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POSTPARTUM THYROIDITIS

WHAT IS POSTPARTUM THYROIDITIS?


Postpartum thyroiditis is a relatively uncommon and temporary condition seen in some women after delivery, upto 12 months. 

Thyroid gland present in front of our neck releases thyroid hormones that help our body in maintaining daily essential metabolic activities. Post pregnancy, due to reasons mentioned below, its functions get modified and it can lead to both hyperthyroidism as well as hypothyroidism. Hyperthyroidism is seen in the first phase, leading to hypothyroidism later on. 


RISK FACTORS


Your risk of developing postpartum thyroiditis is more if:

  1. You have type 1 diabetes
  2. Have a family history of thyroid diseases
  3. Presence of thyroid antibodies 

COMPLICATIONS


It is usually a self limiting condition that gets resolved on its own with time but in 1 of 5 women, if left untreated, can lead to permanent hypothyroidism.

Women with postpartum thyroiditis have a high chance of developing postpartum depression. 


SYMPTOMS AND CAUSES


SYMPTOMS


The first phase is hyperthyroidism and takes place between 1st to 6th months. There are no specific symptoms in the initial weeks. So most of the women despite having hyperthyroidism may not even know it. But some may experience sudden anxiety, wt loss, feeling warm, palpitations and excessive hair loss.

In the second phase i.e., hypothyroidism, lasting upto 1 year. Patients complaints of weight gain, depression, unexplained lethargy, constipation, intolerance to cold etc. 


CAUSES


Women with asymptomatic autoimmune thyroid condition can develop postpartum thyroiditis post pregnancy. The antibodies start attacking the thyroid gland, causing its inflammation, leading to hyperthyroidism and later hypothyroidism. The reason behind the presence of these antibodies are still unknown.


DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT


DIAGNOSIS


This condition can be diagnosed by taking out blood sample and testing your thyroid profile via it. This is enough to make a diagnosis.


TREATMENT


Conventional treatment of postpartum thyroiditis varies with the phase that the patient is going through when brought to the physician. Women experiencing hyperthyroidism are treated with beta blockers while those in the hypothyroid phase are usually treated with thyroid hormone replacement therapy.


MANAGEMENT


  • Removing food from your diet that can trigger immune reactions to the disease.
  • Adding anti inflammatory products in diet like turmeric, coconut oil, fresh fruits, vegetables and probiotics can help in moderating immune responses.
  • Stress management: as it can trigger or worsen the disease’s symptoms.
  • Sleep 7-9 hrs to boost your immunity.
  • Choose your diet wisely as hypothyroidism makes you gain weight and hyperthyroidism makes you lose weight.
  • Seek medical help as soon as possible to avoid any complications in future.

HOMEOPATHIC MANAGEMENT


As postpartum thyroiditis is supposedly a self limiting condition, homeopathic medicine can help you in treating the present symptoms as well as removing the tendency from your body so that you can have a normal postpartum period in your further pregnancies. Homeopathic treatment for Hypothyroid also helps in overcoming lifelong complications. Apart from constitutional medicines, many acute medicines can be prescribed depending upon your presenting symptoms such as thyroidinum, iodum, calc phos, lapis alba, spongia etc. 


DO’S AND DON’TS


DO’S


  • Check your thyroid levels regularly
  • Eat a balanced diet.
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Add iodine to your diet if you are in hypothyroidism phase
  • Add light physical exercise to your routine.
  • Avoid undue stress. 

DON’TS


  • Avoid goitrogenic food
  • Avoid smoking
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Avoid sugar and caffeine.

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