Pregnant and Just Diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism

Updated on April 02, 2010
A.T. asks from Dublin, OH
12 answers

I was tested for thyroid problems several years ago and was found to not have a problem. However, they recommended that I get retested if I ever got pregnant. My OB/GYN retested me when I was 15 weeks pregnant. My levels were abnormally high and she sent me to a specialist. After being retested, I was put on 150 mg of PTU daily (50 mg three times a day). This was especially frustrating for me because I display no symptoms and had no problems getting pregnant. I began the medication during my 24th week of pregnancy.

I was just wondering if anyone else has been through this. I'm nervous to be taking medication that will pass through to the baby. I'm also concerned about breastfeeding. My doctor is going to research this and get back to me when I see her at my 28th week check up. I'd love to hear from other moms or moms-to-be who might have gone through this as well.

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answers from Wichita on

I completely understand your frustruation! I am currently 10 weeks and 3 days pregnant and have been diagnosed with what is supposedly hyperthyroidism. However, I have no symptoms whatsoever. My TSH was >0.01 when they did a full blood panel on me. According to everything I have read, I should be having severe symptoms with how low the TSH is, however, I am having no symptoms at all. The endocrinologist seems to be very eager to start me on PTU, but I feel that something is really wrong, seeing that I have absolutely no symptoms.

What to do... what to do?



answers from Cleveland on

I had thryroid cancer and now have to take thryoid medication as the thyroid gland was totally removed. Your concern was also a concern of mine. What I can tell you is that for me, they immediately increased my dose as the absorption rate would not be the same. As my pregnancy progressed, they reduced the dose as the absorption rate would level out more due to the baby producing their own thryoid hormone. The way my doctor explained it to me was that some would pass to the baby, but it has not been proven to be harmful. The baby eventually will develop their own thyroid hormones for themselves, so the fact they they absorb some of my medication, is not an issue. My son was born healthy and happy and is thriving. I took meds throughout and breastfed too. :)
I hope that this eases your mind a little, and congratulations on your pregnancy.



answers from Cleveland on

I've been underactive and overactive during pregnancies. My thyroid levels always have leveled out right round the 5 month mark so I went off of meds. I was very concerned about being on PTU during pregnancy and nursing but the endocrinologist said it was alright. . Both of my children are very healthy and have no thyroid issues as of yet. Thankfully, I am now in remission but still considered to have Graves disease

One suggestion I have is to see a chiropractor. I just found this out recently and had no idea my spine played such and integral part of my health. I had a neck injury many years ago and shortly after that was diagnosed with thyroid disease. If there's any nerve interference with your C7 vertebrae, it can affect your thyroid levels. Had I known then what I know now, I wouldn't have had to go thru such a struggle. You don't have to have an injury to have compression on the nerves that run out of the vertebrae. By having your spine in proper alignment it allows your body to heal naturally. If you need a referral for a chiropractor, I go to one in Twinsburg that is awesome. I'm not sure where you're at so PM me if you'd like more info.

There may be other natural things you can try so you may want to do some research. I know a doctor will never tell you this but I've read some other posts on this website where women have had success going off of meds. Sorry I don't have more helpful info on this part but you may want to post again if you're interested in homeopathic approaches

Congrats on your pregnancy and good luck!



answers from Cleveland on

I went through the same thing with my first pregnancy. I was actually diagnosed with hyperthyroidism several years before I got pregnant. I took medication for over a year and was then in remission. When I got pregnant though my thyroid became overactive again. I was put on PTU during the first trimester. I was also referred to a perinatologist, a high risk Ob/Gyn who performed ultrasounds every four weeks in the last trimester. The biggest concern with taking the PTU is that there is a slight risk that the baby will develop a goiter or enlarged thyroid. The doctor will most likely keep you on the lowest dose of PTU needed to keep the thyroid in the high normal range. You should definitely be followed by an endocrinologist as well to manage your thyroid. During my pregnancy I was able to lower the dose of PTU several times. Everything turned out fine with my pregnancy and I delivered a perfect baby boy who is now 4 years old. I also breastfed him for almost a year and was still taking PTU. Once I was done breastfeeding I had a radioactive iodine treatment to completely ablate my thyroid. Now I have to take synthroid because my thyroid is underactve. I'm currently about to deliver my third child and have had no problems with either of my other two pregnancies (being hypothyroid is not nearly as serious as hyperthyroid during pregnancy).
Anyway hope this helps if you have any more specific questions let me know I'll be happy to help. A.



answers from Muncie on

I have the opposite problem-hypothyroidism. Based on what my endocrinologist told me, and I highly respect him, the thyroid levels are sooooo important. It regulates everything, including the development of the baby. The meds are ok to take while pregnant and while nursing. I was on 150 ug and nursed too. I had a friend who was diagnosed with hyper and she nursed her daughter too, and everyting turned out great. Both mom and daughter are currently healthy :)
Hope this helps.



answers from Columbus on

I was diagnosed hypothyroid when I was 8. I'm now 32. I have 3 happy healthy boys. I've also done a lot of research and found that the children are more at risk if you don't take the medication. Some studies have shown that it can have an affect on your child. I had some issues with my second prenancy where they couldn't get my levels steady. From about mid-point on, I had to see an endocrinologist, my ob, and my family dr.

I breastfed/pumped with all 3. A great resource for any breastfeeding mother is the La Leche League at .

Hope this helps




answers from Cleveland on

I was diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism (Graves Disease) when my 1st son was about 5 months old. I was extremely concerned about being able to continue breastfeeding while taking PTU. This was 5 years ago.. I had to ask several docs before I found one that said it was okay to keep breastfeeding. She just had his blood tested every couple months to make sure that he wasn't getting too much. (small price to pay I think!) He nursed until he was 15 months old with no thyroid issues. He is a little short for his age still, so I worry that it was from the PTU. But the docs tell me I'm crazy.
After taking PTU for about 2 years my Graves disease went into remission and I don't have to take it anymore!
My endocrinologist also told me that I would probably have Graves again after any subsequent children. But I have a 20 month old son as well and never had any thyroid problems!



answers from Indianapolis on

Hi A., A. here ;)

My husband has a cousin who had the same dx.
Her two children - as she was on the medication for both pregnancies were FINE ;) She also breasfed but I don't know if she was still on medication.

Stay away from SOY products, I've read they are terrible for people with hyperthyroidism, it also causes complications.

I just wanted to give you encouragement since we know somebody who delt with this. Also, here's a link and a quote from the link:

Hyperthyroid women who want to nurse their babies should be able to safely nurse on PTU and MMI medications. Although the older literature discouraged breastfeeding, newer studies indicated that it is safe since the concentration of drug that enters the breast milk is quite low. PTU is preferred since it has lower concentrations in breast milk.



answers from Cleveland on

I posted about this about a 2 months ago and never got a response!!! I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism - Graves Disease, in Jan. 2008. I had my 1st child March 2007. We were trying for a 2nd when I was diagnosed. I'm also on PTU, 50 milligrams,3 xs a day. I'm not a medical expert - but I can tell you what I have done... I've extensively researched this - I met with a surgeon, high-risk OB/GYN, my pediatrician and my endocrinologist to determine whether to go on PTU or have surgery before conceiving b/c having more children is important to us as is breastfeeding. They all confirmed it was safe on PTU -- it's the drug they put pregnant women on. It's much more dangerous not to be treated -- than treated with meds -- even if you aren't having any symptoms. I have the luxury of deciding b/f getting pregnant - and my husband and I opted to try the meds. Its scares me something fierce to put a foreign body in mine when pregnant/breasfeeding. But have to consider the risks of not being treated - which far outweigh the risks from meds. I have researched the internet and prayed extensively and we are comfortable with our decision. I encourage you to get more opinions so that you, too, will feel comfortable. The dose we are on - is low - well below the recommended 300 mgs that I keep seeing out there as a "safe" level.
It is a "class d" drug -- which means it crosses the placenta and into breastmilk - but my high-risk OB says it's safe for both... The more I have talked about this - the more "common" it seems to be. I know a number of women with thyroid disase who have gone on to have happy, healthy children and to breastfeed, if that was their desire. I wish you the best of luck! Feel free to respond to this if you want to talk "privately".



answers from Columbus on

I have a low thyroid and actually if you thyroid problems you must take medication or else the baby can have problems. That is why they always check when you are pregnant because they don't want the baby to have any thyroid problems either. My husband is a med student and says the same, so you are safe to take it, no worries. I would worry more about not taking your medication.



answers from Dayton on

I just found out after the delivery of my baby and an emergency appendectomy (the surgery and then the early birth) that I have a hypothyroid. Talking to my Dr., I discovered that I had the thyroid problem during pregnancy and before and , like you, I had no trouble getting pregnant by the grace of God.
I guess what I'm saying is that I'm on the flipside. I didn't take meds while being a hypothyroid (because I didn't know) and I wound up having a major surgery and a premature baby. I don't know whether my hypothyroid caused this or not.
If you're worried about the type of meds your are on, check with both your obgyn and family dr. For instance, I was on allergy meds and my fam dr. told me they were ok to be on while pregnant and my obgyn thought otherwise, i definitely chose the obgyn's selection. As far as breastfeeding, I had to stop when I was diagnosed, but for my next baby (God willing) I want to resource more med options. Don't be afraid to get opinions from different doctors.
I have found a lot of info through by Mary Shomon. She has several books, including one about breastfeeding etc.
I hope this helps.



answers from Toledo on

I was diagnosed with Hypothyroid sence i was 24. I would of never got preg with out taking my meds. I also know that you can take your meds and breastfeed with out worry, you will be much healthier taking the meds. i know if i dont take my meds i am very tired and depressed and my hair falls out. I could also have a stoke( my moms friend had that because she did not take her meds) Plus you might not need the meds once you deliver if you didnt need them before. just make sure you get checked through out your life at least once a year or what your doc thinks you should.

good luck

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