Menopause or thyroid-that is the question!

I am 56, hypothyroid for 1 year taking 50mcg Levothyroxine reduced from 75mcg as started with panic attacks and fast heart rate. Having spoken to my GP, she said levels were showing normal after blood result-however they were at the top end of the scale. I decided to reduce to 50mcg and immediately the high anxiety went. GP said ok fine stay with that for 6 weeks and re-test.

The re-test showed levels bang in the middle of the scale so all ok. Since then I started with panic attacks often after not eating for a few hours-possibly hypoglycemia attacks-very similar symptoms-shaky/weak/fast heartbeat etc.

I stopped my red clover supplements as I read they can interact negatively with thyroxine. Now I feel light headed/flat (not depressed just lacking in motivation),plus have very low appetite- all quite menopausal really-so to cut to the chase-I've ordered 5 htp serotonin supplement to help with the generalised anxiety and to hopefully elevate mood. As a teacher I have been unable to face a class of demanding teenagers and am looking at a more low key job option-more backstage role. I will update you on how the 5 htp goes but wondered if anybody had a similar tale of woe? I feel that I'm just a supplement or two away from reasonable good health-but wow, what a pain this whole thing is!!

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  • I am on a very similar journey - having been anxious for 3 years with no reason, i was recently diagnosed as underactive thyroid and starting taking levo. Got upto 75mcg before my attacks got worse and have been trialling 50mcg for 8 weeks. However recently noticed that my anxiety went for a week when i had my monthly cycle - felt normal for 5 days,it was great. Now starting to think that my anxiety is not thyroid based but early stages of menopause, so awaiting blood test results next week. I like you have been doing different duties in my job as i couldnt cope recently with lots of people around.

    Us ladies have to put up with a lot dont we. Hope you start to feel better soon - will let you know how i get on.

  • Thanks for reply-oestrogen does play a part in all this. Also whether on 75 or 50 mcg levo according to my doc-it's 'neither here nor there'. Go with your body's reaction-too nervy/agitated is usually too much levo. Let me know your results from the 50 mcg trial. The spectrum for acceptable levels is wide -you decide where you need to be on it. Take Care.

  • Hi Make sure you have had a Free T3 and vit D ( hormonal) blood tests. Both could be the likely cause. if D low you need calcium tested then if in range D treatment , hopefully on a script with repeat tests. D is started low and gradually increased on results ( D takes 3 months to alter properly in the blood ) Calcium at all times must be in range so D increased slowly for safety.If still having problem try and see a good endo as, all hormones etc come under endocrinology.It is likely that the menopause has altered your thyroid,making it more hypo. If it is possible that your heart needs attention, unlikely ,but possible as we grow older, a good endo would likely pick that up too.

    Jackie

  • I am hyper, prescribed Carbimazole by my endo and feeling more 'balanced' at the moment. When going through my long list of symptoms, he did say that it's very regrettable, but apparently female thyroid patients past the menopause can unfortunately expect the return of some symptoms ... my face most have dropped at this point. He said the trick is to get blood levels stable to see which symptoms remain and those tend to be the menopausal ones. I went out and bought a huge bottle of high dose evening primrose and black cohosh (I didn't get on well with HRT) and take them alongside my medication.

  • Thanks for that-I found starfower oil stronger than Eve primrose -are you steering clear of phyto oestrogens? You seem to have a really informed helpful endo-my doc wouldn't refer me but am prepared to go privately if anyone is in Yorkshire and knows of anyone would appreciate advice..Take care.

  • I haven't tried starflower oil, don't know anything about phyto oestrogens. I was put on HRT by my GP at the time but it really made me feel ill. I remember empathising with the newspaper reports of women who'd committed crimes blaming their monthly cycle ... went back to my GP who did another blood test and my oestrogen levels had gone through the roof, she apologised and put notes on my file never to give it again! What works for me is high dosage evening primrose taken twice daily (cheap at Aldi!), black cohosh and exercise, Pilates mainly for stretching and a good walk when I can motivate myself :)

    I think I was originally referred to see an endocrinologist because blood tests taken by my GP showed a very low TSH, i.e. hyper. She wouldn't (said she couldn't) treat me and had to refer me on, the downside was I had become aware I was in need of treatment but no medication for 3 months before I could have an appointment!

  • Hi,

    In my early fifties I became aware that I had thyroid issues - the most worrying symptoms for me were anxiety and panic attacks. It took a while for me to find the appropriate thyroid med for my system, but what helped the anxiety enormously were bio-identical progesterone cream and adrenal glandulars along with B12 and Magnesium.

    I learned that during the perimenopause estrogen can become dominant, causing horrible periods, an extended perimenopause and anxiety symptoms.

    Underactive thyroid can knock the adrenals out, causing increased anxiety, fatigue etc .

    We are generally very depleted in Magnesium as modern fertilizers have a lower mag content than the organic fertilizers of the past and Mag is very good for regulating and soothing the nervous system and muscles - including the heart. Mag citrate or glycinate are good.

    Good luck with everything - maybe try some of the above before changing your job?

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