituitary or the hypothalamus rather than the thyroid.

I'm not on my PC at the moment so can't give you any links. SlowDragon do you have any links for CH?

Well he's an idiot.

Your TSH is higher than in someone euthyroid and your actual thyroid hormones don't even make it onto the lab range. And fwiw the first sign I get that I'm under-medicated is muscle pain in my legs, which is - according to my previous GP - very well recognised as a hypo symptom.

And you don't HAVE to have any untoward symptoms AT ALL with menopause.

But you should be prescribed thyroid meds when you have two blood results showing raised TSH and either below-range free T4 and/or over-range thyroid antibodies, so please make sure they test those next time too - and get the next test booked in 6 - 8 weeks (always an early morning - before 9am - blood test when TSH is highest)

Can you see someone else next time? x

The doctor I saw was a locum gp so I am unlikely to see him again but he seemed like he was just reading out of a text book rather than making a judgement. If I have abnormal results again I will certainly be pushing for some action, I'm fed up with feeling like ****!

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