Primary congenital hypothyroidism (CH) is a condition that affects the body’s thyroid gland, a small organ in the lower neck. People with CH are unable to produce enough thyroid hormone, a chemical that is essential for healthy growth and development.
What is congenital hypothyroidism?
Hypothyroidism refers to an underactive thyroid gland. Congenital hypothyroidism occurs when a newborn infant is born without the ability to make normal amounts of thyroid hormone. The condition occurs in about 1 in 3,000-4,000 children, is most often permanent and treatment is lifelong.
What are the signs of congenital hypothyroidism?
Signs of cretinism or congenital hypothyroidism in a newborn include: lack of weight gain. stunted growth. fatigue, lethargy.
When is congenital hypothyroidism treated?
In cases where congenital hypothyroidism is thought to be temporary, the baby’s doctor (endocrinologist) may recommend a trial off levothyroxine treatment after age 3 years (after the time of critical brain development).
How do you test for congenital hypothyroidism?
Early signs of congenital hypothyroidism in a baby include:
- jaundice (yellow skin or eyes)
- sleeping longer or more often than usual.
- a large soft spot (fontanel) on the head.
- large, swollen tongue.
- weak (“floppy”) muscle tone.
- swelling around the eyes.
- poor or slow growth.
Can hypothyroidism cause autism?
There has been a report that low thyroid levels (hypothyroidism) in babies is possibly associated with the development of autism. Prior studies have shown that low thyroid levels in the mother during pregnancy has been associated with brain abnormalities in the baby.
What birth defects are caused by hypothyroidism?
Problems for babies can include:
- Infantile myxedema, a condition that’s linked to severe hypothyroidism. It can cause dwarfism, intellectual disabilities and other problems. …
- Low birthweight.
- Problems with growth and brain and nervous system development. …
- Thyroid problems. …
- Miscarriage or stillbirth.
Can I have a baby with hypothyroidism?
Undiagnosed thyroid dysfunction can make it difficult to conceive. It can also cause problems during pregnancy itself. Once the over- or under-active thyroid is under control, however, there is no reason why you should not have a successful pregnancy and a healthy baby.
Does thyroid problems run in the family?
Thyroid problems often run in families and if family members are unwell they should be encouraged to discuss with their own GP whether thyroid testing is warranted.
Which long term effect is associated with untreated congenital hypothyroidism?
Affected babies may show no features of the condition, although some babies with congenital hypothyroidism are less active and sleep more than normal. They may have difficulty feeding and experience constipation. If untreated, congenital hypothyroidism can lead to intellectual disability and slow growth.
How can you tell if your baby has a thyroid problem?
Signs of hypothyroidism can include:
- Decreased energy.
- Appearing swollen or puffy.
- Weight gain without increased appetite.
- Decreased growth rate.
- Muscle soreness.
- Constipation or harder stool less often.
- Other problems can include brittle hair and dry skin.
How do I know if my baby has hypothyroidism?
Most babies have no obvious signs or symptoms of low thyroid levels at birth. Some may have either at birth or soon after, a puffy face, a hoarse cry, a large and thick tongue, or a distended stomach. Left untreated, hypothyroidism in babies can lead to ”all sorts of neurological issues and mental deficits,” he says.
Does hypothyroidism cause mental retardation?
Left untreated in newborns, hypothyroidism can lead to mental retardation. Untreated hypothyroidism may also lead to anemia, low body temperature and heart failure.
Is congenital hypothyroidism rare?
A: Congenital hypothyroidism occurs in an estimated one in every 2000 to 4000 newborn babies.
When should you screen for congenital hypothyroidism?
Screening for congenital hypothyroidism is recommended when a baby is three days old. Infants who are discharged from the hospital earlier should be tested immediately before they leave, although there is a risk of a false-positive result because of a brief rise in TSH levels before a baby is three days old.