Underactive thyroid symptoms and infertility symptoms are very similar and many women who experience difficulty in getting pregnant may indeed have an underlining thyroid dysfunction considered borderline hypothyroidism where thyroid TSH levels and thyroid hormone levels are normal.
The following are underactive thyroid symptoms as they relate to infertility or difficulty getting pregnant.
1. Anovulatory cycle
Not being able to ovulate during the menstrual cycle is a very common symptoms of hypothyroidism or thyroid disease in general. The female hormonal system is affected by the thyroid function in such a way that pregnancy does not occur due to lack of ovulation.
2. Luteal phase defect
When the second part of the menstrual cycle is too short, the fertilized egg cannot implant securely within the uterine lining. The fertilized embryo produces human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), an hormone that signals the corpus luteum to continue making progesterone in order to maintain the thickness of the uterine lining healthy for implantation. If the luteal phase is too short, this process does not happen and the result is an early miscarriage. The period will be late and heavy.
3. High levels of prolactin
This occurs when thyroid releasing hormone (TRH) levels are high and Thyroxine (T4) levels are low. This is one the underactive thyroid symptoms that affects fertility in such a way that suppresses ovulation causing irregular periods.
4. Estrogen dominance
This happens when the thyroid is underactive due to hormonal imbalances related to having too much estrogen and not enough progesterone causing late ovulation and luteal phase defect. Underactive thyroid symptoms like late menstrual cycles, irregular cycles and heavy menses all affect your chances of getting pregnant.
The thyroid gland is the body's internal thermostat, regulating internal temperature by secreting hormones that control metabolism.
This is why, the thyroid gland is involved in how the body burns calories and utilizes energy and every cell in the body is regulated by thyroid hormones.
The thyroid gland is involved in other organs regulation and function like protein, fat, carbohydrates metabolism, vitamin synthesis, long bone growth, maturation of neurons, and reproduction.
When the thyroid gland underfunctions, underactive thyroid symptoms develop and the person is diagnosed with hypothyroidism. There are different levels of hypothyroid disease:
This levels of under activity of the thyroid gland is due to external factors like autoimmunity (Hashimoto's thyroiditis) or the use of radioiodine therapy for hyperthyroidism that destroy the thyroid gland leading to underactive thyroid symptoms.
Autoimmune Thyroid Disease
If a woman has autoimmune thyroid disease, estrogen stimulation during assisted reproduction therapy, can cause thyroid problems during pregnancy. Thyroid autoimmunity is related to infertility and to ovulation problems and the development of endometriosis. Having autoimmune thyroid disease is associated with increased risk of miscarriages.
Hashimoto's Thyroiditis and Fertility
Women with Hashimoto thyroiditis may have difficulty getting pregnant. Taking selenium supplementation helps decrease antibody levels increasing fertility.
If you have Hashimoto's disease make sure you follow you doctor's advice and keep your hormone levels at optimal range for pregnancy. Hashimoto's thyroiditis is an autoimmune condition where the body attacks the thyroid gland as it does with foreign compounds.
This conditions consists of the inflammation of the thyroid gland. This disease is more common in women than in men and it is characterized by the increased number of antibodies to the enzyme, thyroid peroxidase an enzyme leading to hypothyroidism.
The symptoms of Hashimoto are similar to underactive thyroid symptoms. As the hypothyroidism becomes more severe, the following symptoms may develop, especially if left untreated:
1. Puffiness around the eyes.
2. Low body temperature.
3. Slow hearth Rate, enlarged heart, and possible heart failure.
4. Myxedemia coma.
5. Accumulation of fluid around the lungs.
6. Swelling of the thyroid gland due to inflammation.
7. The presence of anti-thyroid peroxidase antibodies.
This level of underactivity of the thyroid gland occurs when the pituitary gland cannot produce enough thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) to induce the thyroid gland to produce enough thyroid hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3).
Secondary hypothyroidism is caused by damage of the pituitary gland by tumor formation, infections, iron deposits, surgery, or radiation. Secondary hypothyroidism is a condition that affects the thyroid gland when the hypothalamus or the pituitary gland fail and the activity of the thyroid gland is decreased.
The production of thyroid hormones (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), is stimulated by the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland.
When these hormones are underproduced, hypothyroidism occurs. Secondary hypothyroidism is due to a failure of the pituitary gland to release thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) or the hypothalamus to produce thyrotropin releasing hormone (TRH).
TRH stimulated the pituitary gland to produce TSH. This condition is often referred to as hypothalamic-pituitary-axis hypothyroidism.
This can be cause by the following:
1. A tumor in the pituitary or hypothalamus.
2. Radiation to the brain.
3. Excessive blood loss during delivery (Sheehan syndrome).
4. Inflammation and swelling due to brain disease or infections. 5. Conditions causing iron deposits.
Normal levels of thyroid hormones are needed for optimum fertility and maturation of eggs. Hypothyroidism affects the function of the ovaries by decreasing the levels of sex hormones and increasing prolactin secretion.
Infertile women who undergo assisted reproductive therapies are given drugs that hyperstimulate the ovaries leading to increased estrogen levels. The result at times may be the development of thyroid dysfunction.
Wilson's syndrome is a conditions where the body cells are unable to convert thyroxine (T4) to triiodothyronine (T3).
Wilson's Temperature Syndrome refers to the presence of symptoms of thyroid disease like low body temperature (less than 98.6 F or 37.0 C) and normal levels of thyroid hormones in the blood. This conditions is triggered by stress.
Subclinical or borderline hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid TSH levels are high, but thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) levels are normal.
It is unsure how borderline hypothyroidism affect the body metabolism since the levels of thyroid hormones are normal.
Treatment for this condition is controversial and some studies suggest that subclinical hypothyroidism does not need hormone replacement therapy.
Possibly, borderline hypothyroidism is the best type thyroid conditions to respond to alternative medicine with the use of herbal or homeopathic remedies.
The following is a list of common underactive thyroid symptoms:
1. Goitre (enlarged thyroid gland).
3. Decreased perspiration.
4. Poor muscle tone, muscle cramps and joint pain, arthritis, rheumatoid-like syndrome. 5. Low sex drive.
6. Weight gain and water retention.
7. Cold extremities and cold sensitivity.
9. Weak brittle nails.
10. Hair loss or hair thinning.
11. Recurrent infections and low immunity.
12. Dry skin, flaky, scaly skin and scalp.
13. Constipation and dry stools.
15. Carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, fibromyalgia, tingling and numbness.
16. Slow healing.
17. Acne and skin thickness.
18. Low heart rate (bradycardia). Less than 60 beats per minute.
During late thyroid stages, when the thyroid is really under active, the intensity of underactive thyroid symptoms increases and more thyroid deficiency symptoms arise:
1. Deepening of voice and hoarseness.
2 Severe menstrual disorders, young women are usually diagnosed with peri-menopause or early menopause.
3. Puffy face and extremities (hand and feet).
4. Severe skin dryness and flakiness.
5. Slow speech.
6. Thickening of the skin.
7. Hair loss and thinning of the eyebrows.
8. Menstrual difficulties and infertility.
9. Morning underarm body temperature less than 97.8 F.
10. Transverse grooves on nails.
11. Mineral deficiencies (iron, zinc, selenium, iodine, calcium, magnesium, vitamin B12).
1. Thinning of the outer third of the eyebrows.
2. Slow heart rate.
3. Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).
4. Difficulty swallowing.
5. Slow respiration.
6. Yellowing of the skin (palms of hands) due to impaired conversion of beta-carotene to vitamin A.
7. Impaired renal function.
8. Elevated cholesterol, high triglycerides, high LDL, low HDL.
9. Decreased sense of smell (anosmia).
10. Low hydrochloric acid (HCl) and stomach acid content with digestive enzyme deficiency.
11. Macrocytic anemia.
This is an aspect of hypothyroidism that is often overlooked by many practitioners. Some women may not exhibit as many hypothyroid symptoms, but experience severe mental and emotional imbalances as a result of thyroid under functioning. They often receive a different diagnosis and a inappropriate treatment when what they needed was to balance their thyroid hormonal levels.
2. Extreme fatigue and procrastination.
3. Low motivation and ambition.
5. Anxiety and panik attacks.
6. Many fears and fobias.
7. Decreased memory and inability to focus or concentrate.
8. Insomnia and sleep apnea.
9. Unrepressed sleep.
10. Low self esteem.
11. Eating problems.
12. No desire for sex.
13. Attention deficit disorders.
14. Acute psychosis (myxedema madness).
15. Slow reflexes (e.g. Achilles tendon reflex)
The following are common symptoms of thyroid disease related to the female menstrual cycle and reproductive health.
2. Dysmenorrhea (painful periods).
4. Ovarian cysts.
6. Miscarriage or premature delivery and stillbirth.
7. Excess estrogen as a result of birth control pill.
8. Adrenal exhaustion and Excess cortisol levels.
9. Recurrent yeast infection and vaginal dryness or unusual vaginal discharges.
10. Low blood sugar.
11. Increase serum prolactin. Production of breast milk when not nursing.
12. Fibrocystic breast disease.
12. Difficulty getting pregnant and unexplained infertility.
13. Irregular menses, long anovulatory cycles with heavy periods.
14. Progesterone deficiency, no thermal shift.
15. Fertile quality cervical mucus with low basal body temperature.
Clomid is an anti-estrogenic drug that if given to women suffering from hypothyroidism, it can cause more fertility problems like ovulatory dysfunction, decreased cervical mucus, thinning of the uterine lining, ovarian cysts, mood swings, headaches, insomnia and depression.
These are conditions are all related to underactive thyroid symptoms.
The common symptoms of thyroid disease are not life threatening, but myxedema could be. The most severe and very rare form of hypothyroidism is myxedema coma. This is usually caused by infection, medications, illness, exposure to extreme low temperature. The symptoms of myxedema are:
1. Low body temperature.
2. Low blood pressure.
3. Low blood sugar.
4. Lethargy and severe weakness.
5. Difficulty and decreased breathing.
6. Adrenal crisis.
7. Heart Disease.
10. Goitre (enlarged thyroid gland).
11. Drooping eye lids.
Thyroid Assist Remedy supports the function of the thyroid gland when underfunctioning. This herbal remedy has the following benefits:
1. Support normal production of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) by the pituitary gland.
2. Maintain T3 and T4 levels within the normal range.
3. Help support healthy thyroid functioning naturally.
4. Support systemic balance in the endocrine system responsible for regulating body temperature, metabolism, fertility and growth.
5. Maintain healthy energy levels with a healthy thyroid gland.
The foods that you eat can be affecting the functioning of your thyroid gland. If you would like to know more about thyroid dysfunction and diet, The Natural Thyroid Diet is a great ebook and companion for thyroid health. By learning what food you should eat and which one you should avoid in order to balance and support your thyroid gland you will feel better and get pregnant! It is quite simple, if you know how to do it.
The natural thyroid diet e-book is a good way to start. This easy to follow program was developed by Louise O'Connor, a leading high profile Naturopath from Australia that is considered an authority on natural thyroid health. Reading these information can change your life by giving you vibrant health, energy and increase your chances of conceiving.
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