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Does iodine deficiency lead to elevated TSH levels?

Q: I have a 6 years old daughter. Recently during a routine examination, the pediatrician found that her thyroid gland is swollen and she has goitre. A thyroid profile was done and the result indicated- FT3-3.48 pg/ml, FT4-0.87 ng/dl and TSH-11.89 uIU/ml. Incidentally, for the past one year we have been on an exceptionally low salt diet as I had developed high blood pressure and my husband’s blood pressure also remains slightly elevated, unaware that it could lead to iodine deficiency in my child. Has this led to iodine deficiency and is this the cause of my daughter’s elevated TSH? What line of treatment do you suggest?

A:Your child's reports suggest that she has hypothyroidism. While iodine deficiency, especially under the circumstances described by you, is a distinct possibility, one cannot be certain that it is the definite underlying cause. We should exclude other causes, particularly auto-immune thyroiditis. The treatment is relatively simple & inexpensive. It involves oral intake of thyroxine, the dose of which needs to be titrated by your doctor by frequent testing of thyroid functions. The treatment is usually prolonged, at least for a few years but if taken under medical supervision, free of side-effects.


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