Are Thyroid Conditions Connected to Menopause?

According to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, many women develop thyroid conditions during menopause. The significant increase in menopausal and thyroid disease-like symptoms in women has led to questions regarding the connection between the two.

This post explores the link between thyroid disease and menopause in women, plus the treatments available today.

Thyroid Conditions and the Endocrine System

The thyroid gland is a bow-tie-shaped organ that forms part of the endocrine system.

Its main functions include regulating body metabolism and releasing thyroid hormones, such as Thyroxine (T4), Triiodothyronine (T3), and Calcitonin. These hormones influence vital organs, cells, and tissues in the human body.

When the thyroid gland function is imbalanced or disrupted, it affects hormone production, resulting in one of two thyroid conditions. These are:

  • Hypothyroidism: Occurs when the thyroid gland is underactive and doesn’t produce enough hormones to satisfy to maintain proper body functioning. The symptoms of hypothyroidism can include fatigue, weight gain, forgetfulness, and cold intolerance.
  • Hyperthyroidism: Occurs when the thyroid gland is overactive and produces excess hormones than the body requires. The main symptoms of hyperthyroidism are hot flashes, palpitations, heat intolerance, and insomnia.

According to the Office on Women’s Health, one in eight women develops a type of thyroid condition in their lifetime.

How Menopause Affects the Endocrine System

Besides thyroid hormones, the endocrine system also releases estrogen. Estrogen is a female sex hormone that facilities the female reproductive system development. A study published in the Journal of Thyroid Research revealed that estrogen levels can also impact thyroid function.

During menopause, many women have low estrogen levels. The decrease in estrogen affects thyroid receptors and thyroid cell functioning, causing a series of thyroid and menopausal symptoms similar to emerge.

What Treatments Are Available?

Treating thyroid conditions with similar symptoms to menopause requires a combination of medication and lifestyle changes. The treatment administered depends on your thyroid symptoms.

If you have hypothyroidism symptoms, your doctor might prescribe thyroid hormone pills to help your thyroid gland function. On the other hand, if you have hyperthyroidism symptoms, your doctor might recommend antithyroid medicine, beta-blockers, or radioiodine.

You may also be enrolled in hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and be advised to make lifestyle changes such as:

  • Exercising more
  • Reducing stress
  • Eating less processed and fatty food
  • Taking some types of supplements

If you have thyroid symptoms or menopausal symptoms, we encourage you to fill out the form below. One of our physicians will be in touch with you to discuss on how to manage your symptoms.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.