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Thyroid UK
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Postpartum thyroiditis

Hi, I was diagnosed with borderline hypothyroidism a few years ago after a nasty virus & was put on levothyroxine. I have been trying to control my levels without much success but after the birth of my 2nd child in April I have been experiencing symptoms of what I believe is overactive thyroid. I understand you are at higher risk of developing this if you have high antibodies/hypothyroidism which I have but does anyone know how long roughly I expect these symptoms to persist? I am currently waiting for my apt to test my levels again :-(

6 Replies

Hi Fennychannel -

please post your latest blood tests for folk to comment/help.

IF you have high antibodies (TPO) & hypo you probably have 'hashimotos' - although the treatment is the same as for HypoT - T4, despite experiencing hyper & hypo symptoms. (or Hyper & antibodies indicate Graves disease).

If you've been diagnosed with "postpartum thyroiditis" - it MAY be temporary - please get tested and eliminate low iron, ferritin, folate & B12 and vitamin D (the latter is implicated in the "baby-blues" & baby jaundice too) - all tend to be low with thyroid disease (and possibly contribute to thyroid disease) - and especially if you've just had a baby - they're greedy little buggers and take it all out of you!

Sleep when they sleep, & stuff the housework, you need to get your strength back! J :D

(if I only knew then.....)


I'm sorry you are feeling rough, especially with a young baby to look after too.

Take levo on an empty stomach and wait approx 1 hour before eating.

When getting a blood test for your thyroid hormones, leave approx 24 hours between taking levo and the blood test which should be as early as possible. Take levo afterwards.

Always get a print-out of your blood tests with the ranges for your own records and if you have a query you can post for responses. The ranges are important as labs differ throughout the country and it makes it easier to comment.

If you haven't had the following ask for these to be done with your next blood test for thyroid hormones. Vitamin B12, Vit D, iron, ferritin and folate. We are usually deficient in these which can also cause symptoms.

High antibodies mean you have an autoimmune thyroid disease - Hashimotos:




1 like

I forgot to say it should be a fasting blood test.


Fennychannel, high antibodies means you have autoimmune thyroid disease (Hashimoto's) which attacks your thyroid gland. As cells die off they dump hormone into the blood stream which can make you feel hyper. Low ferritin/iron can make you feel hyper and hypo at the same time. Undermedication and overmedication can cause palpitations which makes it difficult to work out what's going on without a blood test.

Pregnancy hormones can take up to six months to settle down and may be causing a bit of havoc with your thyroid. If your thyroid medication was raised during pregnancy they may need reducing post partum.

Many members find 100% gluten-free diet can be helpful in managing Hashimoto's and may reduce antibodies. You'll need to trial it around 3-6 months to see whether you get any benefit.

When you get your thyroid results post them with the ranges (figures in brackets after results) and members will advise whether you are optimally medicated.


After pregnancy, there is a tremendous decline in progesterone. Estrogen levels, however, remain quite high. The relative estrogen dominance that ensues becomes problematic for us and sets the stage for autoimmune problems, including Hashi's.


Another issue is with diet. Even after delivery, it's important to continue eating for two, especially if you are breastfeeding. A lot of women start dieting because they can't wait to get the baby weight off. Big mistake. Dieting ALWAYS causes rebound weight and increases rT3 levels, slowing metabolism drastically for a very long time - even damaging metabolism. While removing gluten and possibly lactose is a very good idea when autoimmune disorders are being experienced, it's important to remember to eat plenty of food.



Thank you for your really helpful comments. Suprisingly my thyroid behaved itself throughout pregnancy & where I was originally taking 75/50mg on alternate days it was reduced to 50mg which I'm still on. I am under a specialist that has ruled out addisons & my adrenal glands are normal however next plan of action will be blood tests for the full range (as my doctor surgery is only able to test tsh) & if I still feel unwell a trial of medication containing t3 as well as t4. My hair naturally is falling out as it should postnatel but I am also loosing my eyelashes/eyebrows which I know isn't post pregnancy related. I wa 11st 7 when I was pregnant & I am now 8st 12 (only 5ibs off my fighting weight) & my baby isn't even 4mths old yet.


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