Menopause can be a tiring journey for every woman out there. The situation becomes worse when you need to handle other issues that seem to accompany the condition. And thyroid happens to be one of them.
A condition that is also caused by hormonal changes in the body, thyroid is often neglected or ignored in women who are either nearing their menopausal stage or are already experiencing it. The reason? In most cases, the symptoms of thyroid and menopause are so similar that many women actually mistake the symptoms of thyroid for menopause and start taking medications and treatments for the latter.
Confusing Symptoms Related To Menopause And Thyroid
The reason why many women out there confuse thyroid with menopause is because both conditions have the same symptoms (in most cases). These would include fatigue, mood swings, depression, insomnia, hot flashes, irritability, disorientation, heart palpitations etc. So if a woman in her menopausal stage starts experiencing these symptoms, chances are she may be suffering from thyroid issues as well.
Distinct Symptoms Of Thyroid During Menopause
So how do you actually find out whether you have thyroid or not during menopause? In addition to opting for a thyroid antibody test at a clinic, you can try to spot certain distinct symptoms that would occur in conjunction with the symptoms that resemble menopause. These include edema (on the legs and arms), hair fall (especially the eyelashes and eyebrows), neck pain, drastic weight changes and visual disturbances etc.
Treating Thyroid During menopause
Thyroid and Menopause are two very different conditions. And so you need to understand that the medications and treatments that are used to treat menopause would have no effect on the thyroid present in your body even though both the conditions share more than a few symptoms.Here are some ways in which you can treat thyroid during menopause though.
Rebalance Your Thyroid Levels
Women who undergo hormone replacement therapy (especially with estrogen) stand high chances of contracting thyroid, mainly hypothyroidism. Accordingly, changing levels of estrogen in the body can also disrupt the normal function of the thyroid hormones at the receptor site.
So make sure you check with a doctor and get tested for thyroid as soon as you start experiencing symptoms like depression, headaches, fatigue and bloating etc. Depending on the severity of the issue, your doctor may either start you on thyroid supplements or increase the current medication.
Accordingly, some of the more common medications that are used to replace the thyroid hormone in the body include natural forms like Natural Thyroid 1 (NT1), Natural Thyroid 2 (NT2) or Armor; and synthetic forms like Levothroid, Synthroid, or Levoxyl.
Some doctors recommend progesterone treatment for women with thyroid during menopause. Increased levels of progesterone in the body would balance the estrogen levels, thereby improving thyroid uptake. This in turn would help alleviate some of the symptoms of thyroid imbalance (for example, depression and mood swings) in menopausal women.
And although progesterone supplements like Provera are sometimes prescribed for thyroid issues, they come with their own share of side effects (for instance, abdominal bloating, fatigue, irritability and unexplained anger).
Foods That Help Restore Thyroid Function
Making a few changes to your existing diet can ensure that you stay safe from thyroid problems during menopause. Accordingly, foods that contain high amounts of Vitamin D (sun rise would also help) and B complex vitamins (including nuts, seeds, seaweed, root vegetables, whole grains, and fish etc.) can help keep the thyroid levels in the body in check.
Herbal Remedies For Thyroid During Menopause
The symptoms of thyroid during menopause can be curbed to an extent with the help of certain herbs as well.
These include bugleweed (used to treat enlarged thyroids and hyperthyroidism), gotu kola (used to treat a series of autoimmune diseases that can trigger thyroid imbalance), Coleus (stimulates the increased production and release of thyroid hormones), Siberian Ginseng (used to balance the hormonal levels in the body and boost thyroid function), Guggul (helps tp stimulate the thyroid), motherwort (used to treat an enlarged or hyperactive thyroid gland), Irish Moss (contains high amounts of iodine to stimulate thyroid health), Meadowsweet (used to treat hyperthyroidism), kelp (used to increase the levels of the T4 hormone and stimulate the thyroid function), Hai Zao (used to treat Hasimoto’s disease that can cause thyroid imbalance in addition to treating an enlarged thyroid gland) and bitter herbs (like gentania and dandelion that help to break down the thyroid nutrients by stimulating a low functioning thyroid) etc.