Why thyroid test during pregnancy is vital- The New Indian Express

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Express News Service

CHENNAI: Thyroid disease, especially among pregnant women, needs attention as it has potential adverse consequences. The condition, hyperthyroidism, leads to miscarriages, premature births and even the brain development of the newborn if left unnoticed. 

The thyroid is the central processing system of the human body. Therefore, any malfunctioning of the gland can critically affect the functioning of other organs as well. That is why physicians recommend doing a preventive clinical test to detect hyperthyroidism even those who may not have any visible symptoms of this ailment. 

Hyperthyroidism, also called overactive thyroid, happens when the thyroid gland releases excessive thyroid hormone. 

This condition expedites the human body’s metabolism, leading to weight loss, hand tremors, rapid or irregular heartbeat, menstrual disorders etc, therefore doing a preventive TSH or Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone Test is essential to detect the incidence of hyperthyroidism. The TSH  is a blood test that measures thyroid hormones in the human body, if the levels are too high or too low may be an indication of a thyroid problem. 

Ideally, this test should be done by fasting and before 10 am since it is the time when the activity levels of the human body reach their peak. Earlier, the TSH results took at least eight days. But thanks to technological advancements, now we can get the results within three hours. The test is critically important for a pregnant woman, especially during the initial months of pregnancy, because at this point the life of the foetus depends on the mother’s thyroid gland as it takes normally three months for the foetus to develop its own. 

Therefore, the growth, especially the brain development of the foetus, depends on the healthy thyroid condition of the would-be mother. This is why doing a preventive diagnosis for thyroid among pregnant women is important. It is a matter of life and death for the newborn.

The incidence of defective functioning of the thyroid gland in a would-be mother can lead to unfortunate but avoidable incidences. This may include miscarriages, and premature births and even affect the brain development of the newborn. But, thyroid malfunctioning is curable and proper medication on time can prevent any unfortunate incidence.  After all, as the adage goes, prevention is better than cure.

The author, is the director and founder of Asavlee Labs, Mumbai

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