Hypothyroidism effects during pregnancy drive new guidelines for managing thyroid disease. There is growing evidence that insufficient thyroid hormone during pregnancy can have negative impact on the mother, the fetus, and future intellectual development of the child. Because of this, new guidelines have been recommended in order to better manage thyroid disease during pregnancy to prevent thyroid-related complications. The guidelines were created by the American Thyroid Association (ATA) expert task force.
Coauthor Alex Stagnaro-Green said, “Pregnancy has a profound impact on the thyroid gland and thyroid function…. In essence, pregnancy is a stress test for the thyroid, resulting in hypothyroidism in women with limited thyroidal reserve or iodine deficiency.”
Recommendations specify that women with overt hypothyroidism or with subclinical hypothyroidism, who are TPO antibody positive (an indication of ongoing thyroid condition), should be treated with oral levothyroxine. Use of other thyroid preparations such as triiodothyronine or desiccated thyroid to treat maternal hypothyroidism is strongly recommended against. Expecting women with subclinical hypothyroidism who are not initially treated should be monitored for progression to overt hypothyroidism with serum TSH and free T4 tests every four weeks until 16-20 weeks gestation and at least once between 26-32 weeks gestation.
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