What’s up with your thyroid? Most people don’t think about their thyroid until there’s something wrong with it. You might not be aware, but having issues with your thyroid can lead to changes in your menstrual cycle. While you might not currently have issues with your thyroid, looking out for changes in your period could help you catch the problem early on. Here’s what you need to look for when detecting hyperthyroidism.
When it comes to the body, the thyroid doesn’t get as much love as your bones or organs, but it plays a significant role in the way our body functions. Found in the neck, the thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland that deals with hormones. The thyroid ultimately controls our metabolism by producing hormones. Since the thyroid controls the metabolism, you’ll usually find that those dealing with thyroid disorders are either underweight or overweight.
Those with thyroid disorders will either experience hypo- or hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism is exactly what you’d expect from the name – an overactive thyroid. The thyroid produces the hormone thyroxine, and hyperthyroidism is when the gland produces too much. Also known as Graves’ Disease, hyperthyroidism occurs when antibodies in the blood cause the thyroid to enlarge and secrete too much of thyroxine. According to the American Thyroid Association, hyperthyroidism is more common in young women than in any other demographic which leads us to the question of how it affects women.
There are tons of symptoms associated with hyperthyroidism, the most common being weight loss and an irregular heartbeat. The list continues with excessive hunger, fatigue, mood swings, and insomnia. Since its symptoms touch every part of the body, you can also expect it to affect your menstrual cycle.
While the problems differ if you have hypothyroidism, both thyroid disorders lead to irregular menstrual cycles. Hyperthyroidism is characterized by short and light periods. While some can expect this, many other women experience infrequent periods. Because of this, this can lead to problems getting pregnant. Since hyperthyroidism affects the menstrual cycle, this controls the entire process of ovulation. Adding to the difficulty of pregnancy, the overactive thyroid can also increase a woman’s chances of miscarriage.
Like many other medical conditions, there are numerous ways that your doctors can help you treat and manage hyperthyroidism. While we often point you to your gynecologist, this condition would send you to an endocrinologist who works with the body and its hormones. They often prescribe an anti-thyroid medication which will regulate the thyroid by either stopping it from producing thyroxine or stop it from releasing the hormone into the body. If you are dealing with other symptoms such as irregular heart rate, they might prescribe a beta blocker to help slow it down and normalize it.
Being prescribed anti-thyroid medication will help regulate your menstrual cycle, but you can never be too sure! If you’re worried about dealing with irregular periods, try PantyProp’s period panties! A perfect alternative to bulky pads, their leak-proof design will keep you covered even when hyperthyroidism tries to sneak in an unexpected period.