Can the use of contraception lead to hypothyroidism

Treatment of hypothyroidism

Around every 3,000th child is born with an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism). If left untreated, the disease leads to a severe developmental disorder; with adequate therapy, however, nine out of ten children develop normally.

What is an underactive thyroid?

Hypothyroidism is an underactive thyroid, so that the body is only insufficiently supplied with thyroid hormones. This can be congenital through a developmental disorder of the thyroid gland or through defects in hormone synthesis. However, iodine deficiency or medication etc. can also lead to hypothyroidism.

In rare cases, disorders of the hypothalamus or pituitary gland (brain glands) can lead to an underactive thyroid. They form thyreoliberin (TRH) or thyrotropin (TSH), which stimulates the thyroid gland to produce thyroid hormones.

How does the hypothyroidism show?

The typical signs of an underactive thyroid are slow growth, laziness to drink, drowsiness, weight gain, cold intolerance, dry or marbled skin, dull hair and constipation. It can also lead to prolonged jaundice in newborns. In older children, being underactive can also lead to depression or an irregular menstrual cycle. If an underactive thyroid is detected too late, the development of motor and mental abilities can also be delayed.

What examination methods are there?

Thyroid hormones are essential for healthy development, especially in the newborn and growth phase of a child. For this reason, the metabolic screening (formerly: Guthrie test) was introduced, which should be carried out on every newborn between the 36th and 72nd hour of life. During this screening, the thyroid gland is checked, among other things.

Furthermore, if an underactive thyroid is suspected, the free hormones T3 and T4 and TSH are measured in the blood. In addition, an ultrasound of the thyroid gland and the determination of the bone age by X-ray can be performed.

How can hypothyroidism be treated?

Patients receive the thyroid hormone L-thyroxine. It is commonly used in salt form as levothyroxine sodium. The aim is to keep the TSH low and fT3 and fT4 in the age-appropriate normal range. Regular monitoring of the thyroid parameters in the blood is essential for this.