I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism about 15 years ago after my doctor found a goiter, or lump, in my neck during a routine visit. The goiter meant my thyroid was enlarged, which was cause for concern.
Aside from the goiter, I had other thyroid symptoms, including:
- Rapid weight gain
- Extreme exhaustion
- Dry skin
- Cold hands and feet
- Thinning hair
Immediately, I was sent for tests and put on synthetic thyroid hormone for life, to compensate for my underactive thyroid. Eventually, I decided to have the goiter, along with half of my thyroid, removed to rule out cancer. Luckily, it was negative yet I was left knowing I would be a thyroid sufferer for the rest of my life.
I have often wondered over the years if my heavy periods were related to my thyroid; after all, many of the sources I consulted for my book mentioned heavy periods as a possible side effect of thyroid problems. I never thought to ask my doctor, although, I must say it makes a lot of sense. Thyroid is the master gland so when it derails everything is at risk.
I came across an interesting study today online. The relationship between thyroid nodules and uterine fibroids.
Scientists at the University of Korea have discovered that estrogen (the female hormone that makes fibroids grow) may also make fibroid nodules grow, especially in premenopausal women.
“Our study suggested that uterine fibroids in women were definitely associated with thyroid nodules and estrogen might have a pivotal role in occurrence of both uterine fibroids and thyroid nodules.”
Interesting, isn’t it?
Just as many women are never diagnosed with heavy menstrual bleeding as a legitimate health concern, many women with thyroid dysfunction are equally ignored, at least according Dr. Ridha Arem, endocrinologist and author of The Thyroid Solution and The Thyroid Solution Diet.
I went to see Dr. Arem in at the Texas Thyroid Institute in Houston a few years back after reading his book; I was so compelled by what I read I just had to go and seem him. He ended up diagnosing me with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, a common cause of hypothyroidism that doctors here completely missed. He increased my synthetic thyroid hormone and added a bioidentical thyroid hormone, a combination that almost immediately improved many of my symptoms.
Unfortunately, weight wasn’t one of them. I have tried everything to lose this extra weight and now that I am in menopause it’s even harder. I may have tackled my heavy periods alright but my thyroid problem will be with me for life; but hopefully my extra weight won’t be.
I am so excited to share that I have decided to try Dr. Arem’s new thyroid eating plan in The Thyroid Solution Diet, which I’ve just finished reading.
I started the program today and so far so good.
By eating proteins that boost your metabolism, and consuming other foods high in fiber with a low high-glycemic index, I hope to tackle this nagging weight gain that has plagued me for more than 15 years. And who knows, perhaps if I had started eating this way back when my fibroids were making my life a living hell, maybe I could have avoided surgery altogether.
All I know is this thyroid eating plan is worth a shot. After my first day today, I can tell you I have eaten more vegetables today than I have in the past week! The early morning detox shake with spinach and parsley was a bit intense, but I’m worth it!
I am going to see Dr. Arem in Houston next week for an in-person check-up, which I am very excited about.
I am going to ask him about fibroids and heavy periods when I’m there. More to follow on this one, gals.
Stay tuned and do think about doing some research online about thyroid and heavy periods.
Ciao for now and do get your thyroid checked…just in case. You never know!