How menopause can affect thyroid function

How Menopause Can Affect Your Thyroid Functionality

Though it’s not often talked about, menopause can have a significant effect on your thyroid function. The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located in the lower front of your neck.

It produces hormones that regulate many important body functions, including how quickly your body burns calories and how fast your heart beats. 

How menopause can affect your thyroid
Doctor checking for thyroid inflammation

As women age and approach menopause, their bodies go through a number of changes. For example, levels of the female sex hormones estrogen and progesterone begin to gradually decline.

Menopausal changes in your body can cause an increase in the production of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), which signals the thyroid gland to produce more thyroid hormone. In some cases, this can lead to an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism). 

And other times, the opposite may occur, and production of TSH decreases, leading to an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism).

While these changes in thyroid function are usually mild and temporary, in some cases they can be more severe and long-lasting. 

That’s why it’s important for women to be aware of how menopause can affect their thyroid health

What is Menopause? 

Menopause is the time in a woman’s life when her menstrual periods stop permanently and she can no longer become pregnant. It usually occurs around age 51, though it can happen earlier or later in some women. 

During menopause, levels of the female sex hormones estrogen and progesterone decline. This can cause a number of changes in a woman’s body, including hot flashes, vaginal dryness, sleep problems, mood swings, and weight gain.

In some cases, it can also lead to changes in thyroid function and additional unpleasant symptoms.

How Menopause Can Affect Your Thyroid 

Sometimes during menopause women can experience an increase in TSH levels due to declining estrogen levels.

As TSH levels rise, the thyroid gland may enlarge slightly (a condition known as goiter) and produce more thyroid hormone than normal (a condition called hyperthyroidism).

In other cases, declining estrogen levels may cause TSH levels to fall, leading to an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism).

Whether you are experiencing hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism these changes are usually mild and temporary but may be more severe in some women. 

If you’re approaching menopause or are currently going through it, it’s important to be aware of how it can affect your thyroid health. 

The easiest way to find out how your thyroid is functioning is to have a simple blood test.  Just checking the TSH level is not enough.  

Your practitioner should check your Free T3 and Free T4 levels as well.  

These three measures can truly help you get to the bottom of any issues you may be dealing with such as fatigue, rapid or reduced heart rate, sensitivity to cold, constipation, depression, anxiety, mood swings, weight gain, difficulty sleeping, and more.

If you experience any changes in your thyroid function during menopause, be sure to consult with your doctor so that you can receive the treatment you need.

Zeen is a next generation WordPress theme. It’s powerful, beautifully designed and comes with everything you need to engage your visitors and increase conversions.