Hyderabad: Simple test can halt dangerous disease
Hyderabad: Congenital hypothyroidism (CH) is one of the major causes for mental retardation, cardiac abnormalities and abnormalities in the nervous system and eyes, a panel of endocrinologists said. It is found that 1 in 2,500 children in India suffers from this deficiency.
Congenital hypothyroidism is the inadequate production of the thyroid hormone in newborns. It occurs because of some defect in the gland, error of thyroid metabolism or iodine deficiency. Children have to be screened in the first 48 hours after birth and treatment if needed can be started immediately.
Dr Durga Bhavani, consultant neonatologist, said all that is required is a simple test for thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) or thyroxine (T4). “Most newborns appear normal at birth but in many cases we find that there is a complete lack of development of the thyroid gland,” she said.
Children with unchecked CH have restricted growth, development and metabolism. It is important to carry out the test in time as it is found that babies brought even after a month with CH show that brain development has not taken place.
Dr G. Naidu, a senior gynaecologist, said, “These children cry less, feed less and gain less weight. They sleep most of the time and get tire easily.”
The thyroid hormone plays an important role in the development of the brain. Dr Shyam Kalavalapalli, senior consultant endocrinologist, said, “It is the most preventable cause of mental retardation but delay in screening for CH is a disaster. The child is put on medication which has to be given daily.”