About Postpartum Hypothyroidism

Postpartum hypothyroidism is a condition characterized by an inflamed thyroid gland. This condition is otherwise commonly called as postpartum thyroiditis. Postpartum hypothyroidism is not an infection but the gland becomes inflamed due to a response to an injury of the gland. The exact cause of it is still not known. Postpartum hypothyroidism is very common in women, as studies show that about 5 to 7% of women worldwide develop this condition after giving birth.

Postpartum hypothyroidism can occur in patients having a prior history of thyroiditis and it occur in patients whose blood content includes anti-thyroid antibodies that have developed against the thyroid in response to the injury. A history of postpartum thyroiditis after other pregnancies in a patient can also be a reason for occurrence of postpartum hypothyroidism. Some of the common symptoms include feeling tired, constipation, loss of memory, and inability tolerating cold weather.

Some of the other common symptoms of postpartum hypothyroidism include cramps in the muscles, feeling weak, and weight gain. The symptoms of this condition vary in each woman. The symptoms usually do not appear until three to eight months after childbirth. The symptoms of postpartum hypothyroidism are mostly mistaken for normal signs of recovery from childbirth or other medical conditions.Diagnostic procedures utilized to detect the presence of postpartum hypothyroidism mainly depend up on the severity of the condition in a patient.

A radioactive iodine uptake test is usually performed to diagnose it. A blood test to measure levels of thyroid hormones (T4) and thyroid-stimulating hormones (TSH) is one of the other methods used to determine whether the mother has postpartum hypothyroidism. The specific treatment to be given in a patient mainly depends up on the age, overall health, and medical history of the patient. In addition, the extent of the disease and tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies are some of the other factors that help decide a treatment for postpartum hypothyroidism.




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