Cretinism Disease


Cretinism Disease

This illness is one of many that are caused by the thyroid hormones in the body. This illness will result in stunted mental and physical growth in the patient. It is mainly due to a deficiency in the amount of hormones that the thyroid hormone produces. This can then lead to the resulting limit of growth in the patient. This condition usually shows up in young children and infants. This illness it not always just produced through the thyroid not producing enough hormones. This condition can be caused through a lack of iodine in the patient’s diet also this condition can occur if the thyroid is diseased or removed because of an infection or disease. Cretinism will only appear in young children if they are born with this condition. Cretinism can be spotted very soon after the birth and the right treatment can then be administered to combat the condition and to also prevent any further more severe illnesses from this condition appearing in the infant.

Vulnerable Groups

As already stated the most vulnerable group of people will be young infants. But the chances of a child contracting this condition are very small. It seems that only 1 in 6000 to 7000 young infants will be born with cretinism so this does show just how remote this condition can be. It also seems to be the case that girls contracting this condition more then boys. This condition can be spotted at birth due to the child having a puffy-appearing face and other different features from other children. They will also not cry as much as other new born children as they will spend of their time asleep and feeling rather sluggish compared with other children. If this condition is left untreated then the child may not be able to do simple tasks as this condition can lead to retardation in the child. Growth will also not be at a steady rate and other problems will appear and also they will become more severe as the child ages.

Symptoms of Cretinism

The symptoms in a patient that is showing signs of cretinism are very visual to any doctor and just a few minutes with the doctor can prompt them to think that the patient does have cretinism. The main symptoms that will show in a patient with cretinism will be a thick tongue and a short stature. There are other symptoms that can occur that the doctor will ask you about. The doctor will ask you if you are concerned about the feeding habits of your child. If you have had trouble feeding the child then that is also another symptom. There are known cases when a child has frequent episodes of choking when they are being fed. This is also another symptom of cretinism and if this is your first child then you might of have noticed the problems and you might of put it down to you doing something wrong. However if you have already had children then you would know that this is not normal for an infant and you might of already thought about going to the doctor to see if they can make a correct diagnosis to put your mind at ease.

Treatment of Cretinism

Cretinism is treatable however it is vitally important that the condition is caught at the very early stages of the child’s birth. If this condition is caught early then the effects that have taken place can be reversed. However there is also the small matter of the nervous system that might have already taken irreversible damage. This is because of the lack of the hormones that the thyroid hormone part of the body produces. Replacement therapy is usually the standard treatment given to a child that has cretinism. After the replacement therapy has been done then the blood levels will be closely monitored so that they can be kept within a normal range.

Summary of Cretinism

Early diagnosis of cretinism is imperative to lower the chances of your child developing any future kind of retardation. If you do catch this condition early then the prognosis will be very good and the child’s mental development will be increased significantly. Cretinism is a condition that does not affect a high amount of people and although the condition does seem to be limited there is still thankfully a lot of treatment options open to any patient that does have cretinism.

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