Hypothyroidism Symptoms in Women

When looking at the various hypothyroidism symptoms, the specific hypothyroidism symptoms in women are often difficult to discern because many are associated more closely with female hormone imbalances and no one makes the connection to hypothyroidism. But there’s actually a very strong connection.

Because of this, women are often misdiagnosed as having some other disorder when in reality they are experiencing hypothyroidism. Before we take a look at the specific hypothyroidism symptoms in women, let’s take a look at some of the causes of hypothyroidism that are often exclusive to women.

Common Causes of Hypothyroidism Symptoms in Women


Hypothyroidism can oftentimes be a result of childbirth. The placenta is largely responsible for producing the massive amounts of progesterone that helps protect the growing fetus throughout pregnancy. But after giving birth, your progesterone levels drop fairly drastically. And this drop can cause you to become hypothyroid.

For some women, their hormones re-regulate and the hypothyroidism is only temporary. But many women find that their hormones never quite return to normal and become stuck in a state of hypothyroidism.

Stress and Hypothyroidism Symptoms in Women

Like many medical conditions, stress is known to be a factor that contributes to thyroid dysfunction in a number of ways. Stress affects thyroid functioning through the sympathetic nervous system where it blocks the liver from converting inactive T4 thyroid hormone into its active T3 form.

A study done in the early 1990s on people who experienced chronic stress determined that there was a very high rate of hypothyroidism symptoms in women who participated in the study.

Of particular concern, is chronic adrenal stress, which is becoming more and more common today. Some symptoms of adrenal stress include:

  • Cravings for caffeine
  • Cravings for sugar
  • Dizziness when moving from sitting position or from lying to standing position
  • Feeling fatigued
  • Gastric Ulcers
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Mood swings

Use of Birth Control Pills

hypothyroidism symptoms in womenWomen who have a history of using birth control pills have a significant incidence of hypothyroidism due to their increased levels of synthetic estrogen and progestins. Therefore, if you have ever used birth control pills or are currently using them, and you have any sort of chronic symptoms, you may actually be suffering from hypothyroidism and not even know it.

Now that we’ve taken a look at some of the causes for hypothyroidism symptoms in women, let’s take a closer look at what some of those symptoms are and what systems they affect in women.

Common Hypothyroidism Symptoms in Women

Irregular Menstrual Cycles

One of the most significant of hypothyroidism symptoms in women is an irregular menstrual cycle.  Any history of menstrual periods which are unusually long, heavy, or more frequent than your regular cycle could be an indication that you have hypothyroidism.

Or another common sign related to the menstrual cycle is amenorrhea, or lack of a menstrual cycle.

Severe Menstrual Cramps

Every woman has painful menstrual cramps from time to time, however, if you find that your periods are becoming more painful each month, take into consideration that your painful cramps may really be one of the more common hypothyroidism symptoms in women.

Excessive Bleeding or Clotting

These are especially significant hypothyroidism symptoms in women if the bleeding or clotting is post-partum. But general clotting issues are commonly cause by increased levels of estrogen which is the common secondary effect of hypothyroidism.


Many women going through menopause naturally assume that many of the symptoms that they happen to be experiencing are unavoidable and due to menopause itself. However, it is important to keep in mind that menopausal symptoms are almost always a result of estrogen dominance which is a secondary result of hypothyroidism.

hypothyroidism symptoms in womenIf the hormonal imbalance is not addressed, it can actually lead you further down the road of hypothyroidism.  Although on occasion, the condition is only temporary during the natural shift in hormones. But most women, if not already hypothyroid leading up to menopause, will go on to develop a lifelong clinical thyroid problem.

Keep in mind that just as you may not make the connection between menopause and hypothyroidism symptoms in women because you assume that your symptoms are menopausal are normal; your health practitioner may also miss the diagnosis as well.

Below is a list of hypothyroidism symptoms in women that can easily be misdiagnosed:

  • A history of miscarriage
  • Difficulty conceiving a child
  • Fibrocystic or “lumpy” breasts
  • Fibroids
  • Low sex drive

Many of these hormonal issues can be corrected naturally through the right hypothyroidism treatment protocol with a strong emphasis on a hypothyroidism diet.

The following list of hypothyroidism symptoms in women are those which have little or nothing to do with the reproductive system. Remember that hypothyroidism is really another way of saying that your cells aren’t efficiently producing energy. As such, many of the hypothyroidism symptoms in women are indicated by fatigue.

  • Allergies that suddenly appear or get worse
  • Brittle hair, itchy scalp, hair loss
  • Bruising/clotting problems
  • Constipation
  • Depression and depressed mood
  • Difficulty tolerating cold and lower body temperature
  • Dry skin, brittle nails
  • Elevated levels of LDL (the “bad” cholesterol) and heightened risk of heart disease
  • Hoarseness
  • Joint and muscle pain, headaches
  • Memory loss, fuzzy thinking, difficulty following conversation or train of thought
  • Persistent cold sores, boils, or breakouts
  • Puffiness in face and extremities
  • Severe fatigue, loss of energy
  • Sleeping more than average
  • Slowness or slurring of speech
  • Tingling sensation in wrists and hands that mimics carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Weight gain, difficulty losing weight

For more information on the various hypothyroidism symptoms, be sure to check out this comprehensive Hypothyroidism Symptom Checklist.

Unfortunately a single thyroid function test does not always give accurate results, which means it is possible that even if you have a negative result, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have a problem with your thyroid. The best way to determine if you have a healthy thyroid is by becoming aware of the many hypothyroidism symptoms in women and keeping track if you find yourself experiencing them.

Thyroid Treatment

When it comes to hypothyroidism, there are a lot of thyroid treatment options to consider. But most of the available options do hypothyroidism sufferers an injustice by relying entirely on taking a pill to solve their thyroid problems. But the way that your thyroid works is far more complex than that. So this pill popping approach is really an inadequate attempt to solve a much bigger and deeper problem.

We’ve become far too accustomed to popping pills to solve all of our health problems when there is always an underlying cause that really needs to be addressed. And hopefully it makes perfect sense that you didn’t become hypothyroid or suffer from any other health issue because you somehow became deficient in pills. It just doesn’t work that way.

There are many thyroid treatment options available today but they all have their flaws. And one major flaw that I see is that all of them are one-size-fits-all approaches to a very complex problem. If you really want to correct the underlying problem(s) then you have to take an in depth look at what is truly going on with your body.

Individualized Thyroid Treatment vs. One Size Fits All Approach

For decades now, the conventional medical community has been promoting T4 only thyroid medications as the best thyroid treatment option, but with sickening results. Not only has T4 alone been ineffective but it has actually been responsible for making many people even more hypothyroid and worsening their hypothyroidism symptoms.

And it has taken more than 60 years but conventional medicine is now starting to realize that most people who suffer from hypothyroidism do in fact benefit more from a combination of T4 and T3 hormones. But most doctors are still practicing the same old ineffective methods because old habits die hard.

Many people have found that they do far better on thyroid extracts such as Armour Thyroid which have been used for more than 100 years. Armour is a combination of both T4 and T3 in ratios that more closely resemble how thyroid hormone is produced and secreted by your thyroid gland.

One word of caution regarding Armour Thyroid is that although it had been the natural thyroid medication of choice for decades, it has more recently been sold and reformulated which has raised many questions to its effectiveness as a thyroid treatment today.

But the biggest problem is that both of these are one-size-fits-all approaches to dealing with hypothyroidism. It’s essentially saying that your body has a problem producing and/or delivering thyroid hormone to your cells so we’re just going to give you more hormones in a pill instead of trying to figure out why your body can’t get the job done itself.

A far more effective thyroid treatment approach is to look at each patient individually and determine why is it that they can’t manage their own thyroid function to begin with.

This would involve looking at everything that influences your thyroid including…

  • Diet
  • Gut Function
  • Liver Function
  • Hormones
  • Stress

You would be amazed at the effects that a good hypothyroidism diet can have on improving thyroid function. And more often than not, it’s a poor diet that is a major contributor to your hypothyroidism to begin with.

By looking at and identifying the problems in all of these areas, you can actually tailor an individualized hypothyroidism treatment program specifically to a person that will have a far more drastic effect on not only their thyroid but also their health.

Below are some of the more common but largely unknown hormonal factors that play a major role in suppressing your thyroid and affecting most thyroid treatment options.

Underlying Hormonal Factors that Affect Thyroid Treatment

Estrogen Dominance

Far more women than men suffer from hypothyroidism and it’s primarily because women naturally have higher levels of estrogen hormones in their body. But the truth is that almost anyone who is hypothyroid is going to have an imbalance of estrogen. And this is because estrogen and hypothyroidism go hand in hand.

Estrogen in general is well known to suppress your thyroid gland from secreting thyroid hormones. And when your liver doesn’t get the thyroid hormone that it needs, it can’t properly detoxify estrogen. So this causes estrogen to build up in your body which further suppresses your thyroid gland.

This continuous process puts you in a hypothyroidism hole which can be very difficult to get out of which is why addressing excessive estrogen needs to be a very important step in any comprehensive thyroid treatment plan.

Blood Sugar Imbalances

Your liver needs sugar for a number of very important processes. And when it comes to your thyroid, your liver requires sugar in order to convert inactive thyroid hormone T4 into the active T3 hormone.

And when you become hypoglycemic which is common with hypothyroidism then your liver can’t store the sugar it needs to do this. But I only know of a few select practitioners who even touch on the importance of certain sugars with thyroid treatment.

In the end, your body increases its own stress hormones in order to break down your muscle tissue to convert it into sugar for your body to use.

Stress Hormones

Blood sugar problems are only one mechanism for elevating stress hormones and really need to be accounted for with any truly effective thyroid treatment. But any form of stress whether it be, dietary, mental, emotional, physical, etc will elevate your stress hormones.

And when your body is under stress, it tries to conserve energy by suppressing your thyroid and lowering your metabolism.

Your stress hormones play the role of blocking your liver from converting T4 into T3 as well as blocking your cells use of T3. When the stress is chronic, this can cause T4 to build up in your body which also further suppresses your thyroid gland and worsens your symptoms of hypothyroidism.

Very few, if any, doctors or practitioners really focus on these different sources of stress in their patients’ lives and how these sources of stress are often some of the main hypothyroidism causes.

But also keep in mind that these are just a few of the common hormonal influences that affect your thyroid. There are many others that all have a cumulative effect of suppressing your thyroid and making many thyroid treatment options far less effective. And oftentimes this can hold you back from making real progress and getting real results with your hypothyroid symptoms.

How to Treat Hypothyroidism

If you’re looking for information on how to treat hypothyroidism then you’ve come to the right place. Oftentimes, you go to your doctor where they run expensive lab tests and put on you different medications only to get marginal, if any, results.

But that’s all about to change because there’s so much more you can do on your own that your doctor isn’t telling you about.

And you don’t have to wait for months and run expensive lab tests to tell you whether or not you’re moving in the right direction. There’s a far simpler way to track your progress and it won’t cost you a cent. And when you’re first learning how to treat hypothyroidism, tracking your progress is extremely important because it’s one of the only ways to know whether or not what you are doing is working.

Below I’m going to cover 4 important topics that you need to keep in mind when learning how to treat hypothyroidism. These are some of the biggest difference makers when it comes to success or failure.

How to Treat Hypothyroidism with Diet

The medical community is in denial regarding the major effect that your diet has on your thyroid function. And they have every right to be because it’s not in their, or the pharmaceutical industry’s, best financial interests to work on that level.

But this is why educating yourself on the finer points of how to treat hypothyroidism is one of the most important aspects of healing that can make a big difference.

The first important thing to note is to avoid foods that have anti-thyroid properties, such as soy, polyunsaturated fats, legumes, nuts, seeds, grains, etc. These foods all contain components that can lead to, or worsen hypothyroidism.

Instead you want to focus on foods that naturally support your thyroid such as shellfish, dairy, fruits, etc.

And many of the effects of hypothyroidism are driven by stress. So, it’s important to reduce or eliminate as much stress as possible. One such source of stress is inflammation caused by your diet.

So, it should go without question that any effective hypothyroidism treatment program should discuss how to treat hypothyroidism with an anti-inflammatory diet.

How to Treat Hypothyroidism with Exercise

Many people understand that exercise can be an important factor in overcoming hypothyroidism. But what most people don’t understand is the difference between good exercise and bad exercise.

Bad Exercise

It’s far more common to see hypothyroid people doing bad forms of exercise that are only pushing them further into hypothyroidism. There tends to be this mentality, especially when it comes to weight loss, that if you’re not getting the results that you want then you’re not pushing yourself hard enough.

But when it comes to hypothyroidism, nothing could be further from the truth.

Intense exercise is not the answer. In fact, it will cause your body to shut down its thyroid hormone production almost immediately.

Good Exercise

When learning how to treat hypothyroidism with exercise, it’s important to understand that sometimes less is more.

Actually, less is almost always more.

The best forms of exercise are the ones that concentrate on reducing stress and revitalizing the body such as Tai Chi and Yoga.

How to Treat Hypothyroidism with Your Lifestyle

Believe it or not, but your lifestyle also has a big impact on your hypothyroidism symptoms.

Stress Reducing Activities

The important thing to keep in mind is that your lifestyle should be focused on reducing stress as much as possible. This can be done by taking time to yourself to escape from the daily stresses of life.

You can learn how to meditate, do breathing exercises, read a comforting book, take a hot bath, etc.


Most people don’t realize this, but nighttime is actually a very stressful time for your body. Your stress hormones naturally rise throughout the night and sleep is your body’s way of dealing with this stress the best that it can.

So, if you’re having difficulty sleeping or getting good quality sleep then you are making yourself very susceptible to harmfully high levels of stress.


If you really want to learn how to treat hypothyroidism then spending some time in sunlight is more important that you may realize.

Sunlight stimulates the production of certain necessary hormones within your body such as Vitamin D. Focus on getting 30 minutes of sunlight daily.

How to Treat Hypothyroidism with Hormones

It’s unfortunate, but at this time, the medical community fails to take into consideration many of the other hormones that have a direct impact on the function and health of your thyroid.

Because of this, it’s becoming increasingly more important to understand your hormones at some level in order to understand how to treat hypothyroidism effectively and which hormones help and which ones cause problems.

Once you determine your hormonal imbalances, it becomes much easier to not only manage but also fine tune your hormonal needs based directly upon your own measurable results.

Measuring Your Results

Now that you know how to treat hypothyroidism, it’s important to track your results. And this is so that you know whether or not your hypothyroidism treatment is making an impact or not, and to what degree.


Your body temperature is a great indicator of your thyroid function because the two are directly related. By keeping a record of your morning body temperature or before and after meals, then you can begin to track your progress. When your temperatures increase, that’s a good indication that you’re doing something right.


Your pulse is also another good indicator. Most, but not all, hypothyroid people have low pulse rates. And when your thyroid begins to regulate properly, your pulse will begin to increase and normalize to around 85 beats per minute.

As you can see, there’s a lot more that you can do to overcome hypothyroidism than you probably realized. And this is why it’s becoming more and more important to learn how to treat hypothyroidism effectively so that you can take an active role in your own treatment process.