Health Hub Kerala

Rise in hypothyroidism among the pregnant

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The balance in thyroid stimulating hormone is achieved through medicines that assist safe delivery.

More number of pregnant women are testing positive for hypothyroidism, say gynaecologists.

Senior consultant gynaecologist at the District General Hospital V. Girija said at least 5-6 cases of thyroid problem in pregnant women are detected out of the 200-odd women examined in a week.

Growth retardation of the baby is the immediate problem in such cases. Since the hormone secreted by thyroid is an important factor in the metabolic process of the body, hypothyroidism affects the baby’s growth as it is important for the foetal brain and nervous system development.

The thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) test is done in the first trimester (first three months) to find any thyroid malfunctioning, said Dr. Girija.

There are perhaps no scientific studies taken up on the subject, but there are certainly more women reporting thyroid problems, said Sarala Sreedhar, senior gynaecologist, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences. It could be because there is more screening during pregnancy that involves gestational diabetes and pregnancy induced hypertension.

Many women come in with the knowledge of hypothyroidism while some are detected during the screening. It could be because of the general increase in thyroid problem in the general population, said Dr. Girija.

The balance in TSH is achieved through medicines that help safe delivery.

Some of the complications resulting due to thyroid problems are akin to pregnancy induced hypertension (PIH).

In Kerala, where there is ample awareness on antenatal care, there are less issues of PIH. However, it becomes an area of concern if pregnancy is in a teenager or woman past 35 years.

Though PIH was earlier one of the main causes of maternal mortality, modern medical advances have equipped the medical fraternity to deal with it better guiding women to safer elivery, said Ajitha Kumari S., professor, head, Gynaecology, Government Medical College, Ernakulam.

The severity of PIH usually resulted in major complication called ecclampsia, which caused seizures in the mother.

The baby is affected by intra-uterine growth retardation.

PIH, usually detected in the third trimester, is found more in women from the migrant population, said Dr. Girija. “They have little ante-natal care”.

The PIH can be managed if detected early. Urine albumin is also checked along with PIH. Higher albumin is a warning signal too for PIH. If there is co-existing anaemia, the situation becomes bad for both the mother and child, said Dr. Girija.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2020 2:07:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/rise-in-hypothyroidism-among-the-pregnant/article6252273.ece

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