You already know there is a lot to consider when thinking about becoming pregnant. Not only are you making plans and saving up for this new addition, but you’re trying to keep your health in check, too. For people with a chronic health condition like hypothyroidism, there is even more planning involved. But rest assured, with the proper steps, you can successfully manage your thyroid while ensuring the health of you and your baby.
Overview of hypothyroidism
The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland that lives at the nape of your neck. As part of the endocrine system, the thyroid gland helps regulate the body’s cellular metabolism. When your thyroid hormone production drops, your body processes slow down and change, affecting every system in your body.
Common signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism include:
- Brain fog
- Cold intolerance
- Dry skin
- Elevated blood cholesterol level
- Irregular menstrual periods
- Joint pain, stiffness, or swelling
- Muscle aches, tenderness, and stiffness
- Slowed heart rate
- Thinning hair
- Weight gain
Hypothyroidism has several causes, the most common of which is an autoimmune condition called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. In Hashimoto’s, the immune system mistakenly attacks the thyroid gland, eventually causing it to fail.