Congenital Hypothyroidism Cognitive Impact

What is congenital Hypothyroidism?

In the United States testing for thyroid deficiency is screened regularly on new born babies. Congenital hypothyroidism is what happens as a result of the absence or abnormal development of the thyroid gland or non functioning thyroid, which affects more girls than boys.

What are symptoms of congenital hypothyroidism effecting infants?

Congential Hypothyroidism

Symptoms in babies can range from persistent jaundice, breathing difficulties due to their enlarged tongue, clogged nasal passages, bulging abdomen, umbilical hernia, cold grayish skin, feeding problems resulting in failure to thrive, anemia, constipation, heart murmurs are most common. Congenital hypothyroidism can also be caused by the mother taking radioiodine while she is pregnant if she is being treated for cancer of the thyroid. Other causes can be exposure to anti thyroid drugs used to treat hypothyroidism in the mother. Signs of congenital hypothyroidism in newborns At birth most babies look perfectly normal which allows for congenital hypothyroidism to go undetected by the doctor who examines your infant , If undetected over the next few weeks of your babies life you will notice your baby becoming lethargic, meaning he or she sleeps for very long periods of time, is hard to arouse, appears limp meaning your baby doesn’t put wait on his or her legs when being held up, you baby may have dull facial expressions, horse cry, dry skin, feeding and low sucking reflex. If you are a first time parent you may not notice that anything is wrong so it is important to contact your doctor if you notice any of these symptoms. Parents who are not first timers may notice right away that something just isn’t right, make sure you write down all of your babies symptoms so your doctor has a very clear picture which will help him decide which tests he needs to perform to obtain an accurate diagnosis.

Treatment of congenital hypothyroidism for infants If congenital hypothyroidism is suspected treatment will start as soon as the disease is suspected even before blood work can be analyzed do to the consequences of brain damage because symptoms of the disease are reversible but brain damage is not the out come how ever will depend on the constant levels of thyroxine T4 during the first year of life. T4 is a hormone replacement therapy that balances the level of thyroid hormone in the body which is effect in reversing the effects of the symptoms the disease causes. When treatment is introduced early enough the child’s mental capabilities should be the same as a child with normal thyroid function. Out come of untreated hypothyroidism for infants. Babies who are left untreated with congenital hypothyroid disease can develop mental retardation because brain is not allowed to develop properly, growth retardation, teething may appear late, your baby may not grow in length because your baby isn’t growing at a consistent rate, chromosome abnormalities, endocrine system may not function properly from thyroid hormone deficiency, abnormalities in the gastrointestinal system leading food not being absorbed properly leading to inadequate nutrition, the above are most causes for failure to thrive. Infants are treated with hormone replacement therapy T4 at twenty five to fifty milligrams the idea is to see that the infant maintains a normal level of thyroid hormone with in the first month of life. Soy and milk based formulas effect the absorption of T4.  The symptoms in infants differ from adult symptoms as do the out come of the disease children especially babies are at more jeopardy of being mentally challenged where adults seem to only experience some memory loss.

Congenital hypothyroidism effects in older children.

congenital hypothyroidism can affect both infants and older children. Thyroid dyshomornogenenes means that the thyroid is in the right location, just under developed which happens when the child’s genes were inherited from the mother and the father. Acquired hypothyroidism is what occurs in older children occurs during autoimmune thyroid disease which is more common in children reaching puberty and teenage hood again more common in girls than boys. Infants are given the heel stick test where blood is drawn from the heel after your infant is born referred to as the PKU test, which is the most reliable test for congenital hypothyroidism in infants. Older children who develop the disease can be harder to diagnose. Symptoms such as tiredness, sudden weight gain, mood swings, and children may also have the same symptoms as adults. Although news of your child being ill with congenital hypothyroid disease can be trying and nerve wracking, your anxiety level may increase your child’s anxiety effecting how he or she feels from day to day. Try to stay positive your doctor will help you cope.   Treatment is the same no matter the age or what type of congenital hypothyroidism is diagnosed.

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