Your ultimate thyroid check-list for every trimester of your pregnancy
Congratulations on your pregnancy! Now that you know that you are pregnant, you are probably already trying to find out about everything that you can do to make this a healthy and safe time for your unborn baby and you.
One thing that is very important for both of you is to get the required care for any thyroid disorder you may have.
Things from an earlier pregnancy you need to mention
A thyroid disorder can happen at any time, and if you have had it in the past, but feel you don’t have it anymore, you still need to mention about it to your doctor. This will help them do the necessary tests and also regularly monitor you. Also, if you have suffered a miscarriage or had a preterm delivery in the past, do mention it to your doctor.
Why your family medical history may be important
Your family’s medical history is very important as it will help your doctor decide what additional tests you may require. If there have been cases of thyroid or any autoimmune disease in your family, make sure to definitely tell your doctor about it.
If there is a history of diabetes in your family, it is important to mention it to your doctor.
Did you have any radiation treatment or thyroid surgery in the past?
Taking radiation therapy, especially in the head or neck, can also have some effect on the thyroid gland. If you have ever had radiation therapy, do mention it to your doctor.
Also, if you had a thyroid surgery in the past, it can have an effect on your current pregnancy. Your doctor may go for some additional tests or take a different approach to treatment if this is the case.
Watch out for any neck swelling
Goiter is a condition in which your thyroid gland becomes swollen. This could be due to an underlying thyroid disorder. Watch out for any signs of that and bring it to your doctor’s notice too.
Any current thyroid treatment that you are on
If you are taking thyroid medication, which is a thyroid hormone drug, it is important that you mention this to your doctor the moment you find out that you are pregnant. The doctor may change your dosage for thyroid medication during pregnancy.
The other changes that happen in your body during pregnancy
During pregnancy, your body will be going through a lot of changes. These will be hormonal changes as well as others that can have an impact on the way your thyroid gland functions. You may also notice other signs and symptoms, such as feeling excessively tired, confused, forgetful, being constipated or feeling muscle cramps. While you may think these are normal during pregnancy, these could also point to a thyroid condition.
According to a few medical reports, almost 14 to 44 percent women who are pregnant may have hypothyroidism.
Why it is important to test and treat thyroid disorders during pregnancy
If you have undiagnosed or untreated hypothyroidism when you are pregnant, it could lead to further complications such as changes in your blood pressure levels, anemia, premature birth and low birth weight of the baby. In more serious cases, it could also lead to miscarriage or problems in the baby’s brain development or overall growth.
Whether you are planning to start a family or have just found out that you have conceived, do check with your doctor and get yourself tested for thyroid disorders. This will help you to start any required treatment at the earliest and keep your baby and you, safe and healthy.