Thyroid Diseases in Children – It’s Possible

thyroid disease on children blog

When we talk about thyroid problems, we usually associate it with grownups and even females mainly. But that is not always 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 became 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 to. The family also noticed some changes – Janie was eating more than usual, 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.[1]

What is thyroid

The 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.

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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 primary need for the production 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 problems from the lack of iodine.

Yet parents should look for symptoms that might indicate that a kid might have problems with the thyroid. 

 Two most common problems and symptoms of the thyroid:

Hyperthyroidism:

  • 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
  • Fainting
  • 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 of 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.

Hypothyroidism:

  • 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 of thyroid problems to occur if they aren’t inborn. If the kid is already suffering from some thyroid-related issues, it is essential 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.

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REFERENCE:

[1] Thyroid Disorders. Accessed from: http://kidshealth.org/en/kids/thyroid.htmlrel=”nofollow”

[2] Common Signs of Thyroid Disease in Children. Accessed from: http://www.childrensdmc.org/?id=2382&sid=1rel=”nofollow”

San Jose Nutritionist Dietitian

MEET CHEN BEN ASHER 

Chen is a Functional Nutrition expert consultant,  leading authority on weight management, women’s health and gluten sensitivity. She is a clinician, public speaker, educator and Amazon Best Seller author of “What If Gluten Free Is Not Enough – The Balanced Diet”.

Chen uses Functional Nutrition to help you find answers to the root causes of your illness and address the biochemical imbalances that may trigger your health and weight. She uses cutting edge lab testing and design the nutritional program to your specific needs as an individual. Food, supplements, lifestyle changes will have integrated to bring balance

If you are looking for personalized nutritional support, we highly recommended contacting Mor’s Nutrition & More Wellness Center in Cupertino, California today.

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