The Thyroid is a disorder that affects the thyroid gland. Sometimes the body produces too much or too little thyroid hormone this is due to the way the body uses energy and affect nearly every organ in the body. The increase in thyroid hormone is called hyperthyroidism and can cause many of the body’s functions to speed up. Decrease in thyroid hormone is called hypothyroidism can cause many of the body’s functions to slow down. Thyroid hormone plays an important role during pregnancy. It is very important to protect their fetuses from thyroid problems by learning and keeping thyroid function testing with proper medications.
[ Hindi version ]
Thyroid is a 2 inch butterfly shaped gland that weights less than 1 ounce. It is located in the front of the neck that is below the larynx, or voice box. It has two lobes, one on either side of the windpipe. It is one of the glands that make up the endocrine system and it can produce, store, and release hormones into the bloodstream. The hormone can travel through the body and direct the activity of the body’s cells.
The thyroid gland’s production of thyroid hormones is Triiodothyronine T3 and Thyroxine T4 is regulated by TSH, which is made by the pituitary gland. Thyroid hormones affect brain development, heart, body temperature, skin dryness, weight, metabolism, breathing, nervous system, muscle strength, menstrual cycles, and cholesterol levels. The pituitary releases more TSH when thyroid hormone levels in the blood are low. The pituitary responds by decreasing TSH production, when thyroid hormone levels are high.
Thyroid function during pregnancy
The two pregnancy hormones that are human chorionic gonadotropin and estrogen can cause increased thyroid hormone levels in the blood. HCG is similar to TSH and mildly stimulates the thyroid to produce more thyroid hormone. The increase in estrogen can produce higher levels of thyroid binding globulin that are known as thyroxine binding globulin, a protein that transports thyroid hormone in the blood. These hormonal changes make thyroid function tests during pregnancy difficult to interpret. Thyroid hormone is critical to normal development of the baby’s brain and nervous system. The fetus depends on the mother’s supply of thyroid hormone, which comes through the placenta during the first trimester. The baby’s thyroid begins to function on its own at around 12 weeks. The thyroid enlarges slightly in healthy women during pregnancy, but not enough to detect by a physical exam. You can notice enlarged thyroid that can be a sign of thyroid disease. This problem can be difficult to diagnose in pregnancy due to higher levels of thyroid hormone in the blood, increased thyroid size, fatigue and other thyroid disorders.
The thyroid gland is a small gland in front of the neck that controls the body’s metabolism. The thyroid gland produces hormones which regulate how the cells use energy.
Thyroid disease happens when your immune system attacks and destroys cells in the thyroid gland. This results in production of either too many hormones (hyperthyroidism) or in production of too few hormones (hypothyroidism). Some women develop thyroid problems before they become pregnant, while others experience them for the first time during pregnancy.
Hypothyroidism and Pregnancy
The fetus in the mother’s womb relies on the thyroid hormones of the mother during the first few months of pregnancy. Thyroid hormones play a vital role in the development of the brain.
In the mother deprives the fetus from proper development. Studies have found that babies born of such mothers have a very low IQ and may have some impaired mental or physical development… Proper treatment of mothers with hypothyroidism for increasing the production of thyroid hormones can result to healthy and normal babies. Hormone replacement pills are given to boost the level of thyroid hormone in the blood
Chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis (CLT)
This a condition in which the immune system attacks the thyroid gland and decreases the function of the thyroid. Stillbirths and miscarriage are noted in women suffering from CLT.
In the recent years tests are conducted for thyroid functions during the early part of pregnancy. Early diagnosis and treatment of hypothyroidism can prevent its harmful effect on the fetus is
Symptoms of hypothyroidism during pregnancy
Symptoms of hypothyroidism like tiredness and weight gain can be easily confused with normal symptoms of pregnancy. Other symptoms include constipation, muscle cramps, difficulty in concentrating and sensitivity to cold temperatures.
Hyperthyroidism and pregnancy
Healthy thyroid glands function normally during pregnancy. Hyperthyroidism, if uncontrolled has many harmful effects during pregnancy. It may lead to pre-term delivery or low birth weight baby. Hyperthyroidism increases the blood pressure during pregnancy. A severe form of hyperthyroidism can complicate pregnancy. A pregnant woman suffering from this disease must be under constant care of the physician.
How to manage hyperthyroidism during pregnancy
Hyperthyroidism is treated differently in different persons. The aim is to maintain a normal level of thyroid hormone. There needs to be regular monitoring of the thyroid levels all through the pregnancy period. Anti-thyroid drugs that do not affect the fetus can be taken on medical advice. Surgery can be conducted to remove the overactive nodule of the thyroid.
It is recommended that anti-thyroid medicines which may lead to birth defects should be stopped in the first trimester and switched to PTU treatment. The main medicine can be started back in the in the beginning of the second trimester.
Women with hyperthyroidism can go through a healthy pregnancy by getting early prenatal care and keeping in touch with healthcare providers in the management of their disease. Thyroid conditions that are left untreated, can cause problems, but proper care and treatment can help women to have healthy pregnancies and healthy babies.
Most medicines that are used to treat thyroid problems are safe to be taken during pregnancy. But it is quite important to have a note on which one is safe and which one is not. You must also go for the expert advice. There are many people who are very keen about well diagnosis of thyroid. During the pregnancy period, it will be really important. You should not take a single chance where there is a question about dealing with the pregnant lady. Thorough check up regularly will be really important.
Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism
Symptoms of hyperthyroidism are also same as those of normal pregnancy, like increased heart rate, fatigue and sensitivity to hot temperatures. Other symptoms of hyperthyroidism include nervousness, irregular heartbeat, nausea and vomiting, trouble in sleeping and weight loss.
Conclusion -Thyroid disease in pregnancy
This can affect the health of the mother as well as the child before and after delivery. Untreated thyroid functions in pregnancy can have an adverse effect on the fetus and the wellbeing of the mother. This can also have an extended effect after pregnancy and affect the development of the brain in the early life of the child. Pregnancy calls for higher demand for thyroid hormones.
[ Hindi version ]