Menopause is defined as the end of the menstruation cycle in women, typically in their late 40s or early 50s. Estrogen levels in the body fall during this time and result in symptoms such as decreased libido, night sweats, hot flashes, depression, and mood swings. Having hypothyroidism, even low-grade, during or after menopause, can make its symptoms worse. Menopausal women are more likely to become hypothyroid than women in their reproductive years. In fact, research shows that as many as 10 to 15 percent of menopausal women have hypothyroidism.
Hypothyroid and menopause symptoms can be similar. For this reason, any women going through menopause who has these symptoms and feels that she is having a lower than usual quality of life should be tested for hypothyroidism.
Menopause can also make hypothyroidism symptoms worse. Thyroid patients are more likely to experience more menopausal symptoms than non-thyroid patients.