Thyroid Disease Symptoms Vs Menopause Symptoms
If your thyroid hormone levels are too low, you can experience weight gain, feeling cold, mental cloudiness, depression, menstrual changes, fatigue, or fluid retention. Muscle aches, constipation, weakness, thinning hair, and slowing of the pulse rate can occur. Mild hypothyroidism may not produce symptoms. Sometimes the symptoms are so nonspecific that you might not recognize them as signs of hypothyroidism, and the symptoms vary widely among people. You may have symptoms come on slowly and be difficult to recognize sometimes people with hypothyroidism can be misdiagnosed as having psychological or have other physical conditions. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is a common cause of hypothyroidism.
Causes Of Perimenopause And Thyroid Disease
The link between thyroid disease and perimenopause conditions can cause one to worsen the other. During perimenopause, estrogen levels fluctuate, affecting thyroid hormone levels. The risk of thyroid disease for women is about 10 times higher than for men. Thyroid problems are significantly more common in women, possibly due to the relationship between estrogen and how the thyroid functions. In a 2011 study published in the Journal of Thyroid Research, researchers reported that there is evidence that estrogen may have direct actions in human thyroid cells. But more research is needed to determine how this actually happens.
There are several conditions that can bring on thyroid disease:
- Autoimmune diseases
- Medical treatmentsradiation therapy, thyroid surgery and some medications
- Genetic disorders
It is important to note that pregnancy can cause thyroid problems to start or get worse. And if untreated, it can cause other problems for both mama and baby, including miscarriage, premature birth, preeclampsia and excess bleeding after delivery.
Thyroid Nodule: Evaluation And Tests
The following are a list of tests that are required in the evaluation of a patient with a thyroid nodule.
- Complete Medical History and Physical Examination
- Thyroglobulin Antibody
Medical history and physical examination is required for all patients with a thyroid nodule
If there is a suspicion that you may have a thyroid nodule, your health care professional will want to know your complete medical history. You will be asked questions about your possible risk factors, symptoms, and any other health problems or concerns. If someone in your family has had a diagnosis of thyroid cancer or other endocrine cancer, these are important factors.
Your doctor will examine you to get more information about possible signs of thyroid cancer and other health problems. During the exam, the doctor will pay special attention to the size and firmness of your thyroid and any enlarged lymph nodes in your neck. Examination of your voice box is part of the physical examination obtained by the surgeon for any thyroid lump. A small lighted microscope is used to look at the voice box to determine how the vocal cords of the voice box are functioning. Even though a patient does not report change in their voice does not insure that the vocal cords are working normally. A vocal cord that is paralyzed greatly increases the concern that a thyroid nodule may be a cancer.
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What Is The Treatment For Thyroid Disease Vs Menopause
Thyroid Disease Treatment
Many thyroid medications can be used to treat the various thyroid disorders.This article will review the following therapies:
- Thyroid hormone replacement to treat hypothyroidism or thyroid cancer
- Medicines to treat hyperthyroidism
- Other treatments for hyperthyroidism
What Is The Prognosis For Menopause And Thyroid Disease
Thyroid Disease Prognosis
Most people with either hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, with proper diagnosis and treatment, can control their condition with no long-term effects and a normal life expectancy. However, those with undiagnosed disease may progress to hypothyroid coma or thyrotoxic crisis , with death rates approaching 50%.
Graves’ eye disease has been treated with corticosteroid medication, radiotherapy, and surgery with varying success.
Menopause is not a disease, but a natural progression that comes with age. Thus “prognosis” isn’t an appropriate descriptor of what to expect from menopause. Menopause can present certain health problems, however. Below are situations in which you should see a doctor about issues related to menopause:
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Hot Flash Trigger #: Hypoglycemia
Hypothyroidism is also well known to promote blood sugar issues and hypoglycemia, due to hypothyroidisms effects on your liver.
Being hypothyroid and prone to low blood sugar also makes you more susceptible to hot flashes.
Menopausal hot flash frequency changes in response to experimental manipulation of blood glucose.
RESULTS: There was a significant reduction in the incidence of hot flashes during the experimental elevation of glucose concentrations compared to the fasting state .
This is why hot flashes tend to occur more frequently at night when blood sugar is often lowest and during times of stress when blood sugar is used up more rapidly.
We always recommend eating the proper balance of nutrition, and frequently enough, to keep blood sugar stable.
Hypothyroidism is very common in menopause, and needless to say Ive worked with a lot of menopausal clients.
Correcting these three hot flash triggers has been instrumental in alleviating hot flashes with many of them.
Yet, its not only menopausal women who suffer. Ive also worked with non-menopausal women who experience hot flashes, and these same tips apply to them as well.
Unfortunately, the current medical approach to menopausal symptoms and hormone replacement therapy is extremely dangerous.
Putting yourself at unnecessary risk of developing life threatening diseases like cancer, thyroid disease, and stroke is surely not the solution
Overactive Vs Underactive Thyroid
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped glandlocated at the front of your neck. It produces hormones that help regulateyour bodys metabolism and keep your brain, heart, muscles and other organsworking properly. But sometimes it does too much or too little, as seen in:
- Hyperthyroidism: An overactive thyroid may make you feel nervous, irritable and shaky. You may notice a racing heart, excessive sweating, heat intolerance, frequent bowel movements, thinning hair, weight loss and irregular periods.
- Hypothyroidism: An underactive thyroid gland may slow down your body functions. What to look for: slower thinking, depression, feeling cold, constipation, muscle weakness, abnormal periods and a slower metabolism leading to moderate weight gain.
Loss of memory, or brain fog, is another, often-overlooked, sign of a thyroid issue, adds Dr. Kellis. Though rare, losing hair around the ends of your eyebrows is another sign.
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Stanford Health Care Introduces New Less Invasive Treatment For Benign Thyroid Nodules
A recently approved technique for radio-frequency ablation treats or prevents problems caused by thyroid nodules, providing an alternative to surgical removal of the gland.
Sarah OBrien with her husband and children. O’Brien underwent radio-frequency ablation at Stanford Health Care to treat nodules on her thyroid a procedure that obviates the need for surgical removal of the gland.Sarah Laureno
When Sarah OBrien injured her neck in a car accident in 2012, a doctor examining her medical scans happened to notice that she had nodules on her thyroid, a gland located just below the Adams apple on the front of the neck. At the time, she was 24 and had no idea what that even meant.
Over the next eight years, after her neck injury was long forgotten, those nodules grew into a goiter-sized lump that protruded from her neck and caused a range of symptoms, including explosive anger, fatigue, muscle weakness and hot flashes. Medications helped some, but the best available treatment option was the surgical removal of the thyroid, an important gland that secretes hormones controlling the bodys metabolism. She kept putting off the surgery hoping that a better option would emerge. Finally, it did.
Earlier this year, OBrien became the first patient at Stanford Health Care to undergo a nonsurgical treatment, recently approved by the Food & Drug Administration for benign thyroid nodules, called radio-frequency ablation.
Pregnancy And Thyroid Conditions
In pregnant women, or those with a known thyroid condition thyroid issues should be discussed with your obstetrician. While pregnancy itself does not cause thyroid disease, the ramped-up hormone production in pregnancy can impact the thyroid.
After pregnancy, many women are noted to develop thyroid dysfunction. These women often will have circulating antibodies against the thyroid gland.
The thyroid can also enlarge during pregnancy due to the fact that iodine can be expelled through the urine at a greater rate than normal, which causes the thyroid gland to enlarge to compensate.
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of A Toxic Thyroid Nodule
The symptoms of a toxic thyroid nodule are a result of the high levels of thyroid hormones in the blood, increasing the rate at which the body is working. Similar to those of hyperthyroidism, these symptoms include:
- heat intolerance .
Signs are similar to those of hyperthyroidism , but can also include a prominent thyroid gland with a distinct nodule.
Surprising Symptoms Of Thyroid Disease
Thyroid disease in Portland is common its believed that around 20 million people throughout the United States have a thyroid disorder of some sort a number equivalent to 12 percent of the population. Despite its prevalence, there is a widespread lack of knowledge about what its like to have thyroid disease. Youll probably find some of the symptoms surprising.
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Tsh Tests And Advanced Thyroid Testing
The TSH test is a great blood test that helps figure out if you have an early stage thyroid disorder. It measures the level of thyroid-stimulating hormone in your blood. It may detect hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism way before the levels of thyroid hormone in the body go out of whack.
A high TSH level means that your thyroid is underactive and you possibly have hypothyroidism. On the other hand, a low TSH level typically indicates an overactive thyroid, and that the gland is producing too much thyroid hormone.
If thereâs an anomaly â for instance, a tumor or inflammation â that is hindering the pituitary gland from stimulating the thyroid gland enough, the test will also return a low TSH result. This is referred to as secondary hypothyroidism.
If your TSH test comes back as abnormal, there are other thyroid tests that your OBGYN, endocrinologist, or physician can order to get to the root issue of your thyroid imbalance including:
The most definitive way to know if youâve got a thyroid problem is through the above-mentioned blood tests.
Whats Special About University Of Michigans Treatment Of Graves Disease
UM is one of the few places in the country that has a multidisciplinary group dedicated to the treatment of patients with Graves disease. UMs multidisciplinary group consists of endocrinologists, endocrine surgeons, ophthalmologists, nuclear medicine physicians, rheumatologists and psychiatric professionals. Our group sees Graves disease patients from around the country and is involved with one of the most well-known national organizations concentrating on helping patients and families coping with Graves disease and Graves eye disease. Our group routinely publishes papers with new research results on Graves disease.
The ophthalmologists in our group specialize in the treatment of Graves eye disease which can require complex management. Most ophthalmologists have little experience treating patients with Graves disease and Graves eye disease. For those patients with Graves eye disease, it is the severity of the eye disease which drives the selection of the type of treatment for hyperthyroidism if these two problems occur together.
While those patients with no Graves eye disease or only mild eye disease may be candidates for any of the three types of treatments for hyperthyroidism, those who have moderate to severe eye disease are often referred for surgical thyroidectomy as RAI has a higher chance of worsening the eye disease than surgery does.
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What Is Thyroid Disease
Thyroid disease can strike anyone, although many types of thyroid diseases are more common in adult women than in men, children, or teenagers. The specific symptoms of thyroid disease depend upon the exact condition and whether the thyroid gland is under- or over-producing thyroid hormone. In some cases, thyroid disease may not have apparent symptoms.
- Hyperthyroidism refers to any condition in which there is too much thyroid hormone in the body.
- It is sometimes referred to as overactive thyroid.
- Excess thyroid hormone levels can increase metabolism , and increase the risk of other health issues such as
- Loss of interest in sex
Hyperthyroidism And Graves Disease
Hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone. This disorder occurs in about 1% of all Americans and affects women much more often than men. In its mildest form, hyperthyroidism may not cause noticeable symptoms however, in some patients, excess thyroid hormone and the resulting effects on the body can have significant consequences.
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Thyroid Nodule Symptom # : A Lump In The Neck That You Can Feel
- What to do about it?
Thyroid nodules that the patient can feel under the skin, which is confirmed by a doctor should almost always be examined by an ultrasound test. Depending on the characteristics of the nodule , the nodule may need a needle biopsy. We have an entire section of this website on thyroid needle biopsies.
Symptoms Unique To Menopause
No one really wants to experience many of menopauses symptoms, but if the state of your thyroid is any concern, there are symptoms unique to menopause that should give you some relief about any further medical issues.
On the same note, because menopause can cause vaginal dryness, it can lead to painful intercourse as well. The increased sensitivity and loss of lubrication can make even the slightest friction feel highly uncomfortable, and although the thyroid hormones have a wide-reaching effect, menopause more specifically affects estrogen and its ability to keep skin smooth and elastic.
As the name suggests, mood swings are rapid changes in mood that can come unexpectedly. Something might suddenly make you inexplicably angry, or youll find yourself bawling your eyes out for no reason. This is caused by fluctuations in estrogen similar to puberty, just in reverse, and its rarely associated with a thyroid issue.
Bone Density Decrease
Just as the loss of muscle mass is normal as we age, loss of bone mass can happen as well. Menopause can also contribute to this loss in bone density, and in some cases can lead to osteoporosis. Because a greater loss of bone density will often happen within the first few years after your final menstrual period, its a better indication of menopause than a thyroid issue.
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Most Thyroid Nodules Are Benign But Some Thyroid Nodules Are Thyroid Cancer
A small percentage of thyroid nodules are malignant . You can not tell if a thyroid nodule is malignant due to symptoms or lack of symptoms. Those thyroid nodules that are cancer, tend to be very slow growing. The very rare thyroid nodule that is an aggressive thyroid cancer may present with a large thyroid mass, firm or non-mobile mass or even change in vocal quality. Only in these very rare circumstances, when the thyroid nodule is an aggressive thyroid cancer, is there an urgent need for prompt evaluation and thyroid cancer surgery by the most highly experienced thyroid cancer surgeon. Otherwise, thoughtful evaluation and consultation by an expert thyroid cancer surgeon is required for thyroid nodules. In other words, the vast majority of thyroid nodules can be worked up without a sense of urgency. Don’t make rash, quick decisions–thyroid nodules in almost all cases provide plenty of time to get figured out. So chill if you are here because you just found out you have a thyroid nodule. Read and understand what this means. And realize that in almost all cases, you have time to figure this out! We have created a Thyroid Nodule and Cancer Guide app to help, you can to better understand your thyroid nodule, determine what you “next steps” are, and examine your risk of thyroid cancer.
Watch a video at https://www.youtube.com/embed/92gv34o-46A
Menopause And Thyroid Disorders
Many women in the transition of menopause have similar symptoms of an overactive or under active thyroid. This includes irregular menstrual periods, and an increased sensitivity to fluctuations of the brains thermostat resulting in hot flashes, due to low estrogen levels. Women suffering from night sweats may often feel fatigued, sleep deprived and depressed as a result. Also around menopause, metabolism tends to slow down, therefore many mid-life women complain of weight gain. These symptoms are often confused with thyroid disorders and should be evaluated and appropriately treated.
Women with thyroid conditions may tend to undergo menopause earlier than the average population. Fortunately, at Cleveland Clinic, many experts in the field of thyroid disorders are on staff. Clinic doctors from throughout the enterprise work collaboratively to provide total patient care for this and a long list of other conditions.
See your primary care physician if you suspect you may have a problem with your thyroid.
Lynn Pattimakiel, MD, is a womens health specialist with the Ob/Gyn and Womens Health Institute. Her areas of specialization are hormone therapy, menopause and osteoporosis. She can be reached at 216.444.4HER.
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