While thyroid issues are not rare in kids, they are also not very common contrary to what some people believe. The fact is that in children, it is a more common occurrence to pop up from hypothyroidism rather than hyperthyroidism. While the former occurs if the thyroid gland is not producing the thyroid hormone in adequate quantity, hyperthyroidism occurs if the thyroid produces excessive thyroid hormone. The truth is that thyroid related problems can be faced by both adults and kids. The underlying cause of hypothyroidism can be either due to congenital or acquired reasons. Congenital indicates the condition is inherited from one's parents while acquired signifies a condition caused due to certain other conditions like radiation treatment, iodine deficiency, or Hashimoto's disease.
Why could parents think that their children are suffering from thyroid problems?
Some parents feel that their children may be suffering from thyroid when they are overweight. On a majority of occasions, children are overweight when they exercise little or eat too much rather than rarely because of a thyroid disorder. One needs to note that kids suffering from thyroid issues are usually short.
There are many parents who visit pediatricians when their children sleep a lot, thinking that the latter have thyroid problems. Although this is a symptom that should ideally lead to checking the thyroid function of the child, if there are no other thyroid symptoms, chances are that the test results could be normal. A parent should also note other reasons for excessive sleep like mononucleosis, depression, or obstructive sleep apnea.
The occurrence of this thyroid condition is common if your thyroid gland is not able to produce adequate thyroid hormone as mentioned in the beginning of this article. The inability could be due to either primary hypothyroidism or secondary hypothyroidism. Check out some of the following associated signs of hypothyroidism n your children;
- Dry and rough skin
- Deceleration of growth or short stature
- Bruising quite easily
- Sleeping more
- Less energy and fatigue
- Intolerance to cold
- White breast discharge
- Delayed puberty in kids
- Delayed bone age detected on X-rays
- Vision problems
- Early puberty
The identification of newborn babies with congenital hypothyroidism can be done through newborn screening test that test for hypothyroidism in a routine manner.
Thyroid issues in kids
You just cannot say that children do not have a chance to experience thyroid problems at all. Starting from Graves' disease to Hashimoto's thyroiditis and congenital hypothyroidism, teens and kids can actually develop or experience thyroid problems.
If you review some common symptoms and signs of hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism, you can have a perception of when you should take your little one for undergoing the common thyroid function tests. You can also assess when to seek out for some other cause for the symptoms of your child.
Irrespective of whether you feel your kid's thyroid is overactive or underactive, speak to your little one's pediatrician when you have a gut feeling that her thyroid may not be functioning properly.