Thyroid disorders are conditions in which the thyroid gland does not function properly. This condition can happen to anyone, including mothers and children, and can cause very dangerous problems in various organs of the body. Recognize what are the dangers of thyroid disorders to mothers and children.
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located in the middle of the front of the neck. This gland produces thyroid hormone which functions to control almost all metabolic processes in the body. Because the role of the thyroid hormone is very important for the body, thyroid gland disorders can have a huge impact.
Thyroid disorders can cause the production of thyroid hormones to become less or even excessive. A condition in which the thyroid hormone level in the body is too low is called hypothyroidism, while a condition in which the thyroid hormone level is too high is called hyperthyroidism.
This is the Danger Behind Thyroid Disorders in Mothers
Women are more at risk of developing thyroid disorders than men. Thyroid disorders in women, both hyperthyroid and hypothyroid, can cause menstrual cycle disorders, fertility problems, and harm to the womb and fetus if they occur in pregnant women.
Hyperthyroidism in mother
Hyperthyroid conditions will cause an increase in metabolism and work of organs, including the heart. At first, the symptoms of hyperthyroidism are not very significant, so you may not really notice them. However, over time, hyperthyroidism can cause various complaints, such as:
- Drastic weight loss
- Fast or irregular heartbeat
- Hard to sleep
- Often feels nervous or anxious
- Often feel hot even though the air temperature is not hot
- Sweating a lot
- Diarrhea or frequent bowel movements
- The eyes stick out, are often irritated, and look red
Untreated hyperthyroidism during pregnancy is at risk of causing miscarriage, premature birth, preeclampsia, fetal heart rate too fast, or babies born with low birth weight, even with heart failure.
Hypothyroidism in mother
In contrast to hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism can slow down general organ work. The symptoms of hypothyroidism also progress slowly. At first, you may often feel tired, and over time you will experience various other complaints due to the slow metabolism of the body.
The following are some of the symptoms that can appear in hypothyroidism:
- Joint or muscle pain
- Dry and pale skin
- Hair loss
- Slow heart rate
- Difficulty sweating
- Swollen face
- Often feels sad or depressed
- You gain weight, even if you don’t eat much
- Menstruation becomes more frequent
- Feeling cold even when the air is not cold
Hypothyroidism during pregnancy that is not treated properly can cause anemia, preeclampsia, and miscarriage in pregnant women, or the baby is stillborn. Babies born to mothers with hypothyroidism are also at risk for problems in brain growth and development.
The Dangers Behind Thyroid Disorders in Children
Although it is more common in adults, children and babies can also experience thyroid disorders, especially hypothyroidism. A hypothyroid condition from birth is called congenital hypothyroidism or congenital hypothyroidism.
Most cases of congenital hypothyroidism occur because the thyroid gland is not fully formed during the baby’s womb. The main cause is genetic abnormalities in the fetus. However, this condition can also occur due to iodine deficiency in pregnant women.
Symptoms of congenital hypothyroidism generally appear several weeks or months after the baby is born. The symptoms are as follows:
- Yellow skin
- Quick breath
- Large, swollen tongue
- Swelling around the eyes
- Big belly with sticking belly button
- Get more or more sleep
Untreated congenital hypothyroidism can cause problems in child development and cause children to experience speech problems, walking problems, and mental retardation.
Thyroid disorders in both mother and child can cause dangerous complications. In fact, if thyroid disorders are known from the start, these complications can be prevented, although treatment must be done in the long term.
Therefore, screening or examination of thyroid disorders is very important to do. Screening for thyroid disorders can be done when the baby is 48–72 hours old, or at least before he is 2 weeks old. If it turns out that the baby has a thyroid problem, the doctor will immediately provide care so that the baby’s growth and development is not disturbed.
Whereas in adults, screening for thyroid disorders can be done by self neck-checking or independent neck examinations. You can do this examination yourself at home to find out whether there is a lump in the neck, because this symptom is usually not realized until the size of the lump is large enough.
In addition, you also need to be aware of the symptoms of hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism that may occur. If you experience symptoms of hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, with or without a lump in the neck, you should immediately consult a doctor.