irregular menstrual periods

Lupus and period problems, explained

Are you living with lupus (SLE) and experiencing problems with your monthly period? (Like, not getting it. Or having a really heavy, long period.) And have you ever wondered how lupus might play a role in this? Read on. What does the research show? Small studies have found that people with SLE are at greater risk of menstrual irregularities compared to the general/healthy population. The greatest type of irregularity appears to be sustained amenorrhoea (long-term absence of a period). Some people with SLE experience premature menopause. These factors may increase the risk of period irregularities: Being age 30+ Being on cyclophosphamide therapy (a chemotherapy drug) Taking immunosupressants (see a list of immunosupressive medications used to treat lupus) Young people (17 and under) with juvenile SLE also experience period irregularity and hormone abnormalities, research has shown. If you’re not getting your period (at any age), tell your doctor and ask how your lupus, treatments and other factors (such as menopause or any other health conditions you may have, like polycystic ovary syndrome) could be affecting “Aunt Flo.” If you are getting a heavy or prolonged period, it’s also important to talk with your doctor and get checked for anemia, which is already a common problem in people with lupus. Some women find …

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Write a Love/Hate Letter to Your Thyroid for Thyroid Awareness Month

Do you love your thyroid?  Do you hate it?  Or more importantly, do you even know where it is? A small, butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of the neck (just below the Adam’s apple), the thyroid influences the function of the heart, brain, liver, kidneys and skin.  That’s why it’s so important to know if you have a thyroid problem – especially if you’re a woman.  Women are five times more likely than men to suffer from hypothyroidism, which occurs when the gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone for the body to function properly.  Hypothyroidism can cause weight gain, miscarriages, forgetfulness, irregular menstrual periods and numerous other symptoms. In honor of Thyroid Awareness Month this January, we wanted to spotlight Dear Thyroid, a website that encourages literary self-expression from thyroid patients, including patients with lesser known thyroid conditions such as thyroid cancer, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and hyperthyroidism.  The slogan is “Healing Our Thyroids One Letter at a Time, As Many as It Takes,” and each love/hate letter is displayed with retro and pinup artwork as “subversive” yet “iconic images of perfect health and beauty.”  Got a few things you’d like to say to your thyroid?  Write them down today …

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What Do You Know About Thyroid Disease?

Let’s start with the basics:  do you even know where your thyroid is? A small, butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of the neck (just below the Adam’s apple), the thyroid influences the function of the heart, brain, liver, kidneys and skin.  That’s why it’s so important to know if you have a thyroid problem – especially if you’re a woman.  Women are five times more likely than men to suffer from hypothyroidism, which occurs when the gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone for the body to function properly.  Hypothyroidism can cause weight gain, miscarriages, forgetfulness, irregular menstrual periods and numerous other symptoms. January is Thyroid Awareness Month, which means it’s a good time to “check your neck.”  As many as 30 million Americans may have thyroid problems, but more than half of them remain undiagnosed.  To help combat this lack of awareness, two thyroid disease patient advocates – Mary Shomon and Katie Schwartz – have created a new campaign called “I Am the Face of Thyroid Disease.”  It features video messages and photos from around the world to “shine a spotlight on the diversity of thyroid patients and their practitioners, and help overcome the stigma and silence surrounding …

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