While motherhood is deemed as the most vital part of a woman’s life, it brings along its share of changes and complications. After conceiving, a number of chances set in the body of any woman. She undergoes unprecedented mental and physiological changes. Even after the birth of the child, some such developments continue before normal cycles can recur. From periods to mood swings, everything changes post pregnancy and after delivery.
A section of such women develop a condition called Postpartum thyroiditis. It is a temporary inflammation affecting the thyroid gland after childbirth. Few symptoms include anxiety, Rapid heartbeat, Fatigue, Insomnia, dry skin, constipation, weight loss, etc. to name a few.
Nuances of Postpartum thyroiditis
The exact cause of Postpartum thyroiditis is not known. It is suspected to be an autoimmune disorder caused by some changes in hormonal levels in the body and immune system. It affects about 10 percent of women who conceive. It can also happen after a miscarriage.
The duration of Postpartum thyroiditis can last from a couple of weeks to a few months. The affected women return to normalcy within a year or so. Women with type 1 diabetes tend to develop this condition.
Symptoms of Postpartum thyroiditis
The symptoms of Postpartum thyroiditis can be tricky to recognize. This is owing to the fact not all affected women exhibit all the symptoms and the intensity of the symptoms can vary as well. Besides, sometimes the symptoms can be too mild. In a lot of cases, the signs can be so mild that the victims are not able to recognize the conditions. While the thyroid gland is inflamed most women do not feel pain which is the case with regular thyroiditis.
There are 3 courses in which postpartum thyroiditis can unfold:
- A hyperthyroid phase that is succeeded by a return to normalcy in thyroid function
- Just a hypothyroid phase
- A hyperthyroid phase, which is succeeded by a phase of hypothyroidism
Nevertheless, it is important to note the major symptoms of both hypothyroid and hyperthyroid phase in this condition.
The major signs exhibited by women undergoing hyperthyroidism phase are:
- Rapid heartbeat
- Weight loss
These signs can happen after 1 to 4 months after childbirth and may last for up to 3 months.
The major signs exhibited by women undergoing hypothyroidism phase are:
- Lack of energy
- Difficulty concentrating
- Dry skin
- Sensitivity to cold
These signs may take four to eight months post delivery to develop. Some women developing postpartum thyroiditis may develop only one set of symptoms. On close inspection, signs of both phases actually overlap.
Complication from postpartum thyroiditis
Whether a woman exhibits mild or severe signs of this disorder, she may or may not recover from the hypothyroid phase. A majority of women recover, but a small section of affected lot does not and they require medical aid later. They may require hormone replacement therapy. Postpartum thyroiditis has similar symptoms with regular thyroid disorder and this also makes distinguishing difficult. The signs are also similar to those of autoimmune Graves’ disease.
Treating the condition
The treatment of this condition is not fixed and the doctors look at various factors like:
- Age of the affected woman
- Health conditions and complications
- Stage of the disorder
Natural treatment for Postpartum thyroiditis
When the symptoms of Postpartum thyroiditis are detected, resorting to natural remedies can be useful. In most instances, the symptoms start receding within short time and thyroid gland functions resume. Resorting to the natural remedies can help control and reduce the symptoms better.
- Lifestyle changes– Discarding sedentary lifestyle and including mild forms of exercise can be helpful for women developing this condition.
- No to processed foods– Discarding processed and junk food is considered beneficial from various health perspectives. It can be good for women developing Postpartum thyroiditis as well. The excess sugar and artificial elements in processed food can affect the thyroid gland badly.
- Right sources of protein– It is important to eat the right types of animal protein sources when you are afflicted with this condition. Eat plenty of sea fish, but avoid those fish with elevated levels of mercury. Similarly, you may eat lean meat, but evade fat laden red meat types.
Postpartum thyroiditis can be easily thwarted and regulated when diagnosed early. Be sure to visit your doctor if you feel particularly tired or restless. After all it is only when you are in good health can you care for your lil darling!