Autoimmune Thyroid Disorders and Pregnancy: What You Need to Know

Autoimmune Thyroid

Autoimmune Thyroid Diseases During Pregnancy: What You Need to Know For Optimal Health

Expecting mothers are faced with a variety of intense physical and emotional demands, and autoimmune thyroid disorders can make it even more challenging. Autoimmune thyroid diseases during pregnancy can present problems for pregnant women, as well as long-term health issues. It’s essential to understand what to look for and the best way to manage these conditions without risk to the mother and child.

See also  Who is a Candidate for Radioactive Iodine Treatment?

What is an Autoimmune Thyroid Disease?

Autoimmune thyroid diseases, such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Graves’ disease, occur when the immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s own thyroid gland. As a result, the gland begins to produce too much or too little thyroid hormone, which affects the body’s ability to regulate its metabolism and use energy.

Thyroid Disease Symptoms During Pregnancy

Some common symptoms of thyroid disorders during pregnancy include:

  • Weight gain
  • Feeling excessively tired
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Having difficulty concentrating
  • Dry skin, hair, and nails
  • Muscle weakness

Risk Factors For Thyroid Diseases During Pregnancy

Although anyone can develop an autoimmune thyroid disorder, there are some risk factors that can increase the likelihood.

  • Age – Women older than 40 are more likely to develop thyroid disorders.
  • Family history – Women with a family history of thyroid conditions have an increased risk
  • History of autoimmune diseases – Other autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis or type 1 diabetes, can increase the risk of thyroid disorders.

Risks of Thyroid Disease During Pregnancy

Having an untreated autoimmune thyroid disorder when pregnant can cause various health problems, including high blood pressure, preeclampsia, miscarriage, preterm labor, and low birth weight. It’s also essential to keep track of thyroid levels in pregnant women because too much or too little of the hormone can have an effect on the baby’s development.

Treatment for Thyroid Diseases During Pregnancy

The goal of treating autoimmune thyroid diseases during pregnancy is to keep the thyroxine levels in the normal range. The most common treatment is to take a synthetic form of the hormone or a thyroid-stimulating hormone called levothyroxine.


Having an autoimmune thyroid disorder while pregnant can be overwhelming. However, with proper management, it is possible to keep the condition under control and reduce the risk of long-term health issues. If you think you might have a thyroid disorder, it’s essential that you speak with your doctor to get proper diagnosis and treatment.