Taking a Closer Look at Perimenopause & Hypothyroidism

Millions of women expect the uncomfortable symptoms of menopause when they reach their late forties and early fifties. However, when symptoms begin prematurely, you may wonder why and if that means something is wrong. Before you start to worry too much, learning more about your thyroid gland menopause and the period that comes before it, perimenopause, is extremely important.

You May Experience Several Symptoms at the Same Time

Many women grow up hearing their grandmothers and mothers talking about night sweats, hot flashes and mood swings. For the most women experiencing early menopause, these are common symptoms usually experienced by all of them.

Other symptoms you may also experience during perimenopause include irregular menstrual cycles (either heavy bleeding or hardly any bleeding at all for a few consecutive months), urinary incontinence (especially when you cough or sneeze), sleeplessness and thinning hair. You may also have unexplainable body aches and pains in addition to extreme fatigue that sleep does not reduce.

These are only a few of the symptoms you might experience during perimenopause. If you are in your early forties and are worried about uncomfortable, even frightening symptoms, talking to your physician is vital for learning more. Your physician can order diagnostic tests to learn more about your thyroid gland, hormonal activity and more.

What Does the Thyroid Gland Have to Do With Menopause?

Some of the symptoms associated with perimenopause are also the symptoms of a thyroid condition called hypothyroidism. When your thyroid gland is not functioning properly, the hormones it produces are reduced. When hormones are reduced in your body, you may feel several types of symptoms because of it.

Your thyroid gland produces hormones essential for you to function properly in all aspects of you: emotionally, physically and mentally. When your doctor does a thyroid diagnostic test, he or she will know if the hormones commonly produced by it have changed or become reduced. TSH tests are common for people undergoing long term treatment for thyroids problems. TSH, T3 and T4 are the most common hormones tested for in the determination of hypothyroidism.

Know the Difference & Making Life Choices

Discussing your symptoms with your gynecologist is important for you get back on track. Whether you are entering perimenopause, experiencing the effects of an underactive thyroid gland or possibly even both conditions, your good health will depend on the each one being properly treated. In some cases, your doctor may recommend a partial or complete hysterectomy.

A hysterectomy involves taking out one or more of your ovaries, your womb and uterus. If you are ready to make choices about how good you feel for the rest of your life, deciding on hormone therapy, surgery or both may be some of the options for doctor discusses with you.