When we talk about thyroid problems, we usually associate it with grownups and even females mainly. But that not always is the case as different thyroid problems might also occur and be possible in kids and you might even not know that it is a disease.
In real life in kids, the thyroid problems occur differently in each case. For example, in the 6th grade, Janie’s teachers noticed that she become restless, squirmy and nervous thus for her it was almost impossible to sit still in the class. The kid also had problems to pay attention. The family also noticed some changes – Janie was eating more than usually, but instead of gaining weight she was getting even thinner. Although it was winter, she was sweating a lot. She was taken to doctors who diagnosed that she had a problem with the thyroid gland.
What is thyroid
A thyroid is a gland, located in the front of your neck; the thyroid gland makes hormones that control metabolism. This includes your heart rate and how quickly your body uses calories from the foods you eat.
How do kids get thyroid disease?
It might seem that a young organism should be capable to battle with various health problems. Even scientists and doctors don’t have an exact universal answer. However, you cannot get it the way you get cold. One of the ways is the inheritance – kid’s mother, brother, grandparents or any other close relatives might have thyroid problems.
Hypothyroidism (not enough hormone producing with the thyroid gland) might occur if before or being born without a thyroid gland or it hasn’t developed fully. Further problems might come with time if there is not enough iodine consumed. It is a mineral that is the main need for the producing of thyroid hormone. Mainly it is found in foods like seafood and milk. When scientists discovered the importance of iodine, it was even added to salt and thus at least in the United States it is rather uncommon for a kid to have thyroid problem from the lack of iodine.
Yet parents should look for symptoms that might indicate that a kid might have problems with thyroid. This need stresses many doctors, including Kathleen Moltz, MD, a pediatric endocrinologist at DMC Children’s Hospital of Michigan and a member of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, the American Diabetes Association and the Pediatric Endocrine Society who indicates two most common problems and symptoms of thyroid:
- Feeling jumpy as well as trembling hands and trouble concentrating
- Fast heartbeat
- Enlarged thyroid
- Sweat and sleep problems
- Big appetite along with weight loss
- Wide-eyed stare, possible eyes bulging out
- looser stool
The conditions mean that too much thyroid hormone is produced. Dr. Moltz states that the most common cause of this disease in children and adolescents is the autoimmune condition Grave’s disease. It forces the body to produce antibodies that at the same time stimulates the thyroid gland too much and thus the excessive amount of thyroid hormone is produced.
- Decreased energy
- Appearing swollen or puffy
- Weight gain without increased appetite
- Reduced growth rate
- Muscle soreness
- Constipation or harder stool less often
- Brittle hair
- Dry skin
For this condition, the most common cause is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis when the body is producing antibodies that attack and destroy the thyroid gland. In this case, too little thyroid hormone is made.
Thyroid problems can appear in kids, but the good news is that it is possible to deal with them effectively. People should follow if there are some abnormal changes in growth and behavior. The right food, avoiding chemicals, soy, unhealthy habits and other habits can help to minimize the possibility for thyroid problems to occur if they aren’t inborn. If the kid is already suffering from some thyroid-related problems, it is important to research what kind of thyroid issue it is as, for example, for some vegetables can be helpful but for others harmful. The right choices can make a huge difference and be highly relevant for the further kid’s development.