Thyroid disease

How To Deal With Thyroid Diseases During Pregnancy

How To Deal With Thyroid Diseases During Pregnancy
Thyroid disease

How To Deal With Thyroid Diseases During Pregnancy

 

Thyroid diseases are common throughout the world, including India. According to various studies, over 42 million people in India are affected by thyroid diseases, many of them are pregnant women. If you are one of them, you might experience a few hiccups during gestation but there’s nothing to worry about. In most cases, thyroid problems can be treated safely.

Here are a few things you should know about thyroid diseases and how to tackle them.

What are thyroid disorders?

Thyroid diseases affect the thyroid gland which is located in front of the neck. These glands produce hormones which control most parts of the body, including your heartbeat. Thyroid hormones are essential for the development of your baby’s brain and nervous system. Your baby depends on your thyroid hormone until 18-20 weeks before it starts producing its own hormones.

Thyroid disorders occur when the gland produces either too much of the thyroid hormone or too little of it. In cases where the thyroid hormone is produced in excess, bodily functions speed up making it overactive. This condition is called Hyperthyroidism. But sometimes the glands don’t produce enough thyroid hormone which slows down bodily functions. This condition is known as Hypothyroidism.

Hyperthyroidism in Pregnancy:

Hyperthyroidism can sometimes occur in normal pregnancies causing fatigue, weight loss and high blood pressure. If untreated, Hyperthyroidism can lead to miscarriage, premature birth, low birth weight, extreme rise in blood pressure (preeclampsia), and congestive heart failure.

Treating Hyperthyroidism in Pregnancy:

If you notice any of the above symptoms, make sure you visit your doctor. They will run some blood tests to measure your thyroid hormone levels. In case the levels are low, you won’t need any treatment. However, if the thyroid hormone levels are severe, your doctor may prescribe antithyroid meds to keep your thyroid hormone levels in check. This will also prevent from too much thyroid hormone entering into your baby’s bloodstream.

These antithyroid meds can have side effects like rashes and itching, decrease in the number of white blood cells and liver failure in rare cases. If the side effects from antithyroid meds get too severe, the doctor might prescribe surgery to remove a part of your thyroid gland.

Hypothyroidism in Pregnancy:

Hypothyroidism in pregnant women can cause high blood pressure in late pregnancy, anemia, miscarriage, stillbirth, low birth weight and congestive heart failure in rare cases.

Treating Hypothyroidism in Pregnancy:

Your doctor will do some blood tests to check your thyroid hormone level. Treatment for Hypothyroidism involves replacing the hormone which your body can’t produce to a thyroid hormone medicine which will produce the hormone for you and your baby. In case of mild hypothyroidism, you might not even need treatment.

Postpartum Thyroiditis:

This condition occurs in women during the first year of giving birth, especially women with type 1 diabetes. This is caused due to the inflammation of the thyroid which causes the hormone to leak. In such a case, you might experience hyperthyroidism for the first 3 months. After that, it might become underactive and lead to hypothyroidism which might last for a year. In most cases you won’t need treatment in the hyperthyroidism stage but your doctor may prescribe a thyroid hormone medicine in the hypothyroidism stage to keep your hormone levels in check. 

 

While the meds take care of your condition, make sure you’re doing your bit too. Consult your doctor for a diet plan, drink plenty of water and stay fit for you and your baby’s well-being.

 

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