Hyperthyroidism and pregnancy: Symptoms and treatments

What are the causes of pregnancy-related hyperthyroidism? What are its signs and symptoms? Is it treatable? Answers to these questions and more details on the subject of hyperthyroidism and pregnancy are presented in the following article.

Hyperthyroidism and pregnancy: Symptoms and treatments

Fortunately, it is uncommon to find a diagnosis of hyperthyroidism in the first few weeks of pregnancy. Because most cases of hyperthyroidism in pregnant women are actually diagnosed before pregnancy, but we will review in the following the most important information about hyperthyroidism and pregnancy:

Hyperthyroidism and pregnancy: causes

The coexistence of hyperthyroidism and pregnancy is not common, but it can occur as a result of one of the following reasons:

1. Graves' disease

The most frequent cause of hyperthyroidism during pregnancy is Graves' disease, which most women are aware they have before getting pregnant and starting treatment for.

2. Transient gestational hyperthyroidism

Pregnant women who suffer from severe nausea and vomiting, or who are expecting to conceive twins, may get it, and this happens due to a very high level of the hormone known as human chorionic gonadotropin- hCG.

Because transitory hyperthyroidism is fleeting and may go away by the 14–18th week of pregnancy, pregnant women who experience it don't need to take antithyroid medications to treat it.

3. Other reasons

Pregnancy-related hyperthyroidism has additional causes, such as:

  • Toxic multinodular goiter.
  • Single toxic adenoma.
  • Subacute thyroiditis.
  • Trophoblastic tumor.
  • Iodide induced hyperthyroidism.
  • Ovarian commodity (Struma ovarii).
  • Thyroid hormone receptor activation (Thyrotrophin).

Hyperthyroidism and pregnancy: symptoms

The following is a list of the most typical signs of pregnancy and hyperthyroidism:

  • feeling extremely warm at a time when others are not.
  • The heartbeat accelerates .
  • Hands trembling.
  • Despite eating enough, I'm losing weight.
  • feeling tired
  • difficulty sleeping
  • Feeling nervous and irritable.
  • thyroid gland enlargement towards the front of the neck.
  • Exophthalmos.
  • the leg's appearance of thick skin.
  • Sweating more than usual .
  • skin thinning
  • thinning out hair, making it light and breakable.
  • Especially in the arms and thighs, there is muscle weakness.
  • Hypertension.
  • Increased bowel movement.
  • Increased eye sensitivity to light.

It should be highlighted that none of the aforementioned symptoms should be disregarded or thought of as typical pregnancy changes. Because leaving hyperthyroidism and pregnancy untreated poses a danger to the mother and her child.

Additionally, it can cause extremely high blood pressure, raise the risk of miscarriage, early delivery, and low birth weight in the infant.

Hyperthyroidism and pregnancy: treatment

As long as the woman and unborn child are healthy, certain moderate cases of hyperthyroidism during pregnancy may not need treatment and may simply need constant monitoring.

If the hyperthyroidism is severe enough to warrant therapy, it should begin right once and may take the form of one of the following:

  • The preferred medication for the management of hyperthyroidism during the first trimester of pregnancy is propylthiouracil.
  • Propylthiouracil should not be used after the first trimester of pregnancy; instead, methimazole is advised.
  • Surgery: Surgical removal of the thyroid gland is an alternative to medication, but pregnant women rarely need it. The fourth to sixth month of pregnancy is the ideal window for surgery.
  • Beta blockers: These can be used to treat severe palpitations and tremors until antithyroid drugs have the intended effects during pregnancy.

It's important to note that radioactive iodine cannot be used to treat hyperthyroidism in pregnant women since it can cross the placenta, kill the foetus' thyroid gland, and leave the child's thyroid gland permanently deficient.

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