How to deal with thyroid during pregnancy

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How to deal with thyroid during pregnancy

How to deal with thyroid during pregnancy

Thyroid and Pregnancy
How to deal with thyroid during pregnancy

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Hypothyroidism

How to deal with thyroid during pregnancy

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How to deal with thyroid during pregnancy

When you are pregnant, your first concern is always about your unborn baby’s safety. But it is also very important that you take care of your overall health, and that also includes your thyroid levels. When you are healthy, you will be able to give the best care to your baby from right now, even before birth.

What to do if you are pregnant and already have the condition

The thyroid hormones are very important for your unborn baby’s development, especially in the first 3 months. It is extremely important that you and your doctor together monitor your thyroid hormone levels on a regular basis.

If you have hypothyroidism, your doctor may put you on thyroid medication – which is similar to the natural thyroid hormone that the body may be under-producing due to an under-active gland. If you have hyperthyroidism, your doctor may prescribe an anti-thyroid medication that will block the over-production of thyroid hormones.

Along with the medication, your doctor will also regularly monitor your thyroid levels regularly.

Why it is important to continue the medication

If you have hypothyroidism in pregnancy, it is important for both you and your unborn baby that you continue taking your thyroid medication. Once you speak with your doctor, they will put you on a dosage that is best suited for you in this stage. In fact, you may even need a higher dosage of the same when you are pregnant, so that your body is able to keep up with the increase in the demand. Discussing with your doctor and working together on this will help you both find the right dosage that works for you.

Keep these in mind

If you are worried about taking medicines during pregnancy, keep these in mind:

  • Talk to your doctor about any and every medicine that you take, even those that are not related to thyroid.
  • Ask your doctor about every worry and concern that you have. Don’t try to find information yourself or decide on your dosage.
  • If you feel any discomfort or problem, no matter how small, such as even a small change in your bowel movement, inform your doctor.

How to make sure your medications will not interact with each other

  • Follow your medication dosage closely as your doctor has prescribed. Do not increase or decrease the dosage or make any changes unless your doctor specifically tells you to.
  • The dosage that works for you may not be the same as another woman who is pregnant and is on thyroid medication, so do not compare.
  • If you miss a dosage, do not substitute by taking a double dosage the next time. Check about this with your doctor first and proceed accordingly.
  • Do not change the brand without consulting your doctor as it might affect your TSH control.
  • Other medications, even the ‘over the counter’ ones can react with your thyroid medication. To be safe, do not take any medication without asking your doctor, even if it is an OTC drug that you can get without a prescription.
  • If you know of any allergies you have, such as lactose intolerance, mention it to your doctor. Some people can react to the fillers or ingredients in the medication.
  • Some foods and supplements are known to react with thyroid medicines. Check with your doctor about eating soy products, walnuts, iron supplements, multivitamins that have iron, antacids, magnesium supplements. If you need to have them, check with your doctor about the right dosage and time of day to have it, so that they will not interact with your medicine.  

Do not self-medicate

Even the slightest change in dosage can have major side effects for both you and your unborn baby. It is very important that you take your thyroid medicines seriously and do exactly as your doctor says.

Thyroid conditions are getting increasingly common and everyday a lot of women are managing the condition while leading an otherwise healthy life. With proper care and attention, your pregnancy can be a healthy and blissful time.

 

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"When you are healthy, you will be able to give the best care to your baby from right now, even before birth."

References

  1. Alexander EK et al. Guidelines of the American Thyroid Association for the Diagnosis and Management of Thyroid Disease during Pregnancy and the Postpartum. Thyroid. 2017 Mar;27(3):315-389.
  2. Garber et al. ATA/AACE Clinical Practice Guidelines for hypothyroidism in adults. Endoc pract. 2012;18(6):988-1028