Ulta Lab Tests LogoContact Us

How To Know If Your Thyroid Is Healthy in Women 

Understanding the Signs and Tests for Thyroid Health in Women with Ulta Lab Tests
July 14, 2023
Share with a friend:

Women can determine their thyroid health by assessing the thyroid gland's production of hormones. The thyroid gland plays a crucial role in various bodily processes and systems. But when the thyroid makes too little or too much of these hormones, the condition is referred to as thyroid disease. There are several types of thyroid disease, including hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and thyroiditis.  

Thyroid disease is a general term given to the medical condition that prevents your thyroid from producing the optimum amount of thyroid hormones. The thyroid typically makes hormones that essentially keep your metabolism running normally. When it produces too much thyroid, the body ends up using energy too quickly. The condition is referred to as hyperthyroidism.

This could not only make you more tired but also make your heart beat faster, cause you to lose weight, and even cause you to feel nervous. On the other hand, the thyroid could make inadequate thyroid hormone, in a condition referred to as hypothyroidism. If your thyroid hormone levels are too low, you could feel lethargic, gain weight, and struggle with tolerating cold temperatures. 

How Do I Know If I Have a Thyroid Problem? 

If your thyroid is not working optimally, you may experience a variety of symptoms that might seem a bit odd or unrelated. From brain fog and chills to weight gain and thinning hair, if the thyroid is not functioning properly, you might experience several subtle symptoms that are hard to characterize.  

Generally speaking, while anyone can suffer thyroid problems, women are more likely to experience thyroid issues than men. Understanding the symptoms of an underactive or overactive thyroid is the best way to get the proper treatment.  

Some tests can be used to diagnose a thyroid issue. These include imaging tests, blood tests, and physical exams. At Ulta Lab Tests, we provide a comprehensive selection of thyroid tests to give you a full assessment of your thyroid function. Contact us today to order a thyroid test before visiting your physician. 

Symptoms of thyroid problems in women 

Menstruation and puberty: A thyroid disorder can cause menstruation and puberty in women to occur abnormally later or early. It can also cause very heavy or very heavy menstrual periods, irregular cycles, or absent menstrual periods.  

Reproduction: an underactive or overactive thyroid can also affect ovulation. A thyroid disorder can even prevent ovulation from happening at all. Additionally, the ovaries will be at a high risk of developing cysts in the case of hypothyroidism. 

Pregnancy: A thyroid disorder during pregnancy could harm the fetus and could lead to thyroid problems after birth, like postpartum thyroiditis. Low thyroid hormone levels could also cause preterm delivery, stillbirth, miscarriages, and postpartum hemorrhage.  

Menopause: Thyroid disorders can lead to the early onset of menopause (before age 40 or during the early 40s). Some symptoms of hyperthyroidism can also be mistaken for early menopause. These include insomnia, hot flashes, absent menstruation, and mood swings.  

Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism in Women 

While hyperthyroidism can be diagnosed in both males and females, the symptoms vary by gender. The following are the general symptoms of hyperthyroidism: 

  • Insomnia 
  • Nervousness and anxiety 
  • Unexplained weight loss 
  • Feeling weak and tired 
  • Sweating and heat intolerance 
  • Goiter or an enlarged thyroid gland 
  • Irregular heartbeats and palpitations 

However, there are symptoms of hyperthyroidism that are specific to women. These include unexplained changes to the menstrual cycle, including severe pain and cramps, light menstrual flow, and irregular menstrual timing.  

Symptoms of Hypothyroidism in Women 

Low thyroid levels can result in different kinds of symptoms in women, including: 

  • Tiredness and feeling cold 
  • Weight gain 
  • Subfertility and infertility 
  • Dry skin and other skin changes 
  • Hair loss 
  • Sexual dysfunction 
  • Irregular periods 
  • Numbness and tingling in your hands 
  • Physical changes to your face, including drooping eyelids or puffiness in the face and eyes 
  • Heavy and frequent menstrual periods 

5 Signs That Women Need to Have Their Thyroid Checked 

Thyroid symptoms will vary from person to person. Some people with thyroid issues may not experience any symptoms at all, while others will see dramatic symptoms. Be sure to have your thyroid checked if you experience one or more of the following signs: 

  1. Changes in your mood and energy levels: Restlessness, anxiety, insomnia, and irritability can be a sign of hyperthyroidism, while depression, sleepiness, and low energy levels are signs of hypothyroidism.  
  2. Issues tolerating temperatures: having trouble tolerating heat could be a sign of hyperthyroidism, while trouble tolerating cold could signal hypothyroidism.  
  3. Weight fluctuation: Hyperthyroidism could result in unexplained weight loss, and hypothyroidism could result in weight gain, even where your daily caloric intake and activity levels haven’t changed.  
  4. Menstrual irregularities: Both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism will cause irregular menstrual cycles, affecting their flow and frequency.  
  5. Changes in bowel habits: More loose or frequent stools could be a sign of hyperthyroidism – constipation could be a sign of hypothyroidism.  

It’s easy to ignore the non-specific symptoms, but the consequences of postponing the diagnosis and treatment of a thyroid disorder could result in serious consequences.  

Possible Signs or Symptoms of a Thyroid Condition in Women 

The most common signs and symptoms of thyroid problems are fatigue, hair thinning, temperature intolerance, unexpected weight changes, problems sleeping, and menstrual cycle changes. 

What Happens if You Don't Have any Signs or Symptoms of a Thyroid Problem 

Sometimes, thyroid diseases can exist with few or minimal symptoms. Up to 60% of people with thyroid disease have no idea about it. Knowing exactly what the possible signs are and seeking a professional medical opinion can make all the difference.

The good news is most thyroid problems are easily detectable and treatable. Your primary care physician can diagnose your thyroid issue and recommend the right treatment.  

Symptoms of thyroid problems in men 

The signs and symptoms of thyroid disease in men are usually the same as in women, aside from a few. Here are some of the signs and symptoms of male thyroid disease to watch out for: 

  • Low libido (lower sex drive) 
  • Sudden rate of hair loss 
  • Erectile dysfunction 
  • Gynecomastia (male breast enlargement) 
  • Reduced muscle strength and mass 
  • Testicular atrophy  
  • Premature ejaculation and delayed ejaculation 
  • Hip and vertebral fractures (especially in older males with hyperthyroidism) 
  • Loss of fertility (low sperm count or quality) 

Thyroid disease in males is often progressive, and since it can affect different organs of the body, it’s important to take note of the symptoms you experience. If you suspect that you have a thyroid issue, order a test at Ulta Lab Tests today and start your journey toward treatment.  

Why are thyroid problems often overlooked in women? 

From the monthly ups and downs to the fluctuations of the body through menopause, birth, and pregnancy, the female body goes through many different stages. It's, therefore, not surprising that many women could be experiencing symptoms of a thyroid disorder and not know it. This is mainly because most women are likely to develop thyroid disease following menopause or pregnancy - a time the body is adjusting to a lot of changes.  

It's thought that as many as 15 million more women have a thyroid problem and don’t know about it. Some of them just tolerate their symptoms or seek treatments for conditions that actually stem from thyroid imbalance and therefore don’t get lasting results.  

 What is the most common cause of thyroid problems in women? 

An estimated 1 in 8 women will experience a thyroid condition at some point in their lifetime. This means that women are about 10 times more likely to develop a thyroid condition than men. One key reason behind this is that autoimmune responses often trigger these disorders. It's still not yet understood what causes these responses, but it’s known that autoimmune conditions are a lot more common in women than men.  

Another possible reason for the prevalence is that there’s usually an interplay between thyroid hormones and the hormones influencing the menstrual cycle. Since thyroid issues are common in women during phases of their lives when hormone levels are changing, some may confuse symptoms of thyroid disorders with the effects of menopause.  

How do you diagnose thyroid problems in women? 

Thyroid function tests are common procedures used in testing how well the thyroid is functioning. Some of the most common thyroid function tests are: 

Blood tests: These measure the level of the thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) in the blood. High TSH levels indicate an underactive thyroid.  

Ultrasound exam of the thyroid gland: This is done to detect signs of nodules or abnormal enlargement of the thyroid and can help guide biopsies of any affected nodules.  

Thyroid scans using radioactive iodine or technetium: This test is mainly used to determine the cause of abnormal thyroid function. It is important to establish whether a person will require partial thyroidectomy or total thyroidectomy.  

What is the treatment for thyroid problems in women? 

Most thyroid problems are easy to diagnose using simple techniques like a blood test that measures your level of thyroid hormone. The test is usually very reliable. Treatments are straightforward as well.  

For hypothyroidism, treatment is usually done with an inexpensive synthetic thyroid hormone that is taken orally, and most patients tolerate it very well. Hyperthyroidism treatments tend to be more varied and might include 12 to 18 months of oral medication or single-dose radioactive iodine.  

How can thyroid problems be prevented in women? 

Here are some of the things women can do to help prevent developing thyroid problems: 

  • Avoid processed foods – so many chemicals can interfere with the production of thyroid hormones. For this reason, you should avoid taking any kinds of processed foods, especially if you’re at risk of developing thyroid issues.  
  • Avoid soy: Reduce your intake of soy and its derivatives, as it can alter the production of thyroid hormones.  
  • Quit smoking: The toxins contained in cigarette smoke can make the thyroid gland over-sensitive. This could lead to thyroid disorders.  
  • Manage your stress levels: Stress is one of the main contributing factors to a lot of health conditions, including thyroid disease.  
  • Are there any lifestyle changes that can help relieve the symptoms of thyroid problems in women? 
  • Eating a healthy, balanced diet: Small, nutrient-rich diets eaten throughout the day can help keep your metabolism stable.  
  • Shape up: Exercising and staying active is the last thing you probably want when your thyroid is sluggish. However, getting fit and regular exercise can help boost your energy, lower your stress levels, and even help with your weight management efforts. 
  • Get Ample Sleep: Getting good quality sleep can help ease your fatigue and enhance your fitness routine. 
  • De-stress: Stress can make any thyroid condition worse, and taking steps to change how you cope with stress can go a long way in improving how you feel.  

Are there any lifestyle changes that can help reduce the risk of developing thyroid problems in women? 

Yes. Taking care of your overall health will lower the risk of developing thyroid problems. Be sure to stay up to date with screening tests and doctor visits. Maintain proper hygiene and wash your hands thoroughly before and after eating or caring for someone who’s sick. 

Why is it important for women to be aware of the symptoms of thyroid problems? 

The thyroid hormones have a vital role in regulating the reproductive system in the female body. Having abnormally low or high thyroid hormone levels can have a significant impact, especially on women who are of childbearing age. This is mainly because the thyroid levels in the mother can have an impact on her ability to conceive as well as the development of the unborn baby.  

What blood tests are used to detect and monitor thyroid problems?

When it comes to assessing thyroid health, there are several top thyroid tests that can provide valuable insights. These tests help evaluate the functioning of the thyroid gland and detect any abnormalities. Here are some of the most commonly used thyroid tests:

  1. Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) Test: This blood test measures the level of TSH, a hormone produced by the pituitary gland that regulates thyroid hormone production. Elevated TSH levels indicate an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), while low TSH levels may suggest an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism).
  2. Free Thyroxine (T4) Test: This blood test measures the level of free thyroxine, the active form of thyroid hormone circulating in the blood. It helps assess thyroid function and can provide insights into hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.
  3. Total or Free Triiodothyronine (T3) Test: This blood test measures the level of total or free triiodothyronine, another thyroid hormone that plays a crucial role in metabolism and energy production. Abnormal T3 levels can indicate thyroid disorders.
  4. Thyroid Antibody Tests: These blood tests help identify the presence of specific antibodies that may suggest an autoimmune thyroid condition, such as Hashimoto's thyroiditis or Graves' disease. The most common antibodies tested are thyroid peroxidase antibodies (TPOAb) and thyroglobulin antibodies (TgAb).
  5. Thyroid Ultrasound: This imaging test uses sound waves to produce images of the thyroid gland. It helps evaluate the structure, size, and any abnormalities in the thyroid, such as nodules or enlargement.

Are there any treatments for thyroid problems in women? 

The primary goal of your healthcare provider is to return your thyroid levels to optimal levels. They can do this in several ways depending on the cause of the thyroid condition. If you are diagnosed with hypothyroidism (low levels of thyroid hormone), the main treatment option is thyroid replacement medication.

It uses a synthetic drug to add thyroid hormones back to your body. Levothyroxine is one of the most commonly used drugs for hypothyroidism, and it lets you control thyroid disease and lead a normal life.  

If you have hyperthyroidism, the treatment options for women mainly include: 

  • Anti-thyroid medications (propylthiouracil and methimazole): these are designed to stop your thyroid from making hormones.  
  • Beta-blockers: These medications are designed not to alter the levels of thyroid hormones in your body but to help you manage the symptoms.  
  • Surgery: This is a more permanent form of treatment, where the thyroid gland is surgically removed to stop it from making hormones. The downside is that you might have to take thyroid replacement medication hormones for the rest of your life.  
  • Radioactive iodine: In some cases, the physician may recommend radioactive iodine, which essentially damages the thyroid cells and prevents them from making high quantities of thyroid hormones.  

Talk To Your Physician 

Thyroid conditions are very treatable when they’re appropriately diagnosed. For women who have not had a thyroid function test done recently, order one from us today to learn more about your thyroid health. Talk to your physician or OB/GYN about the test results and any symptoms you might be experiencing. Be sure to mention if you’re pregnant or are thinking about getting pregnant.  

Ulta Lab tests have a variety of thyroid tests to help diagnose all forms of thyroid disease in men, women, and children.

Women should be aware of their thyroid gland's health as thyroid problems are more common in females. The thyroid gland produces hormones that are crucial for the body's processes. Imbalances in these hormones can lead to thyroid disease, causing symptoms like fatigue, weight changes, menstrual irregularities, and mood swings.

To assess thyroid health, tests such as blood tests and physical exams can be conducted. Ulta Lab Tests offers a variety of thyroid tests that provide a comprehensive evaluation of thyroid function. Ordering a test from Ulta Lab Tests allows you to proactively monitor your thyroid health and gain valuable insights before consulting a doctor.

Using Ulta Lab Tests offers benefits like convenience and accurate results. Their tests effectively assess thyroid function, empowering women to make informed decisions about their health.

Taking action and ordering a thyroid test can help you take control of your thyroid health and potentially improve your overall well-being.

Remember, early detection is crucial for a healthy life. Take charge of your thyroid health today by ordering a thyroid test from Ulta Lab Tests.

Share with a friend: 
Copyright © 2013-2024 Ulta Lab Tests, LLC All Rights Reserved.