Experiencing a hyperactive thyroid in pregnancy is what most expectant mothers undergo. Through this article let us discuss the relation between a hyperactive thyroid and pregnancy…
A number of hormones are released by the body, during the entire term of pregnancy. This is caused due to over-activity of the thyroid gland and is also a common glandular condition that may affect pregnant women. The thyroid gland secretes hormones on receiving instructions from the pituitary gland through the thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). The hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) are secreted and perform vital functions like maintaining the overall health of the body, facilitate metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins and take care of the development of the organs.
At times, the thyroid gland may over perform due to some abnormality in the body. During this phase, the thyroid may over function and lead to the production of hormones, which may be above normal levels. This condition is referred to as overactive thyroid, and the hyperactivity of the gland produces a condition called hyperthyroidism, where hormones are produced more than required. If a woman is having extremely high levels of thyroid in her body, then she may find it difficult to conceive. A hyperactive thyroid is quite common during pregnancy.
Effects of Hyperactivity of the Thyroid Gland
A hyperactive thyroid during pregnancy can lead to a number of changes in the body, of both the mother and child. If the level of hormones is not controlled, then it may lead to a number of unwanted complications, as too many hormones can prove to be toxic for the body. Here are some of the effects of suffering from an overactive thyroid during pregnancy, which is caused due to hormonal factors in the body.
- In case, a pregnant woman suffers from unhealthy levels of thyroid hormone, then the hormones may also enter the fetus’ body through the placenta. This can also put the child at a risk of contracting an overactive thyroid.
- Excessive intake of iodine, eating disorders, autoimmune disorders are also some of the factors responsible for abnormal thyroid levels. If there are nodules present in the thyroid gland, then they may also trigger the over production of the hormones.
- Autoimmune diseases can be quite risky, since the body is unable to differentiate between the healthy cells and foreign bodies and in the process destroys the healthy cells. Graves’ disease, which is a kind of autoimmune disorder may affect the individual and cause symptoms like intolerance to heat, tremors, rapid heartbeats etc.
- Women having high thyroid levels are at a higher risk of miscarriage, when compared to other pregnant women. Other complications related to hyperthyroidism are premature labor, preeclampsia, low birth weight of the baby, fetal growth retardation, congenital deformity or malformations etc.
Hyperactive Thyroid in Pregnancy: Treatment Options
An increase in the thyroid hormones in the body can lead to some health problems, which may affect the child. Undergoing treatment to bring down the erratic level of thyroid hormones in the body. In order to avoid any risks, both to the mother and child, screening of the hormonal levels is advisable. It is also better to report the symptoms and any changes observed in the body to a medical practitioner for correct diagnosis and treatment.
Since it can be a bit tricky to treat this glandular condition during pregnancy, women are advised to consult a gynecologist regarding the control and treatment of this hormonal problem. Antithyroid medications like propylthiouracil (PTU) may be recommended to patients in order to bring down the hormonal levels. The dose is also comparatively lower to avoid certain health risks like sluggish thyroid gland in the child. A few modifications in the diet, lifestyle etc. may also be suggested by the health care provider in order to bring this disorder back to normalcy.
It is essential to keep a check on the activity of the thyroid gland during pregnancy. This can help women cope with a hyperactive thyroid gland in pregnancy and also reduce the intensity of this gland disorder.