Evidently, thyroid problems can mimic menopause – and peri-menopause symptoms – quite cleverly. (Oh boy!)
In other words, if you are experiencing any of the following "challenges", it may be menopause – or maybe not. Take a look at this list of menopause "mimics" that might be thyroid:
* menstrual irregularities
* sleep problems
* weight changes
* mood changes
* loss of sex drive
* hair loss
* skin changes
* elevated cholesterol
* bone loss
* fatigue and lack of energy
* digestive disturbances
* concentration or memory problems
According to Shomon, this is just a starter list! In other words, if you have been to doc for sleep disturbance, mood swings and "brain fog", you may have been told "menopause!"….though the finger may really need to be pointed at thyroid problems.
Diagnosing thyroid is no easy task
As an opener to her keynote speech at the T-Tapp Fitness Retreat last weekend, Shomon asked the crowd, "Who has been told my their doctor that ‘Your thyroid is normal’?" A majority of the women raised their hands. And this is not an uncommon experience.
If you have felt foiled by all the confusing – and sometimes conflicting – information out there about thyroid problems, Shomon’s new book will shine light into previously dark corners for you.
She presents several tools for self-analysis to help you draw closer to your own conclusions and put you in a more informed position from which to ask your own doc some questions.
To diagnose hypothyroidism, in addition to the symptoms, and clinical examination, conventional doctors consider the TSH results. A TSH level above the reference range is considered hypothyroid and will be flagged as high on test results. Remember, however, that there is controversy over the reference range, with some groups recommending the new range of 0.3 to 3.0, and many labs and doctors still use the old range of 0.5 to around 5.5. (pg. 96, The Menopause Thyroid Solution).
For this reason, Shomon recommends multiple measures when trying to draw a more precise bead on the condition of your thyroid.
In addition to the rich profile of symptoms as described in her book, you should also ask doc for the following:
* Free T4 (free thyrosine)
* Free T3 (free triiodothyronine)
A low level of either or both of these, along with an elevated TSH, may indicate hypothyroidism.
Chapter 8: Mindful Movement with T-Tapp
Of significant note is the exercise chapter (pgs. 228 – 268) featuring Mary’s favorite workout, T-Tapp. Teresa Tapp created a custom pictorial and instructional for Shomon’s book that spans nearly 30 pages: "Mindful Movement for Menopause Management". Yay Mary for "getting" that movement – purposeful and targeted – is essential for all things well-being.