Thyroid hormones play a crucial role during the development of a child especially when it comes to the brain and the nervous system.
Pregnancy is a remarkable journey marked by several physical changes in women’s bodies. One of the factors that contributes to a healthy pregnancy is Thyroid Hormones. The thyroid hormones control the body’s metabolism and influence energy, temperature, and growth. During the gestational period, many hormonal fluctuations, such as an increase in estrogen and hCG,(affecting thyroid function) can be seen. These changes affect the thyroid gland, causing changes in hormone production. During pregnancy, the thyroid produces approximately 50% more hormones to meet the needs of both the mother and the developing fetus. These hormones are important for the development of the fetal brain and nervous system, especially in the first trimester. Inadequate levels of thyroid hormones during this critical period can cause irreversible cognitive and neurological impairments among fetuses.
For a successful pregnancy, thyroid hormone function must be maintained at its best. Both the mother and fetus may be at risk from thyroid conditions such as hypothyroidism (inactive thyroid) or hyperthyroidism (active thyroid).
Hypothyroidism includes miscarriages, preterm births, and problems with the baby’s development can occur when there is insufficient hormone production by the thyroid gland. Fatigue, weight gain, and cold sensitivity are signs of hypothyroidism.
Hyperthyroidism, on the other hand, can produce excessive thyroid hormone which can result in preeclampsia and premature birth. Unintentional weight loss, anxiety, and a fast heartbeat are among the symptoms.
Regular testing is crucial because it plays a crucial role during pregnancy. Thyroid function tests aid in detecting abnormalities by measuring TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) and T4 levels. Potential risks can be greatly reduced by treating thyroid disorders promptly after diagnosis. Particular therapies are essential for women with thyroid disorders who are pregnant. Synthetic thyroid hormones may be prescribed to treat hypothyroidism and keep the body functioning at its best. Medication to control hormone production may be advised for hyperthyroidism. It may be necessary to closely monitor and modify medication dosage during pregnancy. It’s equally important to take care of your thyroid gland before getting pregnantTo detect and treat any thyroid disorders that may already exist, women who intend to become pregnant should have their thyroid tested.
According to Dr Rinkusen Gupta, Senior Consultant, Obstetrics & Gynecologist Madhukar Rainbow Children’s Hospital, “Before conception, achieving optimal thyroid function lowers the chance of complications and promotes a healthier pregnancy. It plays a critical role in ensuring a positive outcome. The thyroid has a significant effect on everything from fetal development to maternal health. Routine thyroid testing, timely diagnosis, and personalized management are critical components in ensuring maternal and fetal health. As we continue to uncover the complexities of pregnancy, understanding and prioritizing the role of thyroid hormones is critical to promoting healthy pregnancies and ensuring future generations’ well-being.”