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Is it More than Menopause?

As women get older, a lot of symptoms, both physical and mental, are simply attributed to menopause. Doctors may even suggest this, leaving many women to believe their symptoms can not improve.

However, there are some symptoms that should be recognized as a red flag for the possibility of associated hypothyroidism, or low-thyroid function, which can exacerbate just about all of the symptoms of menopause. Fatigue, depressed mood, foggy thinking, cold intolerance, sudden high cholesterol, thinning hair, and weight gain despite exercise and healthy eating mean it’s time to check your thyroid function.

Hypothyroidism becomes more common in women as they get older. Also, hormonal changes (like menopause) can be stressful and stress can lead to a drop in average body temperature (even if you have hot flashes). I believe many women have undiagnosed low-thyroid function, which can be present despite normal TSH levels, or even in someone taking Synthroid (T4).

What is the best way to find out if low thyroid function is contributing to your symptoms? Check your body temperature. (For instructions on how to do this correctly, see “How are body temperatures measured” on our website). If your body temperature is consistently low—below 98.5 F., or 36.94 C, but typically lower than 97.8 F, or 36.56 C.— it means your metabolism is slower than normal. This is often due to low thyroid hormone function. Your body might not be converting enough T4, the inactive form of thyroid hormone, to T3, the active form.

Proper body temperature is important not only to feel warm, but also because every process in your body— from mood-boosting neurotransmitter production to cholesterol clearance in your liver—is affected by your body temperature.

I’ve found that women with low body temperature who try a course of T3 therapy often have an improvement in their symptoms. They have more energy, stop gaining unwanted pounds, have a brighter mood and are more “stress-resilient.”

If you think you might benefit from this therapy, share this article with your doctor, who can call us at 800.420.5801 to get more information about how to use T3, along with nutritional and herbal support for thyroid health, and to discuss your individual case. You can also use our website to find the health care practitioner closest to you who is trained in T3 treatment.


Arafah BM. Increased need for thyroxine in women with hypothyroidism during estrogen therapy. N Engl J Med. 2001 Jun 7;344(23):1743-9.

Badawy A, State O, Sherief S. Can thyroid dysfunction explicate severe menopausal symptoms? J Obstet Gynaecol. 2007 Jul;27(5):503-5.

Mazer NA. Interaction of estrogen therapy and thyroid hormone replacement in postmenopausal women. Thyroid. 2004;14 Suppl 1:S27-34.

Pae CU, Mandelli L, Han C, et. al. Thyroid hormones affect recovery from depression during antidepressant treatment. Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2009 Jun;63(3):305-13.

Pearce EN Thyroid dysfunction in perimenopausal and postmenopausal women. Menopause Int. 2007 Mar;13(1):8-13.

Schindler AE. Thyroid function and postmenopause. Gynecol Endocrinol. 2003 Feb;17(1):79-85.

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  1. Vicky Whitney April 11, 2015 at 5:09 am - Reply

    How does Dr Wilson manage suppressing
    TSH in the case of thyroid cancer? Will just
    T3 be successful in doing that? I know longer
    have a thyroid gland. It was surgically removed.

    • Dr. Denis Wilson April 12, 2015 at 7:41 pm - Reply

      T3 suppresses TSH more strongly than T4.

  2. Karen C May 9, 2015 at 5:51 am - Reply

    I have come to find that this is the case with many of my friends. It is so important to get checked out to rule out any of these issues. This article really reminded me of a book I read recently called, “Why is Mid-Life Mooching your Mojo?” by author Dr. Joni Labbe ( Her book is a God send for women and looks at thyroid issues as being the culprit for insomnia, weight issues, hot flashes, etc. She is a certified clinical nutritionist and is someone who has gone through menopause and was diagnosed with Hashimoto and Celiac’s. She tells you the way to go through LOW cost lab testing and recommends the right science based nutrition. If you have tried just about everything and nothing seems to work READ THIS BOOK. I cannot recommend it enough

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