Is It Safe To Take Thyroid Medicines During Pregnancy?

thyroid medication during pregnancy

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Thyroid problem is more of a disorder than a disease, and it is known to affect the thyroid gland that produces thyroid hormone.

These hormones play a major role in the regulation of metabolism and control the usage of energy by the body. Thus, its production affects each and every organ present in the human body. 1

Types Of Thyroid:

Excess production of thyroid hormone causes a condition known as hyperthyroidism. This condition instigates the body organs to function faster.

On the other hand, less production of thyroid hormone leads to a condition known as hypothyroidism. This subsequently slows down the functioning of the body. 1

Thus, the thyroid hormone is very important for the health and development of you and your baby. If you are suffering from thyroid, you can conceive and deliver a healthy baby with prior medication and precautions.1

[ Read: Listeriosis In Pregnancy ]

Thyroid And Pregnancy Related Facts:

Thyroid problem can affect anyone. Here are some common facts:

  • Even if you never had a thyroid disorder before pregnancy, your doctor will still advise you to get a TSH test done because it can surface anytime, mostly in the first trimester of the pregnancy and later on in the latter part of the last trimester.
  • Most of the pregnant women have trouble due to thyroid disorder during these pregnancy periods. 3
  • It is very important to treat the thyroid disorder during pregnancy as low thyroid levels can affect the health of your baby.
  • The right balance of these hormones is highly important for the proper development of your baby, especially the brain.
  • Low thyroid hormone levels while you are pregnant can lead to mental retardation and related problems in the newborn. 3
  • To ensure that you do not have any type of thyroid disorder, it is advisable to do the TSH test in the early days of your pregnancy.
  • You must follow this advice religiously if you are already diagnosed with thyroid disease.
  • Depending upon the changing thyroid hormone levels during pregnancy, the doctor can adjust the medication that you have been taking. 3
  • Regular check-up is very important to avoid any serious consequences.

[ Read: Acetaminophen During Pregnancy ]

Treating Thyroid During Pregnancy:

Is thyroid medication safe during pregnancy? If you have already been diagnosed with hypo or hyperthyroidism prior to your pregnancy:

  • You need to take your medications regularly.
  • Keep a regular follow up on the levels of thyroid hormone.
  • Do this through the tests and check up with your caregiver.

Symptoms Of Hyperthyroidism:

The common symptoms include:

a. Hyperthyroidism:

  • Persistent vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Palpitations

b. Hypothyroidism:

  • Dull facial expressions
  • Fatigue
  • Slow speech
  • Droopy eyelids
  • Puffy and swollen face
  • Weight gain
  • Constipation
  • Sparse, coarse, and dry hair
  • Muscle cramps

[ Read: Medicine For Cold During Pregnancy ]

How Does Hypo And Hyperthyroid Affect Pregnancy?

While you are pregnant, you need to be especially careful of your thyroid levels. Here are some affects thyroid causes:

  • In the absence of proper treatment, thyroid disorder during pregnancy can cause preeclampsia, low birth weight, premature birth and miscarriage problem.
  • This makes consultation with the caregiver very important if you are suffering from a thyroid problem prior to pregnancy and even after conceiving.
  • It is very important that the body should produce around 50 percent of thyroid hormone during pregnancy to ensure proper development of the fetus.
  • In case the body fails to produce sufficient amount of thyroid hormone, it can lead to birth of babies with lower IQs.

[ Read: Betnesol Injection During Pregnancy ]

Taking Thyroid Medication During Pregnancy:

It is very important that you should continue taking medication all through your pregnancy or as advised by your caregiver.

  • According to the clinical guidelines published by the American Thyroid Association in 2011, women who have been taking levothyroxine prior to pregnancy to treat thyroid disorders should increase the amount of dosage the moment they come to know about their pregnancy.
  • The level of dosage should be decided by consulting your caregiver.
  • Since the drugs prescribed for thyroid disorder are category A drugs, they are the safest thyroid medication during pregnancy around and can be taken without any apprehensions. 3
  • Of course you need to check on the same with your caregiver first.

As the symptoms of thyroid can be confused with symptoms of pregnancy too, it is important you talk to your medical care giver and do the mandatory tests to check whether you have thyroid or not.

In case you too have suffered from thyroid during pregnancy, do share your tips and experiences for all the other mommies to benefit from.

References : 1 , 2

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