Could too much estrogen be compromising your thyroid function?
Symptoms of low thyroid include fatigue, weight gain, anxiety, depression, hair loss, cold hands and feet, tingling in the hands and feet, high cholesterol, brain fog, decreased libido, and poor immune function.
Hypothyroidism affects women more often than men at about a 7:1 ratio.
Hormonal changes such as those encountered during pregnancy and menopause can trigger this condition.
Estrogen therapy in postmenopausal, hypothyroid women elicits a clinically significant decrease in the thyroid hormone known as thyroxine (T4), results of a small study suggest.
“Women who are taking thyroxine [Synthroid and other T4 medications] may need more thyroxine when they are treated-with estrogen and may need less-thyroxine after estrogen is discontinued,” said Dr. Robert D. Utiger in an accompanying editorial (N. Engl.J. Med. 344 1784-85, 2001).
Dr. Arafah told Reuters that an estimated 5 to 10 percent of the women aged 50 to 55 have thyroid problems and that as many as half of them may be receiving estrogen for menopausal symptoms.
That means that 400,000 to 800,000 U.S. women in that age group alone may be taking both estrogen and thyroid hormone replacement.
Dr. Arafah estimates that worsening hypothyroidism may become clinically important in as many as 40 percent of thyroid patients beginning estrogen treatment for menopause.
In hypothyroid women studied, estrogen treatment led to decreases in serum free thyroxine (free T4) concentrations that were in some cases enough to warrant an increased thyroid hormone replacement dosage. Women with normal thyroid function did not have similar thyroid function changes.
It is probably safe to assume that estrogen laced birth control pills deplete thyroxine (T4) levels as well.
If you’re taking estrogen replacement therapy or birth control pills, you may be compromising your thyroid function. I suggest you monitor your temperatures and see if you’re suffering from low thyroid function.
Using a digital thermometer take your temperature under the tongue 2 hours after you’ve been awake. If you’re temperature averages 97.8 or below for 5 days then you most likely have low thyroid no matter what your blood test show.
You can learn about finding and fixing the causes of low thyroid, low energy and of course fibromyalgia in my book, Treating and Beating Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. You can follow that link to read more about / purchase the book, or you may also scroll up and sign up today to receive 3 free chapters!