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Severe hypothyroidism in infancy results in slow growth, significant intellectual disability, and developmental delays. Symptoms are seldom apparent at birth. The age at which they appear and their severity depends on how well the infant's thyroid gland works.
Infants are treated with synthetic thyroid hormone replacement. An infant treated for hypothyroidism within the first month of life grows and develops normally. Treatment must be continued for life. If hypothyroidism occurs after age 3, intellectual disability usually does not occur. But untreated childhood hypothyroidism usually delays a child's physical growth and sexual development.
Children and teens also need lifelong treatment with synthetic thyroid hormone replacement. With adequate treatment, a child will catch up in height and weight to healthy children of the same age.
|Primary Medical Reviewer||Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||Matthew I. Kim, MD - Endocrinology|
|Last Revised||August 7, 2012|
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