Baby growing in the uterus of the mother develops a thyroid in the second trimester and therefore is completely dependent on the mother for iodine supply.
What is the
The thyroid is a gland found in front of the
neck. It consists of two lobes and is located below the Adam’s
What is the
function of the thyroid?
The thyroid gland releases hormones
triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) which are responsible for maintaining
the metabolic rate of the body.
How is the
thyroid linked to pregnancy?
The baby growing in the uterus of the mother
develops a thyroid in the second trimester and therefore is completely
dependent on the mother during the first trimester,for an adequate
supply of iodine, which is required for the proper development of the mental
capacity of the baby.
Two hormones released during pregnancy namely human
chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) and oestrogen cause an increase in levels of
thyroid hormones in the pregnant woman.
What are the signs and symptoms associated with
thyroid disease during pregnancy?
When there is a change in level of hormones T3 amd
T4, a pregnant woman’s body reacts in the form of a variety of signs and
symptoms which indicate that thyroid is not functioning the way it is supposed
to. Some of these symptoms are as under:
This condition causes the thyroid to work at a
decreased pace and leads to the following:
to cold temperature
What is the cause of hypothyroidism?
Deficiency of iodine
Iodine is a vital component for the formation of
thyroid hormones. Decrease intake of iodine in the diet leads to a lack of such
It is an autoimmune condition in which the body’s
defense systems think of the thyroid gland as a foreign body and attack it.
This causes damage to the gland thereby decreasing its ability to release T3
This condition causes the thyroid gland to an
increased pace and leads to the following:
What is the
cause of hyperthyroidism?
This is an autoimmune condition in which the body’s
produces antibodies (substances designed to protect the body from harm) in
order to attack the thyroid gland as it thinks of the gland as a potential
threat to the well of the body.
The damage to the thyroid gland causes the hormones
present in the gland to leak out and these high levels of T3 and T4 lead to
How do we
diagnose thyroid disease?
Mentioned below are ways in which we can figure out
if the thyroid of a pregnant woman is not functioning properly:
Check the level of iodine in the body
Iodine is an essential component of thyroid
hormones so it’s important to know whether is in sufficient quantity in the
body or not.
TSH and thyroid hormones
Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) lets the thyroid
gland know whether or not the body is in need of T3 and T4. In a patient who
has hypothyroidism the level of TSH is increased and thyroid hormones are
decreased. In the case of hyperthyroidism the opposite is true.
How do we
manage thyroid disease?
As far as hypothyroidism is concerned the best
option a patient has is to increase the intake of iodine in the diet and get a
life-long supply of T4.
Talking about hyperthyroidism, a patient first must
take a few anti thyroid medications such as propylthiouracil. This must be
followed by the removal of the enlarged thyroid gland via surgery.
Finally, a lifelong supply of T4 is provided to the
patient to give the proper amount of thyroid hormones to the body.
Welcome to Babyinfo – the ultimate pregnancy and newborn information guide. We are here to help you find all the pregnancy and baby info you need to make the most beautiful experience of your life even better.
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