How To Tell the Difference Between Hypothyroidism and Menopause

Menopausal,Mature,Woman,Having,Hot,Flush,At,Home,Cooling,Herself Menopause is a period when you have not had a menstrual cycle for at least 12 months as your reproductive years come to a close. Perimenopause includes the years preceding the end of your monthly cycle, during which periods may become irregular. You may also experience uncomfortable symptoms due to large fluctuations in your hormones. Some examples may include night sweats, insomnia, and mental fog, leading you to believe that you’re in perimenopause or menopause.

However, there are other possible explanations for these symptoms—among them is hypothyroidism. Keep reading to learn more about the commonalities between hypothyroidism and menopause to ensure you have the correct diagnosis.

What Is Hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism is when the thyroid doesn’t make enough of the thyroid hormone. The thyroid produces and releases many hormones that help regulate the metabolism and cardiovascular system. When this gland is underactive, you may feel inexplicably tired, cold, depressed, and constipated. Some hypothyroid symptoms can mimic menopause. However, there are some key differences you can look for.

Menopause Vs. Hypothyroidism Symptoms

1. Insomnia

A disrupted sleep cycle is a common symptom of both. However, insomnia caused by menopause is more likely to be accompanied by night sweats, while hypothyroidism may cause you to wake up cold or aching.

2. Tiredness

Those with hypothyroidism and menopause may feel more tired and unmotivated than usual. In the former, this is because your metabolism is slower than usual. This tiredness may come with feelings of depression and trouble remembering. Menopause, on the other hand, may come with mental fog that makes it difficult to think clearly.

3. Midsection Weight Gain

During the reproductive years, estrogen tells the body to store fat in your breasts and hips. You may notice stubborn belly fat and deeper organ fat as estrogen levels drop. You may or may not gain weight from estrogen drops alone, but you likely will notice this weight distribution shift. On the other hand, hypothyroidism causes all-over fat gain due to a slow metabolism.

4. Missed Periods

Hormonal fluctuations can cause delayed, missed, heavy, and light periods, whether that shift is due to menopause or hypothyroidism.

Symptoms that Don’t Overlap

Constipation and slow heart rate are not a symptom of menopause. If these accompany your “menopause” symptoms, it may be hypothyroidism.

Get an Official Diagnosis–Schedule a Consultation Today!

A simple thyroid blood test is the only way to know for sure. If you’re experiencing symptoms like these, schedule an appointment at Craig Ranch Ob/Gyn in McKinney, TX, by calling 214-544-6600. Whether this is menopause or hypothyroidism, we look forward to supporting you as you navigate it.

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