Hypothyroidism and Pregnancy
Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid hormone produces inadequate thyroid hormone. This disorder is common in women of child bearing age. Many symptoms of this condition is smilar to pregnancy symptoms . Uncontrolled hypothyroidism in pregnancy women may cause complications in both the mother and baby. Routine screening for hypothyroidism during pregnancy is not recommended. However women with a history of hypothyroidism, showing symptoms of the condition or related conditions such as diabetes should be screened.
What are the symptoms of hypothyroidism ?
This condition can go undected especially if symptoms are mild. Some of the symptoms include the following :
- weight gain
- slow heart beat
- joint pains
- swelling in the face
- lack of concentration
What is the effect of hypothyroidism on my pregnancy or baby?
The fetus relies on the mothers thyroids hormones during the first few months of pregnancy. Thyroid hormones are crucial for normal development of the brain as well as growth of the fetus. It can also lead to congnitive problems in babies.
Other ways this condition may affect pregnancy include the following :
- preterm birth
- low birth weight
- still birth
How is thyroid function tested ?
A blood test is done to measure the thyroid hormone (thyroxine, or T4) and serum TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) levels. Hypothyroidism is suspected when TSH levels are above normal and T4 levels are below .
How is hypothyroidism treated during pregnancy ?
During pregnancy, the mother is treated with a thyroid hormone replacement therapy. The dosage depends on the individual thyroid hormone levels. During pregnancy, thyroid hormone levels may change and cause dosage of the thyroid hormone replacement therapy to also change. This treatment is safe for both mother and baby. All newborns are routinely screened fot thyroid hormone levels.
(Thyroid Deficiency During Pregnancy). Medicine.net. http://www.medicinenet.com/hypothyroidism_during_pregnancy/article.htm. Accessed March 12, 2015.
Hypothyroidism and pregnancy. John Hospkins Medicine. http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/conditions/endocrinology/hypothyroidism_and_pregnancy_85,P00426/. Accessed March 12, 2015
Hypothyroidism during pregnancy. Pregnancy Corner. http://www.pregnancycorner.com/being-pregnant/hypothyroidism-during-pregnancy.html. Accessed March 12,, 2015.