Related Topics: Bioidentical Hormones, Features, Hormones, Menopause, Thyroid

How Bioidentical Natural Progesterone Helps With Low Thyroid

Women, especially those over age 50, are more likely to have hypothyroidism and often the symptoms are missed because they are seen as just part of what you can expect at menopause.

AnnA Rushton

One of my most frequently asked questions is ‘can I use bioidentical natural progesterone alongside my thyroid medication?’ It is asked so often I thought it would be helpful to look at why it is not only ok, but positively advantageous. This is because one of many balancing functions of progesterone is to support healthy thyroid function.

An underactive thyroid is what happens when your thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough of certain important hormones.  The thyroid hormone affects growth, development, and many cellular processes which means that the normal balance of chemical reactions in your body is upset.  This has widespread consequences for the body and although it seldom causes symptoms in the early stages it can, if left untreated, cause a number of health problems, such as obesity, joint pain, infertility and heart disease.

Is it menopause – or something else?

Menopause certainly brings its own commonly experienced symptoms, but if you suffer from an underactive thyroid, it’s easy to confuse or blame your frustrating symptoms on this stage of your life.  Symptoms of low thyroid can include:

  • fatigue
  • poor concentration
  • weight gain
  • low sex drive
  • dry hair or hair loss
  • cold hands and feet
  • brittle nails

Risk factors

Hypothyroidism can occur at menopause even if you’ve been taking good care of yourself. The symptoms overlap because our thyroid and reproductive hormones are so closely interconnected.  You might have been vulnerable to thyroid imbalance earlier in your life but usually the body’s own checks and balances smooth out the major hormonal transitions women experience from the puberty onwards.

However there are other factors that can put you at risk and that the body may struggle to overcome:

  • Stress
  • environmental exposures such as BPA
  • inadequate nutrition
  • family predisposition

Those are the external factors, but also playing their part are the menstrual cycle, the Pill or Coil, childbearing, perimenopause, menopause itself and HRT.

How best to support your thyroid

Thyroid hormone levels are closely tied to our sex hormones so that – for example – excess oestrogen can block thyroid function.  Oestrogen dominance is common at menopause, particularly with HRT supplementation, and the role of progesterone is to balance the excess oestrogen and restore optimal thyroid function.

If you are on thyroid medication, generally levothyroxine, then one problem with such drugs is that once you go on them, the thyroid reduces its own production.  This is one reason it is recommended to monitor your levels if supplementing with bioidentical natural progesterone.  Many women have found that they have not needed the same levels of medication, but this is something you must check with your doctor on a regular basis.

Good nutrition is also essential and you need a wide range of nutrients every day to manufacture and metabolize all the body’s hormones, including thyroid. A diet of fresh whole foods are the ideal source but most people also need help from a high grade multivitamin–mineral complex that also has selenium, iodine vitamin A, and zinc for maximum support.

Adding in bioidentical natural progesterone and monitoring your diet are important, and so too is handling your stress levels. Chronic stress has powerful and detrimental effects on your endocrine system because the hormones released as part of the stress response interfere with the production, metabolism and/or utilization of oestrogen, progesterone and your thyroid hormones.  That’s why menopausal symptoms that seem to be under control can flare up if you are under stress, it is your hormones natural response as the body tries to deal with it. 

Helpful information:’t-underestimate-the-effect-of-stress-on-your-hormonal-symptoms/

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Please feel free to discuss this article in the comments section below, but note that the author cannot respond to queries made there.
Comments 10
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Kathie | 2:10 pm, March 20th, 2018

I’m 66 yrs old and have hypothyroidism. I use Levothyroxine daily. I’m losing eyebrows and eyelashes fast! I’ve read about foods to eat and supplements to take. I have just begun using an organic bio-identical progesterone cream with phytoestrogens in it. Should I just use a bio progesterone cream alone? Is there any benefit to taking small doses if DHEA? I’m looking for balance and not familiar enough to know if progesterone is enough alone. My hair has thinned slightly…dry and brittle!!

AnnA Rushton | 4:06 pm, June 6th, 2017

Presumably it is the oestrogen in HRT she can’t have Paul so Serenity, which is progesterone only, would be best with those symptoms.

Paul lynass | 1:29 pm, June 3rd, 2017

My wife is 51on menopause no periods for 2yearscant use hrt wanted to kno what’s best cream for her symptoms flushes weight gain are the worst what cream would suit her

AnnA Rushton | 9:30 pm, June 16th, 2016

Both creams contain the same amount of progesterone Anne so it will depend on your other symptoms. If you have signs of vaginal dryness then 20-1 which is a combination cream with the majority ingredient of progesterone, plus two natural oestrogens may be better, but if not then Serenity is used by many patients with thyroid condition.

Anne elcombe | 9:36 am, June 16th, 2016

I have been diagnosed with very low thyroid and Vit D deficiency can I take right cream , been on 20/1 for years. Is that correct or do I need another or more cream per day.Levothyroxine started at 50 mg sue have liked more dr said 80 but have to start beginning. Vit D 800 units 2 X day start will increase after month all meds.

AnnA Rushton | 4:10 pm, February 6th, 2016

A normal reading may not be as accurate as going on your symptoms Toni as low thyroid levels can vary. This article may help:

Toni cox | 5:57 pm, February 2nd, 2016

Hi there its as if I wrote the above I am going to get my thyroid checked have you had yours checked? Don’t know what to do if they come back on normal

Susan Entwistle | 8:26 am, May 7th, 2014

Hi Stell have you tried sage drops for your flushes/sweats? I was only diagnosed a month ago post menopause and tried this straight away and what a big different. Worth a try eh! Also started taking Devils Claw for muscle/ joint pain but so far dont see a difference there, still sore every day. Take care x

stell | 1:37 pm, September 12th, 2012

hi my name is stell im 52. i hope you can give me some advice on what to do. i had a hystorectomy this time last yr.was put on to hrt patches but couldnt wear them as ellergict to the sticky, tried livial and wanted to kill myself after 14 days of taking it, im on pristiq and a thyroid tab, im aching in every joint esspecially my knees, around my neck and back,just aches so much, am over sex,dont even want to think about it, i have put on 20 kgs since my op and i cant seem to be able to lose the weight, im out walking when my legs will allow my to. have been on the natural progesterone cream for about 8mths i just cant seem to feel any better, hot flushes are extream, with the head spinning and wanting to fall.i work in a big department store and need to be on my toes as am on checkout. im tired, my sleep is so disturbed im awake most of the night, please help me, im really desperate, what can i do. would love to hear any suggestions. thankyou……

propecia hair loss men | 12:33 pm, May 3rd, 2012

Thank you for your work. Post helped me a great deal

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