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Is hypothyroidism hereditary?

Q: I am hypothyroid from 1994 and am on Eltroxin -125mcg and now on Thyronorm 125mcg. I have two children, a son (4+) and a daughter (2+). My thyroid status was euthyroid during the course of both my pregnancies with tests being done every 3 months (T4 and TSH). Both the children tested normal for their thryroid status (cord blood sample and blood test 10 days after birth). Can you tell me what is the chance of their becoming hypothyroid and when should I repeat the tests for them? Both are both physically and mentally active.

A:Hypothyroidism is a common problem, with girls getting it 8 times more than boys. One of the best ways to monitor it is to keep track of the rate of height gain, because height gain slows down if hypothyroidism develops. A normal height gain is a good indicator of normal general health, so it it takes sense to monitor for it even otherwise. Ideally, growth of ALL children should be monitored till growth is over. The provison is that it must be measured accurately for monitoring to be of use: the child must stand barefoot straight against a wall; keep a thick hard bound book on top of the head, and mark of the lower edge. If the child has gained 4 cm or less in a year, consult a pediatric endocrinologist. The cause could be hypothyroidsm, or any other reason. As long as an ACCURATELY measured growth velocity is normal (ie 5-6 cm/year), you do not need to repeat the blood tests.


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