Menopause and Hypothyroidism

Welcome to Know Your Thyroid.

Today’s essay is from Dr. Cathy Taylor.

She explains how the symptoms of menopause

and hypothyroidism are similar and also gives

you treatment options so you can feel better.

Enjoy today’s issue!

Menopause And Hypothyroidism
By Cathy Taylor

In the United States, more than 20% of the women in menopause
are diagnosed with hypothyroidism – a sluggish thyroid. Women
need to understand the consequences of menopause on the thyroid,
as with the increase in age, more women are affected by
hypothyroidism. Menopause and hypothyroidism have common
symptoms, such as depressed mood, decreased energy and decreased
memory, among others. Often these symptoms are taken to be due
to menopause, leading to delayed diagnosis of hypothyroidism.

Hormones in women’s bodies are balanced delicately and hormonal
imbalance occurs during pregnancy, perimenopause, and menopause.
In the time leading up to menopause, the clockwork menstrual
cycles may begin to become erratic. This could be because of
highs and lows in estrogen and progesterone.

Hypothyroidism, which is seven times more often associated with
women than with men, also occurs because of hormonal imbalance.
Certain doctors feel that estrogen dominance – excess of
estrogen combined with low progesterone – typically occurs in
early perimenopause. They feel restricting estrogen dominance
prevents complications in perimenopause, including
hypothyroidism. In fact, estrogen is required to be
counterbalanced with progesterone to avoid hypothyroidism.

Treatment Options of Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism – the under-active thyroid is primarily due to
the underproduction of the thyroid’s main hormone – Thyroxine
(T4). This hormone has to be converted to the active thyroid –
the Triiodothyronine (T3), by the liver. Then only it can be
effectively utilized by the body. Different practitioners have
their own ways of tackling hypothyroidism.

Most prescribe Synthroid, Levoxyl or Levothyroxine – the
synthetic T4 – for hypothyroidism. This is fine, if women are
capable of converting this T4 into T3. For others, who are poor
converters, Cytomel – a synthetic T3 – is prescribed to covert
their low T3.

Many women do not believe in synthetic hormones for treating
their hypothyroidism, and relieve their symptoms with nutrition,
exercise, stress-relieving techniques and such natural
treatments. Rich nutrition is the basis of hormonal balance.
Rich nutrition should consists of:

ˇMultivitamins and/or minerals
ˇEssential fatty acids
ˇCalcium and/or magnesium

Such essential nutrients, when supplementing a healthy eating
plan, support the body’s endocrine, immune and other vital
systems.

Some doctors recommend using a progesterone cream for treatment
of hypothyroidism. Progesterone, which is essential for building
many of your body’s most important hormones, is also vital in
offsetting estrogen dominance, which is one of the most common
conditions in perimenopause and hypothyroidism. Application of
progesterone cream gives an immediate relief to the symptoms of
hypothyroidism.

Women in menopause or perimenopause are required to massage
about half a teaspoon of progesterone cream into their hands and
body. It is advisable to use twice daily for 21 days, to
discontinue for 7 days, and repeat the procedure. The cream is
required to be massaged on the thighs, stomach, inner arms, and
the buttocks. It is recommended that you increase your water
intake to avoid dehydration.

Many doctors recommend against prolonged use of progesterone
cream after menopause. Short-term use is recommended after
menopause, especially when weaning off Hormone Replacement
Therapy (HRT).

About the Author: Cathy writes frequently on mid-life issues for
women and men particularly menopause and andropause. A copy of
her book can be found at http://howtoconquermenopause.com

 

 

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