TSH during pregnancy is elevated – what to do

The onset of pregnancy always entails a large number of hormonal changes in the female body. Part of what is happening is considered the norm, and part is perceived by doctors as a pathology. One of the most common problems is elevated TSH during pregnancy.

Today, sharp jumps in TSH levels are recorded in many women. Doctors name various reasons for this condition, ranging from poor environmental conditions to congenital problems with hormonal regulation.

Whatever the reason for the increase in the level of thyrotropin , a woman should, when planning a pregnancy, take into account these indicators and adjust them under the guidance of a doctor.

The role of the hormone and the danger from its excess

Thyroid-stimulating hormone is a substance synthesized in a brain structure called the pituitary gland. The main and only task of this biologically active compound is to control the level of hormones produced by the thyroid gland.

The thyroid gland provides the human body with two main substances: T3 and T4. Both of these compounds affect many processes, ranging from metabolism to the work of all organs and systems.

It mainly depends on the level of TSH whether T4 will be normal, since it is on this compound that its main action is directed. T4, on the other hand, acts as a prohormone, that is, a substance with low biological activity. Only after entering the blood does it turn into T3, which is ten times more active than T4.

If a woman has a pregnancy, a very high TSH can lead to its abnormal course and affect the baby. First of all, the psyche of the child and his mental development are under attack.

In the first trimester, high levels of thyrotropin are especially dangerous. This is due to the fact that the fetus does not yet have its own thyroid gland, it is forced to take all the hormones coming from the mother’s bloodstream. Also during this period, there is an active formation of vital organs and systems, which can be negatively affected by an excess of TSH.

A decrease in thyroid function in a woman with a simultaneous jump in the level of TSH may indicate a number of pathologies that can end in abortion. These include:

  • preeclampsia (another name is severe preeclampsia);
  • hemodialysis;
  • insufficient functioning of the adrenal glands;
  • tumor diseases;
  • mental disorders, etc.

The consequences for the child in case of ignoring high TSH levels can be as follows:

  • development of congenital hypothyroidism;
  • development of congenital hyperthyroidism;
  • mental retardation;
  • the development of mental illness, etc.

Causes of an increase in hormone levels

During the period of bearing a child, the level of thyrotropin is under the control of the hypothalamus, which produces a biologically active substance that acts on the pituitary gland and increases the level of TSH. All elements of the hypothalamus-pituitary-thyroid gland system are closely connected with each other.

Most often, the hypothalamus begins to actively produce TRH, which acts on the pituitary gland, if a woman has a weakened thyroid gland. Thus, the body tries to make the body function correctly and produce enough hormones necessary for the woman herself and the full course of her pregnancy.

During pregnancy, a slight increase in TSH is allowed and is considered the norm only at first, since the female body has not yet had time to adapt to a new state for itself. In the first trimeter, a decrease in the level of TSH can also be observed, which is also considered a variant of the norm due to the work of adaptive mechanisms.

The level of the hormone returns to its biological norm towards the end of pregnancy, and sometimes only after childbirth.

Women should worry if, according to the analysis, the norm is exceeded several times. Minor deviations up or down are physiological.

Signs of excess TSH

In a healthy person, the level of thyroid-stimulating hormone during the day is at around 0.4-4.0 mU / l. During pregnancy, the level of the hormone may fluctuate slightly, and a very low rate is a reason to suspect a multiple pregnancy.

If TSH is elevated, this can be determined by the following symptoms:

  • in the neck area there is a slight thickening due to the growth of thyroid tissue;
  • a woman constantly feels weak, she cannot actively move due to fatigue;
  • sleep disturbance is possible, mainly in the direction of excessive drowsiness;
  • the skin is pale, swelling may occur;
  • appetite is reduced, often there are nausea, vomiting, constipation;
  • body temperature is reduced throughout the day;
  • a woman quickly gains weight, even if she eats poorly;
  • complaints of memory problems, lethargy, apathy;
  • sharp outbreaks of irritation can be observed.

What to do

Despite the formidable consequences, elevated TSH and pregnancy planning are quite well combined with each other if controlled by a specialist.

The first thing to remember for a woman suffering from high levels of thyrotropin and who wants to give birth to a healthy child is a complete ban on self-medication in any form.

First, if you suspect high TSH levels, it is recommended to consult an endocrinologist. He will be able to correctly evaluate the results obtained after the tests and choose the appropriate therapy.

Secondly, in no case should you rely on traditional medicine or try to take hormone-based drugs on your own. The first, at best, simply will not give any effect, and the second will significantly aggravate the situation, since it is unlikely that it will be possible to choose the right drug and dosage correctly.

The doctor, after evaluating the results of the tests, is likely to give preference to the drug L-thyroxine, thanks to which it will be possible to normalize hormonal parameters. It is important to choose the right dose, starting with the lowest possible and bringing it up to the one that will have a therapeutic effect.

An elevated TSH level during pregnancy is a deviation that can be corrected if you consult a doctor in a timely manner and be attentive to your own health. All that is needed is to timely take tests for the level of a biologically active substance in the blood and visit specialists, following their recommendations.

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