Thyroid and Pregnancy

  • February 7, 2018
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Thyroid disease is the most common disease in Pregnancy. The Thyroid is an organ located in front of the neck that releases hormones that regulates metabolism, heart and nervous system, weight, body temperature and many other processes of the body. Thyroid malfunction can affect entire body system and in pregnancy it is very crucial to treat this otherwise fatal consequences can happen to mother and baby.

Thyroid disease is of two types hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. Hyperthyroidism is a condition in which there is an excessive amount of thyroid hormones. Graves’ disease, the most common cause of hyperthyroidism, can be associated with eye disease (Graves’ opthalmopathy). In this disorder, the body makes an antibody (a protein produced by the body when it thinks a virus or bacteria has invaded) called thyroid-stimulating immunoglobulin (TSI) that causes the thyroid to make too much thyroid hormone.

Common symptoms of hyperthyroidism

– Irregular heartbeat
– Nervousness
– Severe nausea or vomiting
– Slight tremor
– Trouble sleeping
– Weight loss or low weight gain for a typical pregnancy

Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the body lacks sufficient thyroid hormone. Since the main purpose of thyroid hormone is to “run the body’s metabolism,” it is understandable that people with this condition will have symptoms associated with a slow metabolism.

There are two fairly common causes of hypothyroidism. The first is a result of previous (or currently ongoing) inflammation of the thyroid gland, which leaves a large percentage of the cells of the thyroid damaged (or dead) and incapable of producing sufficient hormone. The most common cause of thyroid gland failure is called autoimmune thyroiditis au (also called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis), a form of thyroid inflammation caused by the patient’s own immune system.

Symptoms of Hypothyroidism

– Fatigue
– Weakness
– Weight gain or increased difficulty losing weight
– Coarse, dry hair
– Dry, rough pale skin
– Hair loss
– Cold intolerance (you can’t tolerate cold temperatures like those around you)
– Muscle cramps and frequent muscle aches
– Constipation
– Depression
– Irritability
– Memory loss
– Abnormal menstrual cycles
– Decreased libid

During pregnancy, if you have pre-existing hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, you may require more medical attention to control these conditions during pregnancy, especially in the first trimester. Occasionally, pregnancy may cause symptoms similar to hyperthyroidism in the first trimester. If you experience palpitations, weight loss, and persistent vomiting, you should contact your physician.

Untreated thyroid diseases in pregnancy may lead to premature birth, preeclampsia (a severe increase in blood pressure), miscarriage, and low birth weight among other problems. It is important to talk to your doctor if you have any history of hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism so you can be monitored before, and during pregnancy and your treatment adjusted if necessary.

It affects neuron intellectual well-being of your new-born in an early age.

Diagnosis of Thyroid disease in Pregnancy

Hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism in pregnancy are diagnosed based on symptoms, physical exam, and blood tests to measure levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and thyroid hormones T4, and for hyperthyroidism also T3.

Treatment of Thyroid Disease in Pregnancy

For women who require treatment for hyperthyroidism, an antithyroid medication that interferes with the production of thyroid hormones is used. This medication is usually propylthiouracil or PTU for the first trimester, and — if necessary, methimazole can be used also, after the first trimester. In rare cases in which women do not respond to these medications or have side effects from the therapies, surgery to remove part of the thyroid may be necessary. Hyperthyroidism may get worse in the first 3 months after you give birth, and your doctor may need to increase the dose of medication.

Hypothyroidism is treated with a synthetic (manmade) hormone called levothyroxine, which is similar to the hormone T4 made by the thyroid. Your doctor will adjust the dose of your levothyroxine at diagnosis of pregnancy and will continue to monitor your thyroid function tests every 4-6 weeks during pregnancy. If you have hypothyroidism and are taking levothyroxine, it is important to notify your doctor as soon as you know you are pregnant, so that the dose of levothyroxine can be increased accordingly to accommodate the increase in thyroid hormone replacement required during pregnancy. Because the iron and calcium in prenatal vitamins may block the absorption of thyroid hormone in your body, you should not take your prenatal vitamin within 3-4 hours of taking levothyroxine.

Risks of Non Treatment of Thyroid Disease in Pregnancy

If a woman suffers from thyroid disease that is not detected before or during the pregnancy, there are risks to the mother and the baby. The pregnancy could be at risk for miscarriage during the early stages or developing pre-eclampsia, which causes high blood pressure. Placenta abruptio – detachment of the placenta – can also occur later in the pregnancy.

If thyroid disease is left untreated, there can be risks to the baby’s brain development during the pregnancy that may affect development in childhood.

Thyroid Disease occurring after Pregnancy

Women with no previously diagnosed thyroid disorder can develop postpartum thyroid disease for up to 12 months after the birth of the baby or even after miscarriage. About one in 12 women are diagnosed with postpartum thyroid disease, which is often temporary. The hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) is treated with levothyroxine tablets. It is sometimes difficult to diagnose since many of the symptoms are those that come naturally to post-pregnancy motherhood like tiredness, irritability, weight gain, and mood changes. If any of these symptoms seem extreme and interfere with normal mothering activities, then see your doctor. A simple blood test can let you know.

Cure of Thyroid

1. Add Fish to diet

Fish provide the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, essential for hormone balance and thyroid function. Balancing the level of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids in your hypothyroidism diet can reduce inflammation and support healthy neurological function. Fish is the best sources of omega-3’s to increase neurotransmitter activity and support a healthy mood and immune system.

2. Coconut oil

This provides medium-chain fatty acids in the form of caprylic acid, lauric acid and capric acid, which support a healthy metabolism, increase energy and fight fatigue. A staple of the hypothyroidism diet, coconut oil is easy to digest, nourishes the digestive system and has antimicrobial, antioxidant and antibacterial properties that suppress inflammation. Coconut oil helps improve immunity and can increase brain function, endurance and mood while stabilizing blood sugar levels.

3. Sprouted Seeds

Flax, hemp and chia seeds provide ALA, a type of omega-3 fat that’s critical for proper hormonal balance and thyroid function. Adequate levels of fats in your hypothyroidism diet support a healthy mood and brain function while helping to lower inflammation. Eating plenty of healthy fats also stabilizes blood sugar levels and can help you stay at a healthy weight.

4. High Fiber Foods

People with hypothyroidism may have digestive difficulties, so aim for 30–40 grams of fiber daily. Not only does a high-fiber diet help with digestive health, it also improves heart health, balances blood sugar levels and supports a healthy weight by making you feel fuller. Some easy ways to increase fiber intake include eating more fresh vegetables, berries, beans, lentils and seeds.

5. Fruits and Vegetables

These are high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that are necessary for combating free-radical damage and lowering inflammation. They are nutrient-dense and should make up a large portion of a healthy diet since they support digestive health, brain function, heart health, hormone balance and a healthy weight.

6. Check your iodine

Iodine deficiency is another problem that is on the rise, due in no small part to the bad reputation we’ve given to table salt (which often has iodine added.) What many people don’t realize is that iodine is a necessary building block for the metabolism regulating hormones produced by the thyroid gland and most of the foods we eat don’t have enough of it to keep us healthy.

7. Reduce radiation Exposure

Because many types of radiation can both cause and exasperate thyroid disorders, do everything you can to minimize your exposure. Try to cut down on electronics usage such as tablets, GPS devices, and cell phones. If you have to go in for an x-ray, request a collar to shield your thyroid during the procedure. Also, be aware of your surroundings. Avoid spending too much time in the vicinity of major electrical lines and cell phone towers. Instead of plopping down in front of a television or computer after a hard day at work, consider some other relaxing behaviour like yoga, meditation, or reading a good book.