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Will high TSH levels affect fetal development during pregnancy?

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Practicing since : 2001
Answered : 11732 Questions
Hello, Had bloodwork done in Sept/13. All work ok, asked for TSH check but fam dr said 'not needed', though I felt sluggish, and had not lost weight since birth of my daughter 2 years ago. Became pregnant November of this year (last period was Nov 10-13). Bloodwork December 17th was ok, but thought TSH was a bit high at 2.78. My fam dr and naturopath said not to worry and we'll 'monitor' Had an ultrasound at a fertility clinic last week, XXXXXXX 13 and bby had good heartbeat 170 bpm, length good (2.78cm) and in placenta. Ultrasound showed 9 weeks 3 days. Did bloodwork again XXXXXXX 15 and TSH XXXXXXX to 12.3. Our specialist immediately put me on 50 micrograms of synthroid. Have appt next week for followup bloodwork and Ultrasound of bby's neuro... long story short... Dec 17/13 lab report: 2.8 TSH approx 4 weeks pregnant XXXXXXX 15/14 lab report: 12.3 TSH. approx 9 weeks pr started 50 micrograms synthroid XXXXXXX 17. 1. Why would TSH levels go so high so quickly? 2. Will a 'lower' TSH during first 5 weeks be helpful? 3. how much of an effect will this high TSH affect neuro/bby development? 4. how long before synthroid takes affect for bby. I read the first 10 weeks are the most critical, then the bby develops its own thyroid. should things look 'positive' or 'maybe not'
Posted Sun, 9 Feb 2014 in Thyroid Problem and Hormonal Problems
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 4 hours later
Brief Answer: The things are positive. Detailed Answer: Hello, Thanks for trusting us with your health concern. 1. The rise in TSH levels is suggestive of a subclinical hypothyroidism. In pregnancy as the consumption of thyroid hormone increases the TSH levels rise indicating a thyroid hormone deficiency. 2. TSH levels may drop till 4 mIU/ml during first few weeks of pregnancy. There is no need to worry as the fetal growth and development is affected if T3 and T4 levels are also below normal levels. 3. High TSH levels may affect neurological development to some extent if associated with decreased free T3 and free T4 levels. It is best to go for regular antenatal checkups and get ultrasound scan done as scheduled. Do regulate the synthyroid dose according to TSH levels every 2-3 weeks. 4. Synthyroid is a synthetic hormone and shows effect in 2-3 days after starting the supplementation. Please feel free to discuss further. I will be glad to answer the follow up queries that you have. Wishing you good health. Regards. Dr. Rakhi Tayal. For future query, you can directly approach me through my profile URL
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Follow-up: Will high TSH levels affect fetal development during pregnancy? 1 hour later
Thank you. If specialist does not test for T3, T4, should we request it? If these levels are below normal, will this mean developmental delays? Was never tested for T3/T4.
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 5 hours later
Brief Answer: Yes. You can request for it. Detailed Answer: Hello. Thanks for writing again. Since your TSH levels are high you need to get your free T3 and free T4 levels tested. You can request for these if the specialist does not recommend for these. If these levels are less then developmental delays may happen. Hope my answer is helpful. If you do not have any clarifications, you can close the discussion and rate the answer. Wish you good health. Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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