What is hypothyroidism? It is a condition that results due to under-active thyroid gland and has a possibility of occurring during pregnancy. It is not easy to notice that you have hypothyroidism especially when one is pregnant. This is because the condition exhibits the same symptoms like the ones for pregnancy. For instance, fatigue, abnormal menstruation and weight gain are some of the few symptoms that are depicted due to this condition. In most cases, the disease is left undetected and untreated. If a doctor does not diagnose a patient earlier enough, the hypothyroidism in pregnancy is likely to increase with age.
As earlier said, this condition is common and it is seldom detected if the symptoms are mild. Under activeness of the thyroid gland leads to the production of insufficient amount of thyroid hormones in the body. Hypothyroidism in pregnancy has symptoms that are subtle and gradual. Doctors say that it is easy to confuse these symptoms with the ones for pregnancy and depression.
However, not every person will experience the same symptoms. The symptoms can differ depending on age, genes and the blood type. The following are some of the symptoms of hypothyroidism during pregnancy.
- Hoarse voice and slow speech
- Puffy swollen face with droopy eyelids
- Weight gain
- Muscle cramps
- Slow pulse
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
How Hypothyroidism Affects The Fetus?
Normally it is obvious that the first few months of pregnancy the fetus will depend on the mother for food, excretion and provision of essential hormones. One of the most important hormones is the thyroid hormone. The thyroid hormone plays a major role in normal brain and growth of the fetus. If the fetus is deprived of the thyroid hormone due to the mother having hypothyroidism can cause greater effects on the fetus growth.
In order to know if you have hypothyroidism in pregnancy it must be screened. This will involve the blood test that will determine your thyroid and serum levels in the body. The doctors normally start suspecting presence of hypothyroidism in pregnancy when the TSH (serum) levels are above the normal and a drastic drop of the thyroid hormone.
When Should One Undergo Thyroid Function Screening?
The answer to this is still under discussion. Doctor’s debate that there should be a routine screening for thyroid conditions while some medical experts recommend screening only if there is clinical suspicion that the patient is likely suffering from the condition. However, it is important to check the level of thyroids thought the course of a pregnancy.
Lastly, hypothyroidism in pregnancy can be treated. Once the conditioned has been identified and diagnosed, doctors use the thyroid hormone replacement therapy to treat the patient. Additionally, the patient will be given a dosage based on his or her thyroid hormone levels. This kind of treatment is safe for the fetus and the mother. After the baby is born, a routine screening should be carried out to test for thyroid hormone levels. This is for best of the mother and future pregnancies.