Okay, so if you're navigating your postpartum period whether 1st time or 10th, you know it is full of peaks and valleys. Highs and lows. Ebbs and flows.
None of us are immune to postnatal depletion - it can happen in the wink of an eye - a very sleep deprived, twitching, blurry eye...
Instead of ignoring the typical postnatal depletion symptoms though and calling it a day - I urge you to consider having your thyroid checked out just in case.
1/10 women will develop an inflamed thyroid gland following child birth leading to either an underactive or overactive thyroid. This is based off diagnosed cases - there would be plenty more, missed cases!!!
Postpartum thyroiditis is an autoimmune condition which can often be misdiagnosed as postnatal depression and/or postnatal anxiety. Women who get postpartum thyroiditis are typically those with an underlying thyroid issue, family history, or pre-existing Hashimoto's thyroiditis. But there are other factors that put us at risk, such as nutritional deficiencies.
The typical presentation of postpartum thyroiditis is HYPER (overactive) followed by HYPO (underactive)..
When HYPERthyroidism is the initial issue, it presents in the early days of postpartum:
- heart palpitations
- lack of appetite
- upset guts leading to diarrhoea
- poor nutrient absorption
- intolerance to the heat
- unexplained weight loss
HYPOthyroidism can occur a few months after child birth and be ongoing for months to come or come at a later stage in the postpartum period:
- weight gain / hard to lose weight
- slow bowels, constipation
- dry skin
- brittle nails
- hair loss
- exhaustion and lethargy
- sensitive to the cold
- issues regulating body temp.
- feeling really slow generally
Unfortunately, in a routine postpartum check-up (typically at 6w then okay cool bye!*) your thyroid is not even considered to be checked.
I urge you to have it checked out if you have any 3 of the above symptoms!!!!
BUT WAIT.. Do NOT settle for JUST TSH!!!
TSH is NOT enough!!!
TSH comes from the brain, signalling the production of the thyroid hormones (T3 + T4): for more or less of these hormones. T4 is inactive whilst it's buddy T3 is active. (then there are processes I am not going in to involving your liver etc)...
So please request your thyroid be thoroughly analysed by testing the following:
T3: rT3 ratio
Leaving your thyroid over or under-active
without any medical or natural (or combo) treatment can lead to infertility, digestive issues, more symptoms than listed above and, depression.
HMU for interpretation of your blood test results in my fourth trimester package
xx Yours in Optimal Health
Naji Rad S, Deluxe L. Postpartum Thyroiditis. [Updated 2022 Jun 21]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL):
StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK557646/