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Hypothyroidism And Autism Disorders

In the present world of modernisation and digitalisation, there is one hindrance in the path of development of any developing nation like India, and that is handicapped (mental and physical) manpower. The one and the only effective solution of this problem lies in spreading awareness for proper nutrition and treatment of expecting mothers and their infants.

The new born babies who are affected by CH shall grow up poorly and are often seen facing delay in their development. Later, after few years of growth, they tend to show identifiable facial and body features of elfin (cretinism) with an IQ level of less than 80 in most cases. Most often, thyroid hormones which are usually secreted from the butterfly shaped thyroid gland located just below the Adam's apple, are tri-iodothyronine (T3) and thyroxin (T4). The insufficiency of these hormones is referred to as hypothyroidism. The occurrence of such a shortage in infants is called as CH. If one doesn’t treat CH up to three months after the child’s birth, it would result into physical and mental retardation of the infant. The growth of the brain is directly dependant on the normal thyroid hormone levels. All around the world, almost 1 in 4,000 newborn babies suffers from severe deficiency of thyroid function. Although the situation in Bangladesh is severely alarming. One good way of detecting congenital hypothyroidism is through newborn screening programme. The main aim of this technique is to initiate the treatment within first 1–2 weeks of life. The treatment consists of a daily dose of thyroxine, as a small tablet. The tablet should be given to the infant with a small amount of water or milk. The T4 and TSH levels are checked repeatedly. The dose increases as the child grows. Hence, the government should focus on raising awareness on newborn screening programmes.

By: Anuja Arora