Do you often find yourself blaming irritability, mood swings, and food cravings on your hormones? Do you suffer from extreme Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)? Do you have monthly bouts of fatigue, depression, anxiety, headaches, and bloating? These symptoms are common amongst the majority of women, but extreme pain and discomfort can be a sign that something else is wrong. Debilitating PMS may actually be linked to your thyroid.
There is an increasing amount of research that shows the connection between thyroid function and female hormones, which isn’t surprising since both play a significant role in regulating body temperature. Similarly, PMS and hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) have many of the same symptoms. It is important to note that the research remains controversial as determined what levels of thyroid hormones determine an underactive thyroid are still being debated.
It can be difficult to tell if your symptoms are purely related to the cyclical changes of your female hormones, or if your thyroid is actually the culprit. Fortunately, thyroid function can be tested through your blood work. Many doctors are hesitant to diagnose hypothyroidism based on symptoms because most of the symptoms belong to other disorders or deficiencies as well.
While many women who complain of weight gain, fatigue, and PMS may have an underactive thyroid, the majority of such issues are usually related to poor diet, stress, and a lack of exercise. Even if you don’t have an underactive thyroid, you may have a subclinical thyroid, which means that it’s functioning below optimal levels, but not at hypothyroidism levels.
An underactive thyroid that goes unchecked for a long period of time can cause a host of other problems, and may, in extreme cases, be fatal. If you notice fluctuating hormones, difficult PMS, and other symptoms that your thyroid may not be functioning properly, reach out to a professional as soon as possible. Make an appointment and follow up – hormones are no joke!