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Hi, I have recently visited my doctor and did some hormonal tests. The tests showed the increase of TSH and the lack of both T3 and T4. He has scheduled further tests some time next week. One of my friends has told me that I might be developing a form of cretinism. Is that true? What is exactly cretinism, what are the symptoms of cretinism and what does that have to do with the levels of my hormones?

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Your friend is wrong. You definitely don’t have cretinism, however you may have some form of hypothyroidism which is not the same as cretinism. Now let me explain the connection with the levels of TSH, T3 and T4: T3 (triiodthyronine) and T4 (tyroxyne) are two hormones produced by your thyroid gland situated in your neck and TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland in your brain and TSH – hence the name, stimulates the secretion of T3 and T4. T3 and T4 control almost every metabolic activity in your body so big variations in their levels can cause serious problems. Cretinism is another form of hypothyroidism developed in infants and small children. It is caused by the lack of iodine, a crucial ingredient of T3 and T4 during pregnancy. After birth mental and physical retardation develop, if not treated properly. If it is properly diagnosed and treated right after birth newborns have a good chance of a good mental and physical development, if not they will become retarded and are called cretins. Your condition cannot be called cretinism since its not congenital. You should take those tests and hope for the best. Wish you all the best!
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