Overall, more women than men are affected by thyroid disorders in the population. One reason for this is the large hormone fluctuations during a woman's life. Pregnancy and menopause, but also the hormone intake in contraception and hormone replacement therapy set the female body changing hormonal influences. Since all hormones in the body, including thyroid and sex hormones work "hand in hand" so to speak, disorders often occur during or after such changes.
Problems remain undetected for a long time
In addition, especially in women, the thyroid problems often go undetected for a long time, because the symptoms are very general and can sometimes be dismissed as "typical female" disorders or menopausal symptoms: depressive moods, weight gain or decrease, hot flushes, sleep disorders or decreased performance do not always think about the thyroid immediately.
Even if the desired child does not want to wait, only a few expect a possible thyroid disorder as a cause. The relationship between unwanted childlessness and hyperthyroidism is very close: Approximately 25 percent of women with birth defects have thyroid dysfunction, with 16 percent being the most prevalent at 16 percent.
Women with an unfulfilled desire to have a child should therefore have their thyroid checked with the so-called TSH value. If a hypofunction is found and compensated by the intake of thyroid hormones, many previously childless women can become pregnant.
Particularly high risk: over 45 years and female
In addition to gender, age also plays a major role in thyroid health because the thyroid gland ages early. The transformation process begins between the ages of 30 and 40: the glandular tissue shrinks and degenerates. It can form nodules, cysts and calcifications. The concentrations of the hormones from the pituitary gland (pituitary gland) and the thyroid change.
And here, too, seemingly harmless signs of aging are confusingly similar to the signs of a diseased thyroid gland: impaired concentration, decline in performance, slowing down of movement and speech or memory weakness. If these symptoms are not properly understood, often develops a severe thyroid disease.
Current diagnoses in women over the age of 45 years without pretreatment in the course of the latest nationwide screening tests for the Papillon Thyroid Initiative showed that almost half of the participants (48.7 percent) had a pathological condition. Thus, the women performed significantly less favorable than the men over 45 years, there found in about two-fifths (41.4 percent) of those examined a goiter (goiter).
Tips for Female Thyroid Health
Prevention: Part of the thyroid disease can be prevented by optimal iodine supply. Always make sure you have enough iodine in your diet (eg sea fish, iodine salt).
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: During pregnancy and lactation daily iodine intake increases by one-third - from 180-200 micrograms to 230-260 micrograms per day. During this time, the intake of iodide tablets makes sense.
Treat early: The earlier thyroid disease is detected and treated, the better. Contact your family doctor without hesitation if you feel inexplicably uncomfortable and request an examination of your thyroid gland. This concerns above all the following symptoms:
- strong increase or decrease in weight with consistent eating habits
- chronic fatigue
- Nervousness, tachycardia, sleep disorders
- unfulfilled desire for children
Examine: Keep an eye on your thyroid for life and have thyroid examinations performed in the following stages of life:
- when taking estrogen
- before and in pregnancy
- while breastfeeding
- regularly from the age of 45