Postpartum Thyroiditis: Not Just a Worn Out Mom

  • Author Footnotes
    1 Katherine Pereira, RN, MSN, FNP, is a family nurse practitioner with the department of medicine/endocrinology at Duke University Medical Center. She is also an assistant clinical professor at the Duke University School of Nursing.
    Katherine Pereira
    Footnotes
    1 Katherine Pereira, RN, MSN, FNP, is a family nurse practitioner with the department of medicine/endocrinology at Duke University Medical Center. She is also an assistant clinical professor at the Duke University School of Nursing.
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  • Author Footnotes
    2 Ann J Brown, MD, MHS, is an associate professor with the department of medicine/endocrinology at Duke University Medical Center. In conjunction with national ethical standards, neither author reports any relationships with business or industry that represent a conflict of interest.
    Ann J. Brown
    Footnotes
    2 Ann J Brown, MD, MHS, is an associate professor with the department of medicine/endocrinology at Duke University Medical Center. In conjunction with national ethical standards, neither author reports any relationships with business or industry that represent a conflict of interest.
    Search for articles by this author
  • Author Footnotes
    1 Katherine Pereira, RN, MSN, FNP, is a family nurse practitioner with the department of medicine/endocrinology at Duke University Medical Center. She is also an assistant clinical professor at the Duke University School of Nursing.
    2 Ann J Brown, MD, MHS, is an associate professor with the department of medicine/endocrinology at Duke University Medical Center. In conjunction with national ethical standards, neither author reports any relationships with business or industry that represent a conflict of interest.

      Abstract

      Postpartum thyroiditis (PPT) is a common condition that can occur in the first 12 months after delivery, affecting 5% to 7% of all postpartum women. This article provides a case illustration of this disorder. The typical clinical course for PPT is that of initial thyrotoxicosis (hyperthyroidism), followed by a hypothyroid state, and eventual return to normal thyroid function. Symptoms of thyroid dysfunction can be mistaken for normal postpartum adjustment and fatigue by the patient. PPT must be distinguished from other causes of abnormal thyroid function. Treatment focuses on reduction of symptoms. Antithyroid medication is not indicated. Women who develop PPT are at high risk for future development of hypothyroidism.

      Keywords

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