Specific treatment for hypothyroidism will be determined by your child's physician based on:
- Your child's age, overall health and medical history
- Extent of the disease
- Your child's tolerance for specific medications, procedures or therapies
- Expectations for the course of the disease
- Opinion or preference
Left untreated in newborns, hypothyroidism can lead to mental retardation. Untreated hypothyroidism may also lead to anemia, low body temperature and heart failure. The goal of treatment is to restore the thyroid gland to normal function, producing normal levels of thyroid hormones.
Treatment may include prescription of thyroid hormones to replace the deficient hormones. Some children will require hormone replacement therapy for the rest of their lives, while others appear to outgrow the disorder, often by the age of 3. Regular monitoring of the child's thyroid hormone levels during the course of treatment, including a 30-day discontinuation of treatment to see how the thyroid responds, can help your child's physician diagnose your child's condition more accurately.