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How Does Thyroid Disease Affect Pregnancy?

How Does Thyroid Disease Affect Pregnancy?

The organs that comprise your endocrine system are responsible for a number of different functions, including regulating your:

Glands and organs in this system include your pineal gland, hypothalamus, pituitary gland, thymus, parathyroid gland, thyroid gland, adrenal gland, and pancreas.

Thyroid disease is the result of an imbalance of hormones that are important for a variety of functions in your body. It can affect both men and women, but women dealing with this condition may also encounter complications during pregnancy. 

To better understand how this works, let’s look at what thyroid disease is, what problems it can cause during pregnancy, and how it can be treated.

If you’re pregnant and living in Lake Mary, Florida, and are having problems due to thyroid disease or other concerns, Dr. Christopher Qunsey and his experienced staff can help. 

Understanding thyroid disease

Your thyroid is responsible for regulating metabolism, which is vital to how you absorb and use energy. 

When you eat, the hormones from your thyroid manage your metabolic rate (the speed at which food is transformed into energy) and help regulate a variety of functions such as:

Thyroid disease is a broad term for a number of conditions that create an imbalance of the hormones this gland produces, leading to a variety of problems. Hyperthyroidism is when your thyroid creates too much hormone, and hypothyroidism is when it creates too little. 

These problems can affect your heart rate, weight, fatigue, and tolerance to temperature extremes. This condition is very common — 20 million Americans deal with some type of thyroid disorder — but women are far more likely to deal with it than men.

How it can affect your pregnancy

This disease is the second most common disorder of the endocrine system that pregnant women deal with, and it can lead to a higher risk of:

This last condition happens when the placental partly or completely separates from the inner wall of the uterus prior to delivery.

Any hormonal changes can create problems, but specific thyroid conditions create a higher risk for complications during pregnancy. 

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (also called Hashimoto’s disease) is more common in hypothyroidism, and Graves’ disease is more common in hyperthyroidism. Symptoms of either form of thyroid disease include irregular heartbeat, increased nervousness, severe nausea or vomiting, slight hand tremors, trouble sleeping, and fluctuating weight.

How it can be treated

Treatment depends on the specific thyroid condition. For hyperthyroidism conditions, we may recommend antithyroid medications to block overproduction. We can manage hypothyroidism conditions with a synthetic hormone to improve thyroid function and reduce symptoms.

Thyroid disease can wreak havoc on your pregnancy, but help is available to keep you and your baby safe. Make an appointment with Dr. Quinsey today if you're experiencing these symptoms.

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