Thyroid Disease and Periods/ Pregnancy

The thyroid is a lump of tissue that sits right over your Adam’s apple area.

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The thyroid plays a key role in many functions of your body–from keeping warm, to weight control, to getting pregnant, to intelligence…

THYROID problems can be a bit of a problem when you are pregnant.  If your thyroid is out of whack, you may even have trouble GETTING pregnant!

As of Dec 2016, there is nothing to say we should be doing routine screening in pregnancy, but we tend to do it in our region because we see a lot of thyroid disease in this neck of the woods—maybe you live in a other part of some woods, and have other things to worry about.

The fetus is totally dependent on the mom to get thyroid hormone during the important first 12-13 weeks of pregnancy.  After 13 weeks the baby can make its own thyroid hormone, but it still needs a supply of iodine from mom’s diet.  This is why you see IODIZED SALT!  In some countries, there is not enough iodine and you see some pretty wicked thyroid growths there!

We do a test called TSH  (thyroid stimulating hormone).

It gets kind of complicated, but if you watch “SPONGEBOB”, then you know about Plankton–the little guy who wants to rule the ocean.  We have a little guy who wants to rule the human body–called the pituitary gland.

The pituitary is a gland that sits right behind your eyeballs, and really does control one heck of a lot of stuff in the body.

In our blood stream, we all have different hormones –the male and female sex hormones, the adrenalin hormones, the thyroid hormones, hormones that put you into labour when pregnant, etc.

The thyroid hormones in your blood stream are T (thyroid) 3 (T3), and T4 (like Thing 1 and Thing 2 in Dr. Seuss!   When there is enough T3 and T4, the pituitary gland gets the news that there is enough, and doesn’t send out any memos (TRH–thyrotropin releasing hormone) to the thyroid saying, “You got to work harder!”  When you are hypothyroid, you don’t have enough T4 and T4 so the pituitary sends out a message to the thyroid to make more –so the TSH will go up..

So if you don’t have enough T3 and T4 your TSH will go UP–and you are consider HYPO (low) thyroid.  I get a lot of women say they are hyper  because their TSH is up–but it is the other way around.

If you have lots of T3 and T4 then your TSH will go DOWN-because it doesn’t need to be stimulated.

DIABETES is the NUMBER 1 ENDOCRINE (gland) problem when you’re pregnant–your THYROID is NUMBER 2!!

NORMAL TSH  RANGES  FOR EACH TRIMESTER:  (there are no absolute criteria–but this is what is generally used)

First trimester:   up to 13 weeks                   0.1 to 2.5

Second trimester   13-28 weeks                0.2 to 3.0

Third trimester 28 weeks to delivery          0.3 to 3.0

If your thyroid is hypo then we will prescribe thyroid medication.  When you have been on the med for about 6 weeks we will repeat the TSH to see if you are now normal.   For most people–you end up on thyroid meds for life.

IF YOU ARE TAKING PRENATAL VITAMINS WITH THYROID MEDS, then take your thyroid med first, and wait about 3 hours to take your prenatal vitamins.  The calcium and iron in the prenatal can interfere with absorption of the thyroid med.

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