Why Does TSH Increase During Pregnancy?

TSH stands for Thyroid Stimulating Hormone and this is a hormone which is produced by the pituitary gland found in the brain and stimulates the thyroid to produce enough levels of pregnancy hormones to support pregnancy. The thyroid hormones are very important during pregnancy and a disturbance in their production can lead to various conditions some of which can be dangerous to the pregnancy.

There are cases where the TSH tends to increase in the body exceeding the amounts which are considered to be normal and safe during pregnancy. This increases over stimulates the thyroid gland and in turn it produces very high amounts of the pregnancy hormones estrogen and HCG as well as estrogen. The increased levels of the pregnancy hormones will of course also come with their own effects most of which will be seen and experienced by the pregnant woman.

This increase in hormones will usually lead to a condition known as hyperthyroidism. It could result from Grave’s disease which is not uncommon during pregnancy. This is a disease which is an autoimmune disorder. The immune system is normally responsible in protecting people from various kinds of infections. This works by the immune system identifying and eventually destroying the viruses and the bacteria which cause harm to the body.

When an autoimmune disorder occurs, the fighting of the infection causing microorganisms is hindered and this leads to a situation where the immune system is attacking it’s own body cells and also organs. In the Grave’s disease case which results to hyperthyroidism as another result of increase TSH levels leading to increased hormone productions, an antibody which mimics the Thyroid Stimulating Hormone is produced and thus causes the thyroid to produce too much pregnancy hormones. This disorder will usually show itself in the eyes. Pregnant suffering from eye problems during pregnancy need to be under observation for the condition and other signs that indicate this disorder include eye puffiness, bulging and irritation.

Another reason as to why TSH increases during pregnancy could be as a result of severe nausea and vomiting. This is a dangerous situation that can easily lead to dehydration and weight loss and thus puts the pregnancy at risk. The condition is referred to as Hyperemesis Gravidarum and it triggers the over stimulation and production of the hormones also leading to hyperthyroidism. In this case however, it could be worse during the first trimester of the pregnancy improving in the second and third. Women with preexisting Grave’s disease have a potential of seeing a great improvement of the symptoms as the pregnancy enters the second and third pregnancy.

The increased levels of hormone production as a result of over stimulation of the thyroid gland need to be scrutinized to avoid situations where the condition turns to be dangerous and risky to the mother and baby. If left unattended, various things can result and they all negatively affect the pregnancy, mother and baby. Early intervention can help keep the condition at manageable levels till there is a change or improvement.