Hypothyroidism, a condition that occurs when the thyroid gland is inflamed, is the most frequent thyroid issue diagnosed during pregnancy. This can be caused by congenital defects or an outside catalyst such as surgery, radiation or certain medications. Pregnant women ignoring the symptoms of subclinical or borderline hypothyroidism may be putting themselves at risk of harm, as well as their baby.
A foetus relies on its mother’s thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) production during its early growth in the womb; decreased TSH caused by hypothyroidism may result in developmental issues. At about 12 weeks gestation, the foetus can produce TSH through its own thyroid, however, before that time, the mother’s body must produce enough TSH for the foetus as well.
Research carried out in 1999 revealed that lower IQ scores were observed in children of mothers with hypothyroidism, especially children of mothers with severe hypothyroidism that resulted in learning disorders.
Early recognition of signs of hypothyroidism can help restore patients to a healthy life. Symptoms of hypothyroidism include:
- Brittle nails or hair
- Decreased sense of taste and smell
- Depression or irritability
- Hair loss in eyebrows
- Heavier than normal menstrual periods
- Lower libido
- Memory loss
- Swelling in arms, face, feet, hand or legs
- Sensitivity to cold
- Weight Gain
- Muscle aches or cramps
- Paleness or changes in skin tone
- Slowed speech
There are natural remedies for Hypothyroidism which often carry fewer side effects than traditional thyroid medication. A preliminary thyroid screening can be helpful for women planning on becoming pregnant. If a pregnant woman is showing signs of hypothyroidism, a physical examination can help detect a thyroid gland smaller than normal size. A laboratory test can also help check if the body is producing the right amount of TSH.