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Medical practitioners have suggested that government should make diagnosis of congenital hypothyroidism (CH), a thyroid deficiency, compulsory at birth. Late detection coupled with untreated congenital hypothyroidism (CH) has serious consequences of permanent nature in the form of low IQ, low height, behaviour problems, squinted eyes and severe mental retardation as one grows older, said experts at an interaction with the media here on Tuesday.
Consultant diabetologist and endocrinologist Dr Tiven Marwah said that of every 4,000 new born babies, one is afflicted by CH, stating that detection is necessary because thyroid hormones are important for physical and mental growth.
In the past 18 years, he said he came across 42 cases of CH in Gujarat and Rajasthan where average age of birth defect detection was eight to nine months. The condition tends to destroy their family life and living with guilt and stigma, he said. The condition is avoidable if TSH (thyroid-stimulation hormone) test is done on time for evaluating thyroid function.
Dr Sushma Shah, gynaecologist at the V S Hospital said bulk screening of pregnant women to rule out CH could be as low as Rs 75-100 for a test, which should be made mandatory at all hospitals. She said hypothyroidism was a major cause for infertility among 25 per cent women and frequent abortions were caused by hypothyroidism.