Lactation failure and subclinical/treated thyroid disorders - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 11-30-2011, 07:00 AM - Thread Starter
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I came across this interesting article while searching for a reason behind my low supply.;year=1993;volume=39;issue=3;spage=137;epage=41;aulast=Joshi

It was referenced in Lisa Marasco's paper about the impact of thyroid dysfunction on breastfeeding, posted on the LLL site as well.  Basically, it is a study that mentions how lactation failure preceded actual thyroid dysfunction (either hypo or hyper) in a number of people studied.  This is interesting to me because I'm pretty convinced my low supply stems from a hormonal imbalance of some sort, yet my TSH level has always been normal, despite the fact that I have several symptoms of hypothyroid (my dr. won't do a full panel unless the TSH is off). From talking to and reading about other mothers with lactation issues, it seems a fair number have borderline thyroid issues, some of which have been treated with no improvement in supplies.  I guess I'm wondering if there may be some issue with the thyroid that affects milk supply, even when the thyroid is being supposedly treated or not showing TSH dysfunction? 

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#2 of 3 Old 12-05-2011, 12:07 PM
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I would find another dr. then, just to have the full panel done if I were. You.

I haven't finished the article yet, but I'm curious to see how often this happens...I'm hypo thyroid (hashimoto's) and I had problems with massive over supply when DD was born and we've had no low supply problems at all (DD is now 10mo) whether I'm on synthroid or not. (for the first six mo of nursing I had no way to pay for the prescription so I wasn't on anything for it.)

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#3 of 3 Old 12-05-2011, 12:42 PM - Thread Starter
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That's interesting that you had oversupply problems rather than the opposite problem.  Clearly not all thyroid dysfunction leads to low supply, as evidenced by your case.  Can I ask you what your TSH levels were?

The Marasco article:  mentions issues with oxytocin and let-down surrounding some thyroid issues (thus leading to low supply) , but obviously this doesn't affect everyone and I have read previously that some thyroid issues cause oversupply in the beginning. 

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