Hypothyroidism in Pregnancy

Topics: Hypothyroidism, Thyroid hormone, Hyperthyroidism Pages: 3 (918 words) Published: February 12, 2014

Hypothyroidism during pregnancy is very dangerous for both mother and unborn child. There are several complications that the fetus can develop if left untreated. Many times hypothyroidism goes undiagnosed due to its symptoms similarity to pregnancy. Thyroid hormones play a crucial role in pregnancy for fetus brain and developmental growth as well as the mother’s health. With the right medical management hypothyroidism during pregnancy can prevent fetal birth defects by mandated prescreening before, during, after pregnancy, educating women about medical treatment, medication and diet requirements and restrictions.

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”—Benjamin Franklin. Hypothyroidism during pregnancy is often overlooked. Woman with thyroid problems are asymptomatic and not routinely screened even during and after pregnancy. Thyroid hormone plays a critical role during pregnancy both in the development of a healthy baby and maintaining the health of the mother. With proper management, hypothyroidism, subclinical hypothyroidism and postpartum thyroiditis during pregnancy can prevent fetal birth defects and health complications to the mother by mandatory screening, education, diet, and medication treatment. ​Health care providers diagnose hypothyroidism in pregnancy through a careful review of symptoms and blood serum measurement of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) and free thyroxine (FT4) levels. Symptoms of hypothyroidism in pregnancy include extreme fatigue, cold tolerance, muscle cramps, constipation, depression, mood swings and problems with memory or concentration. High levels of the TSH and low levels of the free T4 generally indicate hypothyroidism. Because of normal pregnancy related changes in the thyroid function, test results must be interpreted with caution. The TSH test can also identify subclinical hypothyroidism, which is a mild form of hypothyroidism that has no apparent symptoms and is permanent even...
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