Diabetes, Hormones & Metabolism (Endocrinology)
Congenital Hypothyroidism is a disease in which the thyroid gland starts to produce insufficient amounts of thyroid hormone at or soon after birth. The condition is random and not due to family history.
Untreated congenital hypothyroidism in newborns leads to learning difficulties and behavioral problems later on in childhood.
Diagnosis and Treatment
The good news is that this condition is very easily diagnosed by a routine blood test that all babies receive before they leave the hospital. The test reveals abnormal levels of hormones that regulate your child's metabolism and are thus essential for normal growth and development.
Once diagnosed, your child will be treated with the thyroid hormone supplement Synthroid, also known as Levothyroxine.
This medication is very safe, with no known side effects. As your child grows, the doctor will monitor his or her blood hormone levels regularly to ensure that the medicine dosage remains therapeutic.
Although most children will not require medication beyond 3 to 4 years of age, some will need treatment for the rest of their lives.
However, as long as patients adhere to their medication and maintain correct thyroid hormone levels, they can live a normal, healthy life without any disability or limitations because of this condition.