Postpartum thyroiditis

I’m sharing this in hopes that it will help other new moms and raise awareness/educate. When Amelia turned 3 months old, I began losing my hair in clumps. Postpartum hair loss, right? That happens. I also began to lose weight. Due to breastfeeding and being so busy maybe? I was fatigued, I was weak, and I had heart palpitations. My family noticed that I was “spacey” and zoned out a lot. I would forget what I was saying at times and would literally lose my train of thought. I thought that this was simply “pregnancy brain” that had continued on post pregnancy.

In February, matters got much worse. I found myself at urgent care twice in one week. I spiked a fever of 104, my body was incredibly weak and achy, I had hot and cold flashes like no other, i had tremors and I was disoriented. Every time I went to stand up, I almost passed out. At urgent care, I was told I had mastitis, despite not having any symptoms of it. I followed up with my regular doctor the next week, and they did blood work. I was referred to an endocrinologist because they discovered I had hyperthyroidism.

When I went to the endocrinologist she explained to me that my levels were through the roof and dangerously high. The sickness I experienced the week before was most likely a condition called “thyroid storm”, which is unusual yet can be life threatening. I was urged that if I ever experience any of those symptoms again, to go to the emergency room immediately. The diagnosis based on my blood work results was postpartum thyroiditis, something I had never even heard of. Postpartum thyroiditis is rare and affects around 5% of women after birth. I will have to get routine blood work and be watched closely. It is likely that my levels will return to normal on their own after about 12-18 months.

The moral of the story, is to listen to your body. Listen to your family, they know you best. My symptoms mimicked regular postpartum events, which is why I dismissed it at first. If you don’t feel just right, get checked out. There could be something very serious going on within your body. When in doubt, get checked out!

6 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Wow, I didn’t even know this condition existed! Thankfully you got checked out when you did – a great reminder for moms and all women to listen to their gut!

  2. Such a scary situation. I had a friend who had the same condition after her first child. As always it’s always better to check with a doctor than to assume something is just ‘normal’.

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