Cretinism -Causes, Symptoms, Effect, Treatment And Prevention

Do you have a child that seems to be severely lacking in height? This can be attributed to many causes particularly one called cretinism. This article will focus on the facts that you would need to know about cretinism and how it affects a person whether it be directly or indirectly.


This refers to a condition wherein the physical as well as mental development of the person inflicted with the disease is greatly hampered.  This condition may be due to a lot of causes.  However, it can be said that the following has the most to do with the condition itself.


The cause of Cretinism can be attributed to severe hypothyroidism.  In addition to this, it has been found out that the condition of the thyroid that has to do with Cretinism is usually congenital.  If left untreated, this condition can lead to severe impairment not only in the height of the patient but also in terms of the mental capacity.


  • Height Impairment would be apparent as early as the first year of age.
  • In addition to this, the patient may have reduced the muscle tone and hampered coordination as well.
  • Adult height would normally reach up to 3 ft. 4 in. or 5 feet at the tallest.
  • There is also going to be neurological impairment for the patient who has cretinism.
  • Aside from this, the reflexes would be slower than normal.


  • The bone maturation is impaired
  • Puberty is slowed down
  • There is an impediment when it comes to sexual development.  Therefore, infertility is not a strange condition when it comes to people with cretinism.
  • Because of this, a severe case of cretinism may have the afflicted person unable to walk or stand up.
  • Other physical manifestations include having literally thick skin, a swollen tongue and a protruding abdomen.

Treatment and Prevention

  • If you want to prevent this condition, from ever affecting your child, it is important that you follow these tips so that you would not have to encounter this condition in the future.  Here they are as follows:
  • It would help to have your baby take thyroxin tablets.  In addition to this, make sure that you also have an iodine filled diet.  Iodine is known to prevent hypothyroidism which can be found as the main cause of cretinism.
  • This is why is important for you to know everything that you can about hypothyroidism so that you would be able to make the necessary precautions against it.  If ever you encounter the said condition, you would be able to also do the necessary measures to counteract any effect that it may have on your child.


We hope that this article helps to understand the condition more and how to possibly prevent this in the future.  Remember that knowledge is power and that you can do everything that needs to be done if you only know what you are up against in terms of diseases and cures as well. This way, you will be much more equipped to handle it when it comes.

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