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POSTPARTUM THYROIDITIS: A NEW CHALLENGE IN NURSE-MIDWIFERY

Authors

  • Dyanne D. Affonso PhD, FAAN,

    Associate Professor, Corresponding author
      Department of Family Health Care Nursing (N-411Y), School of Nursing, University of California, San Francisco San Francisco, CA 94143.
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    • Dyanne D. Affonso, is an Associate Professor and Coordinator of Perinatal Clinical Nurse Specialist Program within the Department of Family Health Care Nursing at the University of California School of Nursing at San Francisco.

  • Janice Andreyko MD, FRCS(C),

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    • Janice Andreyko, is an Assistant Professor within the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at St. Michaels Hospital, University of Toronto.

  • Kay Mills CNM, MS

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    • Kay Mills, is engaged in private practice in Nurse-Midwifery Services. She is a doctoral candidate within the Department of Family Health Care Nursing at the University of California at San Francisco School of Nursing.


Department of Family Health Care Nursing (N-411Y), School of Nursing, University of California, San Francisco San Francisco, CA 94143.

ABSTRACT

Postpartum thyroiditis is a recently described entity that often presents with symptoms of mild hypertension followed by a transient hypothyroid episode. It is associated with the presence of antimicrosomal antibodies and is thought to be autoimmune in origin. Its first appearance in susceptible women is most often in the postpartum period when it is felt that the immune system may become more active after its suppression during pregnancy. Symptoms are often mild and may be mistaken for postpartum depression or fatigue. If a patient presents with symptoms of hyper- or hypo-metabolism, thyroid function should be monitored. Although the condition is most often transient, treatment may be restricted if the patient is very symptomatic or if thyroid malfunction persists.

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