Pregnancy & Parenting
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Did you have a high TSH level during your pregnancy?!


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Thyroid Stimulating Hormone = TSH

I got the call that I could potentially be hyperthyroid, mine is testing a bit over 9, 5 being the norm.... I have a referral in to see an Endocronologist. From what I've read, whacky TSH levels are normal during pregnancy (although I didn't have this problem with my other two pregnancies). I just wanted to see if you other ladies had this experience and what the outcome was. I'm going in for further bloodwork tomorrow then to the specialist in about 10 days or so... No cause for worry is what I'm being told.

It explains my ravenous appetite and sleepless nights... the symptoms of hyperthyroid and pregnancy are so similar! Again though, with my past pregnancies I didn't have much more than morning sickness in the first trimester and now it's happening so soon!
Edited Aug 08 2008 12:24 by msmysz
Reason: Removed Sticky 2008-08-08
25 Replies (last)

I'd re-check what your levels are- the 'normal' range is usually 0.5-5, if yours is 9 then you're Hypothyroid not hyperthyroid which is the opposite- you 'should' be lethargic, have no energy etc. I became Hypothyroid during both my pg's, and stayed that way after my 2nd.

I was told by the nurse that my levels are high and that's hyper not hypo. Hypo is when you gain and hyper is when you loose correct? She said it would have a lot to do with how hungry I am. To be honest, the way I've been eating I should have gained a bunch of weight already and I haven't. Now I'm confused.

What was your treatment during pregnancy when you became hypothyroid?

Well now I'm just mad. You're right irishmum... it would be classified as HYPO not HYPER. All the sites I looked at yesterday contradicted information. Today I reworded my search. I wonder why the nurse would misguide me? This is very aggravating!!!!

I gained a ton of weight with my first pregnancy and then at my annual physical (8 weeks postpartum) my doctor was concerned about my TSH levels and thought I may have hypothyroidism. I went and had a thyroid scan which consisted of me taking a radioactive pill, going in for what was basically an x-ray, going in 24 hours later and having a radioactive injection followed by another x-ray. It turned out I had several benign cysts on my thyroid and my doctor didn't feel it required treatment. Since then (I'm not sure if it's related or not) I struggled to lose every pound an keep it off. I know I wasn't pregnant at the time of the testing and I know I didn't go through but I thought I'd share my experience.

I do have a cousin that was suffering from hypothyroidism so badly (due to a tumor) that she had to have her thyroid removed. She now takes daily medication and will for the rest of her life. Other than that, it doesn't seem to have an effect on her.

You said you did some research online but here are some links I came up with:

http://www.endocrineweb.com/pregnancy.html

http://www.thyroid.org/patients/faqs/pregnanc y.html

Bier I really appreciate your input and the links!!!

#6  
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I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism in May of 2007 after over a year of trying to get pregnant (the disease can make it difficult to become or stay pregnant).   I was put on synthroid and my TSH levels came back down into the normal range.  When I finally did get pregnancy in September 2007 my TSH levels soared shortly after I found out I was pregnant.  I was referred to an Endocronologist and they immediately increased the dosage of synthroid to lower the TSH levels.  The drugs are safe during pregnancy and necessary because if your TSH levels are not regulated it can cause complications.  A score of 9 isn't too high.  I was scoring between 10-12 and the doctors were not overly concerned but said that it needed to come down and be monitored.  I went in every 2-3 months during my pregnancy and had a healthy baby boy in May.  Good Luck.

jslmom.... you made me feel so much better! I wasn't having any thyroid problems to begin with so I'm not on meds yet. I've got my referral to an Endo rolling and hope to be medicated shortly!! Thanks for easing my anxiety!

flgirl, dont't panic until you see the specialist- it's very common to develop this condition during pg. My Doc didn't put me on any treatment the first time as it was late in my pg. My tsh levels went back to normal 4-5mths after the birth and stayed that way. They were re-checked at my 34wk check the 2nd time and this time I was put on meds (100mcg). It took until now (she was one last week) for my levels to stabilise & it looks like I'm on the meds for life now.

I don't have a thyroid at all. It's no big deal to take synthetic thyroid hormone.  I'm about 5 months along, and it hasn't caused me any problems.
A TSH level of 5-10 is actually considered subclinical and if you weren't pregnant, you probably wouldn't even be treated at all.
So I bet they just put you on a really low dose of synthroid and then test your blood every month.

Well I saw the Endo today! My TSH went from 9.079 down to the 5 area on its own. I dropped off an RX today (the name escapes me at the moment) and am taking 100 mg daily. I will get my blood tested once per month and the dose will be adjusted as necessary. It's a relief to talk to a specialist!

Myrnaminx is right, I'm subclinical and will be taking meds. They do suggest taking care of any thyroid problem asap (within the first trimester) because at this stage the baby is relying on the mother's organs to function. He said I probably have Hashimotos (I still need to google it) and have a chance of passing it on to my kids. My first two are boys so it's unlikely they will have thyroid issues but have the gene and can pass it on to their own kids!

Thanks everyone for all the input and support. You're all so great!

I'd like to say thank you to flgirl first of all for posting this question.  Also, I would like to thank jslmom for giving me hope.  I just miscarried.  My TSH was 16.  The lab technician was more concerned for me than my doctor or my gyno.  My doctor said he didn't call me back about the blood tests because he said I would be fine, I'm healthy with everything else.  My gyno said I can just try again and I should be better next time.  I was very sad and mad about the whole thing.  I think I am very healthy overall:  I exercise regularly, I don't take medication, I eat healthy, etc.  My mother had hypothyroidism that was undiagnosed for years.  Now she's had her thyroid removed and is on medication for life.  I just hope that I can bring my TSH down so that when we try again for a baby, it will survive.  I really believe that the only reason we had a miscarriage was because of the high level of TSH.  I'm very upset about my doctors' unresponsiveness to this problem while I was pregnant.  However, if you were able to bring your TSH down and have a healthy baby boy, I am excited that a baby is in our future too!

babysomeday, I am so so so sorry to hear about what has happened to you. Are you on the meds you need now to regulate your thyroid so that when you do get pregnant again, all is well? I'm still on my meds and will continue to take them, possibly forever. Even though my high TSH levels were due to my pregnancy, my doctor seems to think I will have it forever. My thoughts are with you during this sad time....

#13  
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babysomeday, so sorry that you had to go through such a heart breaking experience.  Sometimes doctors can be aweful - they fail to see the big picture.  I am constantly fighting with mine about my levythyroxine levels.  I put on a tonne of weight in my last pregnancy in the third trimester due to low meds, but my doctor didn't want to increase them (my OBG did).  I ended up being jacked way up after the baby came - too little too late!  My breast milk never came in and I had a real b*tch of a time trying to lose the baby weight.  I'm on my second pregnancy (with a midwife this time) and determined not to let me doctor push me around.  I know my body and I will ensure that I get what I need medication wise.  Take control and do the same!  If he/she doesn't comply - tell them point blank that you want a second opinion.  You have every right!  Your loss is a terrible one, there is no doubt.  However, you now have the knowledge you need to help you enter another pregnancy eyes open and healthy in every way.  Good luck!!!

Thanks flgirl and jennymac1!  You're support is much appreciated.  Yes, I am now on medication and I am going to go for blood tests this week to see if my TSH is decreasing.  The scary matter about the whole thing is how much I know about the effects of thyroid problems on the developing fetus.  My medical doctor assured me that having a high TSH (normal .5-5...mine was 16) and normal T3, T4 levels is perfectly fine during pregnancy.  If this is such a common occurrence, how does my doctor and my gyno overlook these blood tests.  The lab tech was the only one who said she was very very worried for me and my pregnancy.  It's more disappointing than anything.  Although, I am happy to say that I'm sure the blood tests will be better this week.  And at least we don't have a hard time conceiving (that was our first try!!) so there is hope!  A lot of hope!

babysomeday, do yourself a favor and ask your PCP for a referral to an Endocronologist (thyroid specialist). I was referred to one immediately upon getting my TSH results. This doctor will make sure you're good to go for pregnancy and follow you every step of the way! Your PCP should happily oblige! And if he/she doesn't, don't take no for an answer. This is YOUR body and the future of YOUR child!

I just ran across this while looking for some information.  I know this thread is old but I feel compelled to reply as it may help someone else.  A TSH of 5 is not normal.  In 2002 the AACE changed the range from .3 - 3.0.  Most healthy people without thyroid disease have a TSH of 1-2.  If you are on thyroid replacement it is good to keep a TSH under 1.0.

Hypothyroidism during pregnancy is a cause for worry, don't let your doctor tell you it's not.  A lack of thyroid hormone during pregnancy can cause miscarriage, low IQ in the baby, low birth weight among other problems.  Endocrinologists are typically not the best doctors to see when dealing with a thyroid problem.  It sounds wrong because Endocrinologists are supposed to deal with endocrine problems but very few endocrinologists treat the thyroid, they mostly deal with diabeties.  Typically family practice/general practicioners know more about thyroid problems.  It is important to listen to yourself and keep track of your symptoms.  If you have hypothyroid symptoms that don't go away after starting treatment you are most likely not on a high enough dose.  "Normal" is different for everyone, someone may feel good with a TSH of 3 while someone else may experience dibilitating symptoms with a TSH of .5. 

It is VERY important to have your doctor test for thyroid antibodies.  If your TSH is "normal" but your antibodies are elevated your thyroid is in the process of failing.  Free T4 AND Free T3 also need to be checked.  I'll try to explain it briefly.   TSH is a pituitary hormone, not a thyroid hormone.  When the body needs thyroid hormone the pituitary sends TSH to the thyroid hence Thyroid Stimulating Hormone.  The thyroid gets the signal produces T4.  T4 is stored in the body and converts to T3.  T3 is the active hormone that is responsible for your metabolism and most body functions.  The reason that you should have the FREE T3 and FREE T4 tested is that it measures the free or unbound hormone in your blood.  The unbound hormones are the ones that are available for your body to use.  Once T3 and T4 are bound they are no longer available for use by your body.  Most doctors will measure T4 only.  This doesn't tell you much because it is measuring the total amount of T4, bound and unbound thus not giving you any idea of how much your body has for it to use. Make sense?

During my last pregnancy my TSH was 4.5 and I felt just awful! I was sleeping while driving my car while pregnant and with 2 little kids in the back, a body temp of 95, blood pressure of 80/55, pulse always around 50, hair falling out, acne, joint pain, severe swelling, unable to think clearly/process information, carpal tunnel, vertigo, sore throat, ringing in ears, numbness in my arms and fingers so bad that I couldn't pick up objects with my right hand at all, constipation, horrible lesions covering 40% of my body from eczema, premature gray hair, dry and brittle nails and hair with deep ridges on my nails, anemia, extreamly forgetful, couldn't get up in the morning to take my oldest child to school and when I did get up I crawled because the pain in my hips and knees was so bad that I could not walk.  I had many more problems but I think I listed enough.  During this pregnancy I was 28, hardly old enough for the shape I was in.  My OB tested my thyroid and told me I was fine but I saw the results and I knew that 4.5 was not normal.  I listened to my body that felt like death and found another OB at 32 weeks.  I immediately started on thyroid replacement but it was Synthroid and it hardly helped.  After my son was born I found a new doctor who prescribed natural thyroid replacement.  Unfortunately I did not get the help I needed during my pregnancy and so far my son seems normal although he is a bit small for his age.  After several months on natural thyroid replacement I have a TSH of .04.  I fell well and all of those horrible problems are gone although I am left with scars from the lesions, gray hair and deteriorating knees.  These problems could have been avoided if I had been diagnosed and helped sooner. 

Ladies, don't let your doctor mislead you telling you that a low thyroid is not big deal.  It is a big deal for you and your baby!  Listen to your body, not even the best doctor in the world can tell you how you feel. Don't be satisfied with substandard care. 

hello mam i am 1month pregnent my t3 and t4 is normal but TSH level is 9.3 so i m worried pls help me what to do

Hello everyone.  I am not pregnant, however I believe my miscarriages are related to my HyPoThyroidism. 

This week, I received lab results where my Anemia was way way too low and my TSH was 9.90 mU/ L

I am going for a Colonoscopy and GI test to rule out CANCER.

 

Will update this post ASAP to help other women that may be searching for answers.

#19  
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Hi everybody.

I had a baby after which I developed a hypothyroidism. I didn't know it at first, but after a miscarriage at around 8 weeks my lab results came back showing too high TSH levels, so my obgyn put me on levothyroxin.

In a few months I went to have my blood checked and the doctor said my levels are good and I can try again to get pregnant. That's what I did. As soon as I found out I was expecting, I went to get my blood checked, and turned out my TSH was too high again. The doctor raised the dose of levothyroxin I was taking, and then again in a few weeks, yet at about 9 weeks I had a miscarriage again. She then sent me to an endocrinologist.

Turned out that the levels considered fine for non-pregnant women can be too high for expecting mothers. So in order to have even a chance of having reasonable TSH levels during pregnancy, it's important to get them low before getting pregnant (my endocrinologist recommended anything between 0,5 to 2,5). She kept on raising my dose until I got my level to 1,7. Then she gave me a green light to get pregnant again.

As I haven't had any issues getting pregnant, it worked out at first try and 6 days _before_ my missed period I took at home pregnancy test, and that came back positive. I went to my endocrinologist the next day and got my blood checked again. The levels had already got up to 2,2, so she increased the dose of levothyroxin I'm taking. I'm about 5 weeks now and feeling good. My TSH level will be checked every 4 weeks during my pregnancy, so hopefully this way we can keep the levels within reason and react to the changes asap.

So I want everybody who is trying to get pregnant have their TSH levels checked and if they are anything over 2,5 or under ,5 take care of that before getting pregnant. And once pregnant, routine monthly blood-check makes a lot of sense.

#20  
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OMG! i am 6 weeks pregnant and had my TSH test done. the report has come very very high (TSH=26.9) and free T4=0.826. I was already taking Thyronorm 25 mcg now the doctor has raised dose to 75 mcg. I am feeling perfectly fine, no nausea, no tiredness,in fact feeling active all day long. but after reading all these posts, i am scared to death. This is my first pregnancy and i was super excited abt it. but after now reading all dis stuff, i m feeling i will get miscarried any time. pl help. is it sure that a high TSH will lead to miscarrtiage or complcations in preg although i have started the treatment is it too late. pls pls help me i m scared to death.Cry

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