If you’re pregnant and have goiter, you may be concerned about how it could impact your health and delivery. Goiter is an enlargement of the thyroid gland and it is caused by an iodine deficiency, autoimmune disease, or other factors, and it can lead to hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid. While goiter doesn’t necessarily cause any symptoms and goiter in pregnant women is rare, it can affect your health during pregnancy. Here’s more tidbits of information about goiter and pregnancy risks and management strategies.
What is Goiters?
Goiter is an enlarged thyroid, which can affect thyroid hormone production and you may feel exhausted and experience sensitivity to cold. In pregnant women, goiter can cause issues with proper fetal development. A multi-nodular goiter can occur with hypothyroidism, which can cause abnormal heart rate, dangerously low temperatures, and, in some cases, stillbirth.
Are There Treatments for Goiter?
The treatment for goiters can vary. Depending on the type of goiter and underlying causes, medications and iodine supplements may be used to address it. If you have an autoimmune condition, then your doctor may prescribe special steroids to help manage the symptoms and effects of the goiter. If the goiter is caused by an iodine deficiency, then you may need to make sure you are getting enough iodine in your diet to help manage it.
Risks of Goiters During Pregnancy?
Goiters during pregnancy can increase the risks of miscarriage. Also, if the mother has severe hypothyroidism, the baby can suffer from serious birth defects or poor growth. If left untreated, the mother can also suffer from pre-eclampsia, a potentially life-threatening condition characterized by high blood pressure, excessive swelling, or protein in the urine.
Goiter Management During Pregnancy
The best way to manage goiter during pregnancy is to see your doctor regularly. Your doctor will monitor your thyroid hormone levels and how the goiter is affecting your overall health. If the goiter is causing hypothyroidism, your doctor will prescribe medication and make sure that your hormone levels are stable. Your doctor may also recommend dietary changes, such as adding more iodine in your diet.
In the end, it is important to get regular checkups with your doctor to make sure your goiter is under control. Goiter can cause serious health issues during pregnancy, and if you are concerned about your health, don’t hesitate to ask your doctor for more information. Taking precautions now can help ensure a healthy pregnancy for both you and your baby.