Thyroiditis is a broad term that refers to “thyroid gland inflammation”. Therefore postpartum thyroiditis arises after a baby is delivered. Thyroiditis can result in hyperthyroidism (excess thyroid hormone in the blood) and hypothyroidism (marginally low thyroid hormone levels in the blood). Hyperthyroidism occurs initially in postpartum thyroiditis, followed by hypothyroidism.
The thyroid gland is a small gland located in the front of the neck. Thyroid hormones are produced by it. These hormones move throughout your body via your bloodstream. Thyroid hormones regulate how your body burns calories. Almost every organ in your body is affected. You don’t feel well when your thyroid doesn’t produce enough hormones.
Hyperthyroidism: This means it releases an excessive amount of thyroid hormones into the bloodstream. This can cause your body to work too quickly.
Hypothyroidism: This indicates that it isn’t producing enough thyroid hormones. Then various areas of your body begin to slow down.
To get an expert opinion on thyroid treatment, patients can consult an endocrinologist by searching “best endocrinologist near me” on any search engine.
Although the particular cause is unknown, it is thought to be an autoimmune condition related to Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Anti-thyroid antibodies are seen in postpartum thyroiditis, just as in Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Women who have positive antithyroid antibodies are more likely to develop postpartum thyroiditis than women who do not have positive antibodies.
Who is at risk?
- Autoimmune disorders (such as Type 1, or juvenile onset, Diabetes Mellitus)
- Positive anti-thyroid antibodies (risk correlates with antibody levels, the higher the antibody, the higher the risk)
- History of previous thyroid dysfunction
- History of previous postpartum thyroiditis (20% of women will have a recurrence of thyroiditis with additional pregnancies)
- Family history of thyroid dysfunction
To know more about the risks of postpartum thyroiditis, patients can consult an endocrinologist by searching “best endocrinologist in India” on any search engine.
When your thyroid is inflamed, it releases a large amount of thyroid hormone into your bloodstream. This results in hyperthyroidism. You may not have any symptoms during this period. Whatever symptoms you do have may be minor and short-lived.
You may fully recover after this first phase. However, in other cases, it may damage your thyroid. A thyroid that has been damaged can become underactive. This problem could go away, or you could live the rest of your life with an underactive thyroid. In this case, hormone replacement may be necessary.
A woman may experience some uncommon symptoms during this time, including:
- Feeling warm
- Weight loss
- Being anxious
- Immoderate hair loss
- Rapid heart rate
Most women don’t experience symptoms until the second stage of postpartum thyroid disease, hypothyroidism. This stage occurs typically 4 to 8 months following delivery. It can linger on for up to a year before resolving on its own. Only a tiny percentage of women remain hypothyroid for the remainder of their lives.
Postpartum thyroiditis is usually temporary and goes away on its own. You may not need medication in minor cases where hormone levels aren’t exceedingly high or low. Instead, your doctor will suggest blood tests to check for thyroid antibodies and thyroid-stimulating hormone levels. The treatment for postpartum thyroiditis is determined by your hormone levels.
Your doctor may prescribe prednisone steroids to reduce inflammation if you have severe overactive thyroid symptoms and hormone levels.
Your doctor may prescribe thyroid medication if you have severe underactive thyroid symptoms and low hormone levels. Your doctor may also recommend taking selenium supplements or consuming selenium-rich foods. This mineral can aid in the reduction of thyroid inflammation.
To ensure that your thyroid hormones remain at a healthy level, you should get your blood checked regularly. In addition, if you’re taking medicine, you need to get your blood checked periodically to see whether you still need medication for the condition.
For more information on thyroid treatment, patients can consult an endocrinologist by searching “best endocrinologist near me” on any search engine. Patients can also download SeekMed mobile application and seek a second opinion on thyroid treatment and other health complications.