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Congenital Hypothyroidism in Children

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jul 7, 2024.

What is congenital hypothyroidism?

Congenital hypothyroidism is a condition that is present at birth. Your child may be born without a thyroid gland, or the thyroid gland may not make enough thyroid hormone. Thyroid hormones help control body temperature, heart rate, growth, and gaining or losing weight. Thyroid hormones play an important role in the normal growth and development of children.

Thyroid and Parathyroid Glands

What increases my child's risk for congenital hypothyroidism?

What are the signs and symptoms of congenital hypothyroidism?

Signs and symptoms of congenital hypothyroidism may be present shortly after birth or during infancy. Newborn babies may show no obvious signs and symptoms. During your child's first weeks of life, he or she may have a number of signs and symptoms. At ages 1 to 6 months, your child's signs and symptoms may become worse and more obvious.

How is congenital hypothyroidism diagnosed?

Your child's pediatrician will ask about your child's symptoms and examine him or her. The pediatrician will ask what medicines your child takes. You may also be asked about your child's medical history and if anyone in your family has hypothyroidism. Your child may have blood tests to check his or her thyroid hormone level.

How is congenital hypothyroidism treated?

Thyroid hormone medicine helps return your child's hormone level back to normal.

Treatment options

The following list of medications are related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

View more treatment options

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:

When should I call my child's pediatrician?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your child's care. Learn about your child's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your child's healthcare providers to decide what care you want for your child. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Learn more about Congenital Hypothyroidism

Treatment options

Symptoms and treatments guides (external)

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.