Thyroid dysfunction is an issue that affects many pregnant women. Hyperthyroidism, while not as common as hypothyroidism, affects .2% of pregnancies. Hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid is overactive, and can lead to increased heart rate, feeling hot, shaky hands, weight loss, trouble sleeping, and anxiety. Hyperthyroidism can also affect your pregnancy, so here’s some advice for moms-to-be.
Most women are diagnosed with hyperthyroidism before pregnancy, but in some cases it can develop during pregnancy. Your body’s hormones are going through many changes during pregnancy, so it’s not so atypical to develop a thyroid problem. Hyperthyroidism in particular is typically caused by Grave’s disease, which is when an overactive immune system attacks the thyroid.
Some women who are expecting twins or experiencing severe nausea & vomiting could develop a temporary hypothyroid condition called transient gestational thyrotoxicosis. This normally resolves itself within 14 to 18 weeks of pregnancy without any medication.
If left untreated, hyperthyroidism can lead to pregnancy complications for both mom and baby. Most women with hyperthyroidism that are maintaining healthy thyroid levels have a healthy pregnancy with no issues. So it’s imperative that you monitor your thyroid levels throughout your pregnancy for you and your baby’s safety. If left untreated, hyperthyroidism can lead to high blood pressure in mom and also birth complications for baby such as miscarriage, premature birth, and/or underweight baby.
Understanding how your thyroid affects your baby’s health is critical in reducing these risks. Always consult with your medical provider if you have had thyroid issues in the past and are planning to become pregnant. There’s a wealth of information available online that can help you learn more about thyroid issues during pregnancy. By joining an online support group for pregnant women, you can gain access to critical information that will help you maintain a healthy and stress-free pregnancy.