The loss of a child is heartbreaking under any circumstances. Pregnant women dealing with mild hypothyroidism can be at risk for several dangers to their unborn children without knowing it.
A study performed at Christian Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana, Punjab, India was a step in the right direction for these women and their babies.
Researchers observed the first trimesters of 1000 pregnant women. One group of 533 patients had normal levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) that were 2.5 mIU/L or lower.
The second group' of 263 patients’s had TSH levels of more than 2.5 mIU/L but less than or equivalent to 4 mIU/L. The levels of this second group were deemed by researchers to be mild hypothyroidism.
The remaining 200 women were diagnosed with hypothyroidism and were not included in study.
According to Medscape, women in the study with “even mild thyroid dysfunction during early pregnancy, had rates for miscarriage double those of women with normal levels, and the risk for stillbirth was as much as 7 times greater.”
Testing of thyroid levels during the first trimester will not necessarily give an accurate assessment of what problems may exist, according to study lead author Jubbin Jagan Jacob, M.D., associate professor at Christian Medical College and Hospital.
For instance, TSH levels that are slightly raised may be the result of a deficiency of some micronutrient, or autoimmunity, rather than hypothyroidism.
Despite this lack of precision, Jacob said that the study indicates that thyroid dysfunction screening should be done for all pregnant women.
The research was presented on June 23, 2012 at the Endocrine Society 94th Annual Meeting. This particular research was done in only one center so its conclusions cannot be considered authoritative. It does indicate that more research should be performed.
The study was funded by Christian Medical College and Hospital.
The thyroid gland is in the front area of the neck and produces thyroid hormone. This hormone regulates many body systems and functions, such as body temperature, heart, metabolism, nervous system and body weight.