Thyroid glands play an imperative yet underrated role in the body. This butterfly-shaped organ helps regulate heart function, metabolism, weight, temperature, and other essential biological processes. Unfortunately, an off-balance thyroid gland or Hashimoto’s Disease is a common condition that can be detrimental to pregnancy.
Because the thyroid gland also supports brain development and growth in a fetus, treating Hashimoto’s Disease as early as possible is key to a healthy pregnancy.
What is Hashimoto’s Disease
Hashimoto’s Disease is an autoimmune condition that causes cells in the body to attack the thyroid gland. When left untreated, the disease can lead to miscarriage and other health complications.
Other potential concerns include premature birth and placental abruption. In children, it can lead to neonatal respiratory distress syndrome, overgrowth during the gestational stage, and cognitive impairments or learning disabilities.
Early Symptoms of Hashimoto’s Disease
At 10 to 12 weeks of gestation, babies begin to develop full thyroid function. During the first half of the pregnancy, the fetus depends on its mother’s thyroid to support development. Though exhaustion and weight gain are regular occurrences during pregnancy, Hashimoto’s Disease can exacerbate these problems. Thus, it’s essential to be mindful of these symptoms.
How to Manage Hashimoto’s Disease During Pregnancy
By closely monitoring your thyroiditis, you can easily achieve a successful pregnancy outcome. See your OB-GYN regularly and consult with an endocrine specialist. Even without any symptoms, you must get your thyroid tested as soon as you confirm your pregnancy to ensure that hormones are within normal limits.
If you are taking Levothyroxine to manage your thyroid, ensure that you take them according to your healthcare provider’s instructions. During pregnancy, low thyroid hormones can lead to unwanted complications.
If you’re taking iodine supplements, review your dose with your healthcare provider as they may not be necessary for regulating thyroid hormone levels.
Supplement a balanced, nutrition-rich diet with prenatal vitamins as recommended by your OB-GYN. Introduce these foods into your meals.
- Dairy: Rich in casein and whey, dairy is an excellent way to meet your growing one’s needs. Try Greek yogurt, which contains helpful probiotic bacteria.
- Salmon: Omega-3 fatty acids in salmon help support the brain and the eyes and increase gestational length. Avoid high-mercury fish such as shark, swordfish, marlin, and king mackerel.
- Eggs: The ultimate health food, large eggs contain high-quality proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals.
- Leafy greens: If you never enjoyed broccoli as a child, now is the time to switch up your palette. Other vegetables such as kale and spinach are rich in fibre, vitamins A, C, and K, iron, and potassium.
- Berries: Do you love a morning smoothie? If so, you’re in luck. Mix berries such as blueberries or raspberries with your daily dairy intake to introduce more antioxidants.
Finally, visit your local wellness center to take a more in-depth look at your body and how your pregnancy is faring.
Even with Hashimoto’s Disease, proper care and early treatment can ensure that you carry out your pregnancy to term. Work closely with a fertility professional and someone who specializes in autoimmune diseases to track your pregnancy.
Do you want a more comprehensive look at what your body is going through? Work towards improving symptoms of Hashimoto’s Disease at BioScan Wellness Centre in Surrey.