Are my hormones responsible for my hypothyroidism?
The short answer is yes, because the thyroid gland itself is part of our endocrine (hormone) system, meaning it produces and is itself regulated by hormones. And by definition, and hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism are conditions that result in under- and overproduction of thyroid hormones, respectively.
But when most women think of hormones, they are thinking of their reproductive hormones. Our bodies are constantly negotiating a delicate balance of hormones, and when one pathway is impaired it can have negative effects on the thyroid. In many cases, hypothyroidism first manifests in women at times of major fluctuations in their reproductive hormones, such as pregnancy and menopause. The health of your adrenal glands — responsible for the production of both your fight or flight hormones and sex hormones, too, after menopause — is intimately connected to thyroid health. Adrenal imbalance shares many symptoms with hypothyroidism, and can actually lead to an underactive thyroid through the overproduction of cortisol.
Read our articles about thyroid health in women
More questions on thyroid health