Hypothyroidism, or underactive thyroid, is when your thyroid does not make enough thyroid hormones. The symptoms can be subtle, variable, and easily attributable to other causes, so the way to know for sure if you have hypothyroidism is a simple blood test.
Thyroid disease runs in families, so talk to your family members to find out if you're at higher risk.
Thyroid disease not treated with medicine can cause health problems for the mother, including premature delivery (before 39 weeks of pregnancy), preeclampsia, or miscarriage. Untreated thyroid disease can also cause health problems for the baby, including heart failure or problems with growth and brain development.
While there is no cure for hypothyroidism, it may resolve if it is caused by postpartum thyroiditis or viral thyroiditis. Otherwise, patients have hypothyroidism for life, but can almost always manage it completely through treatment.
Hypothyroidism is treated with medicine that gives your body the thyroid hormone (T4 and TSH) it needs to work normally. This medicine simply replaces the amount of hormone that your own thyroid can no longer make, bringing your T4 and TSH levels back to normal levels. The severity of the hypothyroidism may vary, so the dose of thyroxine may vary, but with testing and monitoring, you can keep your hormone levels in the normal range.