In the intro to her book, she writes the following about menopause and the thyroid:
* Thyroid problems can send you into a far too early perimenopause – starting as early as age 40! – and it can last for years. Doesn’t that sound like fun?
* Thyroid problems can worsen any perimenopause and postmenopausal symptoms. This means you multiply the intensity or discomfort of everything from erratic, heavy periods, to hot flashes, to dizziness, to heart palpitations. You could even end up with an unneeded hysterectomy.
* Thyroid problems can slow your metabolism and destabilize your blood sugar so much that it’s not only impossible to lose weight, but you actually gain weight — on fewer calories than everyone else! And where are you most likely to gain? Where else but your belly, of course!
* Thyroid problems can make you so depressed, stressed, or both, that you’re prescribed antidepressants, anti-anxiety drugs, and tranquilizers – not to mention sleeping pills. You’re trying to stay young, and you can quickly end up living in the Valley of the Dolls!
* Thyroid problems can impair your memory and make you so foggy-brained that you are needlessly worried you are developing Alzheimer’s disease.
* Thyroid problems can raise your cholesterol and triglycerides to such dangerous levels that you must go on medication to protect your arteries and heart.
* Thyroid problems can elevate your blood pressure to levels that require prescription medications.
* Thyroid problems can make your hair fall out so quickly that you worry whether you’re actually going to go bald. (Believe me, there are few things as demoralizing for a middle-aged woman than realizing you’re losing your hair!)
* Thyroid problems can exhaust you to the extent that you have no energy for exercise, which affects fitness, weight, heart disease risk, and quality of life.
* Thyroid problems can wear down your immune system’s effectiveness to the extent that you catch every infection you’re exposed to, and once ill, are slower to recover.
Thyroid problems can deplete your body’s ability to cope with stress so much that you feel extremely tired – yet wired – most of the time, and suffer anxiety and insomnia along with your fatigue.
I am convinced, like Mary, that the thyroid plays an underrated role in hormonal fluctuations and traditional tests simply don’t “pick up” the abnormalities.
Besides taking a Tissue Mineral Analsyis, which can easily and most inexpensively access your thyroid efficiency by measuring your calcium to potassium ratio, I am looking into the Iodine Loading Test which measures iodine levels, believed by many to be deficient due to food processing, stress, and chemical displacement with bromides, chlorine and flouride.
I recently took the comprehensive thryoid tests I wrote about in April’s MMM and will let you know my reactions to the results. I also underwent a thryoid ultrascan while I was doing a heart “body scan” and low and behold, they found a thyroid cyst – prevalent, they say, with many women in the Arizona area, due to the fallout carried by winds from Nevada’s nuclear testing.
Testing is truly the only way you will know what is going on with your uniquely wired body.
I will keep you updated on the Iodine Loading Test (iodine can neutralize fibroids in the ovaries and in the breasts – so why not the thyroid itself, I wonder).
And – if you are also interested in taking this test, which may be at the root cause of your hormone havoc, I will give you the contact I currently have and your doctor can simply order the test kit.
No matter what: Old age ain’t no place for sissies. Thank you, Bette Davis 😉