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Thyroid facts

Congenital Hypothyroidism

Congenital Hypothyroidism usually results when a baby is born without a thyroid gland, but there are many other causes of this disorder.

Newborn detection of Congenital Hypothyroidism is determined by way of the Newborn Heel Prick Test. This test is usually done on Day 2-3 of life and is essential to determine genetic disorders in the newborn.

The Heel Prick Test includes the TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) test which will determine your newborn’s thyroid health status. This test should be performed routinely on all newborn babies throughout Australia. Without this test, a thyroid disorder could easily be overlooked.

Congenital Hypothyroidism is treated the same as hypothyroidism in children or adults, with thyroid replacement hormone, Levothyroxine. It is crucial for these babies to be diagnosed within a few days of birth by a newborn screening (heel prick) test as any delay can lead to loss of IQ. As babies grow, monitoring is necessary to adjust Levothyroxine dosage and to monitor growth and development. Ensuring ongoing Thyroid Pathology tests are performed in the correct manner is essential to ensure the dose of Levothyroxine is adequate.

Children who have been diagnosed with Congenital Hypothyroidism are treated by a Paediatric Endocrinologist with regular monitoring and testing through their developing years.



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The mission of The Australian Thyroid Foundation Ltd (ATF) is to offer support, information and education to members and their families through the many services provided by The ATF and raise awareness about health consequences of iodine deficiency and the benefits of good thyroid health.

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