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Can We Take Thyroid Tablets During Pregnancy

How Does Thyroid Medication Affect The Fetus

Can Thyroid Problems Affect Your Pregnancy? Dr. Subramanian Kannan

Large-scale studies on the effect of drugs for underactive thyroid glands were completed in the ’70s and no adverse effects have been observed in about 600 children born to women on thyroxine. According to a study published in the July 15, 2004 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, hypothyroidism, when left untreated during pregnancy, can lead to weak cognitive development and increased fetal mortality. As a result of their findings, the scientists proposed that women with hypothyroidism should increase their levothyroxine dose by about 30% right after their confirmation of pregnancy.

On the other hand, women taking medication for hyperthyroidism, or the condition characterized by an overactive thyroid gland, need to be a bit more cautious. This is because the drugs for hyperthyroidism contain molecules that can cross the placenta and enter the fetus’s bloodstream. It is therefore critical for the mother to undergo close monitoring by her obstetrician or a reproductive endocrinologist.

While in the womb, the fetus can develop an enlarged thyroid gland, and when this happens, it may be difficult to flex the chin to the chest necessitating a cesarean section. The doctor should likewise observe the baby after birth because there is a chance for him or her to have an overactive thyroid gland as the drug is flushed out from his or her system. If left untreated, this can be dangerous for the baby.

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Are You Taking Too Much Thyroid Medication

Thyroid hormone replacement drugs are used to treat hypothyroidisma condition in which your thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormones.

When you take the proper dose of these medications, they are safe, with few side effects. If you are taking too high a dose, however, you can experience unpleasant symptoms. This is known as overmedication.

This article discusses the causes and symptoms of thyroid hormone replacement overmedication.

Verywell / Katie K

Is The Baby At An Increased Risk Of Developmental Abnormalities If The Mother Is Hypothyroid

The thyroid balance in the pregnant women has to be maintained at the right level for the proper development of the baby. Developmental abnormalities in babies are related to mothers iodine deficiency, good news is that our water and salt are now iodised.

If the thyroid balance is fine we do not expect harmful effect to the baby.

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Understanding Reference Ranges During Pregnancy

When we talk about reference ranges it’s important that you understand what exactly they mean.

A reference range is created by local lab testing companies.

These numbers are supposed to represent the average numbers of all people in your local area.

Lab companies create these ranges by taking information and lab results from thousands of people and then aggregate the data using statistical analysis to create the reference ranges .

The goal of these ranges is to include 95% of the population within the ranges provided.

This means that 2.5% of people tested fall below the reference range and 2.5% of people fall higher than the range provided.

This idea is very important, especially when it comes to pregnancy and TSH testing.

The reference ranges provided above based on trimester should only be used if your local lab company cannot calculate the TSH reference ranges for pregnant women who live local to you.

Put another way:

You should NOT be using generic reference ranges when it comes to your TSH level during pregnancy because the TSH level can vary based on geographic location, ethnicity , and other factors such as your weight and metabolism.

It’s better to CREATE reference ranges based on your location than to use the generic reference range provided above.

Unfortunately, not all lab tests do this for pregnant women because there simply isn’t enough information available.

It’s not always clear if a woman is pregnant early on which can skew the data one way or the other.

Levothyroxine Overtreatment During Pregnancy Increases Odds For Preterm Delivery

Australian Thyroid Foundation

Disclosures: We were unable to process your request. Please try again later. If you continue to have this issue please contact .

A cohort of pregnant women in Canada who were overtreated for hypothyroidism with levothyroxine were more likely to have a preterm delivery than women with normal thyroid-stimulating hormone, according to a study published in Thyroid.

Patricia Lemieux

Overtreatment with levothyroxine in pregnancy was associated with preterm delivery among pregnant women using thyroid replacement therapy prior to conception,Patricia Lemieux, MD, department of medicine at the University of Calgary Cumming School of Medicine in Alberta, Canada, told Healio. All pregnant women on thyroid replacement prior to pregnancy should have their TSH checked in pregnancy. This is not happening, but it should be.

Lemieux and colleagues conducted a retrospective cohort study of women aged 15 to 49 years who delivered a baby in Alberta, Canada, from October 2014 to September 2017. Women who had a prescription filled for any thyroid replacement medication in the 2 years before conception were included.

Researchers collected delivery data from the Alberta Perinatal Health Program database. Data were linked to the Discharge Abstract Database for hospitalization data and province-wide databases and the Pharmaceutical Information Network database for information on prescription medications and outpatient physician visits. Frequency of TSH testing was broken down by trimester.

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Management Of Differentiated Thyroid Cancer In Pregnancy

Syed Ali Imran

1Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada

2Department of Radiation Oncology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada


In young women, differentiated thyroid cancer is the second most common malignancy diagnosed around the time of pregnancy. Management of thyroid cancer during pregnancy poses distinct challenges due to concerns regarding maternal and fetal well-being. In most cases surgery can be safely delayed until after delivery and with adequate management and outcome of pregnancy in women with thyroid cancer is excellent. Ideally these patients should be managed by a multidisciplinary team, and management plan should be determined by a consensus between the patient and the healthcare team.

1. Introduction

With the rising incidence of differentiated thyroid cancer , particularly in younger women, DTC is the second most common cancer diagnosed around the time of pregnancy with a prevalence of 14 per 100,000 . Normal physiological changes occurring during pregnancy and concerns regarding fetal well-being pose distinct challenges to all aspects of DTC management. This paper reviews various facets of DTC management during pregnancy based on the published evidence and extensive clinical experience of the authors.

2. Is Pregnancy a Risk Factor for Thyroid Cancer?

3. Management of Thyroid Cancer during Pregnancy

3.1. Thyroid Surgery during Pregnancy
3.2. Radioiodine Therapy and Pregnancy


What Are The Symptoms Of Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is a common condition. It can go undetected if symptoms are mild. The thyroid doesn’t make enough thyroid hormones. Symptoms may be mild and may start slowly. The most common symptoms include:

  • Feeling tired

  • Inability to stand cold temperatures

  • Hoarse voice

  • Skin and hair changes, including dry skin and loss of eyebrows

  • Brittle nails

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome

  • Slow heart rate

  • Shortness of breath with activity

  • Muscle cramps, weakness, joint pain

  • Trouble concentrating

  • Irregular menstrual periods

The symptoms may be like other health problems. Talk with your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.

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Before Taking This Medicine

Since thyroid hormone occurs naturally in the body, almost anyone can take thyroid. However, you may not be able to use this medication if you have a thyroid disorder called thyrotoxicosis, or an adrenal gland problem that is not controlled by treatment.

To make sure this medicine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • heart disease, angina

  • coronary artery disease

  • any type of diabetes or

  • problems with your adrenal gland.

Desiccated thyroid is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby, but your dose needs may be different during pregnancy. Tell your doctor if you become pregnant while taking this medicine. Small amounts of thyroid can pass into breast milk, but this is not expected to harm a nursing baby. However, do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

What Happens If I Overdose

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Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include headache, sweating, diarrhea, irregular menstrual periods, confusion, weakness, swelling in your hands or feet, fast heart rate, chest pain, feeling short of breath, fainting, or feeling nervous, restless, or irritable.

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Thyroid During Pregnancy: Hypothyroidism

In India, approximately 1 in every 10 women suffer from thyroid problems. Because thyroid issues are so common, we check the Thyroid Stimulating Hormone levels for all women during their pregnancy as early as possible, says Dr. Priti.

Most women with thyroid disease are diagnosed with hypothyroidism in which case the gland doesnt produce enough thyroid hormone. Symptoms of hypothyroidism include irregular periods and difficulty with getting pregnant.

A milder form of thyroid during pregnancy is mild or subclinical hypothyroidism. In this condition, the symptoms of thyroid imbalance may not be visible, but the TSH levels during pregnancy are too high and need treatment.

Subclinical hypothyroidism should also be treated for women planning a pregnancy, says Dr. Priti.

Ideally, thyroid treatment should begin before conception but it should definitely be addressed in early pregnancy to avoid complications.

If left untreated, thyroid disorders can interfere with your babys cognitive development. In rare cases, untreated thyroid issues can lead to preterm labour, gestational hypertension, or even miscarriage.

Want to know how to manage your thyroid during pregnancy? Speak to consult a gynecologist about it. Schedule a free consultation with a senior gynecologist at our hospital in South Delhi.

Please call on +91 9871001458 to schedule appointment.

2. Thyroid During Pregnancy: Hyperthyroidism

Screening For Hypothyroidism During Pregnancy

While women who have hypothyroidism before they become pregnant may have already had the opportunity to talk to their doctors about their risks and treatment options, for some women, hypothyroidism may not strike until they become pregnant.

It’s easy to develop hypothyroidism while pregnant and not know it the symptoms can be very similar to those of pregnancy. Weight gain, swelling, and fatigue are common symptoms, but you’re probably already feeling all of those things. A blood test can diagnose hypothyroidism, but it’s up to you and your doctor to decide whether or not you should be screened.

The following could indicate the need to be screened for hypothyroidism when you become pregnant:

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Management Of Hyperthyroidism During Pregnancy

Treatment for hyperthyroidism is very specific for each patient. The goal of treatment is to maintain normal levels of thyroid hormone. Treatment may include:

  • Frequent monitoring of thyroid levels throughout pregnancy
  • Use of anti-thyroid drugs that help lower the level of thyroid hormones in the blood
  • Surgery to remove part of the thyroid

You Don’t Feel Any Better

Thyroid Awareness Month

Thyroid medications usually do not work right away. It can take a few days to a few weeks for you to even start noticing a difference in how you feel. If you don’t feel better after taking your medication for several months, you may need a dose adjustment or a different medicationnot a complete stop of your regimen.

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You Like How Hyperthyroidism Makes You Feel

Hyperthyroidism can cause unwanted symptoms like anxiety and excessive sweating. But it can also cause weight loss and a reduced need for sleep, which some people actually welcome.

While you may experience some symptoms of overactive thyroid more than others, and you may even consider some of them beneficial, it is important to be aware of the strain this condition is putting on your heart, bones, and overall health.

What Is Postpartum Thyroiditis

Postpartum thyroiditis is an inflammation of the thyroid that affects about 1 in 20 women during the first year after giving birth1 and is more common in women with type 1 diabetes. The inflammation causes stored thyroid hormone to leak out of your thyroid gland. At first, the leakage raises the hormone levels in your blood, leading to hyperthyroidism. The hyperthyroidism may last up to 3 months. After that, some damage to your thyroid may cause it to become underactive. Your hypothyroidism may last up to a year after your baby is born. However, in some women, hypothyroidism doesnt go away.

Not all women who have postpartum thyroiditis go through both phases. Some only go through the hyperthyroid phase, and some only the hypothyroid phase.

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Thyroid Levels In Pregnancy

If your practitioner does not routinely check for thyroid disease in pregnancy, ask to be screened.

1. Everyone can have thyroid problems. Even if youve never had thyroid issues prior to pregnancy, you should have your thyroid levels checked in early pregnancy and again in early postpartum. These are very likely times when you may experience difficulties with your thyroid for a variety of reasons.

2. Low thyroid levels can cause intellectual disability and other problems. Your thyroid hormones are necessary for a healthy baby. It is important that you have the right amount of hormone in your system to ensure a healthy baby.

3. Be checked early in pregnancy if you already take thyroid replacements. Even early on in pregnancy, your thyroid hormone needs can change. You may need to increase or adjust the amount of medication you are taking. You may need to be rechecked frequently throughout your pregnancy to ensure a safe and healthy pregnancy.

4. Dont stop taking your thyroid hormones. If you become pregnant while taking thyroid replacement medications, do not stop taking your medications. Thyroid replacement hormones are a pregnancy Category A drug, meaning they are among the safest drugs available during pregnancy. Talk to your doctor before changing any of your medications.

How Do I Take Thyroid Hormone

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Thyroid hormone stays in your system for a long time, it is taken once a day, and this results in very stable levels of thyroid hormone in the bloodstream. When thyroid hormone is used to treat hypothyroidism, the goal of treatment is to keep thyroid function within the same range as a person without thyroid problems. This is done by keeping the TSH level in the normal range. The best time to take thyroid hormone is typically first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. This is because food in the stomach can affect the absorption of thyroid hormone. If you are taking several other medications, you should discuss the timing of your thyroid hormone dose with your physician. As an alternative, taking your thyroid hormone at bedtime can make it simpler to prevent your thyroid hormone from interacting with food or other medications. Overall, the most important thing is to be consistent, and take your thyroid hormone in the same way, every day.

Do not stop your thyroid hormone without discussing this with your physician. Most thyroid problems are permanent therefore, most patients require thyroid hormone for life. It is very important that your thyroid hormone and TSH levels are checked at least annually, even if you are feeling fine, so that your dose of thyroid hormone can be adjusted if needed.

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What Is Desiccated Thyroid

Desiccated thyroid is a combination of hormones that are normally produced by your thyroid gland to regulate the body’s energy and metabolism. Desiccated thyroid is given when the thyroid does not produce enough of this hormone on its own.

Desiccated thyroid treats hypothyroidism . It is also used to treat or prevent goiter , and is also given as part of a medical tests for thyroid disorders.

This medicine should not be used to treat obesity or weight problems.

How Can Hypothyroidism Affect Pregnancy

Untreated hypothyroidism during pregnancy is linked to problems for women and babies during pregnancy and after birth.

Problems for women can include:

  • Anemia. This is when you dont have enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen to the rest of your body.
  • Gestational hypertension.This is high blood pressure that starts after 20 weeks of pregnancy and goes away after you give birth.
  • Preeclampsia
  • Placental abruption
  • Postpartum hemorrhage . This when a woman has heavy bleeding after giving birth. Its a serious but rare condition. It usually happens within 1 day of giving birth, but it can happen up to 12 weeks after having a baby.
  • Myxedema, a rare condition caused by severe, untreated hypothyroidism that can cause you to go into a coma and can cause death
  • Heart failure. This is when your heart doesnt pump blood as well as it should. Heart failure cause by hypothyroidism is rare.

Problems for babies can include:

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What Causes Thyroid Problems In Pregnancy

The most common cause of hyperthyroidism in pregnant women is . This is an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system attacks the thyroid gland, causing it to produce more thyroid hormone than the body needs.

If youve been treated for Graves disease with radioactive iodine ablation, your thyroid is now considered to be underactive. The thyroid medication you take, such as levothyroxine, does not cross the placenta and is safe during pregnancy. If you are on thyroid hormone replacement during pregnancy, its likely that your dose will require adjustment. Your doctor will check your levels several times during the pregnancy. After the delivery, the dose often needs to be reduced.

can also be the result of another autoimmune disorder, known as . In this case, the immune system also attacks the thyroid gland, causing inflammation and interfering with its ability to produce thyroid hormones. The gland then produces less hormone than the body needs.

Rest assured: if you have or develop thyroid problems while pregnant, you can still have a healthy pregnancy and protect your babys health.


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