Menopause and Thyroid Problems

by Laura Ramirez on September 7, 2011

If you have menopause and thyroid problems, how can you tell which is causing your most troublesome issues? One woman who is at the age where she could be peri menopausal wrote into Dr. Gott, a physician and columnist for The Daily Reflector, primarily because she was concerned about excessive hair loss which her dermatolgoist diagnosed as female pattern balding, even though she has no history of this in her family.

Determined to get to the bottom of this depressing problem, she went to her gynecologist but her blood tests did not conclusively reveal that she is going through menopause. On top of the hair loss, she is now breaking out on her face and scalp and experiencing bouts of moodiness and depression which are common menopause symptoms. Although she is a partner in a solid, happy marriage with two healthy children, the woman admits that she has been under a lot of stress for the past few years, but not enough stress to cause her hair to fall out. Between her dermatologist and gynecologist, the poor woman has been left in limbo with no solution, which is why she wrote into Dr. Gott.

Here’s how Dr. Gott answered her question:

Perimenopause is the body’s way of transitioning to menopause. It can cause menstrual irregularities, mood swings, decreased fertility, bone loss, hot flashes, sleep problems, vaginal and bladder problems, and a change in cholesterol levels. Many women also notice some degree of hair loss, even though it isn’t necessarily considered a symptom. This may be the cause of your symptoms, so I commend you on asking your gynecologist to test your hormone levels.

Another possibility is thyroid levels. Low levels (hypothyroidism) can cause fatigue, depression, brittle hair and nails, constipation and dry skin. High levels (hyperthyroidism) may cause thinning of the hair, acne, irregular menses, sweats and mood changes.

The issue here is that sometimes a failing thyroid can mimic some of the symptoms of menopause, so it pays to ask your doctor to check your TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone), FSH (follicle stimulating hormone), estrogen, testosterone and progesterone levels. Still, you may not necessarily get straight to the bottom of the problem because many physicians will tell you that you have a properly functioning thyroid when your levels would be considered borderline by other doctors. Also, some women have symptoms of low thyroid even when their numbers fall into the normal range.

If you find yourself in this situation, then get a referral to an endocrinologist who specializes in balancing hormones. Another path to take is to go to an integrative physician who will analyze all the factors to figure out which part of your hormone system is imbalanced. There is no reason why you have to suffer symptoms especially when there’s no genetic counterpart. In other words, sometimes it pays to be persistent and keep going to doctors until you find one who know enough of the subtleties to help you solve your problems. As women, we must take charge of our health.

Have you had difficulty teasing out menopause and thyroid problems? What solutions have you found that worked? What were your most troublesome symptoms? Please leave your comments and tips below.

Click here to visit the original source of this post

Be Sociable, Share!

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: