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Thyroid Disorder in Children

Although the development of thyroid disorder is common in adults but children do suffer from thyroid disorder like hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. It has been estimated that approximately 5% cases of thyroid disease is common in children below the age of 15. Thyroid disorder in children may be of different types like:

Hypothyroidism: Insufficient production of thyroid hormones. The condition associated with the low production of thyroid hormones includes congenital hypothyroidism(1 new born baby in very 4000 births suffer from this condition) and Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. (common cause of hypothyroidism in children and adults)

Hyperthyroidism: Over production of thyroid hormones. The condition associated with this disease is neonatal hyperthyroidism and Grave's disease.

Thyroid disorder in children may be due to hereditary autoimmune disease such that either mother or father having Hashimoto's or Grave's disease. In such case, infant can be born without thyroid gland or with underdeveloped thyroid gland. In many cases, inspite of having fully developed thyroid gland, it is not able to produce sufficient thyroid hormones. In addition to this, iodine deficiency is also one of the major cause of thyroid deficiency in children.

Symptoms of Thyroid disorder in children

The first sign and symptoms of thyroid problems in children begins with the change in the sleep pattern . Children may feel tired all the time or having trouble falling asleep at night. In addition, unexplained weight changes is another sign of thyroid problems. Beside that change in growth patterns is also indication of thyroid disorder.

In case of hyperthyroidism, children may have symptoms like excessive fatigue, hair loss, hyperactivity, mood swings, shaky hands, huge appetite etc. On the other hand, those with hypothyroidism have completely opposite symptoms like cold hands, constipation, dry skin, sensitivity to growth, sluggishness etc. So, any of the symptoms are being noticed, it is crucial to seek immediate medical advice.

Treatment of thyroid disorder in children vary according to the condition. In case of hyperthyroidism, medication can be given to the control the production of thyroid hormones. This can be done via prescription drugs or by surgical removal of thyroid gland. On the other hand, hypothyroidism is easier to manage and control. With certain modifications in diet, lifestyle and through thyroid supplements, condition can be controlled.