Congenital Hypothyroidism

Congenital hypothyroidism is often mentioned as CHT. This is a condition of thyroid hormone deficiency present at birth. The ratio says 1:4000 newborn having the disease

What is Congenital hypothyroidism?

Congenital hypothyroidism is often mentioned as CHT. This is a condition of thyroid hormone deficiency present at birth. The ratio says 1:4000 newborn having the disease. CHT, if left untreated, may bring several abnormalities like growth failure and permanent mental retardation of the child. However, it is estimated that 18-20% of these infants have this disease for a time being and will only require treatment for initial years of life and no furthermore. Generally after the age of three, the treatment is stopped and then again signs and symptoms are watched and the child is screened again after few weeks to decide for further treatment.

Causes of Congenital Hypothyroidism

Around the world, child suffering from CHT is to be taken seriously. The cause for this situation is mostly the iodine deficiency in areas where the environmental iodine is not sufficient. The other reasons include defect of development of the thyroid gland. This might be result of underdeveloped gland which is known as hypoplastic gland or total absence of gland which is known as athyreosis. This may be seen as physical anomaly also as hypoplastic gland may develop higher in the neck or even in the back of the tongue which is referred to lingual thyroid.
In some cases, congenital hypothyroidism can occur as genetic defect and some remains with no identifiable cause.

Symptoms of Congenital Hypothyroidism

On the initial stage of the child, it is quite difficult to judge it. Symptoms are not noticed in newborns until the shortage of thyroid hormone really begins to affect the bodily functions and therefore, newborn screening for hypothyroidism is very important to diagnose.

However, these children may have prolonged jaundice. They are not good in having foods and show little interesting in feeding. Constipation is common among these. The sluggishness catches the child and makes it to sleep more and less active. The baby cries very less and remains un-playful. The outer appearance is noticeable many times with large heads, tongue and bellies. Umbilical hernias are not uncommon. The physical development is undoubtedly slower and baby is presented with floppy muscle, late milestones, late teething and small size. Their hands are typically wide but with short structure.

Diagnose and Treatment of Congenital Hypothyroidism

Apart from judging from symptoms, screening tests also become necessary for the child having congenital hypothyroidism. After diagnosing and confirming, the treatment begins with daily supplement of thyroxin hormone from outside. This is available in small tablet and many brands are available in market with different strength in dose. The tablet is crushed and given to the infant with little amount of milk or water.

The TSH and T4 level are continuously rechecked to see whether the therapy has positive effect or not. As the child grows, the specialist may have to change the dosage of thyroxin calculating the age and the weight.

Perfect diet with all nutrition like vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates and fats will help delivering normal baby. Be sure of the supplement like iodine and other elements to prevent disease like hypothyroidism for mother and also for a fetus.


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