As reproductive endocrinologists, we’re not just interested in the ovary. We’re interested in the other glands that are interacting with your ovary. Not just because they’re glands. They actually have some aspects that are functionally similar. The thyroid gland, which is located in your neck (right over your thyroid cartilage), is responsible for setting the pace for our metabolism. People who have hyperthyroidism (meaning they are producing too much thyroid gland), will have evidence of faster metabolism. Their heart rate will go up above a 100110. It’s like setting a metronome too fast, it just runs faster. People like that will lose weight, have changes in their growth, and a variety.
Of other metabolic things. In contrast, people who have underactive thyroid will gain weight, will have more oily skin, changes in their hair and very slow heart rate. All these changes in metabolism can influence the ovary as well. Actually, people with any thyroid abnormalities can have changes in their menstrual cycle. So somebody might have always had a very normal, regular cycle and that cycle changes; maybe gets spaced out, irregular; maybe the bleeding gets heavier. These things can be related to the thyroid gland. As a result, tests of thyroid function are generally part of every fertility workup.
Hashimotos Thyroiditis Part 2 Looking Beyond Test Results
So it’s not always the blood work or, you know, those are important, but sometimes there are other things you have to look at. Exactly. Go a little bit deeper. Which leads me to something elsea story of a young womanlet’s call her Jane I guess she was about thirty five years old. She came to me with weight gain, decreased energy and stamina, she was fatigued, had difficulty sleeping and so we ran a full thyroid.
Panel on her and come to find out her TSH, her free T3, free T4 were normal but her TPO antibodies, which indicate she had Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, were very elevatedover a thousandso I sent her to the endocrinologist. She came back to me a couple weeks later or few weeks later and told me that the endocrinologist said that, quot;You’re just going to have to live with this because your TSH was normal and your T4 and T3 were normal.quot; So she was crying at that pointand this was quite a number of years.
Ago so at that time I thought if the endocrinologist says this, you know, I’m just going to leave it alone as that. She left being depressed, of course. She found out about this other outofstate. She flew over to his and he looked at her lab work from a different point of view; he looked not just at the range of the results of her lab work but he also looked at her symptomology. And because she had elevated TPO antibodies and she was symptomatic with all these symptoms we just mentioned, he put her on thyroid.
Medication. Luckily for me, she came back and told me this story. She was a different person: she had lost the extra weight, she had more energy and stamina, she could go to workshe felt great. And only because this particular physician looked out of the box. So I started studying his work, as well, and started treating my patients, as well, not just with the lab results.
But also with their symptomology and it has made a world of difference. So, we have to consider all aspects. Not justof course, the lab work is important but also the symptomology of the patient.