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
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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.”