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Old 08-26-2009, 10:25 PM   #1
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Does anyone have an issue differentiating between Thyroid Issues and Menopause......

These were my lab results from July.
TSH 1.08 (.45-1.45)
FT4 .79 (.61-1.76) 15.65% of range
FT3 2.7 (2.3-4.2) 21.05% of range

My Endo said my thyroid is perfect. I was taking 37.5mcg Synthroid and 10mcg Cytomel. I finally called and questioned the low numbers and the fact that I am so cold "MOST" of the time. He changed my medication to 25mcg Synthroid and 15mcg Cytomel. (Yes...he lowered the Synthroid again but raised the Cytomel).

I have been taking a multi vitamin, 500mg Vitamin C, 5000IU Vitamin D, PolyIron 150 and 5mg sublingual B12 in the hopes of feeling better.

My ferritin went from 20 to 40 in two weeks (doesn't that seem awfully fast?)

I have been having heart palpitations and inappropriate sinus tachycardia which the Endo says is not thyroid related. I also have night sweats and/or hot flashes. My Estrogen level was <15 a couple weeks ago and was 43 the other day. I haven't had a period in 4 months and one 6 months before that. My FSH level is 70...so according to my GP..definitely menopausal.

Now my question.....how does a person tell the difference between menopause and whether hyperthyroid symptoms are appearing. I really don't think it is possible to be hyper with those numbers!! Since I have Hasimotos, I know my levels fluctuate. But most of the time I feel hypothyroid AND menopausal??? I am worried about changing the meds and wonder whether I will get enough to raise the numbers but not so much to be hyper but think it is menopause??

 
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Old 08-27-2009, 04:59 AM   #2
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Re: Does anyone have an issue differentiating between Thyroid Issues and Menopause...

That is a good question. I have been "menopausal" for 10 years. I am 59 now.
I never knew til two weeks ago that some of my meno symptoms are similar to low Thyroid symptoms.

They took a large nodule out and 1/2 my Thyroid in Feb 09. For 3 months I was actually better than ever...then not so good.

My feet started to hurt so bad I was sure I had plantar fasciatis.
I had night sweats and I had an estrogen crash as well.
My gyno tested me and said I had NO extra estrogen at all and she freaked.
More estrogen did not help me--I developed migraines.

i developed the worst chills and shaking. I developed night sweats. I also gained weight even tho I was not eating more. Now remember I have only 1/2 of thyroid.

My Endo--said to me..."you are hypo and need some meds. the 1/2 you have left has a cyst as well, and just can't do the job anymore. It's no big deal."

So I started on 75mcg of Syn 2 weeks ago.
my night sweats went away. The chills left me. My feet are almost back to normal. I have stopped gaining weight! I have actually lost 5 lbs.

My sense of well being came back to me on the 5th day. but he said it would be several months before I am back to "normal" and have really lost weight.
At least now I can walk and jog again.

I thought I was going CRAZY getting menopause symptoms back again!! Even my doc said "this is your thyroid not menopause."

It is ABSOLUTELY possible to confuse the two. Right now my biggest confusion is the hot flashes I am still getting during the day. My estrogen should have eliminated that--so I am positive it is from the Syn.

According to lab--I am low/normal. TSH-4.8
FT4-.85. The results/paper they sent me said

"If TSH is low, Throid level in blood is high. If TSH is high, the thyroid level in blood is low."

The normal at this lab for TSH was .3-5.1. And I was 4.8.
The FT4 normal is .73-1.95.

Yes, i am alive, with just 1/2 a thyroid, but what is the quality of life if my T is too low?

More Estrogen did not help as much as the Synthroid did! I think it all has to work hand in hand.
Get the T working first and the meno symptoms may get less. Then at least you know how much Estrogen you really need.

Last edited by golfhat; 08-27-2009 at 09:52 AM.

 
Old 08-27-2009, 08:07 AM   #3
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Re: Does anyone have an issue differentiating between Thyroid Issues and Menopause...

IMHO Hopalong, you are woefully undertreated for your Hashi's. Your Free T numbers are abysmally low and you will continue to feel bad at those levels. This treatment is very common with endos and other docs. Undertreat and then blame all the symptoms on something else like menopause. He'll be prescribing antidepressants next because those symptoms are going to get you down before long

There's a lot of info out there about how to effectivly treat Hashi's and the one that makes the most sense is prescribing a correct ratio of T3 and T4 (preferrably with natural thyroid hormones) and raising the dose until your symptoms abate, the TSH is completely suppressed and the thyroid shuts down. This method stops the antibody attacks because there needs to be an active thyroid for the attacks to continue. But the "norm" with many doctors is to do minimal treatment because the periods of hyper symptoms that happen when the antibodies attack scares them into thinking they are over treating.

I hope you can do some research and find out more about this and then hopefully find a doc who will treat you correctly. I've got some sources of info if you want to PM me.

 
Old 08-27-2009, 09:22 AM   #4
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Re: Does anyone have an issue differentiating between Thyroid Issues and Menopause...

Quote:
"If TSH is low, Throid level in blood is high. If TSH is high, the thyroid level in blood is low."
This is what my Endo and GP believe and that is the problem! My TSH has NEVER been high and I was lucky to have a doctor give me any meds at all. My numbers now are the same as before treatment. And, yes, I have already been Rx anti depressants and took them (about a year ago). They did nothing.....I stopped. I was offered them AGAIN but declined! I started the new dose yesterday. It at least gives me 7.5mcg more in total daily!

As for the saliva adrenal test that can be ordered by myself. What is the use of that if there is not a doctor who believes in them?

Last edited by hopalong_too; 08-27-2009 at 09:23 AM.

 
Old 08-27-2009, 09:35 AM   #5
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Re: Does anyone have an issue differentiating between Thyroid Issues and Menopause...

There are docs who believe in adrenal fatigue and how it ties into thyroid disease but an Endo who is treating by TSH numbers isn't likely to be one of them. You'll have to look for a more open-minded doctor who will look at all these aspects. Prolonged thyroid disease will stress the adrenals. When adrenals are fatigued they produce low amounts of cortisol. Cortisol is necessary to bring T3 into the cells. It's an important cycle and needs to be addressed as a whole. I can only suggest you post for good docs in your area on various forums and don't give up. I found my good doc by networking with forums and I'm sure you can too!

 
Old 08-27-2009, 10:13 AM   #6
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Re: Does anyone have an issue differentiating between Thyroid Issues and Menopause...

I am so new to this, but I hope my doc will talk to me especially if I bring new questions about alternate meds and such.

my sister took anti depressent and gained 60 lbs in one year. She has lost only 20 after being off and cannot get the rest off.

Laabs have criteria and then make statements as to how to read the labs. But there has to be ranges to follow, otherwise he will have NO clue at all whether you need treatment.

It takes a good doc to decide how to treat based on labs AND symptoms and what the patient says is going on at any given time.

I think it must be easier to treat you once the thyroid is gone or 1/2 gone rather than it being there and causing problems.

Why does the thyroid go haywire anyway?

Last edited by golfhat; 08-27-2009 at 10:15 AM.

 
Old 08-27-2009, 10:57 AM   #7
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Re: Does anyone have an issue differentiating between Thyroid Issues and Menopause...

Javelina,

Quote:
When adrenals are fatigued they produce low amounts of cortisol. Cortisol is necessary to bring T3 into the cells.
I don't think my adrenals are fatigued. My result came back at the high end of normal for the 8am cortisol. My GP said no problem there.

22.1 (4.3-22.4)

 
Old 08-27-2009, 03:25 PM   #8
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Re: Does anyone have an issue differentiating between Thyroid Issues and Menopause...

hopalong too - your doctor can't base anything on a simply 8am cortisol test. I have 2 friends who both had excellent 8am cortisol levels, but soon after that, for some reason, their cortisol nose dived straight into the toilet. This is why a saliva test with early morning sample (mines always 6am), 12noon, 6pm and 10pm is the best and only way to determine what your adrenals are doing through the space of one entire day.

Both my two friends as i said were good first thing in the morning, by 12noon they had virtually no cortisol left. You can also have the situation where the early morning one is bad, gets worse through the day and for some reason rises too high in the evening, which is also bad. There are many scenarios so best if you retest again. Adrenal issues are very common and the symptoms are quite like thyroid symptoms.

You also need to make sure your vitamin D is at the higher end of the range, not in the middle. Continous high levels of Vit D is paramount for our adrenals which then has a flow on affect to our thyroid.

As for the menopause, yes, majority of doctors find it easiest to blame everything on menopause and then stick you on antidepressants, which can in turn make your thyroid symptoms worse. Antidepressants are bad news, best to treat what you actually have rather than cover the symptoms with more drugs that dont do a thing.

 
Old 08-27-2009, 03:31 PM   #9
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Re: Does anyone have an issue differentiating between Thyroid Issues and Menopause...

Normally the adrenals produce high amounts of cortisol in the morning then the levels drop during the day and are at their lowest in the evening. The reason we like the diurnal saliva tests is because they test cortisol levels four times a day and can show if the levels drop below range at a certain time of day. The single serum test will just provide a snapshot of one reading.

Last edited by javelina; 08-27-2009 at 03:34 PM.

 
Old 08-27-2009, 05:11 PM   #10
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Re: Does anyone have an issue differentiating between Thyroid Issues and Menopause...

OK well I will maybe order one of those tests. I will be able to see the results but I am sure my doctor would just "pooh pooh" the idea of saliva cortisol testing! Heck....last year I did the ELISA Candida test and the result came back positive with a high titer and a letter saying "You must follow up on this with your doctor". I was scared to death that this was causing all my symptoms. I brought in the result and the letter and was told, "Everybody has Candida!!". I called the lab back and asked them directly again and they said it should be treated but three doctors told me it was a scam.......So I am just a little worried that this cortisol test will be another enormous waste of money.

Do mainstream doctors EVER order this saliva test? Is there anything I can ask my doctor about or to order that will be taken seriously?

 
Old 08-27-2009, 06:57 PM   #11
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Re: Does anyone have an issue differentiating between Thyroid Issues and Menopause...

My doctor is an MD and he will treat adrenal fatigue as well as low range Free T3 and free T4. But he is not what I would call mainstream. If you search for adrenal fatigue you will likely find a site by the Mayo Clinic that says there's no such thing. Most mainstream docs only recognize either Cushings or Addison's for adrenal diseases and do not believe in adrenal fatigue. But there are some out there who do and who I feel are more enlightened. You'll just have to ask and be prepared to search for another doc or go to an alternative medicine practitioner if you want to pursue this.

 
Old 08-30-2009, 02:57 AM   #12
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Re: Does anyone have an issue differentiating between Thyroid Issues and Menopause...

Hopalong - Candida IS an issue. Sure most of us likely have a certain amount in the gut, but if you have high levels then it needs to be addressed as candida will cause lethargy and lack of motivation among other things. I ended up sleeping 12hrs a night and still couldn't get enough sleep. I had no motivation for anything, not even shoe shopping and that's a very bad sign in my books I developed irritable bowel and was deficient in many vitamins.

I was fortunate that a friend recommended an alternate doctor who put me on a special diet to starve the candida build up, a good quality multivitamin, probiotics and a course of tablets (not sure of the name, could have been Nystatin??) which also help to kill off the candida in the gut. After only 2 weeks i felt like superwoman and could have done a marathon. I had tonnes of energy and felt so healthy. So i know what i'd be telling some doctor who didn't believe that candida is an issue!!

Candida excess can also lead to hormone problems. Candida secretes a substance that the body interprets as estrogen. The body reduces it's normal output of estrogen, thinking there is too much, when in fact there is far too little, resulting in estrogen deficiency.

Excess bowel mucous from candida leads to hair reduction and in particular to reduced levels of clacium and magnesium.

Candida can also cause gum problems below the tooth line, leading to problems with teeth if left untreated.

I'd say these are pretty good causes for dealing with candida. I know natural therapists can help with this too and are likely more willing than normal GP's.

I know that the fatigue i feel these days is due to my cortisol levels dropping. I was on cortisol supplements for my adrenals for a bit and my levels were good and i felt excellent. My doctor stopped me from taking them and my levels dropped leading to intense tiredness from waking throughout the entire day.

I'd deal with the candida AND get the saliva test but it needs to check your cortisol levels from morning to late night. The labs which run the tests can often help with results too. The lab which does mine has a phone line where you can speak to an expert.

Good luck

 
Old 08-30-2009, 05:34 AM   #13
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Re: Does anyone have an issue differentiating between Thyroid Issues and Menopause...

But you hear so much these days about excess cortisol and how it makes it hard for women to lose problem areas like tummy.

I feel confused right now. I would love to sleep later in the morning, til at least 6:30 or 7. but i wake up about 5:30 or so and start getting edgy knowing i should get up and take the pill. today I tried to go back to bed,
forget it!

I just got more edgy. Thinking about what the pharmacist said about not lying back down.

Again for the cortisol, does the thryoid cause it or does lack of cortisol cause thyroid problems?

 
Old 08-30-2009, 07:32 AM   #14
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Re: Does anyone have an issue differentiating between Thyroid Issues and Menopause...

Most of us with adrenal problem have this due to our hypothyroidism. When we become hypo our metabolism slows and the adrenals try to compensate by producing extra cortisol to rev us up. So many of us actually have HIGH cortisol which, if our thyroids aren't treated, will eventually lead to low cortisol. The symptoms of high cortisol are unpleasant as well-- which I can personally attest to (common symptoms are fatigue, insomnia, weight gain, and depression). It's basically the same as living with chronic stress and the health effects are significant.

High cortisol can also interfere with our thyroid treatment but the idea is to treat the thyroid first and see if we can get our free T3 and free T4 levels up and see if the adrenals calm down (also add good supplimentation of vitamins and minerals which we can't absorb well). Sometimes we may need to add more T3 to help with any conversion issues.

 
Old 08-31-2009, 03:40 PM   #15
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Re: Does anyone have an issue differentiating between Thyroid Issues and Menopause...

golfhat - which pill are you talking about? Cortisol supplement or thyroid meds?

My cortisol will keep dropping low if i dont keep taking the meds and that is something i dont want. The tiredness is unbelievable. It's like torture. I'd say my low cortisol symptoms are worse than my hypo symptoms (i have Hashi's). Once the cortisol rises i feel great.

 
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