Assessing Your Thyroid Function During Pregnancy

January 5, 2018

January is National Thyroid Awareness month, and many women do not realize that pregnancy has a profound impact on the thyroid gland. If you are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant, it is important to understand the function of the thyroid, thyroid-related conditions and nutrition that supports a healthy thyroid. Similarly, all pregnant women should be verbally screened at their initial prenatal visit for any history of thyroid dysfunction.

Understanding the Thyroid Gland During Pregnancy

The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped gland that is about two inches long and located in the front of the throat. It uses the iodine in the foods we eat to make two primary hormones: triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). These hormones regulate the body’s metabolic rate, heart and digestive functions, muscle control, brain development and bone maintenance.

During a normal pregnancy, the presence of hCG and an increase in estrogen can cause fluctuations of some thyroid hormones during the first trimester.1 Similarly, the thyroid may increase in size by 10 to 15 percent.1

During the first trimester, a developing baby is dependent on the mother for production of thyroid hormones.1 In the second trimester of its mother’s pregnancy, the baby’s thyroid begins to produce thyroid hormones on its own.1 However, the baby is still dependent on the iodine from foods that mom consumes, as it’s essential to proper thyroid function.

Prenatal Vitamins That Support Thyroid Function

Our bodies do not make iodine naturally. Because normal thyroid function is dependent on iodine, it is important that our diets or supplements include this critical micronutrient. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends that pregnant or lactating women consume 1 mg of iodine every day. Similarly, the American Thyroid Association recommends that women begin thyroid supplementation at least three months prior to pregnancy.2

In recognizing the importance of iodine in prenatal vitamins, the Prenate® Vitamin Family includes this mineral in a number of our vitamins, such as:

Thyroid Screening During Pregnancy

In addition to discussing prenatal nutrition with your health care provider, it’s recommended that every pregnant woman have a verbal screening at her initial prenatal visit for any history of thyroid disfunction.2 If any of the following risk factors are present, additional screening or blood tests may be necessary to evaluate thyroid hormone levels and function.

These risk factors include:

  1. A history of hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism or current symptoms or signs of thyroid dysfunction2
  2. Known thyroid antibody positivity or presence of a goiter2
  3. History of head or neck radiation or prior thyroid surgery2
  4. Being 30 years old or older2
  5. Type 1 diabetes or other autoimmune disorders2
  6. History of pregnancy loss, preterm delivery or infertility2
  7. Multiple prior pregnancies2
  8. Family history of autoimmune thyroid disease or thyroid dysfunction2
  9. Morbid obesity2
  10. Use of amiodarone or lithium, or recent administration of iodinated radiologic contrast2
  11. Residing in an area of known moderate to severe iodine insufficiency2

Hormone therapy may be recommended for women who discover their thyroid levels are elevated or low. Pregnancy is possible for women with thyroid imbalances. If you are recently pregnant or think you may be at risk for thyroid dysfunction, talk to your doctor about the best course of action for your body and situation.

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IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

WARNING: Accidental overdose of iron-containing products is a leading cause of fatal poisoning in children under 6. Keep this product out of reach of children. In case of accidental overdose, call a doctor or poison control center immediately.

WARNING: Ingestion of more than 3 grams of omega-3 fatty acids (such as DHA) per day has been shown to have potential antithrombotic effects, including an increased bleeding time and International Normalized Ratio (INR). Administration of omega-3 fatty acids should be avoided in patients taking anticoagulants and in those known to have an inherited or acquired predisposition to bleeding.

This site and its contents are an information resource only, and are neither intended to nor should be used in replacement of your doctor or other prescribing professional’s medical guidance, recommendations or advice. Neither this site nor its information should be used or relied upon for any diagnostic, medical, treatment, nutritional or other purpose. All aspects of pregnancy, including whether pregnancy is right for you, and the nourishment and care of your child, should be made with your doctor and other appropriate medical professional, and in consideration of your and your child’s particular medical history. Avion Pharmaceuticals, LLC (“Avion”) makes no representation, warranty or other undertaking that this site or its information are appropriate for you or your child’s specific needs or issues, and further expressly disclaims all damages, losses, injuries or liability whatsoever incurred or alleged to have been incurred in consequence of your reliance on the information on this site. Avion does not endorse any test, procedure, treatment, remedy, therapy, cure, nutritional regimen, method or other activity or undertaking that you and/or your doctor or other medical professional may elect or recommend. By visiting this site you agree to these terms and conditions and acknowledge that you have read and understand the same. These terms and conditions, together with any information on this site, may be amended, restated or otherwise changed from time to time and at any time by Avion within the sole, absolute and uncontrolled exercise of its discretion. You acknowledge and agree that Avion has no duty or obligation to keep you informed of any amendments to, restatements of or other changes to these terms and conditions or this site, and that you are solely and exclusively responsible for apprising yourself of the same.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

WARNING: Accidental overdose of iron-containing products is a leading cause of fatal poisoning in children under 6. Keep this product out of reach of children. In case of accidental overdose, call a doctor or poison control center immediately.

WARNING: Ingestion of more than 3 grams of omega-3 fatty acids (such as DHA) per day has been shown to have potential antithrombotic effects, including an increased bleeding time and International Normalized Ratio (INR). Administration of omega-3 fatty acids should be avoided in patients taking anticoagulants and in those known to have an inherited or acquired predisposition to bleeding.

This site and its contents are an information resource only, and are neither intended to nor should be used in replacement of your doctor or other prescribing professional’s medical guidance, recommendations or advice. Neither this site nor its information should be used or relied upon for any diagnostic, medical, treatment, nutritional or other purpose. All aspects of pregnancy, including whether pregnancy is right for you, and the nourishment and care of your child, should be made with your doctor and other appropriate medical professional, and in consideration of your and your child’s particular medical history. Avion Pharmaceuticals, LLC (“Avion”) makes no representation, warranty or other undertaking that this site or its information are appropriate for you or your child’s specific needs or issues, and further expressly disclaims all damages, losses, injuries or liability whatsoever incurred or alleged to have been incurred in consequence of your reliance on the information on this site. Avion does not endorse any test, procedure, treatment, remedy, therapy, cure, nutritional regimen, method or other activity or undertaking that you and/or your doctor or other medical professional may elect or recommend. By visiting this site you agree to these terms and conditions and acknowledge that you have read and understand the same. These terms and conditions, together with any information on this site, may be amended, restated or otherwise changed from time to time and at any time by Avion within the sole, absolute and uncontrolled exercise of its discretion. You acknowledge and agree that Avion has no duty or obligation to keep you informed of any amendments to, restatements of or other changes to these terms and conditions or this site, and that you are solely and exclusively responsible for apprising yourself of the same.

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