Thyroid Problem in 3rd trimester - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 09-19-2007, 01:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just got some bloodwork back that shows that my TSH level is too high (actually indicating hypothyroid because the thyroid is overcompensating, if I understand the drs correctly) but my free T4 level is in normal range. I am primarily worried about the effects on the baby and the research available is scary but unclear. The research I can find says thyroid problems can lead to brain damage or mental retardation, but there are no statistics, like in 10% of cases.... I'm also confused because I have NO symptoms of thyroid problems at all and have been very grateful to have a smooth pregnancy. I have no idea if I had thyroid problems before I was pregnant so I'm not sure if it is just the pregnancy that is throwing things off or a chronic condition. Does anyone else have experience with this? Thank you.
-worried about my baby...
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#2 of 15 Old 09-19-2007, 04:10 PM
 
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Was this the first time it was tested during pregnancy?

What is your tsh?

I know it can be scary.. Lets cross our fingers.
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#3 of 15 Old 09-19-2007, 07:15 PM
 
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So sorry you are dealing with this. I (unfortunately) consider myself an endocrinological pro and have been dealing with an auto-immune form of hypoactive thyroid since my late teens. First, please be comforted that the biggest risks of low thyroid hormone in pregnancy are early on during times of basic brain development and when m/c rates may increase. You are through those woods. Even then, it does depend on your specific TSH range. The ranges were recently updated for pregnant women and include a "borderline" range of TSH 2.5-5. Dr's want you below 2.5, but several years ago it wouldn't have been an issue.

For example, when I was first diagnosed at 18y (not pregnant) my TSH was 12. I was very, very sick. When it got down to 2-3 I was in the normal range and felt fine. With 1st pregnancy, TSH was 3.7 and no one blinked. Everything was fine. This time, TSH was 5 at 12wks. I felt HORRIBLE. Increased my meds and now I'm at 2.9 and everyone's happy. However, I wasn't down to 2.9 until about 18wks.

I hope this is helpful. And also know that the treatment (levothyroxine or synthroid) is perfectly safe for you and baby!

Happy Mommy to one amazing girl (6y) and one sweet boy (2y), and wife to DH since 7/03 : :
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#4 of 15 Old 09-19-2007, 10:14 PM
 
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I developed postpartum thyroiditis after my first child-- a total surprise, as I was so healthy--no symptoms at all. I resisted the medication, thinking it would go away. THen started noticing some symptoms and went ahead and accepted the meds. I am thankful now that it is such an easy condition to "fix" with medication. I mean, it is a small thing when you look at how many diseases are out there. THis one can pretty much be nixed by taking the meds. If doctors are recommending it to you, you might try it, see if you feel any different. And your babe will not be put to risk at all!

oh, and I am normally totally into alternative medicine or no intervention. But taking the meds has helped me. I accepted it and now all is well.
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#5 of 15 Old 09-20-2007, 01:11 AM
 
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Yeah, being hypo late in pregnancy is probably not going to affect the baby. It's most important at the beginning, as you supply the baby all thyroid hormones until week 14 when the baby's thyroid takes over. Still, I think it's important to keep your thyroid levels normal. I'm hypo, so I have blood tests taken throughout pregnancy so we know if I need an adjustment in my medication.

Did your Dr want to put you on medication or just wait and see what your levels are at a later time?
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#6 of 15 Old 09-20-2007, 04:47 AM
 
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I was diagnosed with thyroid troubles early in this pregnancy. What happened to me was that I was slightly hypo when my blood was first checked. I had no symptoms, and my Free T3 & Free T4 were fine, but the doc put me on a natural thyroid supplement. Also got diagnosed with Hashi's (thyroid antibodies present.)

I took it for 3 weeks, and swung to slightly hyperthyroid! The ND took me off of the supplement. He wants to check my blood every 3-4 weeks, and he said that as long my TSH is only slightly out of range, with my Free T3 & Free T4 in normal range, and I feel ok, he was going to let things be. He said if I go too far out of whack, he's sending me to an Endo.
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#7 of 15 Old 09-20-2007, 05:16 AM
 
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Please visit Stopthethyroidmadness.com, and visit naturalthyroidhormones on yahoo groups.

ask questions.

untreated hypo can be harmful to your baby. I don't want to cause you any stress, but please don't let this go or shrug it off as no big deal.

for intuitive readings click here :
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#8 of 15 Old 09-20-2007, 04:58 PM
 
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Thyroid problems are a very big deal even if you're NOT pregnant. They can cause so many problems both short and long term even just for you, let alone anything it could do to your baby. If properly treated you and your baby can be very healthy and do just fine, so it's nothing to be *scared* of, just not something that would be in the best interest of you or your baby for you to downplay.

You are very fortunate to have a doctor who even considered diagnosing you! There are tons of us out there who have had to struggle and beg for *years* to get diagnosed with thyroid problems (It took me 12 years and 13 doctors before I found one to confirm what I've known since I was 15).

Your doctor needs to do a complete thyroid panel. Most just do TSH and T4, which tells so little of the story it's basically useless. One of the most important things is testing you for antibodies. If you have antibodies your TSH can swing back and forth minute to minute even, going from severely hyper to severely hypo. Just because you got a normal TSH at that exact moment of the blood draw means nothing about your overall thyroid function until you know whether or not you have antibodies.

According to this article: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m...31/ai_75176512

"Elevated thyroid-stimulating immunoglobulin (TSI) can cause fetal hyperthyroidism. TSI crosses the placenta less than 5% of the time at 15 weeks but nearly 100% of the time at 30 weeks."
...
"Women with Hashimoto's disease also should be screened for TSI in the third trimester because about 5% of women with this condition have TSI."

Also there are a lot of flaws with the TSH lab ranges. Most doctors and labs don't even know about the new updated ranges. TSH should be from 0.3-3.0. Most people feel best in the lower ranges, and if you're on Armour it will suppress your TSH. TSH is a pituitary hormone that shows how much thyroid hormone your body is ASKING for, not how much it has, so if you're on a replacement dose that gives your body all it needs, it doesn't ask for more, so your TSH will be way lower. There has also been talk of lowering the lab ranges even further to 2.5 or even 2.0. http://www.mercola.com/2001/jan/28/thyroid_disease.htm http://thyroid.about.com/cs/testsfor...a/labs2003.htm

Synthroid is not at all side-effect free or even safe for most non-pregnant people...but natural thyroid (Armour) IS! Armour exactly mimics what your body produces and the *only* "side effects" are if you have too much, or too little. Google Synthroid miscarriage or whatever the brand name of your synthetic medication is, and then Armour miscarriage. The health and safety of my children is the #1 reason that convinced me to switch to Armour even though that was a tough decision for me since I was vegetarian.

Please, please for the sake of your baby and your own health, check out the sites Bigeyes mentioned. There is a wealth of information and people who know so much and are eager to help you. You may have symptoms you don't even recognize are related, or even if you're asymptomatic it could be causing underlying problems for you and your baby.
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#9 of 15 Old 09-21-2007, 03:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all so much for your thoughtful replies. Since posting, I've talked with a nurse and my midwives and done some more research. My midwives talked to a specialist who raised some concerns for postpartum--she said there might be greater issues with postpartum hemmorhage, depression, fatigue, anemia, and milk supply. Did any of you have any of those issues? I am feeling better about the health of the baby but not taking this lightly at all. Thanks for the resources and thoughts.
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#10 of 15 Old 09-21-2007, 03:27 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sp227 View Post
Thank you all so much for your thoughtful replies. Since posting, I've talked with a nurse and my midwives and done some more research. My midwives talked to a specialist who raised some concerns for postpartum--she said there might be greater issues with postpartum hemmorhage, depression, fatigue, anemia, and milk supply. Did any of you have any of those issues? I am feeling better about the health of the baby but not taking this lightly at all. Thanks for the resources and thoughts.
Hypothyroidism can make breastfeeding difficult, and can contribute to PPD.

for intuitive readings click here :
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#11 of 15 Old 09-21-2007, 06:46 PM
 
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Originally Posted by sp227 View Post
Thank you all so much for your thoughtful replies. Since posting, I've talked with a nurse and my midwives and done some more research. My midwives talked to a specialist who raised some concerns for postpartum--she said there might be greater issues with postpartum hemmorhage, depression, fatigue, anemia, and milk supply. Did any of you have any of those issues? I am feeling better about the health of the baby but not taking this lightly at all. Thanks for the resources and thoughts.
I'm glad you are reassured about your baby. Now, you need to take care of you and get your levels under control. I can't speak for post-partum hypothyroid, but I have been hypo before and the fatigue is like nothing I've ever experienced. I can not imagine caring for a newborn. I would sleep for 18hours a day. It was not a choice, it was so horrible. The depression is also a real issue. I tend to be more anxious then depressed, but when my levels are off the depression I feel is like an "organic" depression. I can't really explain it, but things just get really fuzzy and it is a mess. I also was anemic, had high cholesterol (another side effect of being hypo) panic attacks, horrific seasonal allergies that I never had while my thyroid is regulated, horrible constipation. All in all, it is not fun. I hope you are able to come to some sort of plan that you are comfortalbe with. There is also a thyroid thread in health and healing that you may want to check out.

Happy Mommy to one amazing girl (6y) and one sweet boy (2y), and wife to DH since 7/03 : :
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#12 of 15 Old 09-21-2007, 06:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by sp227 View Post
My midwives talked to a specialist who raised some concerns for postpartum--she said there might be greater issues with postpartum hemmorhage, depression, fatigue, anemia, and milk supply. Did any of you have any of those issues?
Like I said, I'm hypothyroid but I keep my thyroid levels normal through medication. I did NOT have any issues with pp hemmorhage, depression, fatigue, anemia, or milk supply. If my thryoid levels had been off, then I might have had those problems. It really sucks to be hypothyroid - you are in a fog and tired beyond belief. I would not want to be postpartum and be hypothyroid.
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#13 of 15 Old 09-21-2007, 09:14 PM
 
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I have had a subtotal thyroidectomy for hypothyroidism and am still dealing with some tricky issues. First, as long as you have a doctor that is treating you baby and you should be fine. Armour is a great thyroid drug and I was feeling greaat on it, but there are two things no one has mentioned about it and you should know.

Most doctors don't want to prescribe it, so you have to ask and find one that is familiar with it.
This is because it is harder to regulate your TSH on it.

When I got pregnant I went back on levothyroxine, my decision, because I wanted to play it safe.

Just go into your next appointment with as much info as you can and don't worry, you'll be ok.
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#14 of 15 Old 09-21-2007, 09:54 PM
 
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Since so many pps have talked about armour, I wanted to mention that I medicate using synthroid (levothyroxine). I've had a great experience with it, I've felt great on it and continue to do so, and I've had no side affects. If the above wasn't true for me, then I would be on armour. Yes, some people do not respond well to synthroid and need to be on armour, but not everyone is that way.
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#15 of 15 Old 09-22-2007, 02:21 AM
 
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I just wanted to mention something about Armour. A PP said a couple things about Armour that are true but I wanted to add some more detail. It is true that it's sometimes difficult to find a doc to prescribe Armour...this is because most doctors truly know VERY little about Armour. It is a very old drug so there are no drug companies sending drug reps around to court the doctors. The drug companies that produce Synthroid are the very ones sponsoring medical universities and offering incentives for doctors to attend their ongoing education courses.

If you're concerned at all about taking a medication/drug then Armour is what you'll want to go with. It is completely natural. Some people may not have side-effects from Synthetic thyroid meds but I'm on a very active list and there are forums everywhere with people who HAVE had *horrible* side effects...mine where suicidal depression and my hair falling out literally handfuls at a time (which is actually a noted side effect of Synthetic thyroid, if you read their fine print, and there is a class-action lawsuit being formed right now). I have never heard of anyone having any side effects from Armour, ever.

Google Armour miscarriage and Synthroid miscarriage or whatever name brand drug you're considering. That's what I did and I saw LOTS of reports of miscarriage and fetal abnormalities due to Synthroid and the only thing I saw from Armour was things along the lines of "I had several miscarriages on Synthroid and now I've switched to Armour and just birthed a healthy baby!"

Also Armour does not regulate TSH and it doesn't need to! TSH is thyroid stimulating hormone, which is actually a pituitary hormone. What is measures is how much thyroid your body is ASKING for and telling your thyroid to MAKE, not how much it HAS. If you are on a replacement dose of Armour your TSH will be suppressed because you are giving your body exactly everything it needs in a form it can easily process, so it doesn't need to ask for more.

The most accurate way to measure how healthy you are is by how you feel (symptoms) and by looking at Free T4, and most importantly Free T3 and antibodies. I don't remember the exact details to look for...I think it's mid to upper range Free T4, Upper range T3 and lowered antibodies along with no hypo or hyper symptoms.

It is not *that* difficult to find a doctor to prescribe Armour. You can go to the Armour website, you can call local pharmacies and ask who prescribes, you can google Top Thyroid Doctors, you can post in your local Find Your Tribe area, you can look for naturopaths (including naturopathic schools near you who might have reduced rate clinics if your insurance won't cover naturopathic doctors) and you can find the yahoogroup NaturalThyroidHormones which has a long list of doctors who not only prescribe Armour but will do all the right tests and are very good doctors. If all else fails you can join that group and learn how to find sources to self-treat.

It's true dealing with thyroid conditions is not easy! You have to research, learn and strongly advocate for yourself and not just trust doctors. But it can be done and it is SO worth it, both for yourself and your children. And you've already taken some of the first and hardest steps by already being diagnosed!
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