How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Pfeiffer Your Own Question
Dr. Pfeiffer
Dr. Pfeiffer, Doctor
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 5987
Experience:  Ob/Gyn
8534737
Type Your Health Question Here...
Dr. Pfeiffer is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Ive been suffering with increased anxiety, bouts of depression,

This answer was rated:

I've been suffering with increased anxiety, bouts of depression, periodic insomnia, and fatigue. I am 51 and can find all of these symptoms in the "perimenopause" chart. I recently visited my primary MD and she ran another TSH and thyroid panel. She said that my TSH readings have consistently been in the 2.5-2.7 range for the past 5 years and feels I could benefit from thyroid medication for what she calls "sub clinical thryoid" -- I've been reading on hypo and hyper thyroidism and really don't know what she could prescribe - I have symptoms for both - I'm thinking it's hormonal - perimenopausal - and she also suggested a low dose birth control pill, depending on my thyroid results. I don't like to take medication - any suggestions. Thank you!

Dr. Pfeiffer :

hello

Dr. Pfeiffer :

when was your last period?

Customer:

hello - 3 weeks ago - I still have periods, cycle betwween 20-32 days - I also have occasional palpitations with hot flashes

Dr. Pfeiffer :

ok...

Dr. Pfeiffer :

I really think these symptoms are also related to perimenopause.

Dr. Pfeiffer :

we commonly see this.

Dr. Pfeiffer :

do you not want to take a pill, a medication or a hormone?

Customer:

I'm not a medication fan -- would prefer to avoid it


 

Customer:

I just want to feel better! I miss "me" - if that makes sense :)


 

Dr. Pfeiffer :

got it

Dr. Pfeiffer :

..and yes I do

Dr. Pfeiffer :

the best menopausal symptom relief that is not a medication is black cohosh

Customer:

I've heard of it - any dosing suggestions?


 

Dr. Pfeiffer :

there are multiple menopausal sympom relief supplements on the market today as well.

Customer:

Would you recommend any of the OTC - estroven, etc?


 

Dr. Pfeiffer :

yes. I have heard a lot of women happy with estroven.

Customer:

is there really anything in those supplements that can be harmful, or are there things we should watch for?


 

Dr. Pfeiffer :

the general answer is no...in healthy women

Customer:

I don't have any illnesses - I don't take prescription Rx - I take motrin occasionally when I've "overdone" it - or for menstrual cramps

Dr. Pfeiffer :

because most of these products have some sort phytoestrogen..I typically do not recommend them in women with heart disease, blood clot disorders or stroke...history.

Dr. Pfeiffer :

ok...have you been on a birth control pill before? when you were younger?

Customer:

I was - 30 years ago and got pregnant with my oldest on the pill haha! I didn't enjoy it for sure - headaches, nausea

Customer:

I know women for hundreds of years have gotten through this without alot of intervention -- can I help nutritionally?

Dr. Pfeiffer :

ok..if you didn't develop any problems with the pill the OTC products aren't likely to cause any problems for you.

Dr. Pfeiffer :

well balanced diet, exercise. calcium, vitamin D

Dr. Pfeiffer :

some recommend zinc as well.

Dr. Pfeiffer :

restrict caffiene, nicotine intake.

Dr. Pfeiffer :

especially in the evening

Dr. Pfeiffer :

magnesium, vitamin E...

Dr. Pfeiffer :

basically..a well balanced die or addition of a multivitamin

Customer:

I take Centrum for Women - but my doc said to add 1000 mg /day vit d


 

Dr. Pfeiffer :

that's fine

Customer:

I don't take vit e currently - my multi vitamin has magnesium and I take a calcium and D3 supplement

Dr. Pfeiffer :

but you really need to make sure you're taking 1500 of calcium

Customer:

can I take the vit D all at once, or break it up

Customer:

I am not taking that much calcium

Customer:

I need to increase that then

Dr. Pfeiffer :

ok..you could try the vitamin E...400 IU daily.

Customer:

you believe calcium and vit d could help some of my symptoms?

Customer:

I do take 1200 mg omega 3 - DHA and EPA

Dr. Pfeiffer :

in general...vitamin preparations are best abosorbed in divided doses.

Dr. Pfeiffer :

it's especially important with the calicum...though

Customer:

1/2 at night - 1/2 in AM?

Customer:

I usually just take everything in the AM - yikes!

Dr. Pfeiffer :

that's fine...

Dr. Pfeiffer :

it doesn't hurt you to take it all at once...

Dr. Pfeiffer :

your body will only absorb a certain percentage and then excrete the rest.

Customer:

I can divide the calcium - will it affect my sleep if I take the other half at bedtime?

Dr. Pfeiffer :

possibly....

Dr. Pfeiffer :

not sure if that alone would be enough to completely help the symptoms.

Dr. Pfeiffer :

when it comes to sleep..you need to maintain good sleep 'hygiene'

Dr. Pfeiffer :

go to bed when you're tired.


restrict fluid intake after 6pm...so you aren't getting up to go.


no reading or watching TV in bed

Customer:

do you think the additional vitamins will help with the anxiety/depression - or should I just go to yoga more :-)

Dr. Pfeiffer :

personally.....I would try the black cohosh so you aren't taking a medicine cabinet of vitamins

Dr. Pfeiffer :

and continue your exercise program

Dr. Pfeiffer :

as long as you're doing something daily that should be adequate.

Dr. Pfeiffer :

I always recommend daily exercise so that it becomes part of the daily routine..ie. brushing one's teeth

Customer:

thank you for your kind help = and that you don't believe I would benefit from thyroid meds - there's a cycle I don't want to start!

Customer:

exercise boosts up our endorphins :=)

Dr. Pfeiffer :

given your prior results I wouldn't anticipate the TSH to be abnormal.

Dr. Pfeiffer :

and..yes, that's true!

Customer:

Thank you again!!


 

Dr. Pfeiffer :

you bet.


take care and good luck!!

Dr. Pfeiffer :

Dr. Pfeiffer

Dr. Pfeiffer and 3 other Health Specialists are ready to help you