Hypothyroidism During Pregnancy? Find Out How Essential It Is to Diagnose It Early?


Checking thyroid levels is important for pregnant women. In particular, if you have risk factors such as a personal or family history of thyroid disease, if you are positive for TPO antibodies early on, if you have other autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes, if you are older than 30 years, if you have infertility etc. is especially important if

Diagnosis of hypothyroidism is based on elevated TSH levels with normal or low thyroid hormones.

Thyroid hormones (T3 and T4) are produced by the thyroid gland, a butterfly-shaped gland located at the front of the neck. Synthesis of thyroid hormones is controlled by TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) produced by the pituitary gland (master gland). Diagnosis of hypothyroidism is based on elevated TSH levels with normal or low thyroid hormones. Inadequate thyroid hormone production is called hypothyroidism.

Diagnosing hypothyroidism during pregnancy is a difficult task, especially in the first trimester. The pregnancy hormone, human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), mimics TSH and rises during the first trimester of pregnancy, lowering TSH levels and causing problems. But it will settle by the end of the first semester.

“In normal pregnancy, increased estrogen hormone levels lead to elevated thyroid hormone levels (T3 & T4). There is a normal range,” said consultant A Sharda, an endocrinologist and diabetologist at Manipal Hospital Miller’s Road. Given normal hormonal fluctuations, it is important to use trimester-specific ranges for T4 and TSH summation. Diagnosing the condition is no longer difficult when diagnosis is based on semester-specific ranges.

Diagnostic and therapeutic methods

Diagnosis of hypothyroidism is based on measurement of thyroid hormone T4 and TSH levels. If her TSH level in early pregnancy is 2.5 mIU/L or less, it is considered normal. However, if T4 levels are low or normal and he has TSH >10 mIU/L, he has hypothyroidism.

If the TSH level is between 2.5 and 10, it is called subclinical hypothyroidism. “Asymptomatic hypothyroidism has no obvious symptoms. In this situation, thyroid peroxidase antibodies (TPO) are checked and if they are positive, TSH levels between 4 and 10 require treatment. TSH levels between 2.5 and 4 can be observed by checking at 2 to 4 weeks, which overlap with symptoms of pregnancy when based solely on hypothyroid symptoms such as constipation, fatigue and sleepiness. Because of the potential, we may miss a diagnosis,” adds Dr. Sharda.

Treatment for hypothyroidism is levothyroxine, a synthetic form of the thyroid hormone T4. This tablet should be taken orally on an empty stomach. There should be a 45-minute interval before consuming any other food or drink. Calcium and iron supplements are commonly given during pregnancy. They should be taken at least 4-6 hours after taking them, as they interfere with the absorption of thyroid drugs.

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Is it essential to diagnose hypothyroidism early in pregnancy?

Thyroid hormones are important for the development of the baby, especially the development of the brain and neuromuscular system, so it is important to treat hypothyroidism early in pregnancy. “Severe hypothyroidism can lead to complications for both mother and baby, including pre-eclampsia, maternal anemia, congestive heart failure, postpartum hemorrhage, miscarriage, premature birth, and poor development of the baby. ‘ said Dr. Sharda.

Checking thyroid levels is important for pregnant women. In particular, if you have risk factors such as a personal or family history of thyroid disease, if you are positive for TPO antibodies early on, if you have other autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes, if you are older than 30 years, if you have infertility etc. is especially important if These simple measures can go a long way in ensuring a healthy baby and mother, even if you have hypothyroidism.

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