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New mothers may experience thyroid issues after childbirth

New mothers may experience thyroid issues after childbirth

Some new mothers may develop thyroid problems after childbirth, a condition known as postpartum thyroiditis. Here, you will learn more about postpartum thyroiditis, its symptoms, how you can test yourself, and the help available.

Quick version

Postpartum thyroiditis is a form of thyroiditis, also known as thyroid inflammation, that can occur after pregnancy and affects about 5 to 10 percent of all new mothers. This condition is characterized by inflammation of the thyroid and can lead to a temporary increase in thyroid hormones in the blood (thyrotoxicosis), followed by a period where too little thyroid hormone is produced (hypothyroidism).

Symptoms of thyroid problems after childbirth

The symptoms of hypothyroidism may include fatigue, weight gain, concentration difficulties, dry skin, hair loss, and depression. Since these symptoms can resemble those of postpartum depression or the common challenges of caring for a newborn, it can be difficult to directly identify the problem as related to the thyroid.

The exact cause of postpartum thyroiditis is not fully understood, but it is believed to be related to the immunological changes that occur during and after pregnancy. Women with a history of thyroid problems or other autoimmune diseases are at greater risk of developing the condition.

Blood tests can reveal thyroid imbalance

The diagnosis of postpartum thyroiditis is usually based on symptoms and blood tests that measure the levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and other thyroid hormones such as T3 and T4. Treatment may include medication to normalize thyroid hormone levels, depending on whether the woman is experiencing the hyper- or hypothyroid phase of the condition.

If you are experiencing symptoms of thyroid disorder and depression, it's important to discuss these with your midwife or doctor to get help. If you are suffering from a thyroid disorder, treatment can alleviate and improve symptoms, including those affecting your mood and well-being.

Relaterade tester

Thyroid test
Thyroid hormone test

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  • Thyroid test that measures three different thyroid hormones.
  • Analysis of the thyroid hormones T3, T4 and TSH.
  • Gives you insight into a possible imbalance of your thyroid hormones.
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TSH test
Thyroid test TSH

TSH test

  • Measuring your TSH value.
  • Thyroid test for analysis of thyroid stimulants.
  • Indication of thyroid diseases.
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Thyroid test plus
Thyroid hormone test - Extended

Thyroid test plus

  • Measures your levels of the thyroid hormones T3, T4 and TSH.
  • Analysis of TPO antibodies (thyroperoxidase antibodies).
  • Analysis of TRAK thyroid-stimulating hormone receptor antibodies.

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T3 (free triiodothyronine)
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  • Get insight into your thyroid status.
  • Detects disturbance in your thyroid hormones
  • Indication of hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism.

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T4 (Free thyroxine)
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TPO antibodies
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TPO antibodies

  • TPO antibody test (autoantibodies).
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TRAK
Thyroid test TRAK

TRAK

  • TRAK antibody test.
  • Analysis of thyroid stimulating hormone receptor.
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