Thyroid disease or hypothyroidism is quite prevalent among women who are still of child-bearing age. Hypothyroidism may be the source of several problems during pregnancy. According to estimates, around 2.5% of women who are pregnant have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism. Depending on the country and the kind of population, the frequency may have variations. While child bearing is a natural part of womanhood, it is important to realize that hypothyroidism during pregnancy is a condition that warrants continual medical monitoring. Thyroid disorders can significantly affect both the child and the mother. Immediate action is important if the condition is diagnosed, as it can lead to a variety of symptoms and challenges.
Effects of Hypothyroidism on Pregnancy
For so many years, physicians have linked hypothyroidism to that of pregnancy. Likewise, hypothyroidism has been associated with the inhibited or delayed development of the child upon birth. Cases of hypothyroidism were prevalent in mothers who came from communities that are identified as iodine deficient. Iodine is very important because it helps the thyroid gland to produce sufficient amounts of thyroid hormone for the body. Additionally, hypothyroidism during pregnancy is also linked to women diagnosed with an autoimmune thyroid disease like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
Studies show that a woman’s thyroid levels are related to the rate of brain development of the child. Specifically, research suggests that untreated, undetected or insufficiently addressed cases of hypothyroidism among pregnant women pose considerable concerns regarding the IQ development of the infant. Infants with birth mothers diagnosed with hypothyroidism generally have IQ scores that are four points lower than children who were carried normally or with mothers without hypothyroidism. Deficits in IQ scores were larger for infants with mothers diagnosed with more severe cases of hypothyroidism. The IQ score deficit can reach up to 7 points lower than the average. Such research results only highlight the importance of addressing hypothyroidism during pregnancy. It’s important to note that the more severe the case of hypothyroidism the greater the impact on the mental development of the child.
Treatment of Hypothyroidism During Pregnancy
Treatment procedures for cases of hypothyroidism during pregnancy can be comparatively considered as more straightforward than other cases that are non-pregnancy related. In order to make up for the missing hormone, a synthetic type of hormone called T4 is administered. In order to maintain the blood level, the dose of medication needs constant adjustment depending on the condition of the body. Basically, the main goal is to make sure that the level of thyroid hormone is sufficient and any missing hormone is replaced with the T4. In this case, it is very important to monitor the blood levels of the patient in order to determine whether the amount of T4 medication should be adjusted or not. It’s important to consult a physician on proper hypothyroidism treatment to make sure that it is appropriate for pregnancy.
Tips on Avoiding Hypothyroidism In Pregnancy
In order to avoid complications regarding hypothyroidism during pregnancy, it’s best to go through a type of screening. This screening can help assess the current condition of the mother to see whether they are prone to developing hypothyroidism. Likewise, women with a history of thyroid disease in their family should be tested immediately. It’s best to get treated earlier or to know how prone one is to avoid further complications during pregnancy. Medical researchers have also noted the benefits of getting selenium supplementation to prevent any development of the disease. If the person is still within conception stages then having a diet high with iodine should also be helpful. It’s important to maintain a healthy body to support a good pregnancy.
Preventative measures should also be considered before becoming pregnant. If you struggle with hypothyroid symptoms such as excessive coldness, fatigue, depression, constipation, or hair thinning, then first attempt to improve these symptoms before getting pregnant.