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Thyroid during pregnancy: As soon as your pregnancy is confirmed by your doctor, you will be asked to undergo a thyroid test. And if you are planning to conceive, you may be asked to have a thyroid test.

Thyroid during pregnancy
Thyroid during pregnancy

However, the thyroid is a common condition during pregnancy and sometimes it is more likely to be confused due to its similarity with other pregnancy symptoms. Symptoms such as weight gain, tiredness, rash or forgetfulness and even swelling are the same in both pregnancy and thyroid conditions.

Also read : How to know symptoms of thyroid?

What is thyroid

The H-shaped thyroid gland is found in the front part of our neck, just below the voice box. It is about two inches long and weighs little (less than 30 grams). It is an integral part of the endocrine system that performs an important job of making hormones for your body. The thyroid gland produces two major hormones, T3 and T4.

The hormones produced by the thyroid control many important physiological functions such as your body metabolism, weight, brain development, respiration, body temperature, and cholesterol levels. Monitoring thyroid levels in pregnancy is important because it can affect your baby’s neuron intellectual abilities.

Thyroid problems are more common during a woman’s reproductive phase. But if it is not detected in time, then it also has an effect on pregnancy. Whereas hyperthyroidism is caused by high levels of hormones in the blood and hypothyroidism is caused by decreased levels of thyroid hormones in the blood.

How does pregnancy affect thyroid gland functions?

During pregnancy, two hormones, estrogen and human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) are responsible for increasing your thyroid levels. When you are pregnant, these thyroid hormones play an important role in both the child’s brain and nervous system development and your health.

The umbilical cord or placenta makes hCG, similar to TSH, and stimulates the thyroid to produce more hormones. An increase in estrogen levels produces thyroid-binding globulin, a protein that helps thyroid hormones to operate with the blood. In the first trimester, your baby is dependent on you for thyroid hormone needs, which come through the umbilical cord. This goes on till the 12th week, after which the child’s thyroid gland starts functioning on its own.

A thyroid function test is necessary to detect any pregnancy problems caused by the thyroid. However, changes associated with these hormones may not be detected and may be difficult to interpret despite these tests. The thyroid increases in size during pregnancy, but not enough to be seen in the test. Since thyroid hormone levels increase due to mutual signs during pregnancy, fatigue and thyroid size increase, thyroid-related problems may be difficult to diagnose.

How does pregnancy affect thyroid gland functions?

1.Hyperthyroidism in pregnancy (hyperthyroidism)
When a hyperactive organ produces a large amount of thyroid hormone, the condition is known as hyperthyroidism.

2.Causes of hyperthyroidism in pregnancy
Hyperthyroidism is usually caused by Graves disease which is an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system attacks its cells and organs rather than protecting them. Toxic adenomas are also one of the reasons during which nodules that grow in the thyroid gland start secreting hormones. This causes the body’s chemical balance to deteriorate.

3.Which women are more at risk
Women who have been diagnosed with hyperthyroidism before their pregnancy and with a family history of this disorder are most likely to experience the condition during pregnancy.

4.Symptoms
Fatigue, nausea, vomiting, rapid heart rate, changes in appetite, and increased thyroid levels and size are typical symptoms of hyperthyroidism. Changes in appetite and the ability to tolerate heat can also be seen.

Also read : Thyroid symptoms for female

5.testing
It is possible to diagnose the condition in pregnant women by performing three major tests to diagnose hyperthyroidism:

a. TSH test
This test is able to detect small amounts of TSH in the blood and is known to be hypersensitive. The TSH test is one of the most accurate tests to measure thyroid activity.

b. T3 and T4 test
If the TSH test shows the level is low, then it is mandatory to perform T3 and T4 tests. If the level of T4 (a part of thyroid hormone binding to thyroid-binding protein) is found to be high, the diagnosis is confirmed.

c.Tsi test
If a pregnant woman has had radioactive treatment or surgery or has been diagnosed with Graves’ disease, a TSI test is conducted. This test confirms the presence of TSI antibodies in the pregnant woman’s body.

Treatment :

  • Mild hyperthyroidism does not require treatment, where TSH levels are low but free T4 is normal.
  • In the case of a severe thyroid disorder, doctors recommend taking propylthiouracil (PTU) salt medicine in low doses during the first trimester.
  • If necessary, it is advisable to take an anti-thyroid drug, methimazole after the first trimester.
  • In rare cases where the patient does not respond to medicines, surgery may be suggested to remove a portion of the thyroid.
  • Radioactive iodine treatment is not recommended for pregnant women as it may damage the baby’s thyroid gland.

How does hyperthyroidism affect mother and baby?

Mother: Hyperthyroidism can lead to conditions such as preeclampsia, premature birth, miscarriage, and sudden worsening of hyperthyroid symptoms.

Thyroid during pregnancy

Infants: A newborn baby may be confronted with a heart palpitations and may suffer from heart failure, unbalanced weight gain, low birth weight, irritability and shortness of breath due to increased thyroid. Can.

Causes of hypothyroidism in pregnancy:

  • Hypothyroidism is caused by thyroid hormones in the blood, where the thyroid gland does not function properly.
  • Removal of the thyroid gland, endemic goiter, iodine deficiency, radiation therapy, and diseases related to the pituitary gland are other causes.
  • Hypothyroidism in pregnancy is also caused by Hashimoto’s disease, a form of thyroid inflammation.

Hypothyroidism in pregnancy :Thyroxine deficiency, a thyroid hormone caused by hyperactivity of a thyroid gland, is known as hypothyroidism.

Which women are more at risk: Women who have a family history of hypothyroidism or have been diagnosed with the condition in the past may be at risk during pregnancy.

Symptoms: Common symptoms of hypothyroidism include swollen face, tiredness, intolerance to cold, weight gain, loss of concentration, tightness or stretch in the skin, and abdominal discomfort. High levels of T4 and high TSH levels are also considered signs of hypothyroidism.

The diagnosis: If you notice any of the above symptoms, your doctor will examine it and ask for TSH and T4 tests to confirm hypothyroidism.

Treatment
During pregnancy, treatment of hypothyroidism is starting on thyroxine, a synthetic thyroid hormone.. Thyroxine is beneficial for both mother and child and is also safe. Women who have developed this condition before pregnancy should increase their dose to maintain thyroid function after talking to their doctor.

Can hypothyroidism affect mother and child?

  • Hypothyroidism can cause preeclampsia, anemia, stillbirth, miscarriage, and, in rare cases, cardiac arrest.
  • Thyroid hormone is essential for the growth and development of the child’s brain and nervous system.
  • Hypothyroidism can affect the region, especially if it occurs in the first trimester.

Is it safe to take thyroid medications during pregnancy?

  • Yes, it is safe to take thyroid medications during pregnancy. In fact, when someone is pregnant, it is unsafe to maintain such hypothyroidism or hyperthyroid condition.
  • Medication should be taken and closely monitored. Levothyroxine is a synthetic form of thyroid hormone that does not have an adverse effect on the infant and is commonly used to treat the condition.
Is it safe to take thyroid medications during pregnancy?

A.Diet, nutrition, and supplements for hypothyroidism

  • During pregnancy, the body demands high amounts of nutrients as it needs to keep the health of mother and baby balanced. During this period, doctors advise the mother to follow a balanced diet and take nutrients rich in prenatal vitamins and iodine-based minerals.

B. Nutrition and dietary supplements for hypothyroidism

  • Pregnant women suffering from hypothyroidism should ensure that they receive the recommended dose of iodine through daily meals, and taking iodized salt instead of normal salt is one way to do so.
  • Eating greens like spinach, fenugreek, and lettuce leaves provide magnesium which is essential for thyroid functioning.
  • Blueberries and strawberries are beneficial to the immune system and are antioxidants so make sure they form a part of your diet.
  • Include fish like eggs, walnuts, mushrooms, and salmon in your diet to control omega 3 fatty acids and selenium in a natural way. Vitamin B6 is particularly beneficial in pregnancy.
Thyroid during pregnancy : diet - eggs
eggs

How to avoid thyroid complications?

  • Your thyroid controls every cell in your body, and without its presence, the body slows down, resulting in fatigue, weight gain, hair loss, and more.
  • Here’s how you can prevent the effects of thyroid and pregnancy complications from falling on your body and baby:
  1. Stay away from diet plans that recommend staying hungry for a long time. Fasting results in a drastic decrease in T3 levels which increases metabolism.
  2. The thyroid gland is susceptible to X-rays. Make sure to ask for a thyroid shield whenever you undergo an X-ray during pregnancy.
  3. If you are pregnant and smoking, it is time to stop it and those who already have thyroid are at greater risk. One study suggests that smoking increases the risk of hypothyroidism, particularly for patients with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
  4. To reduce the effect of thyroid on pregnancy, women with borderline hypothyroid should start taking thyroid hormone in low doses at the beginning of pregnancy.
  5. Repeated testing of TSH levels is needed to detect hyper and hypothyroidism during pregnancy. If you notice any such symptoms, then talk to your doctor. By checking your thyroid levels, you can expect a safe and hassle-free pregnancy.

Read – Thyroid symptoms for female


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