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Health Tip: Thyroid Problems May Affect Pregnancy

Here's what an overactive or underactive thyroid can cause

(HealthDay News) -- The thyroid, a small gland at the base of the neck, helps regulate your body's metabolism, including how fast your heart beats.

An overactive (hyperthyroid) or underactive (hypothyroid) gland can lead to a host of health problems, particularly during pregnancy.

The National Women's Health Information Center lists these possible complications of an untreated thyroid problem during pregnancy:

Hyperthyroidism:

  • Premature birth and early labor.
  • Preeclampsia, which causes high blood pressure and problems with organs including the kidneys.
  • A smaller baby or stillbirth.
  • Increased heart rate of the fetus.

Hypothyroidism:

  • Anemia.
  • Preeclampsia
  • Abnormal brain development of the baby.
  • Maternal bleeding after giving birth.
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