Postpartum Thyroiditis [Dr Carmen]

Have you ever heard of postpartum thyroiditis?

It’s been almost a year now since my sister gave birth to her first child. I wanted to talk a little about her journey since then.

Very soon after giving birth my sister lost all her baby weight and was actually smaller than she was before.

She was also losing a lot of hair and had been complaining about anxiety and palpitations. These symptoms could easily have been attributed to simple postpartum changes but something just did not feel right.

I sent her for some blood tests and eventually diagnosed her with postpartum thyroiditis.

This is a rare postpartum complication, one that many women do not get diagnosed with because they simply assume the physical changes are due to lack of sleep, stress, breastfeeding amongst others, and never go to see a doctor.

This disease classically presents with a period of thyrotoxicosis (hyperactive thyroid) followed by hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) however not all women go through both phases. Some only experience the hyper phase whilst others the hypo.

This hyperthyroid phase usually presents between 1-4 months postpartum but women usually only realise something is wrong by the time they are hypothyroid, which is after about 4-8 months but even then, symptoms such as weight gain, tiredness, and depression are easily overlooked as a new mom.

Thankfully this disease is self-limiting so the thyroid usually returns to normal function within a year or so. However, some women will remain hypothyroid.

My sister has not yet fully recovered. She continues to be on treatment to help with her symptoms.

My point with all of this… listen to your body after you give birth.

Don’t assume every symptom you are feeling is because of the changes to your body after delivery and the stress of having a new baby.

Mums have you heard of this before or are currently going through any of the above symptoms?

Comment below to let us know x


Follow Dr Carmen (@momdoc_sa) on Instagram HERE to see more. *Please note that the content discussed on my Instagram account is purely for informational purposes and not a substitute for informed medical advice.

ABOUT DR CARMAN

“I am a general practitioner and have spent most of my working career practicing medicine in the Emergency Room. I guess I love the adrenalin rush and the copious amounts of caffeine that needs to be consumed to get through a shift! Seeing patients in an emergency setting after an accident or with chronic end-stage disease made me realise my passion for disease prevention, health education and promotion. I wanted to be able to help my patient before he ended up in my ER.

With a focus on Child Health, I completed my Masters in Public Health and started my business, OneAid. I have also created this blog to share my journey as a MomDoc with you. I hope to share some useful information and tips around various child health and safety topics at home, at play and on the go to help keep your little ones healthy and safe.”

24 thoughts on “Postpartum Thyroiditis [Dr Carmen]

  1. ennietebogomankge says:

    I know exactly how your sister is going through it happened to me just last year I thought I was loosing myself you know the palpitations and anxiety was too much but 6 months postpartum everything started to go back to normal and yes I also went to see a psychologist for a few sessions.

  2. noelleenbarends26 says:

    Hi doc thank u so much. 2 years ago I was diagnosed with hyperactive thyroid. I am on eltroxinsinxe. But lately I get very moody and depressed cud this b from the thyroid. I am also experiencing numbness in my finger tips.

  3. Danayi says:

    Wow I hadn’t heard of this, thank you Doctor for sharing. So much happens to our bodies during and post pregnancy. This is why Mumbox is such an important platform where Moms can learn and share from each other.

  4. Admajorium says:

    THANK YOU DR … I also experience what your sister go through, and I was just thinking that is normal after birth… so today I gain more knowledge..

  5. Cissy says:

    This is an eye opener honestly. I found myself losing more weight after baby, having sensitive teeth and very brittle hair and I just put it down to hormonal changes. Now I’m.well equipped and I know what to.do

  6. micheliciousm says:

    Thank you so much. This is very informative and eye opening. I have learnt something that I will look out for after my next pregnancy. It’s always good to know what’s happening around your body and take necessary precautions.

  7. MumToOne says:

    wow I definitely needed to read this. After giving birth I lost my baby weight quickly after about 3 months I noticed that I’m gain weight which was not the problem, still gaining the weight my problem is hair fall, my hair has fallen out tremendously. nearly a month ago I cut it really short. that did not help the problem at all. last night I purchased collagen online as most moms claims after using this they have less hair fall.

    So my hair , skin and weight are totally out of control.

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