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Thyroid Disorders and Pregnancy

Nov 1, 2022

The thyroid hormone is responsible for controlling the metabolism rate of your body. It may also help control blood pressure, heart rate, and body temperature. Some people may have thyroid hormones level of too much or too little. If the thyroid hormone level is high or above average, the condition is said to be Hyperthyroidism. In other cases, if the hormone level is low, it is said to be Hypothyroidism. Hyperthyroidism speeds up the body functions, whereas hypothyroidism slow downs functionality. 

Women having thyroid variations may still have a healthy pregnancy. Your doctor may advise you to have regular thyroid function tests to protect your baby's health.

Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism in Pregnancy

Some of the symptoms of hyperthyroidism during pregnancy include the following-

  • heartbeat speed irregularity
  • hands shaking
  • weight loss or gain than normal

Impact of Hyperthyroidism

You should treat the thyroid as early as possible when you are diagnosed. In case if hyperthyroidism is not treated during pregnancy, it may lead to

  • miscarriage
  • premature labor
  • low birth weight
  • preeclampsia
  • severe worse thyroid level
  • congestive cardiac failure

Radioactive iodine treatment may cure hyperthyroidism by destroying thyroid cells. But still, your body produces TSI antibodies. TSI may pass to your baby's bloodstream at a high level, causing your baby's thyroid level to increase. Even enlarged thyroid may press against your baby's windpipe, making breathing harder.

You should inform the doctor about your thyroid complications, so they may regularly monitor your TSI levels to avoid causing thyroid-related problems to your baby and even later in your pregnancy.

If a newborn is identified with an overactive thyroid, it may lead to-

  • The rate of heartbeat becomes faster, which may lead to heart failure
  • The Skull of the baby may get affected
  • poor weight gain
  • Irritability

Symptoms of Hypothyroidism in pregnancy

Mostly during pregnancy, the symptoms of hypothyroidism are the same as for other people. Some of these symptoms may include the following-

  • over-exhaustion
  • difficult to deal with cold
  • cramps in your leg
  • constipation
  • unable to concentrate or low-memory

Impact of Hypothyroidism

The immune system produces antibodies that affect the thyroid, leading to inflammation and lowering thyroid hormones.

It would help if you treated hypothyroidism during pregnancy as it may lead to-

  • high blood pressure
  • low blood volume
  • miscarriage
  • birthweight is low
  • stillbirth
  • heart failure

Therefore, treating hypothyroidism is essential when you are pregnant for the development of your baby's brain and nervous system. If hypothyroidism is not treated, particularly in your first trimester, and may lead to low IQ development.

Tips to Treat Thyroidism


When your body produces a too high level of thyroid hormone, the condition is said to be hyperthyroidism, which speeds up your body's metabolic functioning. 

During pregnancy, your doctor may check the thyroid level through a blood test, and anti-thyroid medication would be prescribed to control the hormone secretion throughout your pregnancy and even later after your delivery. 

Follow these simple steps to manage hyperthyroidism during pregnancy-

  • Eat more vegetables-

Broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage help to decrease the production of thyroid hormones. 

  • More Zinc packed food-

High thyroid may drain Zinc from your body quickly, which could hinder cell division, growth, and breakdown of carbohydrates. Therefore, eat more amount of zinc-rich food regularly.

  • Do not eat iodine-rich food-

Iodine-packed salt may increase the work of thyroid glands; hence, limiting the consumption of iodine food is good.

  • Add lean meats-

Include lean meat that is high in protein and reduce red meat.


During pregnancy, when the thyroid gland becomes slow in producing sufficient thyroid hormones, it may affect the functionality of your body and your baby's development. The condition of hypothyroidism brings complications, especially during your first trimester, because in the first 10-12 weeks, your baby depends on you for the formation of thyroid hormones. 

Hence, here are some tips to overcome hypothyroidism and make your pregnancy healthy.

  • Eat healthy meals-

Go for healthy, home-cooked meals than processed foods. Eating on time is necessary to balance your metabolism. Always ensure that the fruits and vegetables are washed and cleaned before consuming them.

  • Balanced greens, cereals, and whole grains-

Magnesium-rich leafy greens such as spinach and fenugreek are beneficial in treating the thyroid. Hypothyroidism may cause constipation during pregnancy; hence eating a balanced diet rich in cereals, pulses, and fiber may help for easy bowel movement.

  • Add nuts and berries-

Cashews, almonds, and walnuts help stimulate thyroid functionality. Strawberries and blueberries are packed with antioxidants that improve your immune system.

  • Sufficient Vitamin D-

Hypothyroidism may lead to bone density loss. Therefore, foods rich in Vitamin D and calcium may help prevent bone loss.

Do not eat foods that reduce thyroid levels, such as cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower, called goitrogens, which suppress thyroid functionality. 

Mainly, every woman may experience thyroid level changes during pregnancy. Always ensure to test your thyroid level and maintain proper care to prevent its impact and complications from having a safe pregnancy and healthy baby.


Related: Constipation During Pregnancy

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