Congenital Hypothyroidism

Congenital Hypothyroidism is often considered as the most common reason for Intellectual Disability. This kind of disorder is very difficult to diagnose and studies upon.

The signs and symptoms of this disorder are often confusing and occur at an early stage of child birth. Most of the symptoms take longer duration sometimes extending several weeks post birth. This case is common in infants who weigh less than 2 kg or those who weigh more than 4.5 kg. This usually occurs in infants who are born in iodine deficient places like Himalayas.

The main reason for a congenital hypothyroidism include imbalance in the development of thyroid glands in the womb as well as beneath the tongue. Sometimes genetic causes will force the TSH hormone to get impaired. In case the mother suffers from hypothyroidism during the pregnancy stages, the newborn infant definitely goes through the same. Sometimes certain climates and foods mess up with the overall development of a baby.

There are various iodine deficient regions in India including Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Goa and Gujarat which are often considered as the goiter belt. Cretinism is a situation that occurs during the birth or can prevail while the infant is in the womb. The spine gets curved and similarly height of the person is less than 3 Ft. The head looks large and so do the eyelids and ears. The tongue also becomes very large. The personality of the infant looks excessively bland and vague.

Normally blood tests namely TSH, T3 and T4 along with thyroid scan and ultra-sonography is usually preferred. Sometimes an early treatment is ruled out due to the early stages of the infant. Levothyroxine is another pill or drug that is given to the infant which can either be mixed with water or breast milk. Also, diet is extremely important and foods balanced in iodine are extremely beneficial. You must first consult a pediatric who would then suggest medications and treatments following the growth of the infant mentally, physically and psychologically. Also, a regular check-up is important to know the progress of your baby. It is always safe to take care during preganancy and ensure that foods high in iodine are considered in such iodine deficient belts.