By Dr. Shazli Azad, Gynaecology
During pregnancy, hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism become very common. The thyroid gland is an endocrine gland that is situated in the anterior portion of the neck. Its function is to produce hormones that regulate the body’s metabolism, weight, temperature of the body and the nervous system.
If you experience thyroid complications during pregnancy, you will require medical attention. In some cases, pregnancy may cause you to experience symptoms that are similar to hypothyroidism (low production of the thyroid hormone). Thus, if you exhibit symptoms such as weight loss, vomiting and frequent palpitations, do not let them go untreated.
If the thyroid problems are left untreated, they may lead to premature birth; carry risks of miscarriage, low birth weight and high blood pressure problems.
In case of hyperthyroidism (excessive secretion of the thyroid hormone), the symptoms are unexplained nervousness, irregular heartbeat, slight tremors and nausea. For hypothyroidism (low secretion of the hormone), the symptoms are weight gain, constipation, muscle cramps and an inability to focus on anything.
Hyperthyroidism occurs when the body produces an antibody that stimulates the thyroid gland to overproduce hormones. Hypothyroidism occurs when the immune system of the body starts to attack the thyroid gland, thus causing it to scale down on its hormone production.
- If you are suffering from hyperthyroidism, then an anti- thyroid medication is prescribed that helps to limit the production of excess hormones. If this does not work, then surgery may be required to remove the thyroid gland.
- In case of hypothyroidism, a synthetic hormone is administered that helps in boosting hormone production. The dosage of the hormone is fixed according to the needs of the body so that it does not interfere with other functions of the body.