Menopause vs. Thyroid Disorder: How to Tell the Difference!

Getting Back in Balance

If an underactive thyroid’s to blame for your individual set of symptoms and not perimenopause or menopause, your physician will likely prescribe a daily dose of a synthetic thyroid hormone therapy and perform follow-up tests every six to eight weeks and adjust the dosage until the right level is found, usually within three to four months. While the benefit of taking T3 is not proven (and too much T3 can be dangerous), a small number of patients seem to respond better to treatments when they’re combined with T3 supplementation, Einhorn further explains. For hyperthyroidism, treatment often involves a daily drug to slow down your gland’s output.

Luckily, in most cases, simply taking thyroid meds can result in complete symptom resolution.

The Key to a Happy Thyroid

“For better or for worse, hypothyroidism is largely not under our control,” says Einhorn, who notes the disease is primarily genetic. Family history may be the greatest indicator of troubles ahead, but since so many people are undiagnosed, you could have a family history of thyroid disease and have no clue about it.

Also, while the thyroid needs iodine (in tiny amounts) to churn out thyroid hormone, today, so many foods contain iodine that hypothyroidism due to iodine deficiency is extremely rare, he says. If you get enough iodine already, more won’t help anything.

Meanwhile (and here’s more great news for all of the moms out there), pregnancy increases the risk of hypothyroidism both through altering iodine requirements and through reproductive hormones altering thyroid hormone levels, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. What’s more, some women develop antibodies to their own thyroid during pregnancy, so if you had postpartum thyroiditis, your chances of developing permanent hypothyroidism are also increased. Polycystic ovary syndrome also increases your risk.

Given what we have learned from Dr. Einhorn, apparently, there’s really not much you can do to prevent hypothyroidism. But if you do have any of these risk factors, your health can benefit from you staying on the lookout for any new or worsening symptoms.

The signs of a whacked-out thyroid are easy to dismiss. But, ladies, for the sake of your health and happiness, take a serious look at what’s going on in that second-brain of yours: your thyroid.

Suffering in silence is OUT! Reaching out is IN!

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