Pregnancy, thyroid levels and antibodies

Hi everyone - I'm just over 12 weeks pregnant and my TSH level is currently 2.2 and FT4 is 15.4, however I'm very worried as my TPO antibodies have come back as 184 (lab range max is 60) and TG antibodies are 413.2 (maximum for lab is 20). I had my 12 week scan and thankfully things look to be fine but I feel so concerned regarding my antibody results, I don't understand why they are so terribly high and I'm worried about the effect possibly on my pregnancy. I was very poorly last year and my weight fell to 38kg (I'm now still a little underweight at 46.8kg) and my BMI is 17.3. I was diagnosed as coeliac last year and have also become lactose and egg intolerant and am avoiding gluten, milk products and eggs. I am also being re-tested for inflammatory bowel disease / Crohn's. I don't know why my body has launched such an attack but if anyone can shed any light I'd be hugely grateful. As a side note, after the birth of my last child in November 2011 I was diagnosed with a form of chronic anxiety / ptsd as the birth was very difficult and had left me with health problems, and in my mind I'm sure this has had a huge effect on my body. I do not have 'typical' hypothyroid symptoms although I do have some hair less and feel the cold, but then I am underweight. My TSH had been holding steady around 3 before I fell pregnant on a dose of only 25 micrograms per day, but unfortunately I've now also developed a possible intolerance to the fillers in the my levothyroxine and am going to start liquid levo instead. Thank you for your help.

8 Replies

  • I understood that TSH should be low in pregnancy

    so yours seems too high to me

    No wish to upset you but The high antibodies and all those food intolerances do not bode well for the baby though .............will probably have multiple food allergies ,etc when its born if my daughters case is anything to go by

  • I'm so sorry you had such a rotten time in your daughter's case, and it's interesting what you say re TSH as I know there's some controversy re TSH levels during pregnancy. I'm just going to keep trying to keep as fit and healthy as possible and keep my levels within range, and fingers crossed. Thank you for getting back.

  • Congratulations on being pregnant and this is some advice re increase in dose:

    I am sorry you also have multiple autoimmune conditions too and hope they are being treated.

    I believe that a gluten-free diet can help reduce antibody levels but you have to eat sensibly when pregnant and that might prove difficult with your other problems but do your best and I hope your doctor is helpful too.

    Best wishes.

  • Thank you for getting back to me and for the link you sent me which is really interesting. I've been gluten free for about 7 months now and although I'd started being able to have eggs and goats milk again prior to my pregnancy I absolutely can't have them now without terrible symptoms! I feel so disappointed at my antibody levels because of having cut out gluten etc months ago, but I suppose pregnancy itself changes things immensely. Fingers crossed and I do, at least, have a gp who I can talk to. Thank you again.

  • You are very brave to get pregnant again having had a bad time last time, and I deeply sympathise. They should keep a very close eye on you, don't be afraid to demand this. Try to keep your iron levels up - under their guidance - and your B levels too, with supplements. If you haven't already thought about it, and can bear to - I know this stuff is all so overwhelming - have a look at the information on cord clamping, and consider asking for the cord to be allowed to pulsate for the full time before it is clamped. Under NICE guidelines they have to allow that now if you ask for it, and it means that the baby gets the full final dose of iron and stem cells from the placenta to carry through the first weeks after the birth. That's really important for development, and I wish I'd known about it when I had my son.

    The fact that you know you have these problems means you can act to protect yourself and the baby, and I think that means your baby is likely to be fine. I am sure everyone is already telling you that the second birth is often easier than the first - mine was.

  • Thank you for getting back to me, I haven't heard of cord clamping and will definitely look into this, I've certainly learnt that you have to be quite forceful when it comes to NHS medical care and your rights. It's strange but what happened was upsetting but it's also made me stronger.. eventually! Also such a help to know re B levels and iron, I am prone to anaemia and I'm not a huge meat fan although being lactose intolerant and egg intolerant now I'm having to learn to like it a little more. Thank you for your encouragement re the outcome too and I'm glad you had a second birth easier than your first, fingers crossed I just hope that I can get through my thyroid issues during pregnancy but I believe a lot of women with thyroid issues and antibodies do have successful pregnancies, as you say it's being aware of everything which is important initially.

  • So glad if anything I say helps at all. I remember being pregnant as such a tough time, and people loading me with advice which I found hard to evalutate, and often was just an expression of their own experiences or emotions, which I may be doing too, you are very good to be able to think it through at all.

    The cord clamping scandal was revealed by a heroic midwife in Leeds - not by a consultant, as you would expect. She has two sons with ADHD and she wondered why, and she began to ask: "Why do we clamp the cord immediately on delivery?" And when she began to research, she found the practice had been introduced in the 1950s in the USA (of course GB followed) with no evidence base whatsoever. They didn't even know stem cells existed then. I think male obstetricians didn't trust women's bodies, ie nature, being boys they wanted to control this "messy" process with machines. And being boys, they did not think of the risks of doing that. The midwife found research evidence that babies who had their cords clamped immediately were more likely to be iron deficient a few months later. It probably (obviously) mainly affects babies whose mothers are potentially iron deficient themselves, as you are at risk of being, and I think I was too.

    Not all UK hospitals have understood and taken on board this change. I think it is very important for anyone with celiac or thyroid disease. Iron is crucial to the development of the baby's brain.

    Vitamin D, obviously can be low in celiac too, it is worth supplementing that by a fairly high amount - you are at risk, and low D affects bones, as you know, and also probably tooth health for the baby, and perhaps a lot of other things too. If you would like to see the studies on that I can dig them out.

  • Hi - so interesting, thank you! I watched every video on the Hope For Hashimoto's website at the weekend, I'm not sure if you've seen it, it was fascinating too, and realised that although there's huge concerns about taking iodine if you have high autoimmune thyroid antibodies I'm most probably very iodine deficient (given I don't eat any dairy or eggs any more and not too much seafood or fish). Thankfully I had a scan yesterday again, I'm 13 weeks, and baby's development looked fine, touch wood, but I really want to take action and get all my nutrients in the second and third trimesters. I am so fatigued and do supplement with iron, and have been eating quite a lot of meat, but interestingly low iodine can cause fatigue too, and it seems that if you take a selenium and zinc supplement, or your diet is quite rich in these things, taking some iodine even with positive antibodies shouldn't increase antibodies. It's such a catch 22 situation, but ultimately not enough iodine causes huge problems for the baby and I think I have to take the risk, as long as I supplement gradually and carefully. My Vit D level was very low but is now up in the 70s thankfully. Will be doing lots of research into the cord clamping, thank you again you've been such a help.

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