What Is Postpartum Thyroiditis?



Postpartum thyroiditis can be defined as a condition, in which the thyroid gets inflamed during the initial year after childbirth, induced abortion or miscarriage. The condition is also often referred to as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.

Every woman does not get this condition; however, the condition is not an uncommon one among women who have been pregnant. Statistics suggest that around 7% women suffer from postpartum thyroiditis. Women belonging to any of the following groups are at higher risk of developing postpartum thyroiditis.

  1. Women with type 1 diabetes (around 25% of them get postpartum thyroiditis)
  2. Women carrying high number of antithyroid antibodies, but have normal levels of thyroid hormone (around 25% of them get postpartum thyroiditis)
  3. Women having high levels of anti-peroxidase antibodies (around 50% of them get postpartum thyroiditis)
  4. Women who have suffered from postpartum thyroiditis during a previous pregnancy are also at risk of getting the condition again when they get pregnant.

How will one know that she may be suffering from postpartum thyroiditis? The condition is marked by several distinct symptoms. These symptoms appear both during the hypothyroid and hyperthyroid phases. The most common symptoms of postpartum thyroiditis include:

  1. Hair loss
  2. Reduction in milk production in the breastfeeding women
  3. Fatigue, depression, mood swings and other mental disorders
  4. Goiter i.e. enlargement of thyroid gland; the condition is absolutely painless

During hyperthyroid phase, the postpartum thyroiditis symptoms are mostly milder in nature compare to the symptoms experienced by general hyperthyroid patients. These symptoms include: muscle weakness, heart palpitations, irritability, weight loss, diarrhea, tremor, anxiety etc. The symptoms experienced by the woman during postpartum thyroiditis’s hypothyroid phase are again milder compared to symptoms of general hypothyroidism. These include symptoms like puffy eyes, hands and face, constipation, weight gain, dry skin, sluggishness et

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