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Hypothyroidism in Pregnancy
By Dr. Lakshmi| 3 Comments

The prevalence of hypothyroidism in pregnancy is much higher than previously thought. Recent data suggests that upto 14.3% of pregnant females in India suffer from some form of hypothyroidism. The consequences of untreated hypothyroidism in pregnancy can be disastrous. Some complications can affect the general health of the mother.These include anaemia, heart failure, depression and so on.During the course of pregnancy it increases the chances for hypertension, hypertension complicated with seizures and placental abnormalities in the mother. On the fetus it can cause restriction of growth. It also increases the chances of unexplained death of the fetus.
During delivery it increases the chances preterm labour and cesaerian sections. Complications post delivery include poor milk production by the mother and sadly, mental retardation for the fetus.Though relatively easy to treat,hypothyroidism is often undiagnosed and left untreated. The Indian Thyroid Guidelines have clearly stated that all pregnant females should be screened for hypothyroidism at the first antenatal visit.Another twist to the tale of hypothyroidism in pregnancy is the effect of other supplements on the absorption of thyroid hormones. Almost all pregnant females will be asked to take iron and calcium supplementation at some point in time by their doctors. Both iron and calcium can significantly inhibit the absorption of thyroid hormone when it is prescribed for hypothyroidism. While taking all these supplements is unavoidable, it is important to separate the consumption of thyroid hormone from other supplements by at least 4 hours.

A simple thyroid test can often make the difference between an uneventful pregnancy and a life full of misery for generations to come.


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