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How To Tell The Difference Between Thyroid And Menopause

What Is Thyroid Cancer

Similarities And Conflicts Between Menopause and Thyroid Disease – 153 | Menopause Taylor

Thyroid cancer happens when cancer cells form from the tissues of the thyroid gland.

Most people with thyroid cancer have a thyroid nodule that does not cause any symptoms. If you do have symptoms, you may have swelling or a lump in your neck. The lump may cause problems swallowing. Some people get a hoarse voice.

To tell if the lump or nodule is cancerous, your doctor will order certain tests. Most thyroid nodules are not cancerous.

For more information about thyroid cancer, visit the National Cancer Institute’s thyroid cancer page.

Perimenopause Starts Around Age 40

Menopause is defined as the point when its been a full year since your last menstrual period. For women in the United States, this occurs around age 51. You may not realize that perimenopause starts as early as your late 30s, as changes in hormones begin to cause symptoms such as fatigue, brain fog and fuzzy thinking, and weight changes. You are also more likely to develop a thyroid condition as you age. This makes it confusing to tell if symptoms are due to perimenopause, thyroid disease, or both.

Menopause Occurs In Phases

These are the different stages of menopause:

  • Premenopause: The fertile phase. It is the period of active menstruation and stretches between the first and last menstrual periods. It runs for about 30-40 years.
  • Perimenopause: This is the period âaroundâ menopause. It begins when you hit 40 or around that, and lasts for 4-11 years. It is marked by fluctuating estrogen levels and declining levels of progesterone. These two hormones are important in the menstrual cycle, and estrogen, in particular, has a big part in the interaction between hypothyroidism and menopause, as youâll soon see.
  • Menopause: Menopause is said to have set in if a woman does not see her period for 12 consecutive months. This happens around 51 years. It can reach up to 60 years for some.
  • Post menopause: After these 12 months are over, then the woman has really entered into post menopause. The term is used interchangeably with menopause, however.

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How Your Doctor Can Tell If You Actually Have A Thyroid Problem

Thyroid disorders are more common among women. Women with a family history of thyroid problems or autoimmune issues are at higher risk, says Dr. Kellis. And as we get older, those risks increase.

Thyroid disorders are often diagnosed around the time of menopause, or between the ages of 45 and 55, says Dr. Kellis. Many women pass off their thyroid issues for menopause because the symptoms are similar and it seems like theyre at the right age.

The good news: A simple blood test can help rule out a thyroid disorder. If the test doesnt find irregular thyroid hormone levels, then menopause is probably your answer and youll need to work with your doctor to manage it.

Thyroid Treatment May Resolve Your Perimenopausal/menopausal Symptoms

How to tell the difference between thyroid and menopause ...

In some cases, symptoms attributed to perimenopause/menopause may be partially or fully resolved when you get your thyroid condition properly diagnosed and optimally treated. If you are experiencing symptoms and are diagnosed with a thyroid problem, talk to your healthcare provider about the benefit of pursuing thyroid treatment before considering hormone replacement therapy for menopause.

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Supplements For Graves Disease

Graves disease is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism in the United States. Like Hashimotos disease, its considered an autoimmune condition.

In Graves disease, the immune system attacks your thyroid, causing it to overproduce thyroid hormones. Graves disease can also lead to thyromegaly or an enlarged thyroid .

Symptoms associated with Graves disease include weight loss, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, diarrhea, eye pain and irritation, fatigue, weakness, menstrual irregularities, insomnia, nervousness, and more (

32 ).

Like Hashimotos disease, some research shows that dietary modifications may help improve symptoms and quality of life in people with Graves disease .

The following supplements may help people with Graves disease:

  • Selenium. Selenium deficiency can raise your risk of Graves disease. A review found selenium supplements in daily dosages of 100300 mcg led to improved thyroid function at 6 months in people with Graves disease, but this effect was lost at 9 months .
  • Vitamin D. Research shows that people with Graves disease are more likely to be deficient in vitamin D than the general population. Correcting deficiency by taking a supplement may improve thyroid function (

49 ).

The best way to determine the best supplement regimen for your specific needs is to consult your healthcare provider.

As mentioned above, its best to avoid thyroid-specific supplement blends unless theyre specifically recommended by your healthcare provider.

Is It Menopause Or Thyroid Disorder

Thyroid disorders can cause symptoms that are mistaken for those of a woman approaching menopause. Both menstrual cycle changes and mood changes can result from the menopausal transition or from thyroid conditions. Blood tests can determine which of these conditions is responsible for your symptoms. It’s also possible to have a combination of the two causes.

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How Are Thyroid Nodules Treated

Treatment depends on the type of nodule or nodules that you have. Treatments include:

  • Watchful waiting. If your nodule is not cancerous, your doctor may decide to just watch your condition. You will get regular physical exams, blood tests, and perhaps thyroid ultrasound tests. If your nodule does not change, you may not need further treatment.
  • Surgery. Surgery may be necessary to take out nodules that may be cancerous or large nodules that cause problems breathing or swallowing.
  • Radioiodine. This type of treatment is helpful if you have nodules that make too much thyroid hormone. Radioiodine causes nodules to shrink and make smaller amounts of thyroid hormone.

Thyroid Surgeons And Doctors At The Surgical Clinic

Perimenopause?! Symptoms and the difference between perimenopause and early menopause.

If you and your doctor decide that surgery is the treatment you need. Come visit The Surgical Clinic. We have many providers in Tennessee who can give you the care you need. All of our board-certified surgeons are highly trained individuals and have many years of experience.

356 24th Ave. North | Suite 400 | Nashville, TN 37203TEL 615.329.7887 FAX 615.340.4537

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Testing For Thyroid And Hormones

Given that there is a gray area between the symptoms of hypothyroidism and menopause, itâs only through testing that you can know for sure what your condition is. If you are found to have an underactive thyroid, your doctor can prescribe thyroid replacement therapy to normalize thyroid hormone levels. If itâs menopause, there are some medications you can take to alleviate certain annoying menopausal symptoms. Your OB/GYN may also recommend menopausal hormone therapy.

The good thing is that there are different types of tests, such as an at home thyroid test, you can take to see if thereâs anything wrong with your thyroid levels ifyouâre going through menopause:

If Hrt Isnt Working Check Your Thyroid

While hormone replacement therapy is not used as extensively as it was in the past, women with debilitating menopausal symptoms are sometimes prescribed estrogen, progesterone, or combination HRT. If your HRT is not resolving your symptoms, however, this is an indicator that you should pursue a comprehensive thyroid evaluation.

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Thyroid Disease Symptoms Vs Menopause Symptoms

Hypothyroidism 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.

What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Thyroid Nodules

How to Tell the Difference Between an Underactive Thyroid ...

Most thyroid nodules do not cause symptoms and are not cancerous.8 Some thyroid nodules make too much thyroid hormone, causing hyperthyroidism. Sometimes, nodules grow so big that they cause problems with swallowing or breathing. About one-third of nodules are found by the patient, another third by the doctor, and the other third through an imaging test of the neck.

You can sometimes see or feel a thyroid nodule yourself. Stand in front of a mirror and raise your chin slightly. Look for a bump on either side of your windpipe below your Adam’s apple. If the bump moves up and down when you swallow, it may be a thyroid nodule. Ask your doctor to look at it.

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I Thought It Was Menopause

    This article about menopause and dementia symptoms is written by Julie Hambleton B.Sc., co-founder of The Taste Archives.

    Its no secret when you enter menopause youre also going to be dealing with brain fog, forgetfulness, and some shifts in mood and ability to focus. These changes are perfectly normal as your bodys hormones are going through quite a large change from your pre-menopausal years.

    Normally, this is no cause for concern. That is, until those signs start becoming much more severe. This was the case with Judy Prentice, who mistook early -onset dementia symptoms for menopause. Here is her story and what all women can learn from her situation.

    Thyroid Function And Disorders

    The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped just at the base of your neck, on the front part, that is. It is responsible for producing two types of thyroid hormones:

    • Tri-iodothyronine about 6% of total hormone production
    • Thyroxine , rest 94%

    These hormones are mainly responsible for metabolism. If theyâre imbalanced, the rate of metabolism can be too fast or too slow, depending on the type of the disturbance.

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    Underactive Thyroid Or Menopause: What Do You Have

    When clients come to me, I often ask them to ask their GP to run a full thyroid panel .

    This helps to give a clearer picture of what is happening with their thyroid gland. Its important that you ask for each of these tests- many GPs only test TSH which doesnt help us get to the root of the problem and understand whats happening to your actual thyroid and body connection.

    Many GPs are willing to conduct a full hormone test at the same time as testing your thyroid hormones. This is a good idea as it provides a clear picture as to your other sex hormones and potentially points to an imbalance or help confirm the menopause. If not, the DUTCH test is a great resource for testing both thyroid and sex hormones.

    If youre told that your thyroid is borderline, please dont stop there. If you already have an issue with your thyroid, it will only get worse over time if you leave it untreated.

    Id also suggest that you start tracking your basal body temperature so you have a better idea of your menstrual cycle , can identify signs of thyroid imbalances plus identify any changes happening within your body.

    As you can see, underactive thyroid and menopause do share many similarities and one can affect the other. Thats why its important to seek professional help if youre suffering from any of the symptoms so we can get to the root of your problem and help you feel like your old self again.

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    An erratic menstrual cycle is common during perimenopause. And the most definitive sign that menopause is underway is that your menstrual periods stop. If your periods are irregular or have stopped, you and your doctor may assume that its related to perimenopause/menopause. Menstrual issues are, however, common symptoms of untreated thyroid conditions. Always ask for a complete thyroid evaluation to rule out your thyroid as a cause for any menstrual irregularities.

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    Foods That You Should Avoid

  • Avoid artificial sugars like that in packaged foods. These could worsen your symptoms.
  • Donât skip a meal. Maintain a steady, regular meal pattern. This will help your metabolism deal better with the situation.
  • Reduce your consumption of red meat and deep-fried foods.
  • Reduce and remove caffeine, alcohol and any other stimulants from your meals and daily routine.
  • Remove chili and peppers from your diet. Both of these cause excessive stimulation and push Vata out of balance.
  • Remove cold temperature foods and drinks.
  • Reduce your intake of dairy, except curd or buttermilk.
  • Avoid sugar in any form as much as you can. Strictly avoid artificial sugars and low sugar foods.
  • Why You Shouldnt Ignore Thyroid And Menopause Symptoms

    Now, if you keep up with your assumption of menopause symptoms for long and ignore your health problems there is high chance that the hypothyroidism may progress to create chronic health issues.

    This way, you may be left on the mercy of medications and treatments for a very long time.

    So, if you are struggling with thyroid and menopause like symptoms the first thing you need to do is to stop ignoring your health issues and get proper diagnosis. This way, you can prevent health risks that arise due to hormone imbalances in menopause and thyroid.

    And in this post we will help you to learn more about thyroid and menopause.

    Firstly, we will see how thyroid and menopause can cause similar types of symptoms and what exactly is the connection between them.

    Secondly, we will look into how you can find out whether your symptoms are due to thyroid or menopause?

    And lastly, we will look into Ayurvedic natural ways encompassing herbs, diet and lifestyle to address the health issues.

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    What Is Postpartum Thyroiditis

    Postpartum thyroiditis, or inflammation of the thyroid after giving birth, affects 10% of women.3 It often goes undiagnosed because symptoms are much like the “baby blues” that may follow delivery. Women with postpartum thyroiditis may feel very tired and moody.

    Postpartum thyroiditis typically happens in two phases, though not everyone with the condition goes through both phases:4

    • The first phase starts 1 to 4 months after giving birth and typically last 1 to 2 months. In this phase, you may have signs and symptoms of hyperthyroidism because the damaged thyroid leaks thyroid hormones out into the bloodstream.
    • The second phase starts about 4 to 8 months after delivery and lasts 6 to 12 months. In this phase, you may have signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism because the thyroid has lost most of its hormones or because the immune attack is over and the thyroid may recover later.

    How Is Hyperthyroidism Treated

    How to tell the difference between thyroid and menopause ...

    Your doctor’s choice of treatment will depend on your symptoms and the cause of your hyperthyroidism. Treatments include:

    • Medicine.
    • Antithyroid medicines block your thyroid from making new thyroid hormone. These drugs do not cause lasting damage to the thyroid.
    • Beta-blockers block the effects of thyroid hormone on your body. These medicines can be helpful in slowing your heart rate and treating other symptoms until one of the other forms of treatment can take effect. Beta-blockers do not reduce the amount of thyroid hormones that are made.
  • Radioiodine. This treatment kills the thyroid cells that make thyroid hormones. Often, this causes permanent hypothyroidism.
  • Surgery. Thyroid surgery removes most or all of the thyroid. This may cause permanent hypothyroidism.
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    Ayurveda For Hormone Imbalance In Thyroid And Menopause

    In Ayurveda, three doshas are responsible for proper functioning of our body systems. They need to be balanced for a person to be in an optimal state of health.

    If there is an imbalance, there could be health problems such as hormone imbalances that one experiences in Thyroid and Menopause. These doshas are the Vata, Pitta, and Kapha doshas.

    • Vata is responsible for circulation and hormone communication
    • Pitta is responsible for metabolism and hormone balance
    • Kapha is responsible for growth and hormone production

    Sensitive Skin And Skin Discoloration

    Thyroid hormones also influence the quality of your skin in a variety of ways. With hyperthyroidism, you may notice itchy and dry patches of skin.

    Your face may feel softer and swollen. You may even notice swelling around your fingertips. Other symptoms include darkening of the skin, rashes, lumps, and reddish spots.

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    It Might Not Be Menopause: 7 Diseases With Similar Symptoms

    In ancient Greece, men believed that a womans uterus wandered around her body, causing problems wherever it landed. This gave birth to a diagnosis that was popular all the way up until the early 20th century: female hysteria. Hysteria is derived from the Greek word for uterus, hystera, and was considered an especially troubling medical diagnosis for women.

    Though weve since evolved from that way of thinking, women are still being misdiagnosed by doctors. Often their symptoms are chalked up to changing hormones or menopause, causing doctors to sometimes miss conditions that become life-threatening if left untreated.

    According to a 2016 study by the University of Leeds, women have a 50 percent higher chance of being misdiagnosed after a heart attack than men. A 2014 study published in the medical journal Diagnosis found that women are also 33 percent more likely to be misdiagnosed following a stroke.

    Worried your menopause symptoms could be something else? Here are seven diseases that share some of the same symptoms as menopause.

    Lyme diseaseLyme disease is a tick-borne illness that can become dangerous if it isnt diagnosed. The most common signs of the disease are a rash with a bulls eye pattern and flu-like symptoms such as fever or fatigue. However, Lyme disease can also cause extreme headaches, dilated pupils, and a quickening heartbeat all symptoms that are associated with menopause.

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