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Mary Shomon

Preeclampsia Linked to Thyroid Slowdown During and After Pregnancy

By November 18, 2009

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Research just published in the British Medical Journal has shown that women who develop the condition known as preeclampsia during pregnancy are more likely than other women to have reduced thyroid function (hypothyroidism) in the last weeks of pregnancy, and may also may face an increased risk of hypothyroidism later in life, even decades after the pregnancy. The greatest risk of hypothyroidism developing over time was seen in women who had more than one pregnancy in which preeclampsia occurred.

Preeclampsia occurs in an estimated 3% to 5% of pregnant women, and involves onset of high blood pressure and protein in the urine in a pregnant after her 20th week of pregnancy. The condition can be dangerous for both the mother and fetus.

The implications of the findings are for women who develop preeclampsia, in that they should be monitored for the development of cardiovascular and renal disease, as well as development of hypothyroidism.

More Information

Source: Levine, Richard J, Vatten, Lars et. Al. "Pre-eclampsia, soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase 1, and the risk of reduced thyroid function: nested case-control and population based study." British Medical Journal. 2009;339:b4336 Published 17 November 2009 Online

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November 20, 2009 at 3:47 am
(1) ciara says:

it’s funny, i had preeclampsia w my first child that turned into full eclampsia during labor: blood pressure through the roof and seizures. my ob/gyn at that time did not even tell me that i had it. i found out on last dr. visit when they handed me my medical records for the hospital. after that, my body was not the same. i gained a lot of weight over a few years, but was able to lose it. then when i had my daughter 10 yrs later, things started to change w my body. i wasn’t getting rid of the weight like i normally would have, and it got worse after my last kid 2 yrs later. i got many symptoms and didn’t get diagnosed until five years later! so i could definitely see how there would be a correlation and that it could happen years later (prob as it did in my case).

November 20, 2009 at 8:13 am
(2) lyneb311 says:

This makes sense to me too, I had pre-eclampsia in both my pregnancies and had to have my second child induced 6 weeks early because of it. From that point on I really struggled with my weight, then at age 48 I had a heart attack, and was left with crippling angina. The weight gain became even more of a problem and it wasn’t until I was 54 that I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism.

November 20, 2009 at 9:20 am
(3) S James says:

I also had pre-eclampsia with my first and third pregancies. 6 years after my third pregnancy, I was diagnosed with papillary carcinoma of the thyroid resulting in bilateral thyroidectomy and the removal of two parathyroid glands. Wellness has been a stuggle ever since.

November 20, 2009 at 7:39 pm
(4) thy_r88gous says:

I had pre eclampsia with my second baby she was induced 3 wks early. Then a year later i had a copper IUD inserted and 2 months after that i had hypeRthyroid. But i think i had that HRT disease or whatever its called ( that causes transient hypeRthyroid) because i was sick, sick, sick with “morning sickness” until she was born and survived mostly on gatordae and yogurt and cookies, horrible i know but the dr never said anything.

November 20, 2009 at 8:09 pm
(5) sgraham30 says:

I had preeclampsia with my first pregnancy and I was never told until about a week before I delivered.All I ever heard was that I was gaining too much weight,my blood pressure was too high and I had protein in my urine.I was told to stop eating fast food so often and I had it twice a month…..on the 1st and 15th when servicemembers were paid!!

My 2nd and 3rd pregnancies were textbook perfect pregnancies (my doctor’s words) After my youngest was born,I started having serious mood swings and major fluctuations in my energy levels.Since the symptoms seemed to be tied to my cycle,no one thought anything of it.

I was finally diagnosed with hypothyroidism a few years after my 3rd and final pregnancy.

November 21, 2009 at 10:07 am
(6) catsknit says:

I had severe pre-eclampsia with my 1st pregnancy, and full-blown eclampsia in my 3rd pregnancy. I wish they’d known about the link back then so I would have gotten tested sooner, b/c I had all the symptoms of hypothyroid in late pregnancy and all the following year, which I attributed to post-partum depression. When I was finally diagnosed my TSH was 39!

November 23, 2009 at 5:12 pm
(7) thy_r88gous says:

In my earlier post i meant HER disease (hypermesis gravidarum)

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