What is the definition of Thyroid Dysgenesis?
Thyroid dysgenesis, also known as congenital hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormones), is a mainly a genetic condition that affects newborns in which they have a partial or complete loss of function of the thyroid gland, which is a butterfly-shaped gland in the lower neck that normally produces thyroid hormones. Thyroid hormones are necessary for regulating growth, brain development, and metabolism. The main causes of congenital hypothyroidism (thyroid dysgenesis) are when the thyroid gland is absent, smaller than normal, abnormally situated, or fails to develop or function fully.
What are the symptoms for Thyroid Dysgenesis?
Symptoms of congenital hypothyroidism are related to absent or low thyroid hormones. While some babies may have no symptoms, some are less active and sleep more, and may have difficulty feeding and constipation. Untreated congenital hypothyroidism can cause intellectual disability and slow growth.
What are the current treatments for Thyroid Dysgenesis?
Treatment for congenital hypothyroidism is the replacement of thyroid hormones with thyroid hormone medication, levothyroxine. Many children with congenital hypothyroidism will require lifelong treatment. All hospitals in the U.S. test newborns for congenital hypothyroidism. If treated within the first two weeks after birth, infants usually develop normally.