Pregnancy is delicate and it’s important to be aware of the various factors that can prevent a healthy pregnancy. Most know about the negative effects that hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and urinary tract infections can have on pregnant women and the child they are carrying. However, not a lot of people know about the negative effects of thyroid diseases in pregnancy. Awareness of such problems can lead to the prevention of complications.
Thyroid problems are usually categorized into 2 types: hyperthyroid and hypothyroid. Hyperthyroid conditions manifest as excessive production of thyroid hormones, leading to symptoms such as increased heart rate, excessive weight loss, and agitation. In contrast, hypothyroid conditions are characterized by little or no production of thyroid hormone, leading to symptoms such as lethargy, excessive weight gain, and cold intolerance. Either of these thyroid problems can prove disruptive to the growth and development of a fetus, which can lead to miscarriage, labor complications, or developmental deficits.
Here are some of the diseases that can cause either hyperthyroid or hypothyroid.
1. Effects of hormones during pregnancy- The hormones normally produced during pregnancy can cause effects on thyroid hormone production, resulting to symptomatic effects. For example, HCG and estrogen can both cause thyroid hormone levels to increase. While such rise is natural and often doesn’t cause adverse effects, excessive thyroid hormone increase during pregnancy should prompt further investigation.
2. Nutritional deficits- Nutrition also plays a crucial role in thyroid function, especially during pregnancy. A mother’s daily requirement for iodine slightly increases during pregnancy. Deficiency of this mineral will lower thyroid hormone production, while an excess will cause an increase. Iodine levels that are too high or too low can cause major alterations in the mother’s bodily functions, which can complicate pregnancy.
3. Autoimmune- Autoimmune disorders are commonly associated with deranged functions of the thyroid gland. Graves disease is considered as the most common cause of hyperthyroidism. On the other hand, Hashimoto thyroiditis is considered as the most common cause of hyperthyroidism. Both of these diseases are autoimmune in origin, and can cause complications during pregnancy if left unchecked.
4. Thyroid cancer- While relatively uncommon, thyroid cancer can cause deranged thyroid function in both pregnant and non-pregnant women. There are multiple types of thyroid cancers, and they can manifest in basically any age. Aside from altering thyroid function, cancers of the thyroid can cause development of neck masses which can obstruct the airway and other neck structures.
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Thyroid awareness in pregnancy can prove to be a lifesaver for both mother and child. Learning about the symptoms of deranged thyroid function as well as regular prenatal checkups can help spot problems early, which can greatly help in administering proper care and avoiding possible complications. If your physician is considering thyroid cancer during pregnancy, the management can be tricky. Given the sensitivity of such conditions, it is important that you get the best health care available.
The problem is that finding quality treatment is expensive. This is where finding quality alternatives overseas can help. Finding the best hospital for thyroid cancer treatment in India will help you get much-needed quality health care at the fraction of the price.