Thyroid Hormones and Estrogen
Estrogen physiology can be compromised or a causative factor in hypothyroidism. Elevations of primary and secondary estrogens are notorious for causing hypothyroidism at the gland and cellular levels.
Normal physiologic levels of estrogen are not the cause of your hypothyroid symptoms or hypothyroid condition. If, however your primary or secondary estrogens rise you can experience both hyper and hypothyroid symptoms.
At the thyroid gland, high levels of estrogen can reduce your ability to transport iodide into your thyroid gland. Without sufficient levels of iodide your body can’t make sufficient thyroid hormone. The result is not only low thyroid production by the gland, but an enlargement or swelling of the gland, often referred to as a goiter.
Elevated estrogen can also result in elevated levels of sex hormone binding globulins (SHBG) and elevated levels of Thyroid Binding Globulin (TBG). When estrogen increases TBG levels, more thyroid hormone may wind up being bound and less thyroid hormone is free and available to be transported into cells and tissues. This can cause cellular hypothyroidism.
If you are female what are signs and symptoms of hormone dysregulation?
If you are a menstruating:
- Alternating menstrual cycle lengths
- Extended menstrual cycle (greater than 32 days)
- Shortened menstrual cycle (less than 24 days)
- Pain and cramping during periods
- Scanty blood flow
- Heavy blood flow
- Breast pain and swelling during menses
- Pelvic pain during menses
- Irritable and depressed during menses
- Facial hair growth
- Hair loss/thinning
If you are a menopause:
- Experience uterine bleeding
- Hot flashes
- Mental fogginess
- Disinterest in sex
- Mood swings
- Painful intercourse
- Shrinking breasts
- Facial hair growth
- Increased vaginal pain, dryness, or itching
The short answer to how thyroid, cortisol, androgens, and estrogens interact is complex and complicated. However, there is a delicate balance that must be met between all the hormones. With almost any aspect of the body’s chemistry, there is a hormetic effect with any substance, or optimal range for all substances. Both too much or too little of hormone can have an unfavorable effect in your body.