Cretinism is a medical condition caused by an untreated congenital thyroid hormone deficiency. This result of hypothyroidism leads to mildly to extremely stunted growth, both mentally and physically.
Cretinism may be said to be either endemic, genetic or sporadic. A main cause, especially in endemic cases, is iodine deficiency, which may be traced back to the diet. Along with cretinism, an iodine deficiency may lead to goiter, which is an enlarged thyroid gland.
Some signs and symptoms of cretinism may include:
Abdomen which sticks out
Delayed bone maturation
Poor growth (height)