According to health experts on Saturday, women with thyroid imbalance may face menstrual and fertility problems.
January is observed as Thyroid Awareness Month. The thyroid gland located in the neck produces hormones such as triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) which play an important role in regulating the body’s metabolism, energy production and overall growth and development.
Thyroid disease encompasses a range of conditions affecting the function of the thyroid gland, with hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism being the most common disorders.
Thyroid disorders increase the chance of menstrual irregularities by about 30.62 percent for hypothyroidism — when the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone — and 7.5 percent for hyperthyroidism — when the thyroid gland produces too much.
“Thyroid disease can affect one’s risk of injury by disrupting hormone levels. Irregular periods are a common problem associated with thyroid disease, with hypothyroidism potentially leading to heavy or prolonged bleeding and hyperthyroidism leading to light or infrequent periods,” Dr Sweta Lalguri, gynecologist at Zainova Shalbi Hospital, Mumbai, told IANS.
“Also, thyroid dysfunction can lead to amenorrhea, where menstruation stops altogether, either as a primary condition in younger women or as a secondary phenomenon in those who previously had regular cycles,” he added.
Lalguri says thyroid imbalance can also affect women’s fertility. It can cause anovulation, failure of the ovaries to release eggs during the menstrual cycle, and difficulty conceiving.
Another problem with thyroid imbalance can be polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a common endocrine disorder in women. Although PCOS is not directly linked to thyroid disease, some studies indicate a possible link between PCOS and autoimmune thyroid disease, which potentially worsens menstrual irregularities.
“Thyroid dysfunction can also increase the chance of complications during pregnancy, such as premature birth, preeclampsia and developmental problems in the baby,” says the doctor.
Women must have T3, T3RU, T4 and TSH tested to detect any thyroid problems. These can help women take quick action through medication, exercise and dietary changes to improve their overall well-being.
“In addition to the standard TSH test, opting for tests such as free T3, free T4, and thyroid antibodies can give a more comprehensive look at thyroid health. These additional tests can help identify underlying problems that may not be apparent from TSH levels alone, helping women with their To get a better understanding of the functioning of the thyroid and they can experience the possible causes of any symptoms,” Dr Rajesh Bendre, National Technical Head and Chief Pathologist, Apollo Diagnostics Delhi, told IANS.
“Also consider checking reverse T3 levels, as they provide valuable insight into how the body converts the T4 hormone into its active form,” he adds.
Doctors emphasize a healthy diet rich in essential nutrients and stress management techniques such as yoga and meditation to help regulate thyroid hormone production. Daily exercise and maintaining an optimal weight are also keys to improving thyroid health, they say.