I just want to scream with joy…and then keep on screaming with utter frustration! Last week I presented the culmination of months of work looking into the extraordinary manifold relationships between thyroid health, fertility, pregnancy & post-partum health for mum and bub.
The findings are breathtaking: whether it’s about being able to put thyroid Abs firmly on the ‘Must Screen’ list for preconception care, given their ability to double-quadruple the rate of early miscarriage or their propensity for triggering post-partum thyroiditis in 50% of women who possess them or being able to state emphatically that maternal low iodine (prior to conception as well as during pregnancy) remains the number one risk for the thyroid’s healthy transition to pregnancy. The evidence is overwhelming that we need to pay very close attention to the thyroid.
So why the frustration then? Well the day after I presented this webinar, I received a completely coincidental email from a soon-to-be-father who happens to be a scientist, telling me that his wife, now in her third trimester, had just received a urinary iodine (not ordered by the obs but requested specifically by him) result of 14 mcg/L suggestive of gross deficiency. Being a conscientious and cluey individual, he had worn himself out in a panic researching the potential dire impact on their unborn child and all the time he was saying – how could this happen?
‘At every appointment we told the obstetrician/GP she wasn’t taking any iodine and we asked, Is this an issue?’ No one ever said it was, told them about the high rates of iodine deficiency in Australian pregnant women (at last & most conservative count at least 32% Condo et al 2016), not one person had advised them that the need for iodine supplementation was on par with folate (i.e. start before you even think about it!) and nobody had spoken of the impact it might have if they slipped below adequacy.
There is a lot more to this story of course and you’ll be pleased to know that after correction for an extremely dilute urine while iodine intake has been suboptimal it’s not anywhere near the magnitude the uncorrected results implied.
What I’m left with is this soon-to-be-father’s appropriate outrage. Especially once I made available to him some of the key Australian research papers on iodine deficiency in pregnancy etc. It echos my own frustration and (at times) utter disbelief about the incredible lag time between unanimous findings and recommendations from research and clinical practice behaviours.
I need to take lots of slow outward breaths…I know 🙂 But if you want to distinguish yourself from these medical dinosaurs and get totally up to date on what to look for in all your preconception patients, how best to monitor their thyroid health through pregnancy and be on the lookout for SOS signs of post-partum risks to either mum or bub then catch up on the very latest in our newest edition to our Thyroid Masterclass family, “Thyroid Assessment in Preconception, Pregnancy & Postpartum”. I always wanted to cover this absolutely critical aspect of thyroid health that wasn’t part of the original thyroid masterclass…and now it’s done 🙂
Feedback from some of the webinar attendees:
“I find Rachel’s presentations to be spot on with the technical detail, but also full of enthusiasm and most
importantly – inspirational. I can turnaround and use this information in my clinical practice – tomorrow!!”
“I love Rachel Arthur – she’s the thyroid guru. Her notes are so user friendly and she breaks things down so that you are actually able to explain things to your clients with thyroid issues.”