The normal symptoms of an underactive thyroid can be confusing and hard to recognize. When you are having symptoms of this condition while pregnant the majority of the symptoms that point to low thyroid hormone levels are common for pregnant women. So recognizing the symptoms is hard.
The best thing that pregnant women can do is keep a small journal and when they experience any changes or symptoms they should write down what the symptom was and when it occurred. Each month when they visit their doctor they should talk to them about each thing they have written in their journal. The doctor can evaluate the symptoms to discern whether or not they are normal to pregnancy or they are pointing to another condition. When all of the symptoms are examined in conjunction with one another the doctor is better equipped to make an accurate diagnosis.
The Most Common 5 Hypothyroid Symptoms in Pregnant Women
The most common 5 hypothyroid symptoms in pregnant women that are reported are:
Thinning hair or the loss of hair
Puffiness in the face and hands
Intolerance to cold temperatures
When any of these symptoms is examined alone they could be a natural result of pregnancy and hormonal changes that occur during this time. When all of the symptoms are presented to the doctor they show a pattern of being something more than just a pregnancy hormone change.
The doctor will also take into consideration the risks the pregnant woman has of developing an underactive thyroid. Some women are at a greater risk of their thyroid glands not functioning properly than others. Some of the things that place a woman at a greater risk for hypothyroidism are:
A family history of thyroid diseases
A history of goiters or the presence of a goiter
Autoimmune disorders like type 1 diabetes causes concerns
Managing the Condition during Pregnancy
Much of the time the woman will be told by her doctor that she needs to make some dietary and lifestyle changes during her pregnancy to help increase her thyroid hormone production. This will include her being told some foods like cabbage, kale, strawberries, mustard greens, and spinach, that she should not eat raw. She will also be instructed to eat more low fat dairy products, fish like cod, internal organ meats like liver, and beans like navy beans.
The doctor may have to place the woman on thyroid hormone supplements to create a balance within her body. The most commonly prescribed medication is Levothyroxine. When this medication is written for a pregnant woman the doctor will likely test her thyroid function every four to six weeks to determine the euthyroidism level she has achieved. The dosage of the medication is 30 to 50 percent of what it would be for a woman that was not pregnant.
Once the patient delivers the child their thyroid hormone levels may return to what they were before pregnancy.