Thyroid diseases in children

Congenital thyroid abnormalities, which become present at birth can lead to Hypothyroidism. These abnormalities if not treated quickly can turn into mental retardation, and growth inhibition. It is a common practice at the time of birth to be screened for congenital thyroid abnormalities at the time of birth.

For children being afflicted by this condition it is very important to receive effective treatment. The condition can result in the delay and slow down of both physical and mental development.

Some common symptoms of Hypothyroidism in сhildren include: Fatigue, Weight gain, Muscle weakness, Depression, Slow speech, Dry skin, Brittle or dry hair, Constipation, Muscular cramps, Poor mental and school performance, Slow development of teeth, Goiter. There are several types of Hyperthyroidism which can be found in young children or infants that are considered congenital or inherited.

Congenital Hypothyroidism (CH) is with the baby from birth. It is the most common type of Hypothyroidism occurring in infants. It comprises 90% of thyroid cases found in infants. The thyroid gland itself may be out of place, underdeveloped, or fails to produce hormones.

A temporary version of CH accounts for the nearly all of the last remaining 10%. It typically occurs in cases where the mother had been treated for an overactive Thyroid. In the majority of cases this version of CH will subside within a period of 3-4 months.

Last of all there is a form of hypothyroidism in children that is considered to be an acquired disease and this affects mostly older children (more commonly found in girls than boys). This type typically results from an autoimmune thyroid disease like Hashimoto’s disease and is typically found in children of puberty age or younger. An enlarged thyroid gland at an early age leads to pathology of mental and physical development. You should know the details of this endocrine disorder.

Detecting hypothyroidism disease in children

There is a very common test method that includes checking for thyroid diseases and that is the PKU (phenylketonuria) blood test. That will test for several maladies that affect infants and are done shortly after birth.

As infants typically are asymptomatic they may have it for months without any treatment. It is therefore important to insure that early tests are carried out.

There are many treatment options available to parents whose children have Hypothyroidism. The primary concern of parents is the health and welfare of their children. It is because of this many parents consider investigating natural, drug-free treatment options.

The risks inherent with some drugs commonly prescribed for Hypothyroidism can produce significantly undesirable side effects. Because of this, more and more parents are choosing to investigate natural alternative treatments seriously.

Thus for keeping a check on the congenital hypothyroidism the mothers should take care of their diet in pregnancy and should take an adequate amount of iodine in their diet. Also, as soon as the child is born he/she should be checked for the presence of this disorder.

Autoimmune disease, or Hashimoto’s disease, and Iodine deficiency, as well as an overabundance of medication to treat hyperthyroidism can also lead to hypothyroidism.

Symptoms for hypothyroidism in children

Here are some simple ways to determine if your child has symptoms of hypothyroidism. Although hypothyroidism is quite common, it’s a health condition many people are not aware of. It’s not always easy to diagnose a thyroid disorder because the symptoms for hypothyroidism mimic those of a lot of other medical conditions.

This is why it’s very important to see your medical practitioner for an accurate diagnosis if you think the symptoms might be caused by hypothyroidism.

The population that is more apt to develop thyroid disorders are women who are middle-aged or older. Nonetheless, no age group or gender is immune. It can even show up in babies and young children. It’s rare, but it does occur from time to time that a baby is born without a thyroid gland. Most commonly, however, a baby will just have an underactive thyroid.

When a baby or child has a thyroid disorder, his or her skin will have a yellowish tinge as well as the whites of their eyes. This yellowing is commonly called “jaundice.” The reason for the jaundice is that the thyroid problem affects the liver and it can’t properly do its filtering job. For this reason, it is imperative that the infant or child receives immediate medical treatments. Some other issues that might surface in a young child with thyroid problems are that they may choke easily, have an enlarged tongue, and their face can become bloated.

In extreme cases, medical attention is an absolute necessity, especially if symptoms for hypothyroidism are painful and severe. Examples of extreme cases of symptoms of a bad thyroid disorder include hallucinations, and even passing out for seemingly no reason. Breathing problems such as shortness of breath, wheezing, or choking can also be present. Most children do not get such severe symptoms when they have hypothyroidism. You can avoid these types of symptoms for hypothyroidism by getting early treatment for your thyroid disorder.

It is possible to treat hypothyroidism in children; however, as with a lot of other illnesses, it’s not uncommon for individuals to want to treat the symptoms for hypothyroidism instead of the underlying problem. It’s unlikely that anyone who has a thyroid disorder will have all the symptoms for hypothyroidism, as there are many different ones that can show up. So don’t ignore even one symptom that might point to a thyroid problem and, more importantly, don’t just hope you can solve the problem by treating the symptoms.

For example, if your child feels run down because of an underactive thyroid, it won’t help to simply get more sleep or take more vitamins. This is true for any of the symptoms that could indicate a thyroid disorder. Don’t assume that just because your kid doesn’t have all the symptoms for hypothyroidism that there’s nothing wrong with his thyroid.

Hypothyroidism is a condition that affects quite a few children who never find out about it. If your child has any of the symptoms we’ve discussed here or had any of the risk factors for thyroid problems, you should talk to the doctor. The good news is that there are lots of ways to treat children hypothyroidism once it has been diagnosed, especially if you understand what the symptoms of hypothyroidism are and help to work to prevent them.

Cause of children thyroid diseases

There has been some research that has shown that environmental factors are to blame for the children’s thyroid gland disorders.  Excessive amounts of fluoride in your system may stimulate hyperthyroidism. Our water supplies have quite a bit of fluoride in them which could potentially be the reason that many health issues exist. Thyroid dysfunction can manifest due to radiation, pesticides, and the mercury found in most dental fillings. Mounting evidence has shown that thyroid disease can actually get worse if children breathe secondhand smoke regularly. It is not irrational to consider that environmental problems can actually contribute to hyperthyroidism based upon studies that have been done.

The thyroid gland specifically requires the trace mineral iodine. The substance is not only useful for your body in regard to your health, but also for thyroid hormone production. Eating food like seaweed or seafood can provide your child with a nominal amount of iodine. You can also use iodized salt to get what you need.

Any child that suffers from iodine deficiency will inevitably have hypothyroidism. This is a common health problem worldwide. In the United States and other developed countries, however, this isn’t a common cause of hypothyroidism due to the high consumption of salt. Keep in mind that a low-salt, or no salt, diet can lead to hypothyroidism as well.

As you probably are aware, there are many other possible reasons that thyroid dysfunction may occur within children. It’s a very traumatic event, and sometimes it is not possible to discern what has caused it. Your kid’s doctor can help to identify what kind of thyroid disorder your kid has if any and decide upon the right treatment. 

Thyroid treatment in children

One of the most common treatments recommended by doctors is to replace the thyroxine with another thyroid hormone called Synthroid – levothyroxine. This option is very safe and does not require you to incur huge expenses on medical bills. But for this, the metabolism rate of the body is needed to be checked to make it normal and only then it should be done. There are various other treatments that are available too, but this particular treatment is considered much safer than the rest. Natural treatments are also available, but that depends on the severity of the condition. If levothyroxine is just on stage one, these treatments are often found to be beneficial.

Such diseases as hypothyroidism are not an incurable disease and with time, medications, and precautions, the treatments will be helpful in the long-term. The most important part to consider is that you must immediately consult a doctor in case you start seeing the symptoms in your children.

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