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Thyroid and PMS

The connection between thyroid and PMS (premenstrual syndrome) is low body temperature.

Low thyroid function results in low body temperatures which result in many classic symptoms as listed on the right side of this page.

Many of the symptoms of low temperatures such as irritability, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, depression, fluid retention, and headaches are typical of PMS as well.

The thyroid system is critical in maintaining normal body temperatures, and female hormones affect body temperatures as well (that’s why women measure their temperatures when they’re trying to get pregnant).

The thyroid system exerts a more constant influence over body temperature patterns while the female hormone influence varies on a monthly cycle.

When people’s body temperatures are already running low, in general, then the monthly temperature dips due to the female hormones can really contribute to severe symptoms.

The good news (great news) is that raising generally low temperatures can result in the complete disappearance of PMS symptoms in many people.

People can have low body temperatures due to low thyroid gland function, however, more commonly, people have low temperatures that contribute to PMS symptoms even though their thyroid systems appear normal by way of normal thyroid blood tests. This condition of having low temperatures even though thyroid blood tests are normal is known as Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome (WTS).

Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome tends to come on or worsen after major physical, mental, or emotional stress such as childbirth, divorce, or job or family stress.

Some patients can get their temperatures back up on their own with stress reduction, healthy, diet, exercise, and rest. Others may require treatment with a special thyroid hormone protocol.

PMS is one of our favorite symptoms to address since it can be so debilitating, yet it can respond so beautifully to the approaches we recommend.

Success Story:

In September 1989, I was referred by my own GYN to an endocrinologist for thyroid testing. I complained of debilitating fatigue, headaches, depression, and rather frightening episodes of monthly PMS. Actually these symptoms had been present for at least 3 to 4 years, and I had previously had thyroid testing (at least 3 times that I recall) and I was told that the results were in the “normal” range.

The fatigue and headaches were at a level that made daily functioning extremely difficult.

I was astounded that the profile for Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome seemed to be tailored to me personally. Then when I went, I subsequently began charting my temperature and found it was always well below 97.4 and I began to hope that I had finally come to the right doctor. When I began taking the liothyronine (T3), I literally felt better immediately and within a few days felt better than I had ever felt in my life. The fatigue was gone, the headaches were gone, and the depression was gone.

Perhaps even more phenomenal, was that days prior to my first menstrual cycle after beginning the medication, I, for the first time in as long as I could remember, experienced no discomfort whatsoever – no mood swings, no cravings, no depression, no irrational behavior, and no cramping. Needless to say I was ecstatic and was almost non-believing that I could feel so generally good.

I feel well physically and mentally. It feels almost miraculous. I can only, in understatement, say thank you for giving me my life back.

Suzanne G.

Even though the body temperature is the connection between thyroid and PMS, the body temperature is probably the most important reading doctors rarely check!

Of course body temperature is important! Of course people are going to tend to feel better when their temperatures are normal. Why wouldn’t they? Many times people say, “Something’s got to be wrong, but what?” For many, it’s the temperature. One day, low body temperatures will be the first thing doctors think of instead of the last.

The first thing you can do is to start checking your body temperatures by clicking here: How to measure body temperatures. You can have low body temperatures even if you feel hot all of the time. The best way to check is with a thermometer.

Some people respond well to a T3 medicine protocol (WT3 protocol) to get their temperatures up. You can check our list to see if there is a doctor near you.

You can also use the tabs at the top of this page to learn more about what you or someone you love can do to hopefully recover.

And be sure to sign up for our free weekly newsletter for success stories, news, encouragement, tips, and questions and answers.

About the Author:

Denis Wilson, MD developed the concept of Wilson 's Temperature Syndrome in 1988 after observing people with symptoms of low thyroid and low body temperature, yet who had normal blood tests. He found that by normalizing their temperatures with T3 (without T4) their symptoms often remained improved even after the treatment was discontinued.

2 Comments

  1. N March 25, 2016 at 10:39 pm - Reply

    Hi Doc
    I have suffered from bad headaches (waking up to headaches has been part of my life for at least 1 to 2 decades). I’ve always assumed it was due to my eyes, which are always deteriorating, whatever I go to the optometrist they change my prescription (every 1 to 2 years).

    When going through puberty, I started having monthly migraines, approx 3 per month. When I got to around age 18 they more or less stopped, and I would have the odd one every 3 to 5 months, which was great.

    All my life I can remember being on a diet, trying to get rid of those pesky extra kilos. Exercise and eating healthy food with correct portion size never worked. I alway have had to almost starve myself by consuming way way less kj per day than recommend (about a quarter of the recommend), in addition to vigorous exercise. When I was 22 I was diagnosed with Hashimotos disorder and put on T4. I felt no different. 8 years later I begged my doc to put me on T3 as I had read it would help with the weight loss, feeling cold, lethargy etc. I did feel like it helped a bit, but I’ve never really felt normal and my weight is still a major concern in my life.

    I still yo yo in weight. My stomach always feels pregnant, even when I shed kilos. If I don’t hold it in, I look more pregnant than my 7 month pregnant sister in law!!! Truly!

    Last year I had a sudden onset of migraines with auras, sometimes multiple times per day. I was put on various mood stabilisers which seemed to stop them. I eventually weaned myself off the drugs in October last year as they were making me gain weight almost by the day. In a matter of days I couldn’t wear clothes I had been wearing, with no additional food or change to my diet or exercise regimen. Added to that, my lower legs and feet had been swelling all year which was painful and not very appealing when wearing open shoes or dresses/shorts. It didn’t seem to matter whether I had been standing or sitting or walking or a mixture, the swelling came on every day.

    Then, early December 2015, I started feeling less and less well. My stomach was painful, headaches bad, painful legs and feet – especially in the morning. I was nauseous more and more, really tired, some days constipated then the next day or few days I would have terrible diarrhea and I was experiencing some form of urinary tract type symptoms although tests came back negative. My gynae tests, including pregnancy tests all came back normal (and not pregnant), and by January I went to my doctor, as I had had enough. Many many tests and specialists later and I’ve now been given the diagnosis of diverticulosis (I was having a flare up of acute diverticulitis at the time). I was dosed with antibiotics and did feel less sick after a few days, but never well. I’m currently waiting for my inflammation to go down so I can go for a colonoscopy. Have my appointment in 4 weeks time.

    However, in all of that, blood tests showed that my T3 levels were too high and T4 normal. So my T3 has been reduced.

    My stomach is still painful, huge (swelling/retention of fluids), I feel generally uncomfortable, not well, can’t concentrate the way I used to, my daily headaches are back -waking up to them again. My periods have become pretty strange, I skipped 1.5 months December to Feb, since then I am regular again, but with so much pain and cramping and the periods last way longer than I’m used to (6 to 14 days of heavy flow, compared to 3-4 days normal flow).

    I’m only 38 but feel like my body is behaving like that of an 60 year old, and I’m sick of it. I think people think it’s all in my head, so I don’t bring it up, and just suffer in silent

    I hadn’t ever heard of Wilson’s temp disorder before.
    Could it be that my T3 (tertroxin) 20 micrograms (6 days per week now instead of 7 days per week) and 100 micrograms of T4 (eltroxin) every day may be incorrect? Blood tests say normal range, with the exception of the latest tests, which indicate too high levels T3.

    Could I be suffering from WT disorder and could it be the cause of everything including my abdominal/Intestinal issues as well as my strange UTI type symptoms which aren’t UTI and my issues with headaches, menstrual cycle and PMS?

    Thanks for any insights you may have
    N

    • Dr. Denis Wilson April 10, 2016 at 2:48 pm - Reply

      Absolutely, a low body temperature could explain many, if not all of your symptoms. And Taking T3 and T4 is not the key to correcting WTS. We correct WTS by normalizing the body temperature. In other words, we wouldn’t expect for you to get better until your treatment succeeds in normalizing your body temperature. Sometimes people need to adjust their Thyroid medicine to accomplish that. Sometimes people have to go off T4 completely. Having a high T3 blood test is not the way we manage treatment. We manage treatment based on temperature.

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