Untreated thyroid diseases during pregnancy may lead to premature birth, preeclampsia (a severe increase in blood pressure), miscarriage, and low birth weight among other problems. Therefore, here in this article we are going to talk about the relationship between thyroid and pregnancy in depth.
Thyroid disorders can be primarily of two types:
- Hypothyroidism: This is an endocrine condition resulting due to insufficient secretion of thyroxine hormone by the thyroid gland. Iodine deficiency in the diet of an individual is said to be the foremost cause of Hypothyroidism.
- Symptoms of Hypothyroidism:
- Weight Gain
- Body pain and cramps
- Weakness and fatigue
- Weakening of memory
- Increased sensitivity towards cold
- Hyperthyroidism: This is an endocrine condition resulting due to excess secretion of thyroxine hormone or hyperactivity of thyroid gland.
- Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism:
- Weight loss
- Increased sweating
- Feeling warm
- Difficulty in concentration
- Feeling anxious/overwhelmed
- Increased heartbeat
- Muscle weakness
- Disturbed sleep
Thyroid and Pregnancy
Implications of Thyroid disorders on the health of expecting mother and the fetus:
- Increases risk of preeclampsia
- Cardiac issues in the mother
- Higher risk of hemorrhage in mother after the baby is born (postpartum)
- Increased risk of miscarriage
- Increased possibility of premature birth of the baby
- Low birth weight
- Might affect normal mental development of the baby
- Fetal growth can be retarded or restricted
Also, read about: What Do The Thyroid Symptoms Reveal About Your Overall Health?
To ensure a smooth pregnancy and delivery of the baby, and to make sure that health of the mother and child both does not get affected – it is highly important that hormonal disorders like Thyroid (hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism) are in control.
How Can You Avoid/Treat Complications of Thyroid in Pregnancy?
- Even if you’ve never had thyroid issues prior to pregnancy– you should have your thyroid levels checked in early pregnancy and again in early postpartum. These are very likely times when you may experience difficulties with your thyroid for a variety of reasons.
- Why should one check for thyroid?
Low thyroid levels can cause mental retardation and other problems. Your thyroid hormones are necessary for a healthy baby and it’s growth.
- What if you are already having hypothyroidism (low thyroid levels)?
If you become pregnant and your Doctor – Gynecologist has prescribed you medication to manage your thyroid levels, do take your medication regularly. It is possible to have a safe, uneventful pregnancy, birth, postpartum and breastfeeding experience even with the thyroid. It is also important to note that breastfeeding is possible and highly encouraged, even if you have thyroid issues and take medications
Recommended Reads: Best Diet For Hyperthyroidism & Hypothyroidism – What To Eat & Avoid