Thyroid UK

Did I give my mum hypothyroidism?

My mum was diagnosed with hypothyroidism whilst she was pregant with me, and I've now been diagnosed after struggling with tiredness, depression etc. for years.

It doesn't run in her side of the family but there is a history of it on my dad's side. I can't seem to find any research on the effect of a hypothyroid foetus on the mother, or vice versa (other than untreated).

Is it possible that I gave it to her? I haven't had an antibodies test yet, so I've no idea if it's Hashimoto's (or even the cause of it). Or is it more likely that her development of hypothyroidism caused me to have it? Or could it be entirely unrelated?

I'm curious.

7 Replies

Interesting thought but I think your mum was probably heading that way when she was expecting you. The foetus takes first call on the mother for development so may be your mother was 'normal' when you were on the way but with nothing to spare so her problem was now highlighted. As to whether it was in her family-it could well have been but not treated as such. My gran had PA but I also remember she lost her eyebrows and had very thin hair in places. Many years later I discovered he nephew was being treated and he only mentioned it when I said I had a problem! So she may have had a family history that was not diagnosed or not spoken about.


Whoaa be careful not to go down the road of who is responsible for difficulties, whatever the family condition these things can go back for generations, it is best to accept the condition then attempt to heal your own journey, this will apply to your mum as well, otherwise it can lead to unfounded guilt which only adds negativity to the situation. It has been documented that pregnancy can trigger thyroid disease, but who knows why the mother was susceptible when others aren't, it is certainly not the babies fault, as said genes are carried forward and environmental influences all come into the equation.


Oh, I'm not blaming anyone. I'm just curious. I like knowing where these things come from, how they happen and things. Docs don't seem to care though.

It's just interesting how both me and my mother have it, but there's no history at all on her side. Even undisclosed history. All her side of the family have always been pretty healthy. And yet on my dad's side, there's loads of it.


Hypothyroidism is an autoimmune condition which means that our own bodies begin to attack itself. It's no-ones fault but sometimes autoimmune conditions are hereditary. Some are pernicious anaemia, rheumatoid arthritis and thyroid conditions. So it's no-one's fault.

If you are having symptoms which think may be due to your thyroid gland, get the doctor to give you a Full Thyroid Function Blood Test. Get a copy from the surgery with the ranges and post the results for comments from our members.

This is a link and if you look on the left-hand side you will see topics and read 'About the Thyroid' etc. You will also come across a symptoms checker etc.


Hi, shaws. You probably were thinking about Hashimotos being an autoimmune condition. Cause you can be hypo without the autoantibodies present.


MsLizzieEmily, hormonal changes during puberty, pregnancy and menopause often trigger hypothyroidism. Low maternal thyroid hormone during pregnancy can cause congenital hypothyroidism in infants but this is usually picked up by the heel prick test shortly after birth. The foetus is dependent on maternal thyroid hormone for the first trimester until it's own thyroid gland develops.

There is a familial/genetic connection with thyroid disorders but it doesn't always present in the same way. My mother and sister had Graves which is autoimmune hyperthyroidism, but I had Hashimoto's which is autoimmune hypothyroidism.


I've been showing symptoms since I hit puberty, so that makes a lot of sense. Apparently my pregnancy was really difficult- loads of complications. My older brothers were fine though, weirdly. And both are incredibly healthy, and I seem to be always sick.


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