The Relationship Between Thyroid Disorders and Miscarriage

“The Relationship Between Thyroid Disorders and Miscarriage” is a video that dives into the connection between thyroid disorders and miscarriage. Presented by certified Functional medicine practitioners and chiropractors, Dr. Martin Rutherford and Dr. Randall Gates, the video covers various topics such as stricter criteria for TSH evaluation in pregnant females, the impact of thyroid antibodies on recurrent miscarriages, and novel treatments for these issues. The discussion mainly focuses on Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism and its implications on fertility, conception, and the risk of miscarriage. This informative and helpful video aims to provide clinical and practical data on the subject.

The broadcast starts with an introduction by Dr. Martin Rutherford, a certified Functional medicine practitioner and chiropractor, and Dr. Randall Gates, a board-certified chiropractic neurologist. They emphasize the importance of addressing chronic pain and the role of the brain, inflammation, blood sugar, and oxygen delivery in achieving successful results. The focus then shifts to thyroid physiology, hypothyroidism, and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis as a cause of hypothyroidism. The conversation further delves into the association between hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and recurrent miscarriages, highlighting the importance of treating subclinical hypothyroidism in pregnant women with a TSH level above 2.5. This engaging and informative discussion concludes with suggestions for future broadcasts and a thank you to the viewers.

Thyroid Physiology and Hypothyroidism

The thyroid gland plays a crucial role in regulating numerous bodily functions, including metabolism, temperature regulation, and energy production. Located in the front of the neck, the thyroid gland produces hormones that help maintain these physiological processes. The main hormones produced by the thyroid gland are thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), which act on various tissues and organs throughout the body.

Hypothyroidism is a condition characterized by an underactive thyroid gland, leading to reduced production of T4 and T3 hormones. This results in a slowdown of bodily functions, leading to symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain, dry skin, and constipation, among others. Hypothyroidism can have various causes, including autoimmune disorders, radiation therapy, certain medications, and iodine deficiency.

Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis as a Cause of Hypothyroidism

One of the most common causes of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. This is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s own immune system mistakenly attacks the thyroid gland, leading to inflammation and damage. Over time, this can result in the destruction of thyroid tissue and a decrease in thyroid hormone production.

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis can be identified through the presence of thyroid antibodies, specifically anti-thyroid peroxidase (anti-TPO) antibodies and anti-thyroglobulin (anti-TG) antibodies. These antibodies can be detected through blood tests and are indicative of an autoimmune response targeting the thyroid gland.

The Relationship Between Thyroid Disorders and Miscarriage

Importance of Thyroid Hormone TSH in Regulating Thyroid Function

Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland in the brain. Its main role is to regulate the production of thyroid hormones by stimulating the thyroid gland. When thyroid hormone levels are low, the pituitary gland releases more TSH to encourage the thyroid gland to produce more hormones. Conversely, when thyroid hormone levels are high, TSH production decreases to signal the thyroid gland to slow down hormone production.

TSH levels are an essential part of assessing thyroid function and diagnosing thyroid disorders. Elevated TSH levels indicate an underactive thyroid gland and are characteristic of hypothyroidism. Conversely, low TSH levels suggest hyperthyroidism, an overactive thyroid gland. Monitoring TSH levels is crucial in determining the appropriate treatment approach and evaluating the effectiveness of treatment.

Association Between Hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, and Recurrent Miscarriages

Research has shown a significant association between hypothyroidism, particularly Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and an increased risk of recurrent miscarriages. Miscarriages, defined as the loss of a pregnancy before 20 weeks gestation, can be devastating for couples trying to conceive. Understanding the link between thyroid disorders and recurrent miscarriages is crucial for optimizing fertility and improving maternal and fetal health outcomes.

It is believed that the inflammation and hormonal imbalances caused by Hashimoto’s thyroiditis can disrupt the delicate hormonal environment required for successful conception and pregnancy. Additionally, thyroid hormone imbalances can affect the development of the embryo and fetus, leading to an increased risk of pregnancy loss.

The Relationship Between Thyroid Disorders and Miscarriage

Importance of Treating Subclinical Hypothyroidism in Pregnant Women with TSH Above 2.5

Subclinical hypothyroidism is a milder form of hypothyroidism in which TSH levels are slightly elevated but within the normal range. In the past, this condition was not considered significant enough to warrant treatment. However, recent research has indicated that pregnant women with TSH levels above 2.5 are at an increased risk of miscarriages.

Therefore, it is crucial to identify and treat subclinical hypothyroidism in pregnant women to optimize their chances of a successful pregnancy outcome. Treatment typically involves thyroid hormone replacement therapy with levothyroxine to normalize TSH levels and ensure adequate thyroid hormone levels for the developing fetus.

Use of Levothyroxine in Treating Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and Subclinical Hypothyroidism

Levothyroxine is a synthetic form of the T4 hormone and is the most commonly prescribed medication for hypothyroidism. It is an effective treatment option for both Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and subclinical hypothyroidism. By replacing the deficient thyroid hormone, levothyroxine helps regulate bodily functions and alleviate the symptoms associated with hypothyroidism.

For individuals with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, levothyroxine can help stabilize thyroid hormone levels and reduce autoimmune activity against the thyroid gland. In cases of subclinical hypothyroidism, levothyroxine treatment aims to normalize TSH levels and maintain optimal thyroid function, especially during pregnancy.

The Relationship Between Thyroid Disorders and Miscarriage

Association Between Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), Hashimoto’s, and Infertility

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal disorder that affects women of reproductive age. It is characterized by hormonal imbalances, cyst formation on the ovaries, and menstrual irregularities. Research has shown a connection between PCOS, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and infertility.

Hormonal imbalances in individuals with PCOS can lead to disturbances in thyroid hormone production and function, increasing the risk of developing Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Additionally, the presence of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and hypothyroidism can further exacerbate the hormonal disruptions in PCOS, impacting fertility and conception.

Potential Causes of Hashimoto’s, Including Gluten Intolerance and Viral Infections

The exact causes of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis are not fully understood. However, several factors have been identified as potential triggers for the development of this autoimmune condition. One such factor is gluten intolerance, also known as celiac disease. Research has shown a strong association between Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and celiac disease, with individuals diagnosed with one condition being at a significantly higher risk of developing the other.

Viral infections, particularly those affecting the respiratory system, have also been linked to the development of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Viruses such as Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) have been implicated in triggering the autoimmune response against the thyroid gland.

Far-Reaching Effects of Hashimoto’s, Including Impact on Brain Function and Mental Health

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis not only affects thyroid function but can also have far-reaching effects on brain function and mental health. The thyroid hormones T3 and T4 play a crucial role in maintaining optimal brain function, including cognitive abilities, mood regulation, and memory. Therefore, disruptions in thyroid hormone levels caused by Hashimoto’s thyroiditis can lead to cognitive impairments, mood disorders, and even depression.

Signs and symptoms of Hashimoto’s-related cognitive dysfunction include brain fog, difficulties with concentration and memory, and slower processing speed. Additionally, individuals with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis may experience mood swings, anxiety, and depression as a result of hormonal imbalances and the profound impact of the condition on overall physiological well-being.


Thyroid disorders, particularly Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, can have significant implications for reproductive health, including an increased risk of miscarriages and infertility. Understanding the association between thyroid function and reproductive outcomes is crucial, especially for women planning to conceive or experiencing recurrent miscarriages.

Regular monitoring of thyroid function, including TSH levels, is essential for diagnosing and managing thyroid disorders effectively. The use of levothyroxine medication, when necessary, can help maintain optimal thyroid hormone levels and improve overall health outcomes for individuals with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and subclinical hypothyroidism.

By recognizing the potential causes and consequences of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, healthcare providers can provide proactive management and support to optimize fertility and prevent pregnancy complications. Increased awareness and testing for Hashimoto’s during pregnancy are crucial steps in ensuring the best possible outcomes for both the mother and baby.

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