One in eight women will develop a thyroid disorder during her lifetime. But despite the high prevalence thyroid problems in women are often missed.
The most common thyroid disorders in women include hypothyroidism, goiter, thyroid nodules, and autoimmune thyroid disorders such as Grave’s disease, and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
Thyroid disorders can easily show up with major hormonal shifts. For example; some women have an underlying thyroid disorder but the symptoms don’t show up until they become pregnant. The transition into menopause is another time when hypothyroid disorders become more obvious.
Five Reasons Why Thyroid Problems Get Missed
ONE. The symptoms overlap with other hormone health issues so the thyroid is not checked. In effect, the symptoms are blamed on some type of hormonal imbalance.
TWO. It’s wrongfully assumed hypothyroid symptoms are due to pregnancy, menopause, or the result of simply getting older.
THREE. There’s inadequate testing. If you don’t feel right but you can’t put your finger on why, there are simple lab tests that can tell you if it’s your thyroid.
FOUR. Often medical practitioners do not encourage women to become active participants in their healthcare decisions so their concerns are not taken seriously.
FIVE. Some women get tested and are prescribed thyroxine (T4) medication. But despite this treatment approach many are left feeling severely under-treated.
Get Checked Out
Suspect trouble with your thyroid? It’s vital you get the help you need from a healthcare practitioner who will take your concerns seriously.
When left untreated a thyroid disorder usually gets worse, and more debilitating. Therefore, a skilled healthcare practitioner will listen to you, and partner with you to investigate further.
They will discuss specific lab tests that can tell you if your thyroid is not functioning properly. You will find a complete thyroid panel provides invaluable insights into overall thyroid function. A complete thyroid panel tests thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) along with free T4 (FT4), free T3 (FT3), reverse T3 (RT3), and thyroid antibodies.
American Thyroid Association (ATA). Link
Australian Thyroid Foundation (ATF). Link
Thyroid UK. Link
US Department of Health and Human Services. Office on Women’s Health. A-Z Health Topics. Thyroid Disease. Page updated: March 16, 2018. Link
Gietka-Czernel M. The thyroid gland in postmenopausal women: physiology and diseases. Menopause Review. 2017;16(2):33-37.