Many of the symptoms that are associated with Hashimoto’s Autoimmune Thyroiditis are the same symptoms associated with Estrogen Dominance: fertility/miscarriage disorders, insomnia, headaches, decreased libido, weight gain, fatigue, hair loss and mood swings. There is also a very strong connection between the relationship of thyroid hormones and estrogen and progesterone hormones in a woman’s body.
The thyroid gland has receptors that respond to progesterone, while the ovaries have receptors that respond to thyroid hormones. Too much progesterone can cause the thyroid gland to be more sensitive to estrogen and trigger an increase in the production of TPO. TPO or Thyroid Peroxidase and is an enzyme that makes thyroid hormone and is also one of the two levels tested to determine if a patient has Hashimoto’s. Thyroglobulin, or TGB, is the second antibody that is monitored.
Too much TPO can worsen the symptoms of Hashimoto’s. Some doctors now believe natural progesterone can actually trigger the dormant genes of a person who is susceptible to Hashimoto’s, but has not yet developed the anti-bodies.
There are three phases in a woman’s life when she will experience a natural elevation in progesterone levels, which also correspond to times when she is more susceptible to developing Hashimoto’s: puberty, pregnancy and premenopause.
If a person is using natural progesterone cream because of a progesterone deficiency or to help balance the symptoms of estrogen dominance, and Hashimoto’s runs in the family or has already been diagnosed in the patient, caution should be used to ensure that the addition of progesterone is not aggravating or causing an increase in Hashimoto’s symptoms and antibodies. If symptoms such as hair loss, depression and fatigue develop or worsen while taking natural progesterone cream, this is a strong indication that the progesterone cream may be causing more harm than good – by actually causing destruction of the thyroid gland.
This is not to say that natural progesterone cream should be avoided in all cases. Many patients have had wonderful results to lessen or stop symptoms of endometriosis, miscarriage, infertility, fatigue, hair loss and many more. In his book, What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Premenopause, Dr. John R. Lee outlines the many benefits of using natural progesterone cream.
However, if the patient has Hashimoto’s or has the potential to develop the disease based on her genes, caution and testing should be used to ensure the use of natural progesterone does not cause unintended consequences.
Here are two sites I found to be valuable when researching this topic:
Please note that the information provided on the Thyroid Health site on Bella Online is for information and educational purposes only and may not be interpreted as medical advice.
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