Congenital Hypothyroidism Can Cause Your Child to be Mentally Handicapped

Is your baby a very calm, quiet and good baby? Does he/she remain sleepy all the time? Not interested in feeding, but surprisingly gaining weight? Not passing stool daily?  If the answers are ‘Yes’, you must think of Congenital Hypothyroidism. Now the question arises what is Congenital hypothyroidism (CH)? It can be defined as the lack of thyroid hormones since birth results from complete or partial loss of thyroid (a butterfly shaped gland situated at the lower neck) function. If it is not detected and treated early, it can cause irreversible brain damage and poor mental development. What is the cause? May be defect (structural or functional) in the major hormone producing glands like pituitary and/or thyroid, use of some anti thyroid medications (carbimazole) by mother or due to iodine deficiency. At birth baby may be normal, but gradually develops feeding problem, excessive sleepiness, less activity, low frequency of crying, constipation, prolonged jaundice( yellow skin, eyes, urine) persisting more than 14 days after birth and so on. By 3 months features of hypothyroidism come out completely. There may be   protrusion of tongue, hoarseness of voice while crying, low body temperature, rough skin, swollen mass over the neck (goiter), excessively gaining weight etc. As delay in identifying this problem can cause irreversible brain damage and low IQ level, every baby should be screened after birth for congenital hypothyroidism. This test is usually carried out on the 5th day after birth via a simple pinprick collection of blood and analysis of TSH, T4 hormones. It is a part of newborn screening program throughout the world but not well established in Bangladesh. The aim of this screening is early detection and hormone replacement to halt all these disabilities. It can be serious if not diagnosed early but it is a completely treatable disease. If your doctor suggests the screening of hypothyroidism for your newborn baby don’t say ‘Not Now’.




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Dr. M. M. Haque

Comments ( 5 )

  • Mysha mahmud

    My baby’s age is 1.5 years but he is not interested to any food.I have tried all items, all foods at any situation but he doesn’t eat any food. And he left breast milk after 8 months. So what can i do please suggest me.

    • Dr. M. M. Haque

      Rather than simply insist your child eat a new food, try the followings:

      1.Offer a new food only when your child is hungry
      2.Present only one new food at a time
      3.Make it fun- present the food as a game
      4.Cut the food into unusual shapes like doll, car, birds etc
      5.Serve new food with favorite foods to increase acceptance
      6.Eat the new food yourself in front of your baby because children love to imitate
      7.Have your child help to prepare foods. Often they will be more willing to try something when they helped to make it.
      8. Limit beverages, ice cream, junk food . Picky eaters often fill up on liquids instead.
      9.Limit snacks to two per day.
      10.Make the food a bit oily so that little amount can provide more calorie
      11.Offer new food during main meal time, not during snacks time

  • Tanzina

    My baby’s age is 18 month now.From 2/3 month his front head portion is increasing and he is not interested in any food.Most of the time after having food he is vomiting. what kind of problem is it?

    • Dr. Haque

      Your question has two aspects- increasing front side of head and not interested to food. Firstly we have to be sure that overall head size is increasing or not. We can do it by measuring OFC. If OFC is more in respect to the age and sex of the child then obviously it is a matter of concern. Localized increase in head size is usually uncommon. It may be a normal head shape but seems to be abnormal to you. Whatever the reason is, if head is actually enlarged in size either locally or globally, some other symptoms must be present in your child. The second issue is vomiting. I am not sure whether this vomiting is related to increasing head size or faulty feeding practice. Almost every child of an well to do family has this sort of vomiting problem related to feeding because they are always forced to eat. As you have mentioned another issue of head enlargement so these may be the consequence of a same problem or may be two separate issues. My advice is to evaluate the head size by a pediatrician because without seeing your child it would be difficult to conclude.

  • Dr. M. M. Haque

    Thanks a lot. If you have interest in any particular topic,let me know so that i can write on that.

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