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Health Tips for January 18

Posted Jan 17 2010 9:00pm

Health Tip: Thyroid Problems May Affect Pregnancy

The thyroid, a small gland at the base of the neck, helps regulate your body's metabolism, including how fast your heart beats.

An overactive (hyperthyroid) or underactive (hypothyroid) gland can lead to a host of health problems, particularly during pregnancy.

The National Women's Health Information Center lists these possible complications of an untreated thyroid problem during pregnancy:

Hyperthyroidism:

  • Premature birth and early labor.
  • Preeclampsia, which causes high blood pressure and problems with organs including the kidneys.
  • A smaller baby or stillbirth.
  • Increased heart rate of the fetus.

Hypothyroidism:

  • Anemia.
  • Preeclampsia
  • Abnormal brain development of the baby.
  • Maternal bleeding after giving birth.

Health Tip: Toxoplasmosis is Dangerous During Pregnancy

Toxoplasmosis is a parasitic infection that can cause serious problems during pregnancy. Cats can carry the infection, and transmit it in their feces.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers these suggestions to reduce pregnant women's risk of contracting toxoplasmosis:

  • During pregnancy, have someone else clean out the litter box. If you are the only one who can clean it, wear gloves, and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water afterward.
  • Make sure the litter box is cleaned daily.
  • Don't let pet cats outside, which can increase their risk of acquiring toxoplasmosis.
  • Avoid contact with any stray cat.
  • Stick to dry or canned cat food, and don't feed your cat raw or undercooked meat.
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