According to the American Acadamy of Pediatrics, “Physicians must not relinquish their clinical judgment and experience in the face of normal newborn thyroid test results. When clinical symptoms and signs suggest hypothyroidism, regardless of newborn screening results, serum free thyroxine and thyroid-stimulating hormone determinations should be performed.”
Research and newborn screening follow-up data has shown that approximately 10 percent of infants with confirmed CH have TSH values between 20 and 40 mU per L at the time of newborn screening. Of that 10% at least 50% of those children will NOT be rescreened until it’s too late.
Untreated congenital hypothyroidism affects the central nervous system (CNS) and the peripheral nervous system (PNS) and results in a diverse set of neurologic symptoms and signs and even permanent brain damage. Many of these same symptoms and signs are found in those who have been diagnosed with ADHD or an autism spectrum disorder.
Q: What happens when newborn screening programs set cut-off levels between 20 and 40 mU per?
A: Some children get missed and unfortunately many family doctors, including pediatricians, don’t have the clinical experience and/or knowledge to detect the signs and symptoms of CH. In fact, many of the symptoms can stand alone and can be associated with normal childhood medical issues such as GERD or jaundice. Growth issues are often not recognized until between the ages of one and two in boys. By that time, the structural basis of their neurology and brain development is on it’s way down a path of no return.
Q: Wait, so the state newborn screening program KNOWS they will miss some children and doesn’t provide any training or continuing education to healthcare providers regarding a very manageable condition?
A: That’s correct. Something needs to change. Change is coming soon to Michigan…
If your child is not growing at a normal rate or is displaying signs/symptoms of CH, please request a thyroid panel.
#MichiganNewbornHealth #ThyroidHealthMatters #OurChildrenDeserveBetter #NeverWaitAndSee