Tags: Thyroid Disorders | pregnancy | hypothyroidism | hashimotos

Pregnancy and Hypothyroidism: What You Should Know

By    |   Friday, 04 March 2016 07:10 PM

Thyroid function is important for a healthy pregnancy. Hypothyroidism during pregnancy requires careful management to reduce health risks for mother and baby.

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located in the throat that produces hormones for controlling metabolism. The thyroid gland impacts almost every function in the body.

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When the thyroid gland cannot produce enough thyroid hormone, a condition called hypothyroidism results. According to Endocrine Web, some symptoms of hypothyroidism such as extreme fatigue and weight gain can easily be confused with the symptoms caused by normal hormonal changes during pregnancy.

Fit Pregnancy says that, during the first trimester, a fetus’ development is dependent on receiving thyroid hormone from the mother, so the thyroid must work even harder. “The body has to produce about 50 percent more thyroid hormone during pregnancy,” Endocrinologist Alex Stagnaro-Green said, according to Fit Pregnancy.

While most women’s thyroids can handle the increased demands, about 15 percent of women are affected by hypothyroidism during pregnancy.

Hypothyroidism during pregnancy is most often caused by an autoimmune disorder called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, says the American Thyroid Association, which added that pregnant women with severe untreated hypothyroidism have an increased risk of developing pre-eclampsia, a condition marked by a sudden and sharp increase in blood pressure. These women can also develop congestive heart failure, anemia, and postpartum bleeding.

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The American Thyroid Association goes on to say that because adequate levels of thyroid hormone are essential for fetal brain development, untreated hypothyroidism can cause a host of cognitive, developmental, and neurological disorders. Babies born to hypothyroid mothers are at increased risk for low birth weight.

During pregnancy, hypothyroidism is safely treated with the synthetic hormone levothyroxine which mimics a key hormone normally produced by the thyroid gland, says Endocrine Web. It is also important to work closely with your healthcare team to closely monitor and balance hormone levels during pregnancy.

Women who have known, pre-existing hypothyroidism due to Hashimoto’s thyroiditis or other causes should seek the advice of their physicians before becoming pregnant.

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Thyroid function is important for a healthy pregnancy. Hypothyroidism during pregnancy requires careful management to reduce health risks for mother and baby.
pregnancy, hypothyroidism, hashimotos
Friday, 04 March 2016 07:10 PM
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