After giving birth it is normal for women to feel tired, to have mood swings or other kinds of symptoms. In case these symptoms become bothersome, we may be referring to postpartum thyroiditis, also known as PPT. Although you may have never heard about it, it is more common than you might think.
What is thyroiditis that is postpartum?
Just as the name suggests, the condition actually refers to an inflammation of the thyroid that starts during the first year after giving birth, induced abortion or miscarriage. Specialists say that it is a kind of autoimmune thyroiditis and it is also called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
Women at risk
When it comes to thyroiditis that is postpartum you should know that any woman could be at risk because the condition is quite common. It is said that about 7% of all women have the condition. Nonetheless there are some risk factors that could increase the chance of women being affected.
In case of women with diabetes they have about 25% chances of developing postpartum thyroiditis. Also women with elevated antithyroid antibodies have about the same chance of being affected. Women who have a high level of anti-peroxidase antibodies have even higher chances of getting the condition, of about 50%.
It may seem natural regarding thyroiditis that is postpartum for it to be more common in case of the women who have already been affected by it previously. This is true in many other conditions as well related to pregnancy or childbirth.
Can you prevent the condition?
According to official information regarding postpartum thyroiditis, taking selenium supplements could reduce your chances of being affected. This substance could reduce the inflammatory activity in case of women who have autoimmune hypothyroiditism and also in women with thyroid peroxidase antibodies.
Should you take selenium?
Before you do anything regarding thyroiditis that is postpartum, you should talk to your doctor. You shouldn’t take any kinds of supplements before talking to him or her. Your health care provider is able to assess your health condition and he or she can tell you whether you need selenium supplements.
Course of the condition
The typical course of postpartum thyroiditis start with hypothyroidism which begins 2-6 months after giving birth, but then things go back to normal. Another common symptom is having hyperthyroidism that could start 1-4 months after childbirth, but just as in the previous case, this also normalizes.
In some cases of thyroiditis that is postpartum, hyperthyroidism could last from 2-8 weeks. Then the condition turns into hypothyroidism for a few weeks or months and after this things will go back to normal, just as in the previous case. In the majority of the cases the condition resolves in time.
Nonetheless sometimes in case of postpartum thyroiditis there is a risk of a prolonged condition. It is said that about half of the patients with this condition develop goiter or persistent hypothyroidism, but it is also possible to have them both.
There are some symptoms of thyroiditis that is postpartum which can develop both in case of hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. These include decreased milk volume in case of women who opt for breastfeeding, fatigue, hair loss, depression, mood swings and painless goiter, meaning an enlargement of the thyroid gland.
If you have postpartum thyroiditis, during the hyperthyroid phase the symptoms could include muscle weakness, anxiety, heart palpitations, irritability, weight loss, tremor and also diarrhea.
The symptoms of the hypothyroid phase include sluggishness, difficulty with losing weight, dry skin, constipation, puffiness at the face, eyes and hands and also low body temperature. You should prepare for these symptoms.