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Can menopause cause your thyroid tests and antibodies to read as hyperthyroid?

Posted by CC4741

I was hypothyroid two years ago. I was on L-thyroxine for 6 months but this was stopped a year and a half ago. My Dr. says I am hyperthyroid now. My blood levels and antibodies say that I am hyperthyroid but I do not have any of the symptoms of weight loss, anxiety, fast heart beat. My Dr. is in a rush to treat me. She thinks I could have a stroke. I have both hypothyroid and hyperthyroid in my family history. My brother had hyperthyroid and was like wired and had a huge goiter (I do not have these symptoms). My sister went through menopause early (she has hypothyroidism). Can early menopause cause your thyroid studies and antibodies to read as hyperthyroid? Thank you!

Answers (2)
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Ah, the rest of the story!  I was wondering . . . If you read my answer to your 2nd question (which I answered first), you'll know that we're trained to worry about stroke from atrial fibrillation.  Try not to blame your physician.  Think about it this way.  God forbid you had a stroke, wouldn't you be extremely upset that your physician didn't more aggressively push you to control your thyroid earlier in order to prevent said stroke?  If our crystal ball wasn't broken and we knew that you would never have a stroke, then we wouldn't worry.  Unfortunately, it's all an educated guess.  And if we're wrong?  We get sued!  It's not so much that we want to avoid a malpractice lawsuit as that we care and want to offer you the best care with the information that's available at the time.  20:20 hindsight is great but in the heat of the moment, we need to give the best advice and help you make the best decision for your individual situation.


With all that said, if you have no signs or symptoms of hyperthyroidism, and don't feel like taking treatment right now, how about talking with your physician and explaining why you feel that way.  Seriously!  Communication is a good thing!  Consider compromising at repeating your tests in another 6 weeks or 3 months.  If you're no longer hyperthyroid, then you're off the hook.  If you are still hyperthyroid, you'll need to decide whether you wish to continue to monitor or get treated.  At this juncture, after repeat testing confirms hyperthyroidism, you might also consider getting a 2nd opinion.  


Ah, but as I mentioned in my 1st answer, hyperthyroidism can lead to early menopause (at least I think I mentioned that), rather than the other way around.  So perhaps you really do have hyperthyrodism and treatment might help abate/delay your menopausal symptoms and increase risk for bone loss.  


Hope this helps!  Good luck! 

Dr. Lin is right on. One more quick question: do you eat or take in a lot of soy? Excessive (and that's an individual thing) soy intake can cause a hyperthyroid period followed by a hypothyroid period. This happens to a number of women who use over the counter soy preparations such as Estroven long term or who have a high dietary intake of soy. Just another wrinkle to consider. If you don't take in much soy, no worries. If you do, you may wish to stop or cut way back and repeat testing.

Good luck and keep us posted!

Lynette Sheppard RN     Health Maven, Menopause Community

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