In most cases, women with hypothyroidism during pregnancy have Hashimoto’s disease. This autoimmune disease causes the body’s immune system to attack and damage the thyroid.
When that happens, the thyroid can’t produce and release high enough levels of thyroid hormones, impacting the entire body
Pregnant women with hypothyroidism may feel very tired, have a hard time dealing with cold temperatures and experience muscles cramps.
Thyroid hormones are important to your baby’s development while in the womb. These hormones help develop the brain and nervous system.
If you have hypothyroidism, it’s important to control your thyroid levels during pregnancy.
If your baby doesn’t get enough thyroid hormone during development, the brain may not develop correctly and there could be issues later.
Untreated or insufficiently treated hypothyroidism during pregnancy may lead to complications like miscarriage or preterm labor.
Feeling tired (fatigue).
Experiencing numbness and tingling in your hands.
Experiencing soreness throughout your body (can include muscle weakness).
Having higher than normal blood cholesterol levels.
Being unable to tolerate cold temperatures.
Having dry, coarse skin and hair.
Experiencing a decrease sexual interest.
Having frequent and heavy menstrual periods.
Seeing physical changes in your face (including drooping eyelids, as well as puffiness in the eyes and face).
Having your voice become lower and hoarser.
Feeling more forgetful (
It can actually be difficult to diagnose hypothyroidism because the symptoms can be easily confused with other conditions.
If you have any of the symptoms of hypothyroidism, talk to your healthcare provider. The main way to diagnose hypothyroidism is a blood test called the thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) test.
Your healthcare provider may also order blood tests for conditions like Hashimoto’s disease.
If the thyroid is enlarged, your provider may be able to feel it during a physical exam during an appointment.
In most cases, hypothyroidism is treated by replacing the amount of hormone that your thyroid is no longer making.
This is typically done with a medication.
One medication that is commonly used is called levothyroxine.
Taken orally, this medication increases the amount of thyroid hormone your body produces, evening out your levels.
Hypothyroidism is a manageable disease. However, you will need to continuously take medication to normalize the amount of hormones in your body for the rest of your life.
With careful management, and follow-up appointments with your healthcare provider to make sure your treatment is working properly, you can lead a normal and healthy life.