If the level of thyroid hormones reduces to where they no longer can carry out their intended function, Congenital hypothyroidism happens. These conditions are fairly rare, but statistics show that for every male victim, there are two females who suffer this disorder. This disease is usually hereditary, so if you have this condition, there is a high risk that your child may suffer from it as well. This doesn't mean that your child is safe if you do not have the condition.
Exposure to radioiodine or intake of anti-thyroid drugs for medicinal purposes may cause congenital hypothyroidism in your children. It is not contagious, though, and some cases are temporary. Early diagnosis is important so that the disease does not cause permanent damage.
Even if your child has been screened as a newborn, it is important that you recognize the symptoms at a very early stage. Causes for concern include poor eating; constipation; a child who cries very little, yet always sleeps; a large tongue, head or belly; umbilical hernia; spots on the head that are large and close slowly; respiratory distress; fever; below normal heart rate and blood count; slow physical development; floppy muscles; slow teething; late milestones in life; wide but short hands; and slow mental development.
Blood tests are the only way to accurately determine if your child has this condition. If he is not treated and given immediate attention, he may never learn to speak and the symptoms could become permanent. Usually, once congenital hypothyroidism is confirmed, it is no longer reversible. Mental illenss and other issues caused by the disease can be prevented by thyroid hormone supplements.