Hypothyroidism In Pregnancy

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

Hypothyroidism is a condition that develops when the thyroid gland makes little or no thyroid hormone. Thyroid hormones help control body temperature, heart rate, growth, and how you gain or lose weight.

CARE AGREEMENT:

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

RISKS:

Pregnancy causes an increased need for thyroid hormone and iodine in the body. Low thyroid hormone levels may cause serious health problems. You may continue to gain weight. You may have body pains, and think, move, and talk slowly. You may also develop myxedema, which is a dangerous condition. Myxedema may cause swelling in your legs, ankles, lungs, or around your heart. You may have seizures, or go into a deep coma and die if you do not get medical care quickly. You may have increased blood pressure and have vomiting, blurring of vision, and very bad bleeding in your womb. Your child may be born with birth defects, have a low birth weight, or even die inside the womb. You may also give birth earlier than expected.

WHILE YOU ARE HERE:

Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.

Rest:

You may need to rest in bed for a period of time. Your caregiver will tell you when it is okay to get out of bed. Call your caregiver before getting up for the first time. If you feel weak or dizzy, sit or lie down right away.

Heart monitor:

This is also called an ECG or EKG. Sticky pads placed on your skin record your heart's electrical activity.

Intake and output:

Caregivers will keep track of the amount of liquid you are getting. They also may need to know how much you are urinating. Ask how much liquid you should drink each day. Ask caregivers if they need to measure or collect your urine.

Medicines:

You may need any of the following:

  • Heart medicine: This medicine is given to strengthen or regulate your heartbeat. It also may help your heart in other ways. Talk with your caregiver to find out what your heart medicine is and why you are taking it.

  • Thyroid hormone: You are given this medicine to bring your thyroid hormone level back to normal.

Tests and monitoring:

You may need any of the following:

  • Blood tests: Blood is taken to learn how well your thyroid is working. These tests tell caregivers how low the thyroid hormone levels are in your blood. This information may also be used to see how well any treatments are working.

  • Fetal ultrasound: This test uses sound waves to show pictures of your baby (fetus) inside your uterus. Jelly-like lotion is put on your abdomen, and a small handle is gently moved through the lotion. As this is done, pictures of your baby can be seen on a TV-like screen. Caregivers can learn the age of your baby, and see how fast he is growing. The movement, heart rate, and position of your baby can also be seen. Caregivers can see your placenta, and can tell if you have more than one baby.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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