As a woman ages, it is common for them to start experiencing some unpleasant symptoms that can affect their lives. However, even though most women attribute these problems to menopause, it is not the only cause of these unwanted issues. In fact, an underactive or overactive thyroid gland may also be to blame. To better help you understand these changes, we have prepared the following post about potential thyroid problems during perimenopause.
We will go over everything that can occur to your thyroid during this transitional phase and the things you can do to combat this issue.
Thyroid problems during perimenopause: why do they occur?
As women get older, estrogen production can become erratic, especially with the onset of the menopause transition. As estrogen production falls and rises during this transition, it can influence thyroid function. That's because estrogen regulates the hormone-binding protein called the thyroid binding globulin (TBG).
When the estrogen levels are high, a person's liver will produce more TBG, which means the amount of T3 and T4 available in the blood will temporarily drop until the thyroid gland is stimulated to produce more. On the other hand, when estrogen levels drop, such as during a skipped menstrual cycle, TBG levels drop, and the amount of T3 and T4 increase temporarily. Consequently, these up and down shifts in the hormones can result in numerous thyroid problems during perimenopause.
Can menopause cause thyroid problems?
Typically, thyroid problems can be split into two categories — hypothyroidism, also known as an underactive thyroid, or hyperthyroidism referred to as the overactive thyroid. Generally, these conditions will affect the thyroid gland because they often cause the body to produce a low amount of thyroid hormones or too much of them.
However, as discussed above, when a woman enters menopause, it can cause the estrogen levels to fall and rise, impacting thyroid hormone levels. Plus, if a person is suffering from a thyroid problem, these estrogen levels can even increase the complications related to menopause symptoms.
How are the symptoms of low and high thyroid hormone levels alike?
Although there are numerous differences between an underactive and an overactive thyroid, the symptoms of these conditions may sometimes cause some confusion since there is some overlap between these two issues. For instance, brain fog is a common symptom of both low and high thyroid hormone levels. Additionally, an enlarged thyroid, also known as a goiter, and abnormal periods can also be present in both.
What are the early warning signs of thyroid problems?
Although thyroid problems are a common issue in the United States, most people never consider them as a source of their trouble. That is why it is so critical to learn more about these early warning symptoms so that you can promptly get them checked out and get the medical treatment you need.
Typically, the warning signs you need to watch for include:
- An increased heart rate or palpitations
- An increase in anxiety levels and mood swings
- An increase in a feeling of fatigue
- An increase in body twitches or shakes
- Heat intolerance or a sense of being chilled
- An increase in hair loss
- A hard time concentrating
- An irregular menstrual cycle
- Digestive issues
- Thinning hair or bald spots
- Sleeping problems
How are the symptoms of low and high thyroid hormone levels different?
Sometimes, the symptoms of low and high thyroid hormones may blur together, making it hard to distinguish what your specific problem is. There are numerous symptoms that can help you differentiate between the two.
For example, the symptoms of hyperthyroidism include:
- Weight loss
- Increased heart rate
- Tendency to experience excessive sweating
- Intolerance to heat
- Frequent bowel movements
- Skin puffiness
- Eyes that start bulging
- Sleeping issues
On the other hand, symptoms of hypothyroidism include:
- Weight gain
- Hair loss
- Intolerance to the cold
- Slower thinking
- Muscle weakness
What are the main causes of thyroid problems during perimenopause?
Fluctuating estrogen levels is often the leading cause of thyroid problems during perimenopause since these levels affect thyroid function.
In fact, according to a peer-reviewed study, researchers found that estrogen levels may affect thyroid function and cause thyroid disorders. Although more research needs to be done on this relationship, it is a massive revelation for those entering menopause and what it can mean for their thyroid.
How might a person find out if she is experiencing a thyroid problem?
If you start experiencing any of the above systems that may indicate you have a thyroid problem, it may be necessary for you to get a TSH test, otherwise known as a thyroid-stimulating hormone test.
This is a blood test that measures the thyroid-stimulating hormone in your bloodstream, which is made in the pituitary gland in the brain. When the thyroid levels in your body are low, the pituitary gland produces more TSH. However, when thyroid levels are high, the pituitary gland makes less TSH. As a result, when these levels are too high or too low, they can indicate the thyroid is not working correctly.
Although the TSH test will not be able to explain why your TSH levels are abnormal, your doctor can order additional tests to determine the cause of your thyroid problems, including the T3 thyroid hormone test, the T4 thyroid hormone test, and tests needed to diagnose Graves' disease, which is an autoimmune disease that can cause hypothyroidism.
How can BINTO help?
At BINTO, our mission has always been to help females everywhere get access to effective and safe over-the-counter products, as well as access to licensed healthcare professionals at an attainable price. To accomplish this goal, our team has focused on redefining the women's journey from period to menopause by disrupting the women's health market and incorporating preventative medicine rather than them having to only turn to prescription medications.
As a result of this goal, we have created high-quality ingredient supplements sourced from all over the world. For instance, our folate comes from algae in Canada, while our Vitamin A was created using carrots grown in Spain. Best of all, our labs are GMP, or Good Manufacturing Practices Certified, and are located on the west coast of the U.S. because this area of the country has the most stringent regulations regarding the testing of imported materials for supplements.
If you believe you may be suffering from thyroid problems during perimenopause, you should check out BINTO today. We have recently created a new ingredient for thyroid support called the Base Blend, which was developed using iodine, calcium, and selenium. These micronutrients are required for thyroid hormone function and synthesis and can both activate and inactivate thyroid hormones, making these micronutrients essential for thyroid development and a person's metabolism.
For more information regarding this blend or any of our other products, or if you would like to discuss your thyroid problems during perimenopause further, contact us today, and have a BINTO in-house expert get you started on finding precisely what you need.