PCOS and Thyroid

Posted by Melissa Callaghan on

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PCOS and Thyroid

In my clinical practice the two main areas I see that affect women are both hormone related and include the thyroid gland and the reproductive system. What is interesting is that these two areas are actually connected and your body needs to be treated as a whole not just in one specific area, eg oral contraceptive pill or thyroxine.

It is not often that I see a case of PCOS without also seeing hypothyroidism signs (usually undiagnosed) in the same person. 

What is interesting is that both of these conditions are in very different areas of the body and yet they share many similar features. New research shows that the dietary deficiencies that may cause hypothyroidism are also the underlying deficiencies in the development of PCOS. 

What is of more concern to me as a Naturopath are the number of women who come to see me in my clinic who are experiencing signs of thyroid issues and it is being left undiagnosed and they are told all is fine, then when I request further testing we get the answers as to why thye have been feeling this way for so long. 

  PCOS Low Thyroid
Weight gain
Hair thinning
Depression
Difficulty getting pregnant
Irregular menstrual cycle
Fatigue
Altered moods
Poor sleep
Inflammation
Masculinisation
Cold temperatures
Blood sugar issues

 

There is a strong causative connection between both conditions...Inflammation

 

Is there an Autoimmune connection?

Research being published in Endocrine journals is telling us that there are higher numbers of women who actually have Autoimmune Hashimoto's as well as PCOS and there are now suggestions that PCOS is more of an autoimmune condition.  1 in 3 PCOS patients have elevated antibodies for Autoimmune Hashimotos and research also now states that if you have one Autoimmune condition you are more likely to get another one, this too is seen with Hashimotos and PCOS, if you have one then you are 10 times more likely to get the other and this is due to both conditions sharing similar mutated genetic components. 

When a person is going through the investigations and the medical staff arrive at the conclusion that it is PCOS, what really surprises me is that it often stops there.  According to the actual official criteria for diagnosing PCOS it states that initial investigations must exclude the presentation of other causes which include thyroid function tests plus testing of other hormones, however this is rarely investigated in the women who come to me in my clinic.

This is where it becomes problematic. In Australia we have other criteria for testing and this is governed by Medicare and it includes guidelines for free blood testing.  One of those guidelines is that if TSH is in normal range and there are no other clinical notes from the Dr to warrant further testing then if T4 and T3 are requested they will not be tested for free, this is the main reason that they are not requested at all. Further testing is available you just have to pay for it. 

Why is this a problem? because TSH has nothing to do with thyroid function it is a message that is sent to the thyroid gland from the pituitary gland and it is not even possible to ascertain if you have hypothyroidism from this test alone, more investigations are required. 

 

For further explanations on PCOS
For further explanations on Hypothyroidism

 

Chances are if you have PCOS your treatment focus may need to change direction in order for you to see improvement. 

Appointments can be made for in our clinic as well as through our online video chat software. I help people all over the country and post their products out to them. I can help you too. 

Who am I?

I am a Bachelor qualified Naturopath who specialises in Gut, thyroid and liver health. Conditions such as hypothyroidism, fatty liver, high cholesterol, diabetes, & irritable bowel conditions. I help my patients by improving their symptoms while working on repairing the underlying cause. Patients experience amazing results which are seen in their blood tests with improved thyroid markers, cholesterol, and liver markers.  As well as the relief from improved gastrointestinal symptoms like the ones that mean you need to know where every single toilet is before you go anywhere.

Melissa Callaghan ND, BHSc, BTeach
Clinical Naturopath

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