About 25 per cent of perimenopausal women have some kind of thyroid problem. It is important to recognise the symptoms and complaints associated with low thyroid (hypothyroidism) in women over 40 so that you can be treated.
Symptoms of low thyroid;
- joint pain
- carpal tunnel syndrome
- high insulin
- high cholesterol
- fibrocystic breast disease (noncancerous changes in the breast tissue)
- unexplained weight gain
- hair loss
- decreased sex drive
- brittle nails
- low pulse and blood pressure
- cold extremities
- heart palpitations
- low stamina
- dry skin
- memory lapses
This list is not exhaustive. When the thyroid dysfunctions you’ll just not feel good. To feel good, the thyroid must function at optimum.
What is the Thyroid Gland?
The thyroid gland is found in the lower part of the neck, below the Adam’s apple. This gland releases the iodine-containing hormones, thyroxin (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) and regulates the body’s metabolism, temperature and heart rate.
Why are the Thyroid Hormones so important?
Some of the thyroid functions include;
- helping with weight management
- regulating energy
- aiding concentration
- tissue repair and development
- aiding the function of mitochondria*
- controlling hormone excretion
- controlling oxygen utilisation
- regulating vitamin usage
- assisting in the digestion process
- regulating growth
- and stimulating protein synthesis
Thyroid is another major hormone and therefore vital to life. We have major and minor hormonal systems in the body. The majors are essential to life whereas, minor hormones are responsible for fine-tuning and feeling of well-being.
Neither too much, nor too little
Thyroid function is very complex and profoundly affects nearly every organ in the body. The body’s systems are dependent on the correct functioning of the thyroid gland. When the thyroid dysfunctions, it can either produce too much thyroid and is known as hyperthyroidism (Grave’s disease) or too little, and is known as hypothyroidism (Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis). Neither too much, nor too little is good.
Why hypothyroidism becomes apparent as we age
With age T4 production declines therefore, so does T3. T3 is the active hormone and T4 is the inactive hormone, being 80% of the thyroid gland’s production. Our body has to convert T4 into T3. We have no T4 receptors in the body, only T3 receptors. This decline results in the body not working at optimum, and is when the symptoms of hypothyroidism become apparent.
Perimenopause and underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)
In perimenopause, declining oestrogens and progesterone can leave a woman with a ‘go-slow’ (underactive) thyroid. About 25 per cent of perimenopausal women have some kind of thyroid problem. In the majority of cases it is due to subclinical hypothyroidism which may progress into overt hypothyroidism. Both subclinical and overt hypothyroidism should be treated.
Overt hypothyroidism is usually diagnosed around age 60, postmenopause, and its prevalence is increased with ongoing age. It is estimated that one in five women to one in ten men over 60 suffer from underactive thyroids. Ovaries have thyroid receptors and the thyroid gland has receptors for oestrogens and progesterone.
How Restorative Medicine treats Thyroid problems
To ensure correct and optimal function of the thyroid, Restorative Medicine practitioners will undertake specific and precise blood tests, including;
- total T4
- total T3
- free T3
- reverse T3
- free T4
- and thyroid antibodies.
Conventional medicine only tests for T4. Unless a full panel of blood tests is done, it is impossible to get a precise reading and you will be left with symptoms that totally disrupt your life.
Go and get balanced! Make sure you find an expert in restorative medicine, correcting thyroid dysfunction is an art!
*The mitochondria are the centre of our cells and are energy-generating motors, all life functions are dependent on the energetic fuel produced in the mitochondria, which is called ATP (Adenosine triphosphate).
Dr Dzugan, Website
Thyroid Disease, Dr Northrup Website