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increased level of thyroid stimulating hormone in a 8 weeks pregnant woman.

By Anonymous February 20, 2010 - 5:08am
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Respected sir,
Myself Rahul mishra from India.My wife is having a 8 weeks pregnancy.She has a increased level of TSH of 18.13.I want to know that what are the possible risks of this problem upon fetus.

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HERWriter Guide

Dear Anon

Thanks for your question and for looking out for your wife!

Changes in thyroid are fairly common in pregnancy. I'd like you to watch this video - one of our experts talks about this very subject. If you can't watch the video, the transcript is below.


Here are some risk factors for hyperthyroid and I think your wife may fit several categories :

A risk factor is something that increases your chance of getting a disease or condition.

Risk factors for Graves' disease include:

◦Sex: female (eight times more common in women)
◦Age: peak incidence between 30-40 years old
◦Pregnancy: postpartum thyroiditis (first hyperthyroid followed by hypothyroid)
◦History of family members with Graves' disease
◦Certain viral infections

Treatment will depend on:

◦Severity of symptoms
◦Cause of hyperthyroidism
◦Pregnancy status

Treatment options include:

Antithyroid Drugs
Best suited for Graves' disease, antithyroid drugs (methimazole, propylthiouracil) suppress thyroid synthesis. If the disease goes into remission, you may no longer need the medication.

Radioactive Iodine
This is the most commonly used definitive treatment in the US. Radioactive iodine is taken orally and absorbed by the thyroid gland where it damages most of the thyroid cells. The damaged cells can no longer produce thyroid hormones. Within days, the excess radioactive iodine either passes out of the body in the urine or changes into a nonradioactive state. Eventually, you will need to take a daily thyroid replacement.

Surgical treatment is rarely used in the treatment of hyperthyroidism except in young children, pregnant women, and those individuals with a very large goiter that causes either swallowing or breathing problems. Most patients take antithyroid medication prior to surgery. If the surgery leaves you with too little production of thyroid hormone, you will need to take a daily thyroid supplement.

Until the treatments above take effect, you may need to take beta-blockers (eg, propranolol, atenolol, metoprolol) to relieve rapid heart rate and jitters.

Eye Protection
If there are eye symptoms, eye protection before sleep, artificial tears, and sunglasses will be prescribed by your doctor.

There are several ways to prevent getting hyperthyroidism including:

◦Eat a diet with an adequate amount of iodine.
◦Get regular screening for hyperthyroidism if there is someone in your immediate family with this disease or you have another autoimmune disease.
Read more on our hyperthyroid page here : http://www.empowher.com/media/reference/hyperthyroidism

and here is a similar question to yours : http://www.empowher.com/community/ask/does-hyperthyroidism-affect-pregnancy

Risks on the fetus are, for the most part, low. However, according to Thyroid.org "Uncontrolled maternal hyperthyroidism: Uncontrolled maternal hyperthyroidism has been associated with fetal tachycardia (fast heart rate), small for gestational age babies, prematurity, stillbirths and possibly congenital malformations. This is another reason why it is important to treat hyperthyroidism in the mother."

Has she discussed her issue with her doctors or midwives? What have they said about treatment? It's important that she is monitored carefully. Do they have a care plan for her?

February 20, 2010 - 8:30am
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