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Postpartum Thyroiditis

We've all heard of the Baby Blues and Post Partum Depression as well as fatigue, anemia and pain as problems new moms can face. When those symptoms don't clear up by around 3 months, however, one lesser known problem that could be keeping the mother from returning to normal health is called Postpartum Thryroiditis. It is due to inflamation of the thyroid gland cause by anitbodies which work against the thyroid. The antibodies seem to reach their highest concentration around 5-7 months postpartum and can take up to a year to level off. These are some of the symptoms a woman may face as a result:

Common Symptoms of Thyroid Disfunction

Hyperactive (overactive)

  • Anxiousness
  • Tremousness
  • Rapid Heartbeat
  • A feeling of warmth
  • Difficulty Concentrating
  • Muscle weakness
  • Weight Loss
Hypoactive (underactive)
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Weight Gain
  • Constipation
  • Memory Impairment
  • Sensitivity to Cold
  • Muscle Cramps
After this happens, a woman can eventually level off and go back to normal with or without treatment depending on severity, or they may become permanently hypothyroid after this due to the damage on their thyroid.

Some women who experience fatique or depression 3-6 months after giving birth might really have a thyroid problem. This can improve with simple thyroid treatment, usually taking one pill a day of prescribed thyroid medication if you are hypothryroid. Your dr. can diagnose you through a blood test and physical examination.

Postpartum thyroiditis is a common dissorder which often goes unrecognized. Mainly because women assume these feelings are a normal part of the recovery from childbirth, or they assume they have postpartum depression, but do not report it to their Dr.
Treatment is painless and simple. If you are hypothyroid, even just temporarily after giving birth, you can safely take levothyroxine synthroid while breastfeeding.

If you have or suspect you have a thyroid problem, I would highly suggest (from personal experience) that you see a thyroid specialise. Many dr.'s are not informed about the details of Thyroid problems. If you feel you have anxiety or depression symptoms from it, they will give you an anti depressant, if you can concentrate, you might get ADD medication. A thyroid Dr will know that you need more Thyroid medicine and NOT a generic as they are NOT the same when it comes to Thyroid medicine.

If you didn't seem to bounce back from pregnancy the same as most women do, this may have been the reason. If you had a long slow recovery from your last childbirth and are planning on having more, go to an endocrinologist/Thyroid Dr during your pregnancy.

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