When thinking about thyroid problems and pregnancy you should know that this is a gland located in your neck, in front of the windpipe that has the shape of a butterfly.
Although you usually don’t even realize that it’s there, it has a huge role to play in your health.
Information about pregnancy and thyroid problems
This is the gland that produces hormones that influence your heart rate, metabolism and other aspects of your life. In some cases the gland produces too much or low hormone levels and so the body can’t function normally. Hyperthyroidism is the case when the hormone levels are too high.
On the other hand, when it comes to thyroid problems during pregnancy, hypothyroidism is the situation where the hormone levels are too low. There are about 8 million women affected who don’t even know that they have a problem. In some cases the problems begin even before pregnancy.
Sometimes in case of thyroid problems and pregnancy, pregnancy is the first time when the problem appears. If it is left untreated it might threaten both the mother and the baby. The mothers may be affected by preeclampsia or other complications.
In case of the babies, the thyroid problems when being pregnant can result in preterm birth, thyroid disorder, decreased mental abilities or even death. However, if the mother is properly treated, there is no reason for her not to have an entirely healthy baby.
What you could do about the thyroid problems and pregnancy
If you think that you have a problem, you have to talk about it with your health care provider. If you started your treatment even before you got pregnant, you should continue taking your medications. This is because the majority of these medications are safe for the baby.
However you have to make sure that if you are affected by thyroid problems while being pregnant you will not take radioactive iodine that is used to treat hyperthyroidism. Your doctor will have to monitor your blood levels and the dosage of the medications might have to be adjusted as the pregnancy progresses.
You have to remember regarding thyroid problems and pregnancy that the doctors don’t always perform a thyroid screening for the pregnant women or for the women who are planning on becoming pregnant. If you think that you have a problem, you have to mention it to your doctor and get tested.
The symptoms of this thyroid problem during pregnancy include nervousness, irritability, anxiety, rapid weight loss, fast heartbeat, shaking hands, sweating, heat sensitivity, frequent bowel movements, fatigue, changed menstrual patterns, problems with sleeping and muscle weakness.
In case of hypothyroidism you can expect weight gain, constipation, dry skin, sensitivity to cold, hoarseness, depression, heavy menstrual periods, and joint and muscle aches.
It is common to encounter thyroid problems and pregnancy. You shouldn’t get scared by it, but it is important to take some action to make sure that everything will be alright with the baby and with you as well.