Sandra asks…

Thyroid abnormalities?

Can an imbalance in the thyroid hormones cause it to be more difficult to conceive? Thanks!

Helen answers:

Yes. The thyroid affects many bodily systems, including the reproductive system. If your thyroid hormones are not in balance, that can impact your other hormones, including those involved in getting and staying pregnant.

Also, many people with thyroid problems have an autoimmune condition, such as Graves disease or Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (which I have). These conditions produce antibodies. You are more likely to have a larger amount of antibodies in your system when your levels are out of whack. Getting the thyroid under control is very important for the success of a pregnancy.

When trying to conceive, many reproductive endocrinologists recommend keeping the TSH level between 1.0 and 2.0 (the regular normal range is .3-3.0). Both times I have become pregnant, my TSH was approximately 1.1. During pregnancy, thyroid problems should be carefully monitored, and TSH should be tested on a monthly basis.


Paul asks…

hyperthroyid/ pregnancy?

Has anyone ever had hyperthyoridism when pregnant? What happens to the baby?

Helen answers:

About 1 in 500 women have hyperthyroidism during pregnancy. In some, it is a preexisting condition; in others, the condition will develop during the course of the pregnancy. It can be difficult to diagnose because the pregnancy often “masks” it; that is, some of the symptoms may be attributed to the pregnancy itself rather than to hyperthyroidism.

Hyperthyroidism may affect a woman’s ability to become pregnant.

The most common cause of hyperthyroidism in pregnancy is Graves’ disease.

Symptoms generally will be worse in the first half of the pregnancy, will lessen during the second half, and most likely will recur after the baby is born.

You should continue with your normal anti-thyroid medication during your pregnancy as prescribed by your doctor.

Most pregnant women and their babies will not experience significant problems if the hyperthyroidism is mild to moderate. If properly treated the pregnancy can be expected to progress normally.

Women with severe or uncontrolled hyperthyroidism have an increase risk of infection, iron deficiency (anemia), and high blood pressure accompanied by too much protein in the urine (a potentially dangerous condition called pre-eclampsia).

If a woman has severe hyperthyroidism, her baby has a chance of having hyperthyroidism as well. There is a risk to the outcome of the pregnancy, having a small baby or a premature birth.

Fortunately, most women who have hyperthyroidism in pregnancy can be successfully treated with medication. The anti-thyroid drug Propylthiouracil is commonly prescribed and can be safely used during pregnancy. It may take up to a month on medication for the symptoms to resolve. Radioactive iodine cannot be used during pregnancy. Rarely, if the symptoms and thyroid hormone levels cannot be controlled, surgery needs to be considered to remove the thyroid gland.

Hyperthyroidism does not affect labor and delivery. However, thyroid storm can develop which can be life threatening. The symptoms are an exaggeration of the normal hyperthyroid symptoms with a very fast heart rate, tremors, nervousness, altered consciousness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and an extremely high fever. This will require intensive care treatment to try normalizing the very high thyroid hormone levels and keeping the patient cool.

Following delivery, anti-thyroid treatment must continue. Although both the anti-thyroid drugs Propylthiouracil and methimazole do pass into the breast milk, both can be used safely in breast-feeding women. You should discuss this with your physician.

Your baby will be thoroughly checked to be sure he or she is well with no evidence of thyroid problems. Most babies born to hyperthyroid mothers whose hyperthyroidism has been well controlled during pregnancy are normal healthy babies.

Ken asks…

I’ve been having all these symptoms and no one know what it is yet or even if they’re connected?

I’m on birth control, a generic of yasmin called Ocella. I’ve taken it for almost two years now with no problems. I take my pill the same time every day and haven’t missed a pill.
It all started with what the doctors call breakthrough bleeding. Had two periods in less than 3 weeks which was followed by spotting pretty much every other day. Then my regular period at the end of the month was way more painful than normal.
Over the past two weeks I’ve had headaches every day interchanged with dizziness, fatigue and chest pains. These symptoms have progressively gotten worse.
The Doctors have checked for anemia and problems with my thyroid. They also ran an EKG. All tests were normal and a pregnancy test was negative.
Any ideas?

Helen answers:

“The Doctors have checked for anemia and problems with my thyroid. They also ran an EKG. All tests were normal and a pregnancy test was negative.” Dont count on the verdict on the thyroid being accurate.

You need testing for thyroid ANTIBODIES as well as TSH. TSH ‘norm’ should be .3 – 3 (w/ most feeling best at < 2) but, for diagnosis, would not matter if ANTIBODIES are present. Indicative of Hashimoto’s Autoimmune Thyroiditis (cycles between hyper & hypo at start)…main cause of HypOthyroid & is worse (…OR Graves Disease – HypERthyroid).

WARNING: Doctors seem not to want to find/treat thyroid disease. You may have to go to more than one doctor before you get the right tests, interpretation, and treatment. Best wishes.

Ck these:

God bless

John asks…

Could my symptoms be related to my thyroid?

I have been “borderline hypothyroid” for several years and opted not to take medications as I’m vegan and recently gluten-free. I just had a blood test last month and I’m still borderline. However very suddenly I gained nearly 10lbs this past week and a half, and I’m SO upset! My vegan gluten-free diet is healthy and balanced, and I’ve been exercising. I am wondering if this is characteristic of a thyroid condition, but I guess I’m questioning it because I’ve had long-term thyroid issues and the weight gain is so sudden and mostly in my abdomen. I’ve also had some PMS type symptoms (and I don’t menstruate – I have primary amenorrhea) which is uncharacteristic for me (sore nipples, increased watery vaginal discharge, moody/crying a lot, crampy, oily skin, etc.). I was told I can’t have kids but took two pregnancy tests anyway which were both negative. I am at my wit’s end, and my doctor completely dismissed me so I feel alone and my questions unanswered.
I have been tested for Hashimoto’s and other diseases, and was negative. Just borderline hypo around 4.

Helen answers:

You never did say what your ‘borderline’ number is???? Just over 3?

You need testing for thyroid ANTIBODIES as well as TSH. TSH ‘norm’ should be .3 – 3 (w/ most feeling best at < 2) but, for diagnosis, may not mean much if ANTIBODIES are present which is indicative of Hashimoto’s Autoimmune Thyroiditis (cycles between HYPER & HYPO at start)…it is the main cause of eventual HypOthyroidism but worse (…OR Graves Disease – HypERthyroid from beginning).

You will have to INSIST they test for the antibodies. [anti-TPO and TgAb] They can code so that ins will pay.

WARNING: Doctors seem not to want to find/treat thyroid disease. You may have to go to more than one doctor before you get the right tests, interpretation, and treatment. Best wishes.

Ck these:


God bless you

Ruth asks…

What is the Jehovah’s Witness view of these questions about blood and self-preservation?

God gave 2 laws about blood:

Don’t eat it, and
Don’t shed it

Each of these situations involve choosing between saving (or trying to save) your life, or breaking one of those laws.

What is the Jehovah’s Witness view about them?

1. Eating meat with blood in it, or starving to death.

2. Kill or be killed.

3. Taking a blood transfusion or bleeding to death.

4. For women only (tubal pregnancy.) Having an operation to remove the tube and fetus which will result in the death of the child, but possibly prevent you from bleeding to death. Keep in mind that, in time, the fetus will die. You have to decide whether to wait for it to happen naturally, or having a share in deliberately ending the life of a living human. .

Could you justify or possibly justify breaking one of God’s laws (don’t eat blood, don’t shed blood) to try to preserve your life in any of these situations? Is there a difference? If so, what?
I’m not understanding #2, so let me be more specific:

You are cornered in a house and an attacker has made it plain he intends to come in and kill you. You can’t hide, but you have a butcher knife as your only means of self defense. You can submit and be killed, or defend yourself by attacking with the butcher knife which may result in mortal wounds to the attacker.

Are you justified in killing the attacker to preserve your life, if the attacker insists on a “fight to the death” of one or the other of you? Please don’t try to skirt the answer. Yes or No?

Helen answers:

I believe I have answered your question before regarding the ‘Tubal’ pregnancy, but I will again….

We do not eat meat with blood in it, it gets cooked. Yes, we would starve to death before breaking that law… There is always other food out there other than meat, and there is always a fire to cook it….Blood can be cooked out.

We would be killed before killing. We don’t go to war either. Many of JWs have been killed already because they would not go to war and kill. If we are being attacked directly we will defend ourselves, but our object is not killing, it is to protect ourselves.

Nope, no blood transfusion. Do we want to die? NO way!!!! We tell the doctor to do everything they can to save our life, but that is the one thing we will not comprimise on. There are many alternatives out there to a blood transfusions and many doctors only like to have it in their back pocket for when they get sloppy. If the situation REALLY calls for it, there are other things that can be given to save your life. If you are going to die anyway, chances are you would have with a blood transfusion. At least this way if you die, you died doing what Jehovah asks of you and you have the hope of resurrection.

Now for the tubal.. I have answered this before.. Here is what I said…
Sometimes the treatment of a diseased condition, such as cancer of the cervix, causes the death of the developing embryo. But this may be an unavoidable side effect of the treatment; abortion is neither the treatment itself nor the objective. Similarly, in some cases a fertilized ovum implants and begins to grow in the fallopian tube instead of the uterus. Such a tubal ectopic pregnancy CANNOT develop fully in this small tube; in time it will terminate with the rupture of the tube and the death of the embryo. If this condition is detected in advance, doctors usually treat it by removing the affected fallopian tube before it ruptures. A Christian woman with a tubal pregnancy can decide whether to accept this operation. Normally she undoubtedly would be willing to face any risks of pregnancy so that her child could live. But with a tubal pregnancy she faces a grave risk while there is no possibility that the embryo can continue to live and a child be born.

With this being said, she may decide to have the operation because the baby has NO chance of survival, NONE. Personally, I feel like I am faced with this situation all the time because I had my tubes tied after my last c-section, and while that is an EXCELLENT method, I know its not fool proof. And if I did ever happen to get pregnant again, chances are it would be a tubal. It is scary, and something I would NEVER want to have to go through, but the baby would NEVER live, it would never survive and it would kill me also! Now IF they could go in there and move the baby and put it in the uterus, you better believe I would take ever risk and tell them to do that because then there is a chance even if there is a small chance, its a chance none the less… But they can’t do that sadly… You would think with all the medical breakthroughs they would have figured out how to do that by now….Guess not… This is a really hard subject to write about, I hope I never have to give this any thought, I can’t imagine having to have a tubal pregnancy removed. It just kills me because that baby is normal other than just implanting in the wrong place, but it has no chance!!! It is a sad thing that any women have to go through.

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