Pregnancy can be an exciting time for parents-to-be, but it also comes with a variety of risks and considerations. One common dilemma that pregnant women have to navigate is the safety of taking Armour Thyroid during pregnancy. Armour Thyroid is a medication that's used to treat hypothyroidism, which can be common among pregnant women.
So is it safe to take Armour Thyroid during pregnancy? This article will provide an overview of Armour Thyroid during pregnancy, exploring its safety, benefits, side effects, and other pertinent information related to taking this medication while pregnant.
The thyroid is a tiny, butterﬂy-shaped gland that lies in front of your windpipe. It produces hormones, mainly T4 and T3 hormones, that regulate your body's metabolism and control many of your bodily functions, such as how your heart beats and how your digestive system operates. Sometimes the thyroid may not function properly and makes too little or too much thyroid hormone.
The two main thyroid disorders are hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. Hyperthyroidism, also known as overactive thyroid, is a condition where your thyroid creates too much hormone. It causes your metabolism to speed up. Hyperthyroidism in pregnancy is usually caused by Graves disease. Untreated hyperthyroidism in pregnancy can be fatal, but it's less common than hypothyroidism.
Hypothyroidism, also known as underactive thyroid, is a condition that occurs when your body doesn't create enough thyroid hormones. Without enough thyroid hormone, your body's normal processes begin to slow down.
Hypothyroidism is more common than hyperthyroidism, and it's very common in women. In fact, according to the American Thyroid Association, women are five to eight times more likely to develop thyroid disease. Hypothyroidism can make it hard for women to become pregnant. Moreover, it can also occur during pregnancy even if the woman had healthy thyroid function beforehand.
Many symptoms of hypothyroidism are similar to pregnancy symptoms, which may lead to confusion or even cause the condition to go undetected. These symptoms include feeling tired all the time, swelling to the face, cold intolerance, weight gain, skin and hair changes, weight gain, brittle nails, slow heart rate, muscle cramps, joint pain, low libido, and shortness of breath.
Hypothyroidism can happen during pregnancy because when you're pregnant, your thyroid function might change due to the influence of estrogen and human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). Moreover, the size of your thyroid gland can also increase during pregnancy, especially if you're iodine deficient. However, this is very uncommon. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), the most common cause of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto's thyroiditis. It's an autoimmune disorder that occurs when your immune system mistakenly attacks your thyroid gland, leading to hypothyroidism.
The thyroid hormone is very important for optimal bodily function. That's why having untreated hypothyroidism during pregnancy can cause problems to your health. If you don't treat it, you might experience anemia, gestational hypertension, muscle pain or weakness, placental abnormalities, pre-eclampsia, and even heart failure. In some rare cases, your hypothyroidism may lead to myxedema, which is a potentially fatal illness.
Untreated hypothyroidism may also cause postpartum hemorrhage (also called PPH). This occurs when you have heavy bleeding after giving birth. While this condition is unusual, it can be fatal. It usually occurs within a day after delivery, but it can also occur up to 12 weeks after you give birth.
The thyroid hormone is vital for your baby's brain development and growth. And since the fetus relies on the mother for thyroid hormone during the first trimester, hypothyroidism in the mother can cause long-lasting effects on the fetus. Untreated hypothyroidism in the mother can cause:
Neurological and developmental abnormalities
Low birth weight
Problems with the baby's thyroid gland
Infantile myxedema, which can lead to intellectual disabilities and dwarfism
The short answer is yes. Hypothyroidism can cause an irregular menstrual cycle, which makes it challenging to detect ovulation. In some cases, low thyroid hormone may prevent ovulation altogether.
If you think you may have hypothyroidism while pregnant, the first step is to talk with your doctor about your symptoms. They will likely order a thyroid function test, which measures the amount of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) in your bloodstream. If the levels of TSH are higher than normal, this could indicate that you are hypothyroid and need treatment.
Once diagnosed with hypothyroidism during pregnancy, there are many treatments available depending on your individual needs. Your doctor may recommend taking daily supplements or medications to help regulate thyroid hormones. Additionally, they may suggest changes in lifestyle, such as reducing stress and getting more sleep. Eating a balanced diet can also help keep levels steady during pregnancy and beyond.
The health of both mother and fetus can be at risk if a thyroid hormone issue goes untreated. That's why it's important to consider thyroid hormone replacement therapy. As the name suggests, this therapy includes medications that replace the missing hormones in your body. Thus, it'll increase your thyroid hormone levels, and you'll have normal thyroid function – helping you have a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby. Your options include levothyroxine and natural desiccated thyroid (NDT).
Levothyroxine is a synthetic form of T4. Some popular brand names for levothyroxine are Synthroid, Unithroid, and Levoxyl. Natural desiccated thyroid (NDT), on the other hand, contains the natural form of T4 and T3 thyroid hormones. A popular NDT brand is Armour Thyroid.
While levothyroxine, like Synthroid, is the more commonly prescribed thyroid medicine, many prefer NDT as it contains a combination of thyroid hormones.
Armour Thyroid is a prescription treatment for the symptoms of low thyroid hormone. It may be taken alone or in conjunction with other medication. The medication is made of dried porcine (pig) pig thyroid glands. It contains all the thyroid hormones that occur naturally in the human thyroid gland, such as T4, T3, T2, T1, and Calcitonin. That's why some people may find it more effective than other thyroid hormone replacement medications.
1 grain of Armour Thyroid (60 mg) contains approximately 38 mg of T4 and 9 mg of T3. The recommended starting Armour Thyroid dose for adults over 18 years old is 15-30 mg per day. Depending on how you respond to this amount, your doctor may increase or decrease your dosage until you reach a level that works best for you. However, the dosage might be different in pregnant women.
Like all medications, Armour Thyroid has potential side effects you need to be aware of. These include:
Swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
Sensitivity to heat
Shortness of breath
Rapid or irregular heartbeat
Swelling of the hands, ankles, or feet
These side effects usually occur when you take too much of the medication, causing you to have high thyroid hormone levels.
Taking Armour Thyroid while trying to conceive is perfectly safe – and in most cases, it can even help.
One of the symptoms of hypothyroidism is an irregular menstrual cycle. The condition can also lead to infertility. Therefore, supplying your body with thyroid hormone may help manage your hypothyroidism and, in turn, increase your fertility. Studies have suggested that women with hypothyroidism who take thyroid meds like Armour Thyroid have a higher success rate of conceiving than those with untreated hypothyroidism, as well as a lower risk of miscarriage or other complications during pregnancy.
You need to keep taking Armour Thyroid when you're pregnant. This thyroid medication is perfectly safe for pregnant women as long as you take the right dose. However, it is important to note that this medication should only be taken under the guidance of your doctor or healthcare provider. You also shouldn't increase or decrease your dose, as well as change the type of thyroid medication you're taking without your doctor's supervision.
Stopping Armour Thyroid when you're pregnant and hypothyroid could put you at risk for developing complications such as miscarriage, preterm birth, and even stillbirth. Your doctor may monitor your thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) levels and adjust your dose based on the results. You will likely need to take a higher dose because pregnant women usually have an increased need for thyroid hormone.
There are several steps you should take to stay on top of your thyroid problems during this special time in your life. Prior to getting pregnant, talk to your doctor about any existing thyroid conditions or family history of such issues that could affect you during pregnancy.
Note that thyroid dysfunction screening is generally offered to pregnant women but is suggested for patients with a history of thyroid issues. Therefore, it's essential to be your own advocate and mention any previous thyroid issues to your doctor at your first prenatal visit. When you finally get pregnant, make sure to get regular blood tests done so that you'll know right away if something isn't quite right with your thyroid levels. According to medical professionals, serum TSH abnormalities should be tested no later than the ninth week of pregnancy, if not at the initial appointment.
In addition to medication, a healthy diet and lifestyle can also help manage hypothyroidism. Recommendations include maintaining a balanced diet, taking a prenatal multivitamin, and taking a mineral supplement that contains iodine.
While Armour Thyroid is considered safe for pregnant women, it can be difficult to find, and some doctors may refuse to prescribe it. Plus, it may cause allergic reactions in some people. But don't worry, there's another option - VitaliThy, a natural desiccated thyroid you can buy online. It contains Thyroid USP like Armour Thyroid but is free from allergens such as gluten, lactose, shellfish, eggs, fish, artificial flavoring, and artificial coloring. So, if you're looking for an alternative to Armour Thyroid, VitaliThy may be a great choice for you.
When it comes to being pregnant, the safety of yourself and your unborn baby is of utmost importance. So, if you've been wondering if it's safe to take Armour Thyroid whilst expecting, the answer is a resounding yes! Natural Desiccated Thyroid (NDT) is essential during pregnancy as it helps support healthy thyroid levels in both mother and baby.
But don't panic if you can't get your hands on Armour Thyroid - there are plenty of other NDT brands available that will do just as good a job. You can even buy desiccated thyroid online: VitaliThy, which contains both T4 and T3 thyroid hormones and is safe to use for pregnant women.
Are you breastfeeding and taking thyroid medication? Check out our article on levothyroxine and breastfeeding.
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