Thyroid Disease in Pregnancy

14.12.2018
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Thyroid Disease in Pregnancy

Thyroid hormone medicine for the treatment of hypothyroidism used before pregnancy should not be quitted taking by patients, and they consult with an endocrinologist, since not being normal of the mother’s thyroid hormones affects baby’s neuromotor (intelligence and neurological) development negatively. The daily iodine needs of a human are 150 micrograms. Women’s iodine needs increase during pregnancy and the postpartum period, and they need 250 micrograms per day. If this requirement cannot be met with nutrients, pregnant women should take iodine supplements. The way of taking iodine supplement varies depending on the health policies of countries. The two most important hormones produced by the body during pregnancy are human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) and estrogen, and the increase of these hormones in the body affects the levels of thyroid hormone in the blood.

Thyroid Hormone Affects Baby’s Brain Development

The thyroid gland may affect the health of the mother and the baby during pregnancy. Thyroid disorder is common among almost all women who are at childbearing age. Women need to take an adequate amount of iodine supplements before during and after pregnancy. The volume and function of thyroid will change during pregnancy. The absence of thyroid hormones of a pregnant woman adversely affects the neuromotor development of the baby. Therefore, the thyroid function of the mother should be normal. An adequate amount of iodine intake should be provided for women who want to be pregnant, are pregnant and is breastfeeding their babies. However, women should be under the supervision of their doctors in this process, since an excessive iodine intake is harmful. Women should also consult an endocrinologist because iodine intake may cause different results in the presence of thyroid disease. Since it is very important that the thyroid functions of women in childbearing age should be normal, it is recommended to check the thyroid hormones before pregnancy.

Women Who Are at Risk for Thyroid Disease

  • Patients with a history of hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, goiter, thyroid surgery,
  • Patients whose family has a history of thyroid disease (it may run in the family),
  • Patients who have symptoms of thyroid disease,
  • Type 1 (insulin-dependent diabetes) women with diabetes,
  • Patients with another autoimmune disease (rheumatic diseases, some liver diseases, some skin diseases, some respiratory diseases, etc.),
  • Patients who experienced premature birth, miscarriage, and infertility,
  • Those who applied radiation to the head and neck in previous years,
  • Patients who lived in the area that nuclear accidents occur and, in that period, as well,
  • If women in this group are planning to get pregnant, or if they are pregnant, they should consult an endocrinologist.

The thyroid is a common health problem during pregnancy. Women who have had hypothyroidism and who use thyroid hormone medication should consult with an endocrinologist immediately, if they learn that they are pregnant. They also should not quit taking these medicines. In addition, women with severe nausea and vomiting in the first weeks of pregnancy should be evaluated for thyroid functions. Thyroid disease may affect the health of mothers even after pregnancy.

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