What is congenital hypothyroidism?
About 1 in 3,000 babies born in the UK has congenital hypothyroidism (CHT). Congenital means the baby is born with the condition. Babies with CHT do not make enough of the hormone thyroxine, an important chemical made in the body. Thyroxine is produced by a gland in the neck called the thyroid. Without thyroxine, babies do not grow properly and can develop permanent physical and mental disabilities. Although CHT cannot be cured, it can be treated simply and successfully.
Newborn blood spot screening is vital because it helps to identify babies with CHT before they start to show symptoms. A few babies born with CHT may have symptoms such as jaundice, dry skin, puffy eyelids, a large tongue, a hoarse cry, feeding problems, constipation and sleepiness.
Congenital hypothyroidism is suspected leaflet
Congenital hypothyroidism and your child leaflet