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26 years
Overweight after giving birth 2 yrs 8 mo. ago, always feeling lazy and sleepy early in the day.. alert at night and feeling a sort of numbness in my hands and legs.. feeling like in need to stretch up
Aug 1, 2014

Dr. Zakia Dimassi Pediatrics

The symptoms you're describing sound to fit the diagnosis of postpartum thyroiditis, which is inflammation of the thyroid gland after the delivery of a baby. It can lead to can cause both thyrotoxicosis (high thyroid hormone levels in the blood) and hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormone levels in the blood). In postpartum thyroiditis, thyrotoxicosis is followed by hypothyroidism.
The exact cause is not established, but it is believed to be an autoimmune condition in which the immune system produces antibodies against the thyroid gland. It is hypothesized that women who develop postpartum thyroiditis have an underlying asymptomatic autoimmune thyroiditis that flares after delivery when there are fluctuations in immune function.
The classic presentation is that of thyrotoxicosis followed by hypothyroidism; about 1/3 of patients go through both phases, while 1/3 of patients will have only a thyrotoxic or hypothyroid phase. The thyrotoxic phase occurs 1-4 months after delivery, lasts for 1-3 months and is associated with symptoms including anxiety, insomnia, palpitations (fast heart rate), fatigue, weight loss, and irritability. These symptoms are often attributed to being postpartum and the stress of having a new baby, the thyrotoxic phase of postpartum thyroiditis often goes unnoticed. More commonly, women present in the hypothyroid phase, which usually occurs 4-8 months after delivery and may last up to 9 –12 months. Typical symptoms include fatigue, weight gain, constipation, dry skin, depression and poor exercise tolerance. Most women will have return of their thyroid function to normal within 12-18 months of the onset of symptoms. However, approximately 20% of those that go into a hypothyroid phase will remain hypothyroid.
Thyroid function tests need to be done to confirm the diagnosis.