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Congenital hypothyroidism: Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

Congenital hypothyroidism: Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

Windowofworld.com – Congenital hypothyroidism needs to be detected as early as possible, which is when a newborn baby is born. In addition to preventing growth disorders, early detection of congenital hypothyroidism by screening can also prevent children from experiencing intellectual impairments later in life.

Congenital hypothyroidism is a dysfunction of the thyroid gland experienced from birth (congenital), so the baby has low levels of thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism).

This condition is found in 1 in 2000 babies born in Indonesia. There are several factors that can cause congenital hypothyroidism. However, the most common cause is lack of iodine intake in pregnant women.


Recognizing Congenital Hypothyroid Symptoms

Infants with mild congenital hypothyroidism may not show obvious symptoms. Conversely, in cases of severe congenital hypothyroidism, the baby’s face will look swollen with a thick and large tongue.

In addition, babies with congenital hypothyroidism may also show symptoms such as:

  • Yellowing of the skin and eyes
  • Difficulty when eating
  • Stomach swells and sometimes the belly button stands out
  • Weak and weak muscles
  • Dry and brittle hair
  • Short arms and legs

Congenital hypothyroidism that is not found and treated early will cause growth disorders later on. Children with this condition will have a short body or a midget, mental retardation, and difficulty speaking.

Diagnosis of Congenital Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroid screening is a mandatory examination when the baby is born. The best time to do this examination is when the baby is 2-3 days old or before the baby comes home from the hospital.

The following are the steps for implementing a hypothyroid screening procedure:

  • Peripheral blood samples are taken from the sole of the baby’s feet.
  • Blood is shed on special filter paper.
  • Filter paper is sent to laboratories that have thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) testing facilities.

If the baby’s TSH levels are high, hypothyroid screening results are said to be positive. After that, a more complete examination will be done to confirm the diagnosis. Infants are declared to have congenital hypothyroidism if TSH levels remain high on the second examination and their thyroxine hormone levels are low.

Management of Congenital Hypothyroidism

The first treatment for babies who have congenital hypothyroidism is the administration of the hormone thyroxine in tablet form. This drug is given 1 time a day by grinding and mixed with breast milk.

Thyroxine drugs need to be taken every day for the level of thyroxine in the blood to remain stable. These drugs rarely cause side effects, except when the dose is not appropriate and cause hormone levels in the blood lower or higher than the normal range.

Therefore, while taking this drug, children need regular control to the doctor to check their thyroxine hormone levels. With this, the doctor can monitor the child’s condition and make sure the dosage received is appropriate.

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