If you’re planning on getting pregnant, are already pregnant, or have a history of miscarriages, it’s a good idea to have your thyroid levels tested. A recent review found that subclinical hypothyroidism increases a woman’s risk of miscarriage. The good news – there’s something you can do about it.
Symptomless Hypothyroidism Increases Risk of Miscarriage – But There’s Something You Can Do
A review consisting of nine studies examined the effects of subclinical hypothyroidism in miscarriages. This was a systematic review with meta-analysis that examined high-quality, available data.
The term ‘subclinical’ essentially means you won’t have symptoms or they will be very mild. Subclinical hypothyroidism is when your TSH levels are over 4.5 and you have normal T4 levels.
Typically, patients with subclinical hypothyroidism have no symptoms or mild symptoms. If they do have symptoms, they might not be bad enough to send them to the doctor yet.
Symptoms of subclinical hypothyroidism may include:
- Weight gain
- Cold intolerance
- Memory difficulties
Subclinical hypothyroidism increases risk of miscarriage
This review found those with subclinical hypothyroidism had an increased risk of miscarriage. Furthermore, those with subclinical hypothyroidism and thyroid autoimmunity had an even higher risk of miscarriage.
While this doesn’t sound like good news, there was a positive conclusion from this study.
Thyroid treatments can reduce miscarriage risk
This study found that women who were treated for subclinical hypothyroidism with thyroid hormone treatments saw a significant decrease in miscarriage risk. Their risk actually dropped to levels equivalent to the women without subclinical hypothyroidism.
This means they could achieve results like their healthy counterparts and effectively reduce their risk of miscarriage.
I told you there was good news!
Know your thyroid status before pregnancy
If you’re planning on getting pregnant, are already pregnant, or have a history of miscarriages, it’s a good idea to have your thyroid levels tested. If you find you have subclinical hypothyroidism, you can have hormone replacement therapy.
In fact, the researchers of this review concluded:
“…we recommend early treatments to avoid adverse pregnancy outcomes and complications.”
Testing for subclinical hypothyroidism
If you have testing done, it is possible you’ll test positive for thyroid antibodies with subclinical hypothyroidism, but it’s also possible you’ll test negative. This is why it’s important to check your thyroid levels as well as antibodies. If your test for thyroid antibodies comes back positive, there’s a chance you could be developing or have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
Subclinical hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s, hypothyroidism, and other thyroid autoimmunity conditions are fairly common in women, with many unware they have an issue. The earlier you can catch these dysfunctions, the easier it is to treat them and reduce their impact on your life.
Miscarriage is a deeply upsetting experience and I hope this information can help someone prevent this from happening to them. It’s a relatively simple solution to a serious problem. It’s my hope that more research of this kind will shine light on preventative measures such as this. I will continue to update you as they are released.
What do you think? I would like to hear your thoughts or experience with this.
Dr. Ruscio is your leading functional and integrative doctor specializing in gut related disorders such as SIBO, leaky gut, Celiac, IBS and in thyroid disorders such as hypothyroid and hyperthyroid. For more information on how to become a patient, please contact our office. Serving the San Francisco bay area and distance patients via phone and Skype.