I’m often asked questions about thyroid function because for many women with PCOS, there is a thyroid problem. It’s not surprising really, given that hypothyroidism and thyroid autoimmune dis-ease are more commonly found in women with PCOS.
And according to Evanthia Diamanti-Kandarakis co-author of Insulin Resistance and Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome: Pathogenesis, Evaluation, and Treatment, p325, “decreased SHBG (Sex Hormone Binding Globule) and increased free testosterone levels and altered estradiol (an estrogen) metabolism have been described in hypothyroid patients, whereas PCO (Polycystic Ovaries) has been detected in 36.5% of hypothyroid patients”.
The authors of this study believe that when you have poor thyroid function, this changes how your genes are expressed. That the genes which get expressed bring about the changes seen in a woman with PCOS.
How Do You Know If You Have A Thyroid Problem?
Some Signs & Symptoms of Hypothyroidism (an under-active thyroid) include:
Muscle weakness, pain & cramps
Cold intolerance, cold hands/feet
Goiter (swelling over the thyroid)
Puffiness around the eyes
Menstrual irregularities and infertility
’Brain fog’ and indecisiveness
Dry skin and hair
Hair loss from scalp and eyebrows
Slowed heartbeat / pulse
Dizziness or vertigo
Poor memory, poor concentration
Throat pain, or a tender feeling
What tests should you have?
I recommend a full panel of TSH, T4, T3, reverse T3 and thyroid antibodies, but most practitioners only refer for TSH – at least to start. The problem is, the range usually given on the path lab results are FAR to broad. Take a look at your own results, your TSH should ideally sit between 1 to 2-2.5IU/L.
What Can You Do To Help Your Thyroid Function Better?
The leading cause of hypothyroidism worldwide is insufficient iodine intake. How can you increase your intake of this important nutrient? Iodine: sushi, oysters, scallops, kelp, fish paste, and if you’re feeling adventurous sea vegetables, along with foods such as radishes, onions, cocoa powder and watercress
You also need sufficient levels of other nutrients like zinc, selenium, omega 3 fatty acids.
Natural PCOS treatments and natural thyroid treatments are very effective.
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Until next time…