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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Postpartum thyroiditis is a disease that causes your thyroid gland to become inflamed after you give birth. The thyroid gland is located at the front of your neck. The thyroid produces hormones that help control your body functions, such as temperature and heart rate. Postpartum thyroiditis can develop right after or within a year after delivery.
- Medicines may be given to help raise or lower your thyroid hormone level. You may also need medicines to treat your signs and symptoms, such as fast heartbeat and nervousness.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your primary healthcare provider (PHP) if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your PHP in 4 to 8 weeks:
You may need to return regularly to have your thyroid level checked. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Eat a variety of healthy foods:
Healthy foods include fruits, vegetables, whole-grain breads, low-fat dairy products, beans, lean meats, and fish. This will help you maintain a healthy weight. Ask if you need to be on a special diet.
Drink liquids as directed:
Ask your PHP how much liquid to drink each day and which liquids are best for you.
Ask your PHP about the best exercise plan for you. Start slowly and do more as you get stronger. Exercise can help give you energy and decrease your symptoms.
Contact your PHP if:
- You have a fever.
- You run out of thyroid medicine before your next scheduled refill.
- You feel nervous and restless.
- You have pain or swelling in your muscles.
- Your voice becomes hoarse, or you have itchiness in your throat.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Return to the emergency department if:
- You have sudden chest pain or trouble breathing.
- Your heart is racing.
- You feel like you are going to faint.
- You have a seizure.
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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.