Beware of Iron Deficiency and Thyroid Disorder during Pregnancy: Study

Beware of Iron Deficiency and Thyroid Disorder during Pregnancy: Study

Authored by DesiMD Doctor on 26 Jul 2016 - 13:34


According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are two billion people with anemia in the world and half of the anemia is due to iron deficiency. Researchers say, Iron deficiency (ID) is more prevalent in pregnant women and is known to be associated with obstetrical and fetal complications. Iron deficiency raises complications such as miscarriages and pre-term births and risk of thyroid disorders too, say research findings.

Researchers say that it could be linked to an increased risk of stroke as well. Once the person is iron deficient, morbidity sets in and tends to become severe over time. Iron deficiency anemia may not show any significant symptoms and so even a healthy individual could have a fairly severe degree of anemia.

Thyroid peroxidase (TPO-abs) - a protein essential for normal functioning of the thyroid works at its optimal level when the person has the required amount of iron. Research findings say that the pregnant women need to make enough thyroid hormone especially in the first trimester for the complete development of the brain of the growing fetus. This is critical because during this period the fetus has not yet developed a thyroid gland of its own and therefore depends on the mother’s thyroid hormone.

Iron deficiency may also cause thyroid autoimmunity (a disease where the immune system mistakenly destroys healthy thyroid cells) causing thyroid hormone levels to fall which can turn out to be very critical for the pregnant women.

Research Study: Researchers studied 1900 pregnant women who were in their first trimester. They measured the women's blood ferritin (an indicator of iron deficiency); antibodies against the thyroid peroxidase which indicates thyroid autoimmunity; the thyroid hormone free thyroxine (FT4) and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). It was observed that 35 per cent of the study participants showed iron deficiency. "Considering that our study took place in a relatively wealthy country, our results show that even in 2016, iron deficiency remains an important problem," said lead author Kris Poppe from Saint-Pierre University Hospital, Brussels.

The best food sources of iron are cereals, legumes, green leafy vegetables, meat, fish and eggs, nuts, oilseeds and jaggary.

The results were published in European Journal of Endocrinology.



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