Tags: Thyroid Disorders | congenital | hypothyroidism | screening

9 Facts About Congenital Hypothyroidism Screening

By    |   Wednesday, 08 Jun 2016 06:04 PM

Congenital hypothyroidism is a condition that is present at birth when an underactive thyroid does not produce sufficient hormone levels that contribute to a healthy metabolism in the body.

Newborns may have congenital hypothyroidism because of a poorly developed thyroid gland or pituitary gland that doesn’t stimulate the thyroid gland, according to MedlinePlus, part of the National Institutes of Health. Medicine the mother took during pregnancy or a lack of iodine in her diet may also cause a baby’s underactive thyroid.

Here are nine facts about the need for congenital hypothyroidism screening.

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1. Infants may not develop symptoms or they exhibit a few signs, such as a puffy face, dull look or thick tongue. As the disease worsens, symptoms may include constipation, jaundice, brittle hair, choking episodes, and short height.

2. Infants rarely cry and may sleep a lot, leading people to believe they are “good babies,” Medscape notes.

3. Congenital hypothyroidism had been a leading cause of mental retardation in the U.S. before newborn screening became mandatory in all 50 states.

4. Screening methods are continually adjusted for better examination, particularly since it was learned that congenital hypothyroidism had increased during the 1990s, Medscape reports.

5. Following the newborn screening process, infants need follow-up tests to measure their thyroid hormone levels.

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6. Thyroid scanning examines thyroid gland dysgenesis, in which the gland is missing or severely underdeveloped. This disorder requires lifelong thyroid replacement therapy for normal development.

7. Infants need to be tested between two and four days of age, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. Newborns discharged within 48 hours should be tested immediately. Sometimes screening falsely identifies thyroid hormone levels when taken between 24 and 48 hours of birth.

8. Infants shown to have abnormal screens need to receive confirmatory testing and begin treatment with replacement therapy within two weeks after birth if they are still found to have congenital hypothyroidism.

9. Those infants found to have no permanent cause of the disorder after confirmatory testing need to undergo reduced or discontinued thyroid hormone therapy for 30 days to make sure the congenital hypothyroidism originally indicated is not permanent. The therapy should begin after the child reaches age 3, the AAFP advises.

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Congenital hypothyroidism is a condition that is present at birth when an underactive thyroid does not produce sufficient hormone levels that contribute to a healthy metabolism in the body.
congenital, hypothyroidism, screening
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2016-04-08
Wednesday, 08 Jun 2016 06:04 PM
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