Postpartum Thyroiditis: Not Just a Worn Out Mom

Katherine Pereira; Ann J. Brown


Journal for Nurse Practitioners. 2008;4(3):175-182. 

In This Article


Our patient illustrates a common clinical course for a woman with PPT. She is at high risk of developing future hypothyroidism. She has a strong family history of thyroid disorders and now has two documented episodes of PPT.

PPT is a common condition for women in the first 12 months after birth. Differentiating between expected postpartum adjustment, postpartum depression, and other causes of thyroid dysfunction can be accomplished with careful review of symptoms, history, and physical exam. TSH is also the best screen to assess for thyroid dysfunction and need for further diagnostic testing. Symptom management (such as with beta-blocker therapy) is useful in the hyperthyroid phase. Antithyroid medications are not useful. Levothyroxine replacement can ease symptoms during the transient hypothyroid phase. PPT is self-limited, and patients can be reassured that full resolution expected. However, because the underlying thyroid autoimmunity may persist, regular monitoring of thyroid function studies is warranted.


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