During pregnancy, an overactive thyroid can become a health concern for both you and your growing baby. Without proper medical treatment, you could experience several problems, including difficulty sleeping. If your OB/GYN diagnosed you with hyperthyroidism, here is what you need to know.
What Does Hyperthyroidism Mean for Your Pregnancy?
Hyperthyroidism basically means that your thyroid gland is working overtime and dumping too many hormones into your system. As a result, your body's metabolism can go into overdrive.
During your pregnancy, an increase in metabolism could result in difficulty gaining weight, insomnia, and an increase in bowel movements. You could even experience high levels of anxiety that cause your heat rate to speed up. All of these symptoms could impact your ability to take care of your own health, which could mean you have to be more vigilant about your health.
In most instances, hyperthyroidism does not automatically mean that the baby's thyroid gland will be impacted. However, there is a small chance that your baby could experience problems, such as fast heart rate or even premature birth. This is why you will need to have your condition closely monitored and treated.
How Is It Treated?
Your OB/GYN will assess your condition and decide on the best course of treatment for your condition. In some instances, hyperthyroidism is treated with prescription medications, such as methimazole. Methimazole works to keep the thyroid gland from overproducing hormones. Which medicine your OB/GYN recommends will be based on several factors, including how far along you are in your pregnancy.
In addition to taking medications, your doctor might refer you to a specialist. An endocrinologist is experienced in handling hormone-related diseases. Both doctors will work together to minimize the impact of hyperthyroidism on you and your baby's health.
What Can You Do?
One of the most important things you can do is monitor your health at home. Make note of any significant changes to your weight and sleeping habits. Your OB/GYN can use the information provided to determine if modifications to your medication are needed.
If you are having trouble sleeping, consider establishing a sleep routine. Limit your fluid intake as bedtime nears and take a warm bath. You should also turn off all electronics.
Your OB/GYN might make a change to your prenatal vitamins if you are experiencing significant weight loss or changes to your appetite. Alternative remedies, such as sipping ginger ale, can help with a loss of appetite.
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