Women with PCOS Often Have Hidden Hashimoto’s Autoimmune Thyroiditis

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Women with PCOS May Have Hidden Hashimoto’s Autoimmune Thyroiditis

The Connection Between Ovarian Cysts, PCOS and Hashimoto’s autoimmune Thyroiditis|

The alarming connection between PCOS and Hashimoto’s–two conditions that cause infertility, fatigue, weight gain and depression.

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In traditional medical thinking, PCOS is thought of as mainly a “blood sugar problem” or a “hormone problem.” But what many women may not be aware of is the link between PCOS and autoimmune conditions. More and more research is showing that PCOS is often associated with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis or hypothyroidism.

I have addressed this in other articles, however its worth mentioning again. If you suffer with fatigue, weight gain, anxiety, depression then you need to have your thyroid antibodies tested…… regardless of what your TSH looks like. One of the biggest pitfalls you might be making is not having your doctor evaluate your Thyroid antibodies.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20135568

When the right tests are done–TPO antibodies and TGB antibodies— a woman suffering with fatigue, depression, anxiety, weight gain, irregular menstrual cycles or unexplained miscarriages, will often find out she has Hashimoto’s. If she takes the necessary steps to properly manage the Hashimoto’s and low thyroid function, she will often find herself able to get pregnant.

I came across a study that shows many women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) (ovarian Cysts) have a Hashimoto’s Autoimmune Thyroiditis, which if you don’t already know, is the number one cause of hypothyroidism.

Here is the breakdown of the study.

It’s purpose was investigate the prevalence of autoimmune thyroiditis in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). There were 175 women with PCOS and 168 women who did not have PCOS in the study.

The PCOS patients were characterized by an increased LH/FSH ratio, low progesterone, elevated testosterone and a high prevalence of hirsutism (facial hair), but no differences in estrogen levels were found.

In addition, 27% of the PCOS women had elevated thyroid-specific antibodies as compared to only 8.3% of the normal women. Elevated antibodies suggest an aroused immune system that is causing inflammation.

Thyroid ultrasound showed that 42.3% of PCOS women, but only 6.5% of the controls, had thyroid tissue images typical of autoimmune thyroiditis (Hashimoto’s Disease). The PCOS women also had higher levels of TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) than the non-PCOS women, suggesting that the PCOS thyroid is not as successful in making enough thyroid hormone.

The importance of the thyroid hormone for the adequate functioning of multiple organ systems within the body cannot be overstated. The production of adequate quantities of thyroid hormones is necessary for normal fetal and neonatal growth and development, as well as proper functioning of adult organ systems, cardiovascular system, lipid and carbohydrate metabolism, and the neuromuscular and skeletal systems.

A major effect of abnormal thyroid levels is changes in ovulation and menstruation. Ovulation may be impaired by changes in the production of: sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), estrogen, and androgens.

Early stages of thyroid dysfunction (before symptoms are obvious) can lead to subtle changes in ovulation and endometrial receptivity, which then may have profound effects on fertility.

Bottom Line:

This study suggests that 3 to 4 of every 10 PCOS women have impaired thyroid function, due to autoimmune thyroiditis (Hashimoto’s Disease).

(I suspect these numbers would be greater if BOTH antibodies were evaluated)

An important component of your PCOS treatment is to get a thorough thyroid evaluation.

(It’s much more than just a TSH and a T4)

As I’ve said before, just taking birth control pills or Synthroid is not the answer to PCOS or Hypothyroidism.

Here’s The other Alarming Facts that were revealed by this study.

Alarming Finding #1

Goiter was linked with having PCOS– specifically, 24% of the 77 PCOS patients had a goiter that no doctor had found before.

Apparently, no doctor thought it possible that these PCOS patients might have a thyroid problem. For me, this fact in itself is troubling finding.

Alarming Finding #2

Seventy-two of the PCOS patients had their TPO antibody levels tested. And the mean level of TPO antibodies was 216. That’s two times the limit of 100. 2X the cut-

Thirty percent of PCOS patients had positive Hashimoto’s antibodies. They met that criteria for Hashimoto’s. 30% of those PCOS patients had Hashimoto’s but no one knew it.

Why does this connection between PCOS and Hashimoto’s matter?

Hashimoto’s will complicate your ability to become pregnant and Hashimoto’s is going to complicate you being able to maintain a pregnancy. This means miscarriage.

If you suffer from PCOS and Hashimotos your condtion must be manaaged differently. Get my FREE guide that explains why woman continue to suffer with Fatigue, Weight gain, Hormone imbalances, Fertility, and depressison, depsite taking Thyroid Hormone Replacement. Fill out your name and email in the box to the right.

Alarming Finding Number 3

Of the control group, 27% of those women had positive TPO antibodies. The control group is supposed to be the “normal, healthy” group – but 27% of them had TPO antibodies.

This tells you that Hashimoto’s is really, really, really common. (But totally overlooked.)

What about the thyroglobulin antibodies? remember you need both sets of antibodies to be tested TPO and TGB antibodies. NOT just TPO

Alarming Finding Number 4

In the control group, 30%of the women in the control group had positive antibodies for thyroglobulin!

30% these “healthy” women had Hashimoto’s.

In the PCOS, group approximately 37% – 37% of the women in the PCOS group had thyroglobulin antibodies.

Alarming Finding Number 5

The TSH levels (thyroid stimulating hormone) in the PCOS group and the TSH levels in the “control” group were not different.

So what’s that tell you about TSH?

TSH levels may not be very important….may not be very reliable when you’re trying to find out if someone has Hashimoto’s.

Here’s what you can take away from all of this.

PCOS is associated with Hashimoto’s and Hashimoto’s is associated with PCOS.
If you have PCOS symptoms such as:

What do you do about it?

For starters if you are seeing a conventional doctor for your PCOS then you are probably familiar with the standard medical approach, Metformin® for Blood Sugar or Birth control pills for the PCOS and Synthroid®, Armour®, Cytomel® or Levothyroxine for the Hashimoto’s.

If this is happening to you, then you already realize that even though you are taking these medications, there not really correcting the problem(s).

Medications Manage our Symptoms at best however, the longer you take them without addressing the root cause, the more problems they will create… which only will confuse and baffle doctors even more.

clip_image002Here’s what you need to Do Next.

Contact our office and schedule a free phone consultation where we can find out whether or not you would be a good candidate for our program.

Our Individualized Female Hormone Recovery Program is just the place to start. We will evaluate you from a big picture approach.

I encourage you to continue reading other articles on our site and watch the videos we have created.

You need to be educated.

If you have been diagnosed with PCOS, find someone who understands Hashimoto’s and female hormone imbalances like we do.

If you suspect you have Hashimoto’s Learn more about our Thyroid Recovery Program here.

Read more about Hashimotos and infertility here

Other Top read articles on our Site

  1. HAIR LOSS?  Is It THRYOID? Is it ADRENALS? Is it  STRESS? ….Dr Hagmeyer Functional Medicine Doctor explains What To Look Out For.
  2. Should Natural Progesterone Be Used To Help Restore Thyroid Health For Those Suffering with Hashimoto’s?
  3. Natural Treatment Methods for Hashimotos

If you like this article please share it with someone you care about.

For Better Health Naturally,

Dr Hagmeyer

 

Sources:
Janssen, OE et al, High prevalence of autoimmune thyroiditis in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome, Eur J Endocrinol. 2004 Mar;150(3):363-9

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