Hypothyroidism (Cretinism)

One of the most common chronic diseases in the United States

What is Hypothyroidism (cretinism)?

Hypothyroidism (cretinism) is an insufficient production of thyroid hormone by thyroid glands because of

  • Low metabolic rate

It can also cause

  • Improper periods
  • Milk production in the women who are not pregnant

Both the immune & endocrine system are affected

Cretinism is a medical condition where the physical and mental growth gets severely stunted due to untreated congenital hypothyroidism (congenital deficiency of thyroid hormones), usually due to maternal hypothyroidism during fetal life or infancy.

  • Around 1 in 4000 babies is affected by cretinism
  • Girls are more commonly affected

Causes of Hypothyroidism (cretinism)

  • Insufficient production of thyroid hormone
  • Congenital defects
  • Abnormal iodide uptake
  • Removal of the thyroid gland
  • Uses of radioactive iodine
  • Infection in the thyroid hormone
  • Medicine such as Nitroprusside, lithium, or iodides

  • In infants it may occur due to the lack or insufficient expansion of the thyroid gland

Symptoms of Hypothyroidism (cretinism)

  • Skin color may change to yellow-orange
  • Weight gain
  • Fatigue
  • Low metabolic rate
  • Irregular periods
  • Loss of hair
  • Puffy face
  • Hearing problem
  • Poor feeding
  • Heart defects with birth
  • Short stature
  • Jaundice
  • Cool and pale skin
  • Constipation
  • Rough voice
  • Swollen eyelids
  • Enlarged thyroid gland
  • Depression


By adding iodine into a persons diet.

Treatment of Hypothyroidism (cretinism)

  • Proper iodine supplementation
  • Intramuscular injections of iodized oil
  • Levothyroxine sodium tablets
  • Levothyroid, Levoxyl, Synthroid