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Have PCOS and Tired All The Time? It May Be Your Thyroid

If you suffer from polycystic ovarian syndrome and autoimmune thyroiditis, you are likely exhausted much of the time. You are not alone! One study showed that 40 percent of women with PCOS also have autoimmune thyroiditis. Women with PCOS are six and a half times more likely to have autoimmune thyroid damage than women without PCOS, according to a study in the March 2004 European Journal of Endocrinology.

In a 2001 report at the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society, German researcher Dr. Roland Gaertner suggested that the increased risk of autoimmune thyroiditis in women with PCOS may be linked to low progesterone levels. Gaertner suggested that low progesterone in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome might lead to overstimulation of the immune system. This may also explain the increased risk of inflammation and other autoimmune disease in women with PCOS.

Thyroid hormones are important to almost every major function in your body. They impact your cardiovascular system, metabolism, fertility and energy levels.

Make sure your doctor does a complete thyroid test along with your PCOS tests. Be sure they test your thyroid antibodies as well as your TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) levels. I spent years begging doctors to help me with the crushing fatigue I lived with. They kept telling me I needed an antidepressant. I finally saw a good endocrinologist who tested my thyroid antibodies and found them to be so high the test could not register a final number. When I started taking thyroid replacement hormones my life changed. Suddenly I could do things like go to the grocery store without needing a nap afterwards.

Make sure your doctor is using the NEW TSH standards as well. Many, many women have been told they do not have a thyroid problem when in fact they DO have low thyroid under the new guidelines.

It is especially important to get your thyroid checked if you are trying to conceive. Low thyroid levels can cause infertility. If you are successful in getting pregnant, make sure your doctor closely monitors your thyroid level as low thyroid levels can also lead to problems with the developing fetus.

Signs of thyroid problems include:

* Fatigue

* Difficulty concentrating

* Dry skin

* Feeling cold all the time

* Unexplained weight gain or trouble losing weight

* Infertility

* Hair loss

For more information, read Mary J. Shomon’s book “Living Well With Hypothyroidism” or check out her web pages at http://thyroid.about.com. Shomon has been an incredible advocate for people with thyroid disorders for many years.

Julie Renee Callaway is a life coach who specializes in helping women with chronic disease to live passionate lives and fulfill their dreams. You can learn more at http://www.composeyourlife.com or http://www.pcoscoach.com.

Source: www.articlesbase.com