Managing Your Thyroid Before and During Pregnancy
If you have a thyroid disease and you're pregnant, here's some useful advice from a Dubai mum...
28 July 2016
Are you struggling to conceive? Or perhaps you’re already pregnant and worried about coping with your thyroid disease in your pregnancy?
Here I’ve shared how I coped with my Hashimoto’s Disease before and during my pregnancy.
1. Have a full blood work up done, including T3, T4 and TSH levels and sugars (triglycerides)
2. Review them carefully with a hormone specialist / Endocrinologist
3. Adjust your intake of thyroxine, women trying to conceive need to take a lesser dose of thyroxine (with advice from and under supervision of your Endocrinologist)
4. Take into account any other hormonal imbalances and address accordingly
5. Exercise and eat well, a healthy diet. I cannot stress the importance of getting your diet right – I recommend ‘The Protein Boost Diet Book’ by Ridha Arem not just for those suffering with a thyroid problem but for anyone suffering who wants to improve their hormone efficiency.
6. If you skipped the exercise and eating well part – here’s another reminder, when you do conceive it’s really important that your body is in the best possible shape for both you and the development of your baby. I don’t mean be a super fit gym bunny, just regular exercise and a healthy diet will make you feel great inside and that’s what you need to ensure your best chances of conceiving.
7. Track your monthlies! There are loads of apps on the market which can help you with this – there are no excuses.
8. Get on track with a good fertility specialist or as in my case (my doctor manages patients with hormone and fertility related issues). Monthly ultrasounds at the right time will show how many eggs you have, at what point in your cycle and when is the best time to conceive. They will also check your bloods during your cycle and will be able to let you know if you have the right levels of progesterone in your system which is required to help release the egg at the right time (ovulate).
9. When the ultrasound shows a good sized egg and your hormone levels are right there’s no reason why it should not release. Try an ovulation test to check when your hormone levels are just right.
10. There are drugs on the market to help you ovulate which your fertility specialist can prescribe you those.
1. Do not wait for a doctor to check your thyroid levels, request a blood work up as soon as you know that you are pregnant. Your body needs the right hormone levels to ensure a safe pregnancy, failure to regulate your thyroid early on in pregnancy can have serious implications such as an increased risk of miscarriage, development of the placenta and your baby. It can also have adverse effects on mum, so get checked up early on.
2. Understand your TSH levels for yourself, if you are unsure of the advice you are receiving from your GP, you can always ask for a second or third opinion – it’s your body and your thyroid is important. As you know it can take weeks to regulate your TSH levels, so regular checks and small adjustments are better than suffering in pregnancy and potentially having a big deficit to make up for.
3. Get your bloods checked at least once per month in the first trimester and again every 6-8 weeks thereafter. I found my local surgery which is just a few minutes away will check my blood for TSH levels for just AED110 so for me I find that so much easier than going through insurance and it gives me peace of mind at any point during my pregnancy.
4. Most importantly listen to your body, if you feel something is not right then get it checked.
5. Remember to add your thyroid medications to your hospital bag packing list!
Trimester Specific TSH Rangers
Trimester-specific reference ranges for TSH are recommended:
- First trimester, 0.1–2.5 mIU/L
- Second trimester, 0.2–3.0 mIU/L
- Third trimester, 0.3–3.0 mIU/L.
Source, Thyroid Pharmacist- Dr. Izabella Wentz
Note: The information in this article is from my personal experience and online research however it should not replace individual advice given from a medical professional.
Written by Christina Gray for EWmums