If left untreated, hypothyroidism can progress and cause a multitude of complications. Understanding the symptoms of hypothyroidism and getting regular screenings to ensure an early diagnosis will prevent the onset of the complications listed below.
Birth Defects:If you are pregnant and have an untreated thyroid disorder, your child may have a higher risk of having birth defects than babies born to healthy mothers. Babies born to women with untreated thyroid disorders may have significant mental and physical development issues because thyroid hormones are vital for brain development. Fortunately, if these problems are addressed shortly after the birth, the child may experience healthy development. An abbreviated thyroid function test is part of the newborn screen. This usually includes a panel of blood tests performed on a newborn to exclude diseases.
Infertility: If thyroid hormone levels are too low, it can affect ovulation and decrease a woman’s chances of conceiving. Even with proper treatment for hypothyroidism thyroid hormone replacement therapy there is no guarantee that the woman will be fully fertile.
Goiter:When your thyroid over exerts itself in an effort to produce an adequate amount of hormones, the excessive stimulation may cause the thyroid gland to enlarge to the point where you have a bulge in your neck. This is known as a goiter.