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How Does Thyroid Affect Pregnancy?

By Shatavisha Chakravorty

For most women, pregnancy is one of the most important periods of their life. A lot of planning goes into conceiving a baby. This planning also brings along with it tonnes of lifestyle changes.

While it is true that in any relation both the man and the woman have to go through most of these changes, there are some lifestyle changes that are exclusive to women alone (this includes giving up on your favourite drink and that pack of cigarettes).

How does thyroid affect pregnancy

Other than those, there are changes that the couple has to take as a united entity. These include things like financial planning. Now, having gone through all of this, and having planned so well to have that baby, you must be elated and things might seem like they are just out of a picture perfect movie.

However, you realize that the reality is far from it when your doctor talks to you about your thyroid problems. At times like this, you must not freak out and take special efforts to learn more about the effect of thyroid in pregnancy and see how you can survive a healthy pregnancy, despite suffering from thyroid.

Read on to know more about how thyroid affects pregnancy.

• The Gene Factor

The MTHFR gene mutation triggers thyroid problems in a number of pregnant women, making the idea of a natural birth seem inconceivable to them. As per reports, 1 in every 5 pregnant women is said to be at a risk of this.

The silver lining is the fact that a lot of medical research is going on in this field these days and if this type of mutation is brought to notice in the first trimester itself, it can be dealt with efficiently. Thus, it is recommended that you get yourself tested for this type of a mutation as soon as you know that you are expecting. There are a number of home tests (like the 23-and-me test) for MTHFR mutation.

• Leaky Gut Triggering Thyroid

Sometimes, the body is unable to process food and nutrients in the correct way and the person suffers from intestinal permeability. In such cases, the guts become leaky and good bacteria and food slip through the racks triggering absorption and digestion issues.

This obviously has an impact on the thyroid level of an individual and may affect her pregnancy as well. Thus, if you are someone who is pregnant or is trying to conceive, you must take special care to ensure that you do not suffer from this particular condition. In case you do, bring the same to the notice of your doctor at the earliest.

• Iron Absorption

For women suffering from MTHFR mutation, the folic acid that is consumed is not properly absorbed in a way that it should be. In order to prevent birth defects and foster the baby's growth, a pregnant mother has to consume 400 mcg of folic acid per day.

Thus, if you are suffering from thyroid, one way to ensure that your child gets his necessary supply of daily nutrients would be by consuming folate in lieu of folic acid tablets. Folate is found in a number of vegetables. It is also found in fruits like blackberries. If you are pregnant and suffering from thyroid, make sure that you bring the same to the notice of your doctor, so that he or she can chart out a diet that is specific to your condition and can ensure the healthy growth of your unborn child.

• Toxicity

Toxic buildup is a common occurrence in thyroid patients in general and it is all the way more prevalent among pregnant ladies battling thyroid. Now, we understand that the pollution in your town or the contaminants in your tap water are things that are beyond your control. However, if you are pregnant and suffering from thyroid, make sure that you and your partner clean the house of products that are filled with harmful chemicals.

This would mean getting rid of old room fresheners, deodorants, rotten food and other things of the likes. Considering that you spend a major chunk of your 24-hour day at home (either asleep or awake), it does make sense to invest your time and efforts in detoxifying the same. Small steps like this will go a long way in providing a safe and healthy environment for your child to grow in, both before and after the birth.

• Blood Sugar Imbalance

The human body is such that almost all the hormones in the body are inter-related. Thus, it is not very surprising to see that the blood sugar level of an individual has a direct effect on the thyroid antibodies. Doctors say that by balancing the blood sugar level in a pregnant woman, we can actually decrease the anxiety and thyroid antibodies.

Thus, it is recommended that pregnant women (particularly those who are diagnosed with thyroid issues) should consume a decent quantity of fats and proteins throughout the day. If you are not able to have the same in the recommended quantity at one go, you can split up your daily intake into multiple parts and then go about with it. Doing so will keep your blood sugar levels in order, which will in turn ensure that thyroid problems are kept in check.

• Iodine Intake

As a pregnant woman, it is important for you to realize that in the first trimester, your little one is completely dependent on you for its thyroid hormone. However, with the passing months, your child becomes self-sufficient and starts producing its own hormone. At that time, for the fetus to produce its own hormone, it needs iodine, which in turn must be incorporated as a part of your diet.

As per the reports of the World Health Organization (WHO), a pregnant woman must consume 250 mg of iodine on a daily basis. In order to ensure that your child does not suffer from thyroid disease, make sure that you make sufficient amendments to your diet to cater to his or her growing needs.

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    Read more about: thyroid pregnancy
    Story first published: Wednesday, May 30, 2018, 15:15 [IST]
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