Small child

Hypothyroidism symptoms in a child


The thyroid is a small organ with very important functions. Unfortunately, it often causes problems. It is estimated that over 10% of people will notice symptoms of thyroid malfunction at some stage in their lives. Often already during childhood, and even in newborns, this body refuses to cooperate. How to recognize thyroid disease and react as quickly as possible? What are the symptoms of hypothyroidism in a child?

Why do children have hypothyroidism?

Genetic tendencies are the most common cause of hypothyroidism. Parents' children who are also most at risk are affected by thyroid disease. The incidence increases in children from families with genetic burden of autoimmune diseases.

Other reasons include congenital abnormalities in the functioning of the thyroid gland. Birth with or without a thyroid gland. The risk of getting sick increases if the child's mother did not treat thyroid disease incorrectly during pregnancy. Hypothyroidism in a child may also be associated with iodine deficiency in the diet.

What is hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormone. There can be two reasons for this - either because it is unable (and then we are talking about primary hypothyroidism), or because it is not properly stimulated (secondary hypothyroidism).

Symptoms of hypothyroidism in newborn and infant

Hypothyroidism symptoms can develop at any age. In the youngest children they are usually visible in a few weeks or months after birth. Unfortunately, often the symptoms are subtle and unnoticeable to the parent. As a consequence, they are often overlooked and unidentified in practice:

  • changed skin color and whites of the eyes (more yellow),
  • cool skin
  • quieter crying
  • louder breathing
  • reduced activity
  • drowsiness - sleeping more often
  • constipation,
  • less appetite.

Symptoms of hypothyroidism in young children and preschool children

Hypothyroidism can also develop in several-year-olds. Symptoms are slightly different from those seen in infants. Most often they are:

  • short stature
  • subsequent development of permanent teeth,
  • slower mental development,
  • slower leg bone growth (long "childish" silhouette)
  • in subsequent years delayed puberty,
  • brittle, thin hair
  • constipation
  • fatigue
  • dry skin.

Hypothyroidism in children may produce some or all of the above symptoms.

What signs of hypothyroidism are observed in adolescents?

Hypothyroidism symptoms more often observed in girls than boys. Problems are usually caused by autoimmune diseases. If your teen's family has Hashimoto's disease, type 1 diabetes, or Graves' disease, you have to be at higher risk of developing thyroid disease.

Unfortunately, often the symptoms of thyroid disease in adolescents are difficult to recognize. They are unclear and unusual. Exchanged:

  • slowed growth
  • weight gain
  • slowed breast development
  • the teenager looks younger than the age indicates
  • delayed time of first menstrual period
  • irregular or intense menstruation
  • dry skin
  • brittle hair and nails
  • fatigue
  • forgetfulness, decrease in concentration
  • learning difficulties
  • depressive states
  • swollen face
  • hoarse voice
  • muscle and joint pain

How do you diagnose a child's thyroid disease? And how to treat her?

To diagnose a child's thyroid disease, you need to see a doctor. You need a detailed interview, physical examination of the thyroid gland and blood test with the determination of the levels of hormones TSH and T4.

Treatment of hypothyroidism usually involves the administration of drugs with thyroid hormones, therapy must be used throughout life.