Pregnancy and Thyroid Disease: Answering Important Questions
Pregnancy is a delicate and a crucial stage in the life of a woman. The thyroid gland is profoundly impacted by the hormonal changes during pregnancy. Women who have thyroid issues before pregnancy can face issues with fertility and sometimes miscarry. Therefore, it becomes important to handle underlying thyroid problems carefully before planning a family. Here is a list of commonly asked questions expectant mothers have on the thyroid during pregnancy.
#1 How does the expectant mother’s thyroid function impact the foetus?
For the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, the developing foetus depends entirely on the mother for supply of thyroid hormone. In the second trimester, the foetus starts producing the thyroid hormones on its own. However, it still depends on the mother for a steady supply of iodine. Any thyroid problems detected during pregnancy must be taken seriously.
#2 What causes hyperthyroidism in pregnancy?
During the first trimester, a hormone called HCG is produced in the mother’s body, which causes slight imbalance in thyroid activity and leads to morning sickness. An excess of this hormone can cause an onset of hyperthyroidism. Another cause is Graves’ disease, an autoimmune disorder. Graves’ disease is often genetically passed on and an expectant mother should get herself checked if she has a family history of thyroid problems.
#3 Are there any risks of hyperthyroidism to the mother and the unborn baby?
If untreated, hyperthyroidism can result in stillbirth. The unborn baby could also develop an abnormally fast heart rate and show symptoms of foetal hyperthyroidism. A hyperactive thyroid gland can also result in a miscarriage in the first trimester. Hyperthyroidism has also been known to induce early labour.
#4 What causes hypothyroidism in pregnancy?
Hypothyroidism is caused by Hashimoto’s disease, an autoimmune disease which commonly occurs in women of child bearing age. This thyroid disorder is often genetically passed on. Due to the sluggish and slow function of thyroid in this condition, the symptoms are often confused with general fatigue of pregnancy and quite hard to detect. Expectant mothers who have a family medical history of thyroid problems must get checked to rule out the complications that come with hypothyroidism.
#5 Are there any risks of hypothyroidism to the mother and the unborn baby?
Hypothyroidism can lead to maternal anaemia, excessive post-delivery bleeding, muscle fatigue, and in extreme cases even cause heart failure. Hypothyroidism in the mother affects the development of the unborn baby. Babies born to women with an extremely underactive thyroid function have been found to suffer from motor and mental development. In extreme cases, babies have been born with a condition called congenital hypothyroidism (no thyroid function at birth).
#6 What is postpartum thyroiditis?
A relatively uncommon condition in which a woman develops thyroid problems post-delivery. In postpartum thyroiditis, a normally functioning thyroid gland becomes inflamed within the few months following childbirth. Typical postpartum thyroiditis starts off with symptoms of hyperthyroidism including anxiety, insomnia, and rapid heartbeat which suddenly give way to symptoms of hypothyroidism such as fatigue, constipation, and depression. This thyroid problem normally goes away on its own within 8 to 12 months. In some cases, the new mother may need medical attention.
#7 Is it safe to take thyroid medication during pregnancy?
Yes, it is safe. Thyroid problems detected during pregnancy should be taken seriously and medicated immediately. Rather, it would be unsafe for both, the mother and the unborn baby, to leave the symptoms untreated. Considering the delicate nature of pregnancy, your doctor will give you the least amount of thyroid treatment medication required bring your thyroid gland to normal function.
Homeopathy and thyroid treatment
Homeopathy offers safe and side-effect free thyroid treatment for expectant mothers. Homeopathic medicine for thyroid focuses on finding the root cause of the thyroid problems and not merely tackling physical symptoms. Many mothers-to-be are hesitant to take conventional medicine, in the form of hormones, as they fear of the harm it can do to their unborn child.
Homeopathic thyroid treatment gently relieves the patient of the uncomfortable symptoms of thyroid such as irritable bowel syndrome, insomnia, hair loss, anxiety, muscle and joint pains, cold feet, excessive sweating and brittle hair and skin. Pregnancy is an important period in the life of the expectant mother and her family. Great care needs to be taken to ensure this period is a smooth and healthy experience. Adopt homeopathy for complete and holistic approach to healing thyroid complications during pregnancy.