Ovarian Cysts are a Symptom of Hypothyroidism

by Leisa on December 2, 2010

Thyroid problems are an area that I have studied in depth, having suffered myself with hypothyroidism, and been subjected to the incompetence of several medical practitioners before I found the answers myself.  Since then, I’ve found thyroid issues are one of the most mis-understood and mis-diagnosed conditions today.

Dr John Lowe is one of the foremost experts in the world on fibromyalgia and hypothyroid issues, (I interviewed him for my membership club – and he is a wealth of information!), and he has put together an enormous body of research to validate the direction he takes with his patients, and he has great success with his treatment protocols.  Below he talks about the incidence of hypothyroidism in relation to ovarian cysts.

This area is also related to iodine levels.  As I learnt from researching iodine, we need iodine not just for our thyroid gland to function properly, but iodine is needed for healthy breast, ovary, uterus, prostate, skin and brain function.  In a low iodine state, the thyroid may enlarge, and grow nodules and cysts and is called hypothyroidism. In a low iodine state, the breast may enlarge and grow nodules and cysts and it is called fibrocystic breast disease. In a low iodine state, the ovaries may enlarge, and grow nodules and cysts and is called polycystic ovarian syndrome.  See the pattern?

In any case of ovarian cysts, the first test I will do, is a urinary iodine loading test, to find out whether iodine is deficient.  Then I look at thyroid function.  Dr. John Lowe, gives us this case below to show the importance of looking into this area, rather than just having ovarian cysts removed.

Multiple Ovarian Cysts as a Major Symptom of Hypothyroidism by Dr John Lowe

The case I describe below is of importance to women with polycystic ovaries. If they have evidence, such as a high TSH, that conventional clinicians accept as evidence of hypothyroidism, they may fair well. But the TSH is not a valid gauge of a woman’s tissue thyroid status. Because of this, she may fair best by adopting self-directed care. At any rate, for women with ovarian cysts, this case is one of extreme importance.

In 2008, doctors at the gynecology department in Gunma, Japan reported the case of a 21-year-old women with primary hypothyroidism. Her doctor referred her to the gynecology department because she had abdominal pain and her abdomen was distended up to the level of her navel.

At the gynecology clinic she underwent an abdominal ultrasound and CT scan. These imaging procedures showed multiple cysts on both her right and her left ovary.

The woman’s cholesterol level and liver function were increased. She also had a high level of the muscle enzyme (creatine phosphokinase) that’s often high in hypothyroidism. Blood testing also showed that the woman had primary hypothyroidism from autoimmune thyroiditis.

It is noteworthy that the young woman’s ovarian cysts completely disappeared soon after she began thyroid hormone therapy. Other researchers have reported girls with primary hypothyroidism whose main health problems were ovarian cysts or precocious puberty. But this appears to be the first case in which a young adult female had ovarian cysts that resulted from autoimmune-induced hypothyroidism.

The researchers cautioned clinicians: “To avoid inadvertent surgery to remove an ovarian tumor, it is essential that a patient with multiple ovarian cysts and hypothyroidism be properly managed, as the simple replacement of a thyroid hormone could resolve the ovarian cysts.”[1]

Reference:1. Kubota, K., Itho, M., Kishi, H., et al.: Primary hypothyroidism presenting as multiple ovarian cysts in an adult woman: a case report. Gynecol. Endocrinol., 24(10):586-589, 2008.

Leisa

eh_slogan



Please feel welcome to leave your comment, feedback or question about this blog post below! If you would prefer not to use your own email address, just type in the box below to post your comment. We'd love to hear from you!

31 commentsAdd comment

1 Winnie March 6, 2012 at 12:07 am

Thanks so much. This was very helpful!

2 Karen April 19, 2012 at 12:44 am

I am currently undergoing some tests. I had both a pelvic ultrasound and a thyroid ultrasound and both showed I had cysts in both areas. I have multiple cysts in both my right and left ovaries, and multiple cysts in my thyroid. My next step is to go to a specialist. I’m only 28 years of age. This article makes me feel better. Thank you

3 Leisa May 29, 2012 at 5:34 am

Thanks Karen, I’m glad you find the information helpful – definitely it would be worth testing your iodine levels and see where they are at – it is a very important mineral, especially if you are showing cysts in these areas. Good luck with it and if we can be of any further help for you, please contact us.
Leisa

4 Diana June 15, 2012 at 11:56 am

Hi
Glad I found this. I have always had a goiter with nods and cysts. Dr.’s say Hashimoto and then NO. I tried synthroid and it did not agree. I left it alone for years. I have had ovarian cysts all my life. Some rupture and land me in ER. Now I am 51, in menopause 18 months. I have been taking herbs for hot flashes and started a supplement for thyroid containing Iodine and some herbs. BINGO, my thyroid or goiter, is half the size, my skin soft, focus better but, I Ovulated badly, so much so I went to Dr in pain. Ultrasound came back I have cysts on ovaries, still have eggs, (UGG) and scar tissue. She also said I am producing overload of estrogen. Also, my uterus is enlarged and now biopsy in 6 weeks. I feel all of this is in response to by body reaction to these herbs I have been on for 2 months. As if it all went crazy. As if it all woke up! I am a little concerned to say the least. I am going off the supplements to see if it all calms down. I do see that taking the herbs has given life to what I thought was gone.

5 Leisa July 12, 2012 at 5:09 am

Dear Diana,
I’m sorry that you’ve been going through such a difficult time with your hormones – it is interesting that you had some positive results with the iodine, but then also some negative ones with the herbs. You would definitely be a candidate for Saliva Hormone Testing, to see your levels of the three different types of oestrogen and to see where your adrenal function is at etc – http://www.salivahormonereport.com Obviously you will need guidance from your medical practitioner as well, as it does seem like you have a lot going on there at the moment. Herbal medicine can be wonderful in regulating hormone function, but you definitely need to know exactly what you’re working with to get the best results. If we can be of any assistance at all, please let us know.
Warm regards,
Leisa

6 Natasha December 14, 2012 at 3:02 am

Hello

I had a complete thyroidectomy 9 years ago. I had a dermoid cyst removed from my ovary six years ago and I just found out I have a 6.5 cm cyst growing on my left ovary. I am on synthyroid and my levels have been good. Could there still be a connection?

7 Leisa December 14, 2012 at 3:11 am

Dear Natasha,
Absolutely there could be a connection – even if you are on synthyroid medication, that doesn’t mean you are getting enough iodine to prevent these issues happening. Iodine has many more applications than just for thyroid hormone production, so it is worth looking into this area further and do some tests to see if there is a link. We can help you with that if you don’t have a doctor or naturopath familiar with iodine testing.
Warm regards,
Leisa

8 Trisha January 30, 2013 at 6:08 am

Hi Leisa,

I am 30 year old and I had been detected with cysts in both my right and left ovaries around 5 years back. Doctors asked me to lose weight and I lost around 22 Kgs from then and my periods got regular after that. Recently I got married and put on around 5 kgs agains and started having irregular periods and so I went back to the doctor. Doctor asked me to do a blood test and THS level is now showing as 5.56. I think I have thyroid problem. I have an appointment with my doctor on Saturday, 2 February. Would the medication for thyroid remove the cysts from my ovaries completely. Will I have to be on medication for ever to control thyroid? Will I be able to conceive easily if I take thyroid medicines?

9 Leisa February 2, 2013 at 2:47 am

Hi Trisha,
I’m sorry to hear about your health concerns and yes, that level of TSH would definitely trigger us to be looking into your thyroid issues. Medication for thyroid doesn’t remove cysts, they are not necessarily related, so if you are wanting to look into these type of health issues, we can work with you and your doctor to look deeper into the underlying causes and see what we might be able to do uncover the reasons for your problems, and what we can do to start you on the healing path. There are usually multiple issues affecting both the growth of cysts and thyroid disorders and many avenues to investigate. They could very well be related, and that is what we specialise in looking into. If you would like us to assist you, then please go to http://www.embracinghealth.com.au/health-products/healthmentoring and we will be able to offer you a consultation next week.
We look forward to hearing from you,
Warm regards,
Leisa

10 leanne March 1, 2013 at 1:03 am

Hi, im a bit confused im 26 and was told 4 years ago i had blocked tubes and cysts and scar tissue, recently my pain has become worse during periods but the dull pain in my side back and groin has been getting to me thought id get it checked again, i had a ultra sound at christmas and i got my results back yesterday the dr said that they found i had a cyst on both ovaries 6- 8cm big each one and they found mass on both ovaries?! i have to go for a ct scan within the next 3 months not sure what the mass could be however im very worried as she mentioned cancer. also about 5 months ago i had thyroid checked and i was sitting on the border line half way mark, could you help please

11 christine March 3, 2013 at 12:05 am

A year ago I had a uti which wouldn’t clear. Eventually after 6 courses of antibiotics it cleared. I also had really bad constipation and bloating. I now measure 5 inches more around my waist. At the same time I was experiencing leftside lower pain. Ultrasound and ct scan showed a small ovarian cyst. I’m still bloated and constipated and have frequent urination. Have had breast abscesses in the past and this problem has returned. I’m not feeling well at all, extreme fatigue, I’m 54, had an only child in my 40′s, never taken the contraceptive pill. What could be wrong with me. Doc says he can only give me co codamol for the pain

12 Paula March 5, 2013 at 12:07 am

I am 22 and was diagnosed with an underactive thyroid 2 summers ago with a TSH level of 76. I have since managed to lower it to 11 or so, but have constantly suffered a dull ache in my left and right hip, approx. where my ovaries are.

My Doctor dismissed my theories that it is anything serious, saying its probably “swollen glands” and that there is very little medical evidence of any link between thyroid problems and ovarian pain, thus I have endured it silently. However, this article has spurred me into action – I fully intend on getting to the bottom of the pain having read it! Thanks for the wake up call I needed. Fingers crossed now.

13 Leisa March 5, 2013 at 2:27 am

Hi Leanne, we will contact you privately via your email to see if there is anything we can assist you with.
Thanks,
Leisa

14 Leisa March 5, 2013 at 2:30 am

Hi Christine, we will contact you privately via your email to see if there is anything we can assist you with.
Thanks,
Leisa

15 Leisa March 5, 2013 at 2:31 am

Hi Paula, we will contact you privately via your email to see if there is anything we can assist you with.
Thanks,
Leisa

16 Elizabeth Leanne March 9, 2013 at 10:34 pm

Thank you very much for this info. I am a diabetic. My TSH levels are 1.08 which I understand are normal. I have follicular fibroids on my ovaries. After an ultrasound one turned into a 3cm cyst(I think that was the size) It hasn’t been bothering me too much lately. But I also have a 3.7 x4.0x 2.5cm nodule in the left lobe of my thyroid and the right measures 1.2x 1.2x 0.9. The left one grew from 3.7x 3.2x 2.7cm. The last biopsy done was benign. This time the biopsy was nonconclusive. So, the recommendation was for me to wait 6-8wks before getting another biopsy or have to surgery to remove the thyroid. I’m reluctant to have it removed because I’m thinking I might have hypothyroidism since I have problems with ovarian cysts. And the problem could be solved with thyroid replacement hormones.

17 Elizabeth Leanne March 9, 2013 at 10:46 pm

I forgot to mention I am 44 years old. The TSH level test was done last May. I also forgot to mention I’m concerned about a late period for this month. And I’ve had cramps on my left and right side of my pelvic area. My period was supposed to start on March 4th. I think all of my hormones are out of whack because of worry.

18 Sylvia Yong April 18, 2013 at 7:42 am

owh my goodness… no wonder i have ovarian cyst. I’m 30, mother of 3 y/o daughter, been diagnosed with hyperthyroidism few years back. During my antenatal checkup, 7th months pregnant ultrasound , doctor found a huge 8cm x 9cm diameter cyst on my left ovary and its obstructing the birth canal. I’ve been monitored closely by the specialist doctors throughout the pregnancy and end up with C-sec, plus removal of cyst. I never aware that thyroid problem can cause ovarian cyst or vice versa, which come first?. Thank you for your information Leisa.

19 asmin May 11, 2013 at 10:50 am

hi leisa,
thnk you very much for your kind information..
i’m 22 year old .i have tsh level 3.5 as i’m undertaking medicine of 50mcg.also have PCOD,now periods are irregular..i ‘m trying to get pregnant..i’m very much of loving to be carried.what i should do for best?

20 Jeanette June 24, 2013 at 5:53 am

I’m glad I came across this article. When I was 31 (I’m 43 now) I had a 15 cm dermoid cyst on my ovary. Huge! I’ve also have had fibrocystic breasts since I was 21. Just a few days ago I noticed a huge lump on my throat on the right side of my thyroid. I I will be going to the doc soon to have it checked out. I’m really scared!

Do you think some type of Iodine supplements would help?

21 Serenity Penson July 27, 2013 at 8:42 pm

I have had somach pains on my right side for about three days now.
Everyday it seems to feel a little worse. I thought maybe it was a sist on my
ovary (cause i get those from time to time) but this time the pain is a little higher than usual.
What are symptoms of appendicitis?.

22 Janet Captain August 1, 2013 at 1:01 pm

Hi Leisa

Have just read your page which is very encouraging and re-iterates the points I have been making to doctors for close on 10years. I today found out I have another ovarian cyst on the right this time and have nodules and cysts on my thyroid for a few years now. My current consultant(3rd time lucky) is quite thorough and believes without question that I have an endocrine disorder. This in itself is encouraging after being totally dismissed by 2 previous endocrinologists. At times all my hormone levels go a bit do lally and then seem to settle. I have had very low cortisol readings at times, show as menopausal overnight and thyroid levels go borderline overactive. When this happens my body and mind goes into meltdown and i am bed ridden for 2 weeks with some sort of infection present.(Normally urinary). I still have no firm diagnosis and am not on medication. My list of symptons are endless and ever changing with fatigue and weight fluctuations being the only constant. This all began after my last child 9years ago and have got progressively worse. I have just turned 40 and hope that I will somehow get my life back as I lost my 30s to whatever is going on.

23 Annamarie oconnor August 24, 2013 at 2:35 pm

Hi i too have had not stop thyroid problems i have hyperthyroidism with thyroid noduals i also have cysts in both breats and ovarian cysts and a rash once a month when im meant to come on my period its a hive type rash now my endrocrine doc hasnt a clue what is causing my fluctuating thyroid levels but says im confused for thinking there all related how can i make him see they are? He says there is no such thing what can i do hes the prof please if anyone can help please do x

24 Leisa August 26, 2013 at 2:53 am

Dear Annamarie,
It sounds like your doctor should be concerned – it sounds like you have an autoimmune condition that could be causing your thyoid function to fluctuate. Doctors do not know how to treat autoimmune conditions well – all they do is wait for the antibodies to completely destroy the thyroid gland, and then they can give supplemental thyroid hormone for the rest of your life… Naturopath’s treat this differently, we are very concerned about autoimmune conditions and work to treat the immune system and the thyroid gland, and we do get very good results in reversing this disease. If you want more information on consulations with us – please go to http://www.embracinghealth.com.au/health-products/healthmentoring
Warm regards,
Leisa

25 Margaret September 8, 2013 at 8:21 am

My daughter, 20, has always been in good health but within the last 3 months has had ovarian cysts, extreme migraines and now has found a lump in her breast . She goes in on the 18th to have a mammogram. Assuming it turns out to be a cyst, what type of diet plan would you suggest?

26 Linda September 11, 2013 at 5:07 pm

Hello,

I just came across your site and think I fit right in with my current condition. I am 34 years old and have had hypothyroidism since my second pregnancy in 2011. This went back to normal for a year after my daughter was born, and then returned after a high stress period at work. I have a recent 1.2 cm cyst on my thyroid and reccuring cysts on my left ovary since about 2009. I suspect I might have something autoimmune related becase all of my symptoms (majorily swollen and sensitive throat, foggy brain, lower abdominal cramping, frequent headaches, extreme exhaustion) all seem to happen when I am not extremely careful about what I eat. I think gluten may be the culprit which I have not eaten for months now – but it is very hard to avoid cross-contamination when eating out and I’m wondering if this is what is preventing me from getting better. I briefly took syntheroid a couple of months ago but felt worse (and very wired) after being on it for a couple of weeks. My TSH levels also fell back into the normal range when my stress levels went down and my family Dr. told me to stop taking the syntheroid. I am seeing a lot of talk about iodine levels and have a naturopath who will most likely want to test me for this/start me on it. My concern is that my thyroid symptoms seem to fluctuate (from hypothyroid-related symptoms to being very wired, excited all of a sudden – not sure if this is indicative of hyperthyroidisms). I am wondering if I may have Hashimoto’s, how this can be diagnosed, and I have read that taking iodine with Hashimoto’s is not adviseable or might be dangerous. I would be very grateful for anything you could advise, as I have been struggling with this for almost a year now and it makes it very hard to take care of a 2 and 3 year old and to keep a full-time job. :( Thank you.

27 Reba September 15, 2013 at 11:34 am

Thanks for your nice article. I’m 31 years old, got married for 6 years and trying to be pregnant for last 4 years. But still not be conceived. I have hypothyroidism & cyst in both ovarian and my right ovarian tube is off. We, husband-wife have the same blood group O+. Is there any positive chance of mine? Need your suggestions.

28 Sara April 8, 2014 at 12:52 am

Thank you for this information. It is so helpful to read these statements. I have breast and have had ovarian cysts. Large one on ovary burst and led to major complications. At 52 I am still getting large breast cysts that just seem to come in. US confirms they are just cyst but still worrisome. Oddly, I also have, I will call they cysts, for lack of a better understanding, on my outer ankles. Bilaterally. They feel balloon like and have not gone away for years. As a Nurse, I am noticing these are prevalent in my thyroid patients. Can anyone explain this? They are painless but look unattractive and don’t seem to go, as is the situation with breast and ovary cysts. This is regardless of medication. I am on a low dose compounded T3 which does not seem to be helping.
My question is why do we collect these cysts in the first place? Is this just the result of an accumulation second to a sluggishness?
Does anyone else have this situation?
Thank you so much.

29 Nicole May 22, 2014 at 10:56 am

Hello I have been having multiple issues with my health over the past 10 years and nobody seems to know whats going on. I honestly feel that every doctor I go to thinks I am loosing my mind. I have gained over 50 lbs in the last 10 years despite exercise and healthy eating. I never feel well. I am always exhausted, I have terrible cramps and ovarian cysts and I have been recently diagnosed with PCOS. I also just recently found out that I have multiple cysts on my thyroid but my thyroid labs have all been “normal” so I am told I do not have thyroid issues.I also have constant joint/leg/feet/arm pain, it is a very deep bone ache that no one seems to understand. I do have a history of JRA but I am in remission and all of my inflammatory markers are normal. I have edema mostly on my shins and calves daily. I can feel my fluid levels fluctuate daily and my weight can change by 5 lbs or more every day. All Cardiac tests are all normal. I am tired of feeling sick. I am a 30 year old who has lost the last 10 years of my life feeling awful and I feel like it is never going to end. I feel like I am 90! I just don’t know what to do or who to listen to. I just do not understand how doctors are not able to figure out what is going on. HELP!

30 Minerva Gonzalez August 3, 2014 at 3:51 am

Hi, I’m Minerva. I been taking medicine for thyroids 2 yrs now and had been diagnosed with high cholesterol and recently I had an ultrasound done and my the doctor found cysts in my right ovary. I’m just wondering if all this is all this is related to thyroids? Also, would I be taking that medicine for the rest of my life? I feel worst averyday. I’m more tired, haven’t had my period, I’m losing my hair and recently I’ve been scratching my self. Can you please help me?? Thank you..

31 Leisa August 5, 2014 at 11:33 pm

Dear Minerva,
Yes these issues certainly can be related and are likely connected due to an iodine insufficiency amongst other issues. We would be more than happy to help you with your health issues, to get to the bottom of what is going wrong. You can book in to see us at http://www.embracinghealth.com.au/naturopath
Warmest regards,
Leisa

Leave Your Comment


*

(Spamcheck Enabled)

Comments

Previous post:

Next post: