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Old 05-03-2002, 12:01 AM   #1
RME RME is offline
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Thyroid & Estrogen problems

I read that if estrogen and progesterone are not in balance it can block the action of thyroid hormone.
I copied the page and took to my endo - he said it was nonsense. Do any of you experts agree with him? (And some of you do sound like experts, I get more info here than from the doc)
I am now on 25 mcg of cytomel - tsh now .019 He said that is okay since my blood pressure is still so low.
I still feel crappy Fatigue- join/muscle pain- etc
He says the problem is lack of estrogen. He keeps increasing the dose and my estrogen levels keep either falling or increasing only a point so. At this rate I will need 1000mg of estrogen per day. (just kidding - but close to it!)
I wish I could go to another endo for a second opinion, but would have to travel 200 miles to do that. Maybe I am expecting too much too soon and should just wait and see if he can figure it out? Menopause and hypothyroid have many of the same symptoms, so maybe he's right. I dont know. From what I know for certain, and that is only how I feel, it just seems to me that none of this medication is working.
I was on levoxyl for years and never felt any improvement. He then did some other test and said I was not converting the t4 to t3. So now that I am on t3 should I be feeling any better? Or is he correct that the problem is estrogen? Could there be something else wrong with me that is causing everything to go haywire?
All this is way to mind-boggling for my fuzzy brain!

 
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Old 05-03-2002, 10:44 AM   #2
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Re: Thyroid & Estrogen problems

Welcome, RME. I'm sorry to hear that you only have one Endo within a 200 mile radius. I don't know which article you presented to your doctor, but About.com recently posted something about the Estrogen/Menopause/Thyroid connection. All these hormones are most certainly related.
<A HREF="http://thyroid.about.com/library/weekly/aa042602a.htm" TARGET=_blank>http://thyroid.about.com/library/weekly/aa042602a.htm</A>

I don't know how long you've been on the Cytomel, but your TSH sounds like you have enough in your system. Your remaining symptoms may be menopause-related, but I'd guess (without knowing your history or blood levels) that it may be from adrenal fatigue related to your previous thyroid problems and T4 ---&gt; T3 conversion.

I've had some success reducing/eliminating fatigue and body ache with some supplements. Maca, a Peruvian herb, supports both the thyroid and the adrenals while balancing the other hormones. I've posted about it on Page 2 of the Information Archive, but there's also useful information on About.com and on the commercial website where I purchase my Maca.
<A HREF="http://thyroid.about.com/sitesearch.htm?terms=maca&SUName=thyroid &TopNode=3042&type=1" TARGET=_blank>http://thyroid.about.com/sitesearch.htm?terms=maca&SUName=thyroid &TopNode=3042&type=1</A>

I use Royal Organic Maca in powder form, but you can find it in capsules and from many other sources. If you type "royal organic maca" into a search engine like google, you will be directed to the website that sells it, Whole World Botanicals. (We can't post links to commercial websites in this forum.) They have much more information about it.

Keep educating yourself, and be persistent. Your doctor sounds like he's got a good approach -- at least he recognized your T4 --&gt; T3 conversion problem and changed your meds. Now, he just has to get the rest of you balanced.

 
Old 05-03-2002, 03:46 PM   #3
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Re: Thyroid & Estrogen problems

Thanks for the reply Artful.

" Perhaps the biggest potential for mischief in the whole thyroid field is in the arena of womenís health and menopause. " -- quote from the article you suggested in about.com

I interpreted that story to mean that often women are diagnosed & treated for menopause, ignoring thyroid issues.

The info I showed to my doc was a quote from Dr John Lee in Christiane Northrups Wisdom of Menopause.
quote- "There appears to be a cause and effect relationship between hypothyroidism, in which there are inadequate levels of thyroid hormone, and estrogen dominance. When estrogen is not properly counterbalanced with progesterone in can block the action of thyroid hormone, so even when the thyroid is producing normal levels of the hormone, the hormone is rendered ineffective and the symptoms of hypothyroidism appear.....this problem is compounded when a woman is prescribed supplemental estrogen, leading to an even greater imbalance. In that circumstance a prescription for supplemental thyroid will fail to correct the underlying problem: estrogen dominance"

I'm not really sure how my estrogen levels relate to my progesterones. Next time I get tests I will look for those numbers (not that I'd know what they mean; MORE researching to do) I do know each time he increases the estrogen by 1 mg, he also increases the progesterone 100 mg. So I assume he is trying to keep those things balanced.

I've been on the cytomel for 1 month now, still dont feel it yet.

I am not ruling out that he is correct - my symptoms are meno. I've been hypo for many many years, never any releif from meds, and all symptoms became much worse, and then new ones around the time the meno started. But am really baffled about the connection between the 2 (or possibly even some other hormones) that do they all need to be balanced, or am I missing something else that is causing none of this medication to work for me. For some strange reason I am taking way more than the normal dose of estrogen and is not bringing my levels up. And I am wondering if there IS some connection, and he is missing it because he insists one has nothing to do with the other. Before I go back to him and insist that he re-consider the possibility I want to know if I know what I'm talking about.

~Thanks

 
Old 05-03-2002, 09:53 PM   #4
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Re: Thyroid & Estrogen problems

Hi RME. I had lots of symptoms of estrogen dominance before my thyroid disease was diagnosed. I'm not in menopause, but I was perimenopausal for a few years. And I have a tendency for fibroids & endometriosis, so I used "natural progesterone" cream for a long time.

I based my usage on a text to which I was referered "Natural Progesterone: The multiple roles of a Remarkable Hormone" by John R. Lee, MD and used Pro-gest brand of transdermal cream on days 12-24 of my cycle. It's sort of technical document marketed to the New Age crowd (and found in some health food stores). Seems factual, but has a tendency to proclaim that progesterone is good for everything. But, I must say, when I go through the change if I need hormone replacement I think I'll try the pro-gest again before estrogen.

It seemed to help a lot of my symptoms, and (as per my OB/GYN) my endometriosis disappeared, scar tissue from colposcopies disappeared and the healthy tissue regenerated, and my fibroids are small and stable.

Didn't do a damn thing for my migraines, though. Now it's a year since my thyroid was removed (cancer) and I seem to be stable so I stopped the progest. Might be worth investigating. Is there a holistic practitioner near you that you could consult for guidance? It's probably worth working with someone because of your concurrent thyroid disease. Acupuncture, in particular, has been helpful for me.

But I'd still recommend trying Maca to see if it helps.

 
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