Thyroid Disease In Children

Thyroid disease can happen to anyone at any age.  Though it is very uncommon in children it can occur.  The thyroid is a gland in the front of the neck that produces a thyroid hormone.  This hormone helps the metabolic rate and chemical process of all the cells, tissues, and organs in the body.  It helps control growth of bones, and the body to develop through puberty.  The thyroid helps mature a child’s body.  If you have an underactive thyroid it is called hypothyroidism.  Overactive thyroid is hyperthyroidism.  

 

Babies & Thyroid Disease

Congenital hypothyroidism is present at birth.  It is very rare happening in about one in every four thousand babies born.  This is usually caught quickly due to screening for this shortly after a baby is born.  If it isn’t caught it can lead to major growth and mental development issues.  Newborns are tested with a heel stick and their thyroid levels are checked then to see if the levels are too low.  If the levels are low then the baby will be put on thyroid replacement therapy immediately.  After being put on the replacement therapy usually no complications arise, nor any setbacks in growth and development.  

Neonatal hyperthyroidism is very rare as well.  With only a few cases occurring each year.  It usually is caused when the mother has Grave’s disease.  Grave’s disease produces too much thyroid hormone, which can then be passed to the infant through the placenta.  Usually no treatment is needed since the mother’s antibodies will be cleared from the baby’s bloodstream in a couple of months.  Normal level checks will be done to make sure thyroid levels decrease back to normal. 

 

Hypothyroidism

The most common type of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.  It is an autoimmune disease.  This causes your body to attack the thyroid gland.  Your body attacking the gland interferes with the production of the thyroid hormones, decreasing the amount that is produced.  Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis can occur at any age and sometimes can be difficult to diagnose because symptoms develop so slowly.  When symptoms occur a doctor may take a blood test to diagnose.  

Symptoms of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis can sometimes be hard to notice at first.  Usually the first noticed symptom is a swollen thyroid gland.  Other symptoms include decreased growth rate, unusual tiredness, lethargic, dry itchy skin or hair, increased sensitivity to cold, weight gain, poor concentration, decreased energy, constipation, or depression.  After being diagnosed with hypothyroidism usually with thyroid replacement therapy the symptoms will go away.  Periodic checks to make sure your thyroid levels are staying in the range they should be will be done. 

 

Hyperthyroidism

The most common type of hyperthyroidism in children is Grave’s disease.  Grave’s disease is also an autoimmune disease.  But this time the body produces antibodies that cause your thyroid to produce too much thyroid hormones.  

This can cause symptoms such as increased energy, hyperactive, noisy in class, easily distracted, enlarged thyroid gland, fast pulse, nervousness, heat intolerance, weight loss, accelerated growth rate, shaky hands, muscle weakness, diarrhea, sleep disturbances, and rapid fingernail growth. 

Usually the first sign of hyperthyroidism is the increase in energy.  A blood test will diagnose hyperthyroidism, just as it diagnoses hypothyroidism.  Once diagnosed treatment will depend on how extreme the hyperthyroidism is.  Usually anti-thyroid medication can be given which will help.  If a person doesn’t respond well to the medication other treatments could be surgery, or radioactive iodine treatment.  Surgery and radioactive iodine treatment are used in rare cases usually when the anti-thyroid medication has no effect.  

 

Tips For Balancing Your Hormones Naturally

There are some things you can try to do at home to balance your thyroid more naturally.  You can look into changing your diet.  Sometimes eliminating sugar and going all sugar free can help balance your diet, as well as making sure you are getting enough of other nutrients. 

Adding enough Vitamin B in your diet can help balance your thyroid.  You can get Vitamin B from foods such as tuna, cheese, beans, peas, sesame seeds, milk and eggs. 

Another good additive into your diet is selenium which is a nutrient that plays a role in the metabolism in your thyroid.  You can get selenium from foods like turkey, tuna, brazil nuts, and grass-fed beef. 

Having a healthy amount of probiotics can also be beneficial in balancing your thyroid.  You can take supplements that have probiotics in them or drink kombucha, and some cheeses, and yogurts contain probiotics in them as well. 

Changing your diet may be helpful in helping balance your thyroid in a more natural way.  

 

Conclusion

Thyroid disease can happen to anyone at any age.  Though it is less common in children it can still affect them.  Making sure if you believe your child is showing any signs or symptoms of thyroid disease to get them checked so that they can get on a treatment plan that is best for them.  Thyroid disease in infants can be very harmful in their development if left untreated.  Getting the right treatment, and changing up a few things in your diet can help balance out your thyroid so that no long lasting complications arise. 

 

 


A simple blood test can determine if your thyroid is functioning properly.


Follow us

HealthStatus Team

HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our blood alcohol, body fat and calories burned calculators.

The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.

Our team of health professionals, and researchers use peer reviewed studies as source elements in our articles.

Our high quality content has been featured in a number of leading websites, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, Live Strong, GQ, and many more.

Follow us

Latest posts by HealthStatus Team (see all)

Share

HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our blood alcohol, body fat and calories burned calculators. The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years. Our team of health professionals, and researchers use peer reviewed studies as source elements in our articles. Our high quality content has been featured in a number of leading websites, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, Live Strong, GQ, and many more.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *