If you come to Julian Healthcare and tell us that your periods are irregular, your thyroid hormone levels will be on our list to test. When thyroid hormones are out of balance, it can cause every system in the body to be off, including the reproductive system. Please keep reading because this is not just important for women who are trying to conceive, it’s important for all women.
If your thyroid is underactive, it can prevent ovulation. If you’re not ovulating, you can’t have healthy periods, you can’t have babies, and you won’t have enough progesterone. Low progesterone can cause many unpleasant symptoms so you need to be ovulating!
The only sure way to know if you are experiencing an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) is to test. That being said, there are some symptoms you might experience that will give us a good idea of whether or not your thyroid is underactive. Some of those symptoms include:
- Weight gain
- Dry skin
- Irregular periods
- Cold sensitivity
- Joint pain
This list is not all inclusive. There are many other signs and symptoms you could experience with an underactive thyroid. You could also still have hypothyroidism without having all of these symptoms. That’s why testing is so important. You will want to make sure you are tested correctly though! We will talk more about that below.
The Importance of Ovulation
Ovulation is important for many different reasons. If you are trying to have a baby, you must ovulate. Without ovulating you also won’t be able to have a healthy period or produce progesterone. Not having enough progesterone can cause many other symptoms. I like to think of progesterone as a superhero of hormones because it can do a lot of really helpful things for your body.
Progesterone decreases inflammation, builds muscle, calms the nervous system, and promotes sleep. It also decreases heart attack risk by protecting your heart arteries. As you can see, it’s important to ovulate not just if you are trying to conceive. All of your systems are connected and intertwined and when your thyroid hormones are off, it affects the rest of the body.
Testing the Thyroid
Many healthcare practitioners just test TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) levels but TSH alone is not enough to assess the whole thyroid function. If you’re going to adequately assess the thyroid, you need to look at the TSH, Free T3, Free T4, Reverse T3, and thyroid antibodies.
In conventional medicine, there is a standard reference range when looking at lab results. So, if your levels fall within that standard range, you might be told that you are “fine” and your results came back as normal. In functional medicine and here at Julian Healthcare, we want your lab results to be in an optimal range because that is where you will feel your very best.
If you think you might be struggling with thyroid problems, we would love to help you. We will make sure to order the appropriate tests then put together an individualized care plan to get you feeling your best again! Schedule a discovery call to see if Julian Healthcare is the right fit for you.