Severe hypothyroidism in a child

# Severe hypothyroidism in a child is called:
A. Dwarfism
B. Myxedema
C. Cretinism
D. Acromegaly

The correct answer is C. Cretinism.

Hypothyroidism refers to a condition in which the amount of thyroid hormone in the body is below normal. This is the most common form of thyroid function abnormality and is far more common than hyperthyroidism. This condition is considerably more common in women than in men. The most common cause of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto's thyroiditis.

The second most common cause is the treatment of hyperthyroidism. Hypothyroidism is characterized by the puffiness of the face and eyelids and swelling of the tongue and larynx. The skin becomes dry and rough and the hair becomes sparse. The individual has a low basal-metabolic rate and a low body temperature. The affected individuals also have poor muscle tone, low strength and get tired very easily. Mentally they are very sluggish. The treatment of hypothyroidism is straight forward and consists of administering thyroid hormone (thyroxin).

Severe hypothyroidism in a child is called cretinism. Due to a lack of thyroid hormone, there is a retardation of growth and abnormal development of bones. Mental retardation is caused by the improper development of the CNS. If this condition is recognized early, it can be markedly improved with the use of thyroid hormones. Note: Extreme hypothyroidism in adults is called myxedema.
Note: Dental findings in a child with hypothyroidism include an underdeveloped mandible with an overdeveloped maxilla, enlarged tongue which may lead to malocclusion, delayed eruption of teeth, and deciduous teeth being retained longer.

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