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Hypothyroidism In Kids: Symptoms Of Thyroid Disorders Parents Should Look Out For In Kids

If parents think their kid could have a thyroid issue, they should consult a paediatrician first.

Hypothyroidism in children could go unnoticed for a long time, as the symptoms are often mild and progressive. Here are some signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism that parents should watch out for in kids.

Written by Longjam Dineshwori |Updated : March 9, 2023 8:57 PM IST

Thyroid problems are often associated with adults. But you would be surprised to know that thyroid disorders are the most prevalent endocrine illness among school-age children. That's right! Nearly 37 children per 1,000 are believed to have thyroid illness.

Thyroid hormones are essential for the cells in the body to function normally. Thyroid problems in children can have a variety of effects on the body, depending on the sort of thyroid illness a kid has, says Dr. Tushar Parikh, Consultant Neonatologist & Paediatrician, Motherhood Hospital, Kharadi, Pune.

Here, Dr. Parikh tells us more about hypothyroidism in kids, including the types, symptoms and diagnosis. Read on

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Types of hypothyroidism in kids

Hypothyroidism comes in a variety of forms, including:

  • A congenital thyroid condition: When the thyroid gland does not form or function correctly before birth, congenital hypothyroidism (CH) results. One in every 2,500 to 3,000 newborns has this issue, making it a fairly widespread one.
  • Chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis: An autoimmune condition, it is the most common cause of acquired hypothyroidism (CLT). Your child's thyroid gland is attacked by this illness, which results in damage and reduced function.
  • Iatrogenic Thyroid Dysfunction: This is a kind of acquired hypothyroidism that affects kids whose thyroid glands have been surgically or medically removed or ablated. Iatrogenic hypothyroidism results after the removal of the thyroid gland because the body is no longer able to synthesize thyroid hormone.
  • Hypothyroidism in the brain: When the thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), which instructs the thyroid gland to produce thyroid hormone, is not produced by the brain, central hypothyroidism results. In comparison to illnesses linked to an aberrant thyroid gland, this ailment is significantly less prevalent. In reality, the majority of people with central hypothyroidism have a normal thyroid gland.

Signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism in kids

Hypothyroidism symptoms might mirror those of other diseases or health issues and are often mild and progressive. Numerous symptoms lack specificity and may be disregarded as commonplace aspects of daily life. As a result, the problem could go unnoticed for a long time. Some signs might be:

  1. Fatigue or an intolerance to exercise
  2. Sluggish response time
  3. Gaining weight
  4. Constipation
  5. Dry, coarse, and sparse hair
  6. Thickened, dry, and coarse skin
  7. Pulse slowly
  8. Cold sensitivity
  9. Muscle pain
  10. Brows' outer edges skinny or lose weight
  11. Lacklustre face expression
  12. Slow speaking and hoarse voice
  13. Sagging eyelids
  14. Floater and enlarged face
  15. Enlarged thyroid causing a neck protrusion that resembles a goitre
  16. Cramps and increased menstrual flow in girls and young women

Diagnosis of paediatric thyroid diseases

If parents think their kid could have a thyroid issue, they should consult a paediatrician first. Due to the rising prevalence of paediatric thyroid diseases, monitoring thyroid function is now a requirement for well-child exams. Based on a straightforward blood test that measures the thyroid hormone levels in the patient's body, the patients who visit in our clinic have already been diagnosed with a thyroid condition. An endocrinologist will work with your kid and family to identify the root of the problem and develop a treatment strategy if your child has a thyroid disease.

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