Thyroid in kids: what a parent needs to look on?
Do you see any swelling around your child’s neck? Is he become less active in doing his routine works? Might be he is suffering from Thyroid. Yes! Kids will also fall under the umbrella. The function of the thyroid gland is to secrete the right amount of hormones into the bloodstream. The two types of hormones are T3 (Triiodothyronine) and T4 (Thyroxine).
The hormones are controlled by TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone). Improper functions of thyroid gland can cause hypothyroidism (thyroid gland is underactive and produces too little thyroid hormone) or Hyperthyroidism (thyroid is too active and make too much of T3 and T4 hormones) in kids. If your kid has any one of these thyroid problems, then your doctor will start the treatment directly with medication or with surgery.
Functions of the thyroid gland:
- They secrete thyroid hormones necessary for growth, fertility and puberty.
- It also controls your metabolism, regulates blood pressure, heart rate, brain development and calcium level in the body.
Common thyroid disorders that are seen in kids:
- Medullary thyroid cancer
- Thyroid Nodules
- Differentiated thyroid cancer
- MEN2 (Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Type2)
- An enlarged thyroid gland which is easily visible under the skin of neck area called Goitre
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an autoimmune disorder which is most commonly seen type of hypothyroidism in kids and teens. Here is the list of common sign and symptoms of hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism among kids. Read through the symptoms and check whether your child is inclined towards any of these conditions:
- Hair loss
- Weight gain
- Slow heart rate
- Stunted bones and teeth
- Delayed puberty
- Cold intolerance
- Dry hair and skin
- Puffiness in the face and around the eyes
- Poor performance in school
- Weak and tiredness
- Lack of energy
- Droopy eyelids
Thyroid in kids Treatment:
Your kid’s healthcare provider will advise for the blood test and CT scan. The Blood test is done to check the hormone levels. He may either have low levels of T4 or high levels of TSH hormone. The Thyroid gland is scanned to asses for swelling, nodules, neck masses; begin diffuse goitre and for any thyroid malignancy.
The doctor will prescribe thyroid hormone replacement medicine (Levothyroxine supplement) as a daily dose for your kid. Each time the dosage is adjusted after monitoring the blood test. Your child needs to take the medicine regularly for proper growth and to prevent poor school performance. If the child is already undergoing treatment, then for a quick monthly refill order your medications from any trusted online pharmacy stores in India.
Grave’s disease is the most commonly seen autoimmune disorder related to Hyperthyroidism in kids and adolescents. A few of the commonly seen symptoms in Hyperthyroidism have been listed below:
- Increased appetite
- Excessive sweating
- High blood pressure
- Weight loss
- Hair loss
- Excessive thirst
- Tremors in hands
- Mood swings
- Bulging eyes
- Enlarged thyroid gland (goitre)
- Rapid (or) irregular heartbeat
- Breathing problems
- Muscle weakness
- Difficulty in swallowing
Antithyroid drugs (ATD’s) are used to treat kids with Hyperthyroidism. Sometimes radioactive Iodine is used in children above 10 years old, for those whose hyperthyroidism levels are difficult to manage. If any of the treatments fail, then your health care provider will opt for surgery to remove the thyroid gland.
What parents need to do?
Thyroid in kids As a parent, you need to work with your kid’s health care provider. Carefully monitor the blood levels for every 3 to 6 months and get the dosage fixed based on the hormone levels. Also, the dosage is altered based on your kid’s growth and according to his body’s requirement. Aware your doctor if thyroid runs in your family also keep a close eye with your kid’s health as well. Any deterioration or improvement in the symptoms should be reported.
Children always have the tendency to neglect the dosage and take flippantly about the thyroid disorder. It’s better to edify your kid everything about the gland and what role it does in his body. For a healthier life, start the treatments when the symptoms are visible, as negligence will affect his growth. Book an appointment with your doctor and buy medicines online from any reliable online drugstore at your suitability.
Lakshmi Krishnanunni: She holds M.Sc., M.Phil in Biochemistry and has strong proficiency in the areas of Immunology, Biomolecules, Cell Biology, and Molecular biology to name a few. She has more than 10 years of Research experience in the field of medicinal plants research and Nanotechnology. Her expertise in research has greatly assisted in writing medical, health and research articles. As a writer, she aims to provide research-based information to the readers in more detail.