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8256587 tn?1399901106

Hashimoto's with breast lumps

Hi I am just wondering if Hashimoto's can cause lumps to form in breast tissue?

My doctor managed to locate what she could make out to be a cyst/lump and so she referred me to a breast clinic to be absolutely sure I did not have cancer.

When I saw the breast specialist he did not examine me the same way my doctor did. With my doctor she distinguished the cyst/lump and managed to locate it with her thumb and index finger. This breast specialist simply ran the palm of his hand up my breast and did not find this lump. So I was left thinking that either I was making it up or that he/my doctor were not examining me properly.

When I had the ultrasound scan the radiographer said I had dense breast tissue and that with petite women my age it was very common. She also said my hormones could be responsible too but I had been off my period for a week and so I would not have had any hormonal surges! The only thing I am left to dwell on now is the assumption that my thyroid hormones or indeed the TSH are responsible for this.

With the lump it is still there but there is no pain with it as before. The pain has been severe enough for painkillers but due to me being Hashimoto's I am not sure what ones I am allowed to take without there being implications of my illness worsening.

I read somewhere that dense breast tissue and hypothyroidism do share a connection but I am unsure of this. Just want this issue to be a bit more cleared up as I am sure my doctor and consultant now have the idea I was worrying over nothing.

Thanks for any help on this :)
22 Responses
1530171 tn?1448133193
Hormonal changes at the time, could be partly responsible because of  various changes affecting duct growth and fatty tissue deposits and perhaps inflammation of the ducts as well. There are various causes.

It's hard to tell, if the aspiration was a temporary solution, but if it wasn't,
then it could have been just a transient condition, that resolved on its own.

As for an underlying imbalance from that time linked to your issues today, is possible, but It probably has to do with your particular genotype and phenotype- something like a personal predisposition, within your environment, to certain imbalances and conditions.

Yes, your Endo should know a lot about Estrogen dominance, however,
you should be more knowledgeable & proactive in the process, which helps avoid the pitfalls of the conventional medical system and the consequences of NHS deficiencies.

1530171 tn?1448133193
Hi Charliixo.

I suspect that it is related to Estrogen Dominance.
Progesterone has a protective role in what is called Fibrocystic breasts
and Estrogen stimulates the formation and growth of these.

These two ovarian/sex hormones are antagonistic (oppose and balance each other) and in your case it is likely that higher levels of estrogen to lower levels of progesterone ( estrogen dominance) is the cause.

By the way, Fibrocystic breasts are breasts that have dense fibrous tissue!

You must also be able to distinguish between normal changes in your breasts during your period and Fibrocystic breasts which are in the majority
of cases benign. Just to put you at ease.

There's a possibility that you have an Ovarian-Adrenal -Thyroid Axis dysregulation.(This axis ties together the ovaries, adrenals, and the thyroid gland), meaning that these 3 organs are concurrently out balance and resulting in fatigue (adrenal), estrogen dominance (ovarian) and hypothyroidism (thyroid).

You may want to look into Bio-identical or natural Progesterone as a means to deal with the suspected Estrogen Dominance, but NOT Progestin, a synthetic form which does not convert to cortisol to help the adrenals in adrenal fatigue and also in advanced stages of adrenal fatigue, the body cannot break it down and it becomes toxic!
Please make sure your doctor does not prescribe this in the event you test positive for Estrogen Dominance.
Topical application of natural or bio-available Progesterone cream (here it is available without prescription) is probably best, however, if prescribed oral (most doctors prescribe the oral form), the weak adrenals should be addressed first! Otherwise the oral delivery might put too much burden on the liver.

This all complicated stuff and you may want to read it a few times over.
You may also print it off and take it with you to your doctor or consultant.
I'm fine with that.

8256587 tn?1399901106
Hi Thanks for your reply.

Would an endocrinologist know much about oestrogen dominance? If so I can ask her as my appointment with her is in just under 2 weeks time and she's the next consultant I see. She had tested me for testosterone and FSH in the past so I don't see why she would not test.

This lump has never been there the whole time and got bigger and more painful as time went on. I have had a previous history with lumps in the same breast because 9 years ago I had a blocked milk duct which was aspirated. I take it that the aspiration was just a quick fix and a temporary solution...?
8256587 tn?1399901106
Thanks for your reply.

I've done some research into estrogen dominance and fibrocystic breast tissue as well as the ovary-adrenal-thyroid (OAT) axis imbalance.

According to one article I seem to be showing symptoms of Stage 3 Phase B - Multiple Endocrine Axis Dysfunction. This particular article then mentions that the patient at this time uses supplements that are not conducive to healing and subjecting the body to continued trial and error. I am now worried that the supplements and nutrients I am using are doing more harm than good and am torn between stopping and continuing them!

It all sounds as though I am approaching Addison's...?
1530171 tn?1448133193
Who is your Practitioner who is advising you on the supplements & overlooking all this?
I hope this person has experience in endocrine disorders and adrenal fatigue.
Following the advice of someone with limited experience in this field could be a mistake. This would be of greater importance than what the article mentions. Paying attention to the complexity of your issues, while maintaining great focus in all the minor details, is key to your recovery!
Can you let me know what you are taking, including dose and frequency?

Well, I think your symptoms from what you have posted so far,
do not match those of Addison's at all!
Are you experiencing any adrenal crashes?
Any other severe symptoms?

Our bodies are quite resilient and I believe you will have many more warnings, before total adrenal failure.

If you are up to it, please post a list with ALL your symptoms you are experiencing, with as much detail as you feel is necessary, such as chronologically, level of intensity, frequency, time of the day, etc.

Take care.

8256587 tn?1399901106
Thanks for your reply.

This is going to get complicated: the first person who advised me to supplement was my own doctor (who I have since left due to them overlooking my FT3 result). They started me out on ferrous fumerate 210mg (which I quickly changed to a liquid iron supplement as I did not like the ferrous fumerate) and Vitamin D Fultium 800IU. She is simply a general practitioner and she even said herself endocrinology is "not her field".

The second person was someone who runs my local thyroid support group. She suggested that since my Vitamin D was low and out of range I change my supplementation to a higher dose of Vitamin D, supplement with iron since my iron is low and out of range and supplement with B12 since my Vitamin B12 is low. She is not a practitioner and has no knowledge/experience of adrenal fatigue/endocrine disorders.

The third person is the nutritionist I spoke to a few months ago who advised me to include Vitamin C, zinc, a multivitamin, a digestive enzyme, a prebiotic and something called T-Convert to help with T4 to T3 conversion, I presume. I know very little about this and cannot afford to buy this at any rate. She is an alternative practitioner so at the moment I am acknowledging her advice but keeping an open mind (I try to keep relatively non-biased about complementary therapies but if they work then I am all up for it)

All medications and supplements I take:

Levothyroxine - 100mcg (once a day but I alternate between taking it at night and in the morning as I wake up early at night if I take it before bed and I experience crashes in the early afternoon if I take it in the morning)

Vitamin D - 3000IU (one spray once a day). I did take it soon after my Levothyroxine when first starting out but since I was advised to keep all other supplements away from the Levothyroxine I took this in the afternoon.

Vitamin B12 - 1000mcg (one tablet a day) These are sublingual and are Methylcobalamin. I take these along with my Vitamin D.

Sorry, what is an adrenal crash exactly? I get times during the day, usually early afternoon around about 1pm - 2pm where I get exhausted and can do nothing but rest/sleep. During these times I have been known to feel nauseous and when I have eaten something sugary the sick feeling goes away.

Other severe symptoms? LOL I don't know, not that I know of. But I don't know if they are related to adrenal issues or not! Here are all my symptoms below on an intensity scale of 1-10, 10 being the highest and 1 being the lowest:

* Fatigue
Intensity level - in the morning: 10, in the afternoon: 8, in the evening: 1

Frequency - every day and when the fatigue sets in, in the afternoon I can sometimes go to bed/lie down and take short sleeps, usually for 2/3 hours easily.

Time of the day - in the morning around 9am-11am, in the afternoon around 1-3pm but can be 4pm at the very latest, the evening around 9pm onwards I want to stay up late so fatigue is then at 1.
I used to take my short sleeps much later than that in the past and that was in the early evening around 6pm-8pm.
On some occasions where I take short naps in the afternoon I have woken up with a headache or feeling sick.

* Nausea
Intensity level - in the morning: 6/7, in the afternoon: 2, in the evening: 5.

Frequency - sometimes every day but mostly when I have not eaten and has also happened when lying awake in bed and waking early in the morning. Has also happened when waking up from a short nap in the afternoon.

Time of the day - in the morning around about 2am-4am, in the afternoon maybe around 1pm-2pm (but only if I have not eaten), in the evening around about 5pm-6pm (but when I eat something - so far as I know it does not seem to matter what - it goes away) and returns about 11pm-midnight. Can also occur when under stress or frustrated.

* Pain in right breast (associated with breast lump I presume)

Intensity - 8/9 and is short, sharp throbbing pain, sometimes in time with my heart beat.

Frequency - at any time during the day but mostly in the early evening around 6pm-8pm. Has happened since March 2014 and just before my period that month.

* Pain in hip/groin area (in either side)

Intensity - 7/8 and is short, shooting throbbing pain.

Frequency - mostly in the evening around 8pm-10pm but I do not take painkillers for this as I'm not sure which ones to take since being Hashi's. First happened on May 9th. Can't be sure but it has only happened for a few days so have taken a guess.

* Pain in leg/ankle/foot (left)

Intensity - 5/6 and is dull and short pain.

Frequency - always in bed during the evening around 11pm. I do lie on my side but have always done so and never had any pain up to now. First happened in April 2014 and thought it was the hypothyroidism.

* Pain in lower ribs/flank (mostly right but can be both sides)

Intensity - 7/8 and is short, sharp stabbing pain.

Frequency - mostly when at rest and during the evening around 10pm-11pm most days. First happened in January 2014 and presumed it was adrenal since I was waiting on an endocrinologist investigation with the ATCH stimulation test. Endocrinologist was 99% certain I had Addison's based on her findings. Turned out I did not.

* Dry eyes

Intensity - 9 (only because I am forever wiping my eyes due to discomfort and when I do I am wiping excessive amounts of dry skin from them)

Frequency - a lot of the time during the day but more so upon waking. Has happened since 2004 but has worsened over time.

* Eye pain

Intensity - 8 and is short, sharp throbbing pain behind my eyes, mainly my right but can involve my left one too.

Frequency - at any time during the day but worse at night when in bed or resting. First happened at the end of April 2014.

* Headaches

Intensity - 9/10 and can be anywhere on my head. Explosive pain and can radiate into the backs of my eyes.

Frequency - at any time during the day but worse upon waking either during the afternoon, evening or morning (whenever I sleep) First happened at the end of April 2014.

* Abdominal pain (not during period)

Intensity - 6/7 and is usually in my left/right lower abdomen.

Frequency - I have always put this pain down to my menstrual cycle as when I experience this pain it is around the 2-week mark before a period however I get times each month where I don't have this pain and times where I do. So I cannot be sure unless I am just simply more aware of the mid cycle pain than at other times. I have had it for about 3 years at least as that was when I was first aware of the pain. (continued below...)
8256587 tn?1399901106
(continued from above...)

* Abdominal pain (during period)

Intensity - 9/10 and is dull, congestive, dragging pain

Frequency - only around my period but lasts for the entire 5 days. I was told by my doctor and various medical websites that period pain tends to disappear when women approach their mid-20s. I am approaching 30! First happened at 15 (2000) and has not stopped.

* Bladder incontinence

Intensity - 8/9 and have lost control on numerous occasions. Also I have no awareness of wanting to go to the toilet until I stand up and get the urges to go.

Frequency - happens without warning 90% of the time. The remaining 10% is when taking a shower, using hot water and when holding it in but unable to go (typical situations like on a plane or on a bus stop) First happened when I was 8 (1993) where I completely wet myself.

* Vaginal/pubic pain

Intensity - 7/8 and is dull and short pain

Frequency - just before period and sometimes during it but monthly. Location is on the mons pubis. First happened in December 2013 and have presumed it was period related.

* High blood pressure

Intensity - not painful but testing after sitting/lying down is high. Current reading is 123/71 with a pulse of 65, upon sitting it was 110/65 with a pulse of 51.

Frequency - only high when tested but I do experience dizziness, tinnitus (usually a whooshing/rushing sound of blood) and palpitations upon standing after sitting/lying down. Have always had high blood pressure but doctor has not measured it at every single checkup despite rife family history of high blood pressure.

* White patches (have assumed they are vitiligo)

Intensity - 4 (not painful, only unsightly and annoying)

Frequency - 5 on my right arm, 3 on my left. The ones on my right arm are discoid/round/oval but one of my left arm is linear. Have always been aware of them but more white patches have developed about 4-5 months ago.

* Brown patch on upper right arm (not freckle or tan, I presume a cafe au lait spot or birthmark)

Intensity - 4 (not painful, only unsightly and annoying)

Frequency - only one brown patch, discoid in appearance. Have always had it.

* Hyperpigmentation around eyes

Intensity - 6/7 (worse when tired)

Frequency - it was only when my endocrinologist pointed it out and then some fellow thyroid patients pointed it out too, soon after, but seems to be worse when tired. Happens at any time.

* Red patches of skin on arms/legs/front of body/face

Intensity - 5/6 (not painful, only unsightly and annoying - have been self-treating with dry skin cream/moisturizers/SLS free exfoliator)

Frequency - seems to occur at any time and have been aware of it since October 2013. Have just thought that's part of how I am.

* Itchy skin on arms

Intensity - 5

Frequency - at any time during the day but have been aware of it since February 2014.

* Hair on face/arms/front of body

Intensity - 7 (not painful, just unsightly and annoying)

Frequency - have always had it and have resorted to shaving it off at times. I also have moles with hairs growing from them and I shave these, too. Doctor and endocrinologist have failed to include this finding on their report and during examination - and have said nothing to me about it - which I find hard to believe since no one can miss the amount of hair on me I am not supposed to have!!

* Pins and needles

Intensity - 7/8

Frequency - happens mainly at night and also when in bed. When boyfriend gives me a foot massage that can set the cramps off and they work their way up my leg. It is not painful when initiated through massage, just fizzy. Cramps that start off NOT through massage are painful.

* White, stiff, numb fingers and toes

Intensity - 9

Frequency - when I am out in the rain/cold/wind/snow, in the frozen aisle in a supermarket or in a particularly drafty place at home or with my hand in the freezer. Even happens when there is a subtle cool breeze on a sunny day. Doctor diagnosed me as having Raynaud's Phenomenon. Have had this since October 2011.

* Red fingers

Intensity - 6

Frequency - this also happens when I am out in the rain, not during a Raynaud's attack and when it is NOT cold, windy or snowy. This can make my fingers hurt and develop a sensitivity to the cold rain.

* Acne

Intensity - 6 (unsightly and annoying only)

Frequency - worse during a period. Have attempted skin creams and SLS free exfoliators. Had this since age 15 (2000)

* Anger

Intensity - 10

Frequency - when something does not go my way (benefits being revoked, endocrinologist appointment being moved 3 months away, car not working, I miss the bus, the letter from the breast clinic a prime example) my anger festers when out in public and when I am alone it explodes and I end up breaking/damaging things. First happened in 2008 (age 23) and disappeared after I moved house in 2009 (age 24) but returned in 2013 (age 28) when a complaint I put forward regarding my treatment/diagnosis with my previous practice fell through and they kept sending me intimidating letters.

* Loss of appetite

Intensity - 7

Frequency - happens at any time but mostly when I am depressed. Has happened since 2010 on and off (age 25)

* Salt craving

Intensity - 8

Frequency - happens at any time but mostly in the morning or afternoon. I tend to remedy this by eating crisps/potato chips high in salt content, like salt and vinegar. Has happened since 10 May 2014.

* No desire for water

Intensity - 8

Frequency - I can happily go without water most days simply because I do not feel thirsty. This first happened in 2002 (age 17)

* Craving for sugar/carbohydrate

Intensity - 10

Frequency - I can easily eat sugar and chocolate all day if it were up to me. Of course, I have never attempted this and I cannot do it now since I am gluten/wheat/dairy free. But before going gluten/wheat/dairy free I can eat 3 chocolate bars (each 42g-55g) or 1 large sized chocolate bar (114g) in one day. I have not done this in a very long time, for at least 3 months. Usually when bored/low/depressed and in the morning at 10am-11am (when it typically disagrees with me) and in the afternoon at 1pm-4pm.

I think that's it for now. If there are any more I'll let you know. :)
8256587 tn?1399901106
Sorry, almost forgot. There are more.

* Puffy under-eye areas

Intensity - 6

Frequency - have had them for a while and stay put no matter what.

* Dark circles under eyes

Intensity - 5 but were around 7/8 many months ago.

Frequency - have always had dark circles but they have faded slightly since taking the thyroid medication (I can only presume that is what has sorted it out as I started the thyroxine before anything else)

* Inability to gain weight

Intensity - 10

Frequency - When I was much younger, about 5 years old (1990) I was a little tubby but I thinned out and when I reached 17 (2002) I reached the stage where I could eat quite a lot for my size and NEVER gain weight. I get bloated and full up after meals at times but over the course of a few hours my weight remains the same. I currently weigh 46kg/7 stone 3/101 pounds and my heaviest has been 52kg/8 stone 2/114 pounds. I thought that when I was diagnosed hypo I would gain more weight but this has not happened - something my doctors and endocrinologist are constantly puzzled over.
1530171 tn?1448133193
Hi Charliixo.

Well, that seems to be plenty for now!
My suspicion is that you are at the stage of adrenal exhaustion -some alternative adrenal fatigue experts may call it stage 3 a-b-c or d-, however it should be fully treatable, provided, extreme care is exercised.

Your supplements don't seem to be contributing to any negative effects.
My only real concern is the Levothyroxine, which in light of the presence
of adrenal exhaustion, is contra-indicated!
The T-Convert for now is out anyway, right?

Chronic Internal and external stress, even when hypothyroid, may be a
factor strong enough for you to be unable to gain weight.
I suspect you may have had "hidden" stress -besides what "evident" stress  you may have experienced) all along.

At this point, any adrenal grandulars may not be your best choice.
I think some subtle lifestyle changes -like carefully planned schedule for meals, rest, activities,sleep-, targeted diet, key nutrients and some herbals might be your first line of treatment which might help get things statred, but first you absolutely need to have the adrenal stress profile, before specifics can be safely implemented.

I will study your response in detail, when time permits and get back to you later this week. ( If I get a chance before this, I will  send you a generalized adrenal function improvement list, I have been working on)
Meanwhile do whatever it takes to get a proper adrenal test done.
At least 4x cortisol and DHEA (average) through salivary testing at a reputable Lab.

Hang in there, it will get better, but you must persevere! OK?

So far you're not only an excellent student, but a model patient!


8256587 tn?1399901106
Hi thanks for your reply.

I haven't even given a thought to the T-Convert, simply because I cannot afford it.

Wow, hidden stress? I wouldn't have even thought about that. I don't even know much about it!

We have meals pretty much the same time every night so that's ok. I carry out activities and go to sleep at the same times too. I have started a gluten free and dairy free diet so that's now in place. I will get the adrenal stress profile implemented tomorrow as I can then start the whole thing off from first thing in the morning. I have the home test kit ready to go.

Oh, and I've only just found out that my period has now started a week early!! What a nuisance..
1530171 tn?1448133193

Low blood pressure can be due to Aldosterone deficiency
(which helps regulate Sodium/Potassium levels) and high blood pressure can be due to excess Aldosterone.
Trying more natural sea salt in your diet might help.

 Elevated Cortisol (often due to stress) causes low blood sugar and generates high production of Insulin (Cortisol converts glycogen into 
A Low carb diet (also limiting your intake of high glycemic indexed foods) helps avoid the High Cortisol-High Insulin 2 way continuous cycle as also High Insulin (Inflammatory process) causes High Cortisol!
Depression can be alleviated by correcting hypoglycemia and restorating
of the adrenal hormones Cortisol and norepinephrine, to normal levels .

Unwanted hair growth could be because of because of elevated levels of
Androsterone amd Testosterone.

 Chronic stress and elevated Cortisol leads to chronic low levels of HCL.
Many serious health issues start from low HCL.
Consider for this the baking soda "Burp" test or the Betaine HCL challenge.Look them up or ask me for details.

New pains or worsening pains are to be expected.
Adrenaline sensitizes nerve endings, causing lower tolerance to pains which otherwise would not be an issue.

Neurotransmitter depletion due to impaired digestion (re: low HCL and other factors) and lower protein levels (b/c of poor amino-acid absorption) will cause headaches and other symptoms.

The immune system because of adrenal hormone dysregulation could be under performing or over-reactive.

More later. Gotta go!


8256587 tn?1399901106
Thanks for replying.

One question I have: I was tested for testosterone and it was normal! So might the unwanted hair growth be idiopathic?

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