Menopause/hypothyroidism...about to lose it! HELP!

I am 48 years old, have been hypothyroid for years and now in menopause. I feel like my hormones are at war! I have had difficulty finding information for women with both as opposed to finding out about hypothyroidism during menopause. This week I feel like I could snap at any time. Weepy, exhausted like a completely drained battery but cannot sleep through the night (insomnia), irritable (like I want to come out of my skin), am on my 3rd period this month, achy joints, am heavier than I have ever been and eating seems to be the only calming agent I can find. Also, I have been depressed and feeling like I have no memory for facts/figures/concepts anymore. I am a teacher and feel like I am actually losing knowledge on a daily basis! (Brain fog) As I actually write down all of my issues/concerns, I am wondering if anyone feels like I do or if I am so much more messed up than most women. My thyroid levels (TSH) have been coming out ok the past two dr visits. (Around 2.5). I am on 200 mcg of Levothyroxine but I haven't felt normal for months...well, years, actually. Lately, though, it's been really bad. And my problem is that every doctor I go to only seems to treat very specific problems so I feel very alone trying to piece together a medical plan. My dream would be to find a doctor or treatment center that would/could treat all of my symptoms simultaneously. Is there even such a dr or center that exists? Sitting here crying fearing that this is just my new norm that I will have to get used to. (Is that even possible?). So sorry...didn't mean to drag on the way I have! Guess I needed to vent more than I knew! So if you any of you haven't written me off already, any suggestions on where to begin to seek treatment/help with all of this? Is there anyone in the same situation as I am??

5 Replies

  • Hello sorry to hear all this but I totally recognise those feelings as yes I am hypothyroid and perimenopausal/menopausal! I know I have been perimenopausal and recently my periods have almost stopped so I presume heading for proper menopause!

    As you say it's hard to know what's causing what half the time and it's extremely difficult to work it all out. I am hypothyroid because of having my thyroid removed 2004..I was on levothyroxin until just over two years ago when for whatever reason it stopped working for me and I was very ill..probably hormonal..anyway I am now on Natural Dessicated Thyroid. A more natural hormone which contains T4 T3 T2 T1 and calcitonin...this was used before levothyroxin. Am better generally but still have bad days.

    I had to change my job but it's still physical and a struggle..I get home often wiped out and don't know if it's because of being hypo/menopause probably both! We are unfortunate in that we have a double whammy with coping with all this.

    I read up on all of this and basically it's a matter of a good diet and plenty of rest if possible! I do not take HRT but am looking into Menopace which has helped colleagues it's basically just vitamins etc. You can get it anywhere! Apparently it helps with joints and moods.

    I know doctors have tried me to go on HRT even though I was high risk so I declined..but for many it helps.

    Please be assured that there are many women who are coping with both conditions. Am sorry I cannot recommend any one doctor/clinic etc. But to let you know that am sure you will get help on here. Also if you are on Facebook there are some good sites which can help from people who are also suffering!

  • Hi baileyandjordy

    I too am postmenopausal and have hashimoto's. From what I've read on the subject, having hashimoto's makes the thyroid symptoms worse.There isn't really a doctor that will do that for you, although it may be worth trying a herbalist. I went to my doctor almost two years ago and they diagnosed menopause and hashimotos at the same time. Deep joy!! What I did in the end was to treat both conditions separately and try to figure out along the way which was causing which symptoms. Fatigue, my worst symptom, was thyroid and as I'm getting closer to optimal on levothyroxine and liothyronine, I'm feeling much better although menopause causes fatigue too. My doctor put me on HRT and that helps massively with sweats. I've gone down the herbal path too as I found that I wasn't sleeping much despite this. I'm using adaptogens which help me sleep and get less stressed (the particular one I am using is rhodiola rosea). If I wasn't able to take HRT, I would be trying Menopace and I think they have sage tablets which are meant to help with sweats. I subscribe to a newsletter of herbal ideas for menopause

    It will be worth you posting this on the Thyroid UK pages of Health Unlocked as the folk on there have great advice for people trying to treat both conditions. Levothyroxine alone is usually not enough for most people, they need T3 in the mix. You also need to make sure your vitamin D levels are good, iron (specially if you're getting lots of periods), B12 and folate. Your doctor can check these for you. Here's a link to a question someone asked -

    Hope this helps - please message me if you want

    Helen xx

  • Ooops I didn't read to the bottom of the link I sent you baileyandjordy - what did I see right at the bottom was a post by you :-) Great minds think alike! It might be better though to start a new post in that group on its own, as that post originiated in 2013. You would then get comments and advice specific to you.

  • I am in a very similar situation, I was diagnosed as being borderline hypothyroid just over a year ago and I now seem to be going through the menopause. I had my last period in March this year. My GP was most unhelpful, so I asked for a referral to the Endocrinologist and had to almost beg to get it, as in the first instance I was told he was not able to refer me without having a meeting with the other Doctors in the practice as they are restricted on how many referrals they can do and have to limit them to the most urgent requests. My GP was definitely out of his comfort zone with Thyroid issues and kept me under medicated with my TSH in the upper level of normal even with medication and I still suffered from symptoms, which he attributes to the menopause rather than the Thyroid not been managed properly. After 9 months of waiting I finally got an appointment with the Endocrinologist - well a member of her team - and she has confirmed that I need HRT and approved my increase of Levothyroxine which I had self medicated with as I felt so ill on the dose the GP was expecting me to take. I am now awaiting an appointment with the Endocrinologist clinic (I hope I get the actually Endo rather than one of her team this time!) and hopefully when I start the HRT it may kick start my libido which is one of my main concerns.

    I would advise you to see your GP with a view to increasing or altering your medication for the Hypothyroidism in order to get your TSH down. Some people need T3 adding or need to change to NDT. It would be advisable to get your FT4 and FT3 levels checked to see how they are. Although your TSH level is normal, it is meant to be at a lower level when on medication - most people feel better with it around 1.0. Make sure you get your blood draw taken first thing in the morning before taking your medication or eating or drinking in order to get the most reliable result. I would also advise getting advice on your menopause, as maybe some HRT would help you. I do not suffer from hot flushes, dry vagina or night sweats but apparently some of the symptoms cross over from menopause and under active thyroid. Whatever you do, ask questions and do not assume that GP's know much about thyroids as many are clueless. I have just changed GP practices as I lost confidence in my old GP when it became clear his knowledge of this condition was very limited. Research as much as you can on-line as it helps when you talk to doctors if you are aware of the basics of this condition - if only to realise that he or she has significant knowledge gaps! Good Luck x

  • I found a very good book which I found to be very helpful and goes into these things called Listening to your Hormones by Gillian Ford hope it helps know its hard. I relate to some of the things you say and I had three periods or four periods in about a 5 weeks period and now I'm anemic. Sleep terrible too and lost my job. Prayer and perseverance have helped me through. I had to make some lifestyle challenges to manage. I put on lots of weight as well and it's been really hard xx

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