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Thyroid In Children: Expert Explains Causes And Symptoms

Like adults, children can suffer from thyroid problems too, which can be of two types, namely hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.

Varun Verma
Written by: Varun VermaUpdated at: Feb 17, 2023 19:19 IST
Thyroid In Children: Expert Explains Causes And Symptoms

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There are many health disorders which impact both adults and children equally. One such condition that impacts children, too, is disorders of the thyroid gland. Thyroid problems, in general, are categorised into two categories, namely hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. 

To learn about hyperthyroidism, we talked to Dr Shailesh D Mantur, MBBS, MD(Pediatrics), Fellowship in Neonatology, HOD Neonatology, Apollo Cradle & Children's Hospital, Bangalore, Koramangala. According to him, the most common cause of hyperthyroidism is a family history of the disease.

Separately, we talked to Dr Prachi Bhosle, MBBS, MD (Pediatrics), Consultant Paediatrician, Apollo Cradle & Children's Hospital, Bangalore, Marthahalli, to learn about hypothyroidism in children. According to Dr Bhosle, symptoms of hypothyroidism differ in different age groups. She recommends taking thyroid hormone medicine (levothyroxine) in the correct dose to find relief.

Also ReadDoctor Answers Common Queries About Thyroid In Kids

Hyperthyroidism In Children

In the case of hyperthyroidism, the thyroid gland goes into a state of hyperactivity and begins to produce too much thyroid hormone. This hyperactivity of the thyroid gland is also detrimental to the body and can complicate your metabolism causing many symptoms.

Cause Of Hyperthyroidism In Children

While talking to OnlyMyHealth, Dr Shailesh said that family history is a common cause of hyperthyroidism -- implying that one can inherit the disorder if his parents suffered from it.

Besides, it can also be caused when your diet has a deficiency of iodine. Additionally, you are likely to suffer hyperthyroidism if you have an abnormal pituitary gland. It can also be caused due to the congenital absence of the thyroid gland and auto-immune thyroiditis, which is the inflammation of the thyroid gland.

Symptoms Of Hyperthyroidism In New Born 

As per Dr Shailesh, symptoms like yellowish discolouration of skin and eye, poor feeding, reduced activity, constipation, a large tongue (swelling of the tongue or enlargement of the tongue), development delay in milestones, and large anterior fontanelle can be seen in infants.

Symptoms Of Hyperthyroidism In Young Children

When it comes to young children, they show symptoms like hair fall or brittle hair, overweight or obesity, lower mental development, delay in puberty, dry skin, and stunned growth. 

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Hypothyroidism In Children

Talking to OnlyMyHealth, Dr Bhosle stated that hypothyroidism is a health condition in which the thyroid gland does not make enough hormones. "This can be caused due to auto-immune disease, medication (lithium), thyroiditis (inflammation of the thyroid gland), congenital thyroiditis, or pituitary disorder," she added.

Symptoms Of Hypothyroidism In Children

According to Dr Bhosle, symptoms of hypothyroidism differ in different age groups. The symptoms of hypothyroidism in infants include feeding problems, poor weight gain, prolonged jaundice, constipation, dry skin, and an enlarged tongue. While in children and teens, hypothyroidism can lead to poor growth, which leads to short stature, delayed puberty, delayed development of permanent teeth, and poor mental development. 

Treatment Of Hypothyroidism In Children

In treating hypothyroidism in children, Dr Bhosle recommended taking thyroid hormone medicine (levothyroxine) in the correct dose to find relief.

When To See A Doctor?

These symptoms will help you identify the disorder in your children, which will help to treat the illness in a timely and more effective manner. So, stay vigilant and make sure to seek a doctor's attention in this situation.

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