Hypothyroidism In Infants And Children

Although hypothyroidism is usually seen among elderly individuals, it may occur at any age and to anybody. Infants and children are also not immune from hypothyroidism. It is important to know if your baby has hypothyroidism and treat your baby adequately. Some babies may be born without thyroid gland or some babies may have a small and less than optimal functional thyroid gland. Babies with hypothyroidism may have very few symptoms initially or may be even asymptomatic. Baby with even mildest form of hypothyroidism should be adequately treated and followed-up. Because, even with mild form of hypothyroidism, the physical and mental growth and development of your baby may not be optimal.

The symptoms of hypothyroidism in infants are:

  • Puffy appearance of the face
  • Frequent choking incidences
  • Tongue may be large (larger than usual) and protruding
  • There may be jaundice due to inability of babies liver to metabolize bilirubin. Bilirubin forms when red cells are broken down, which is then metabolized in liver and removed.
  • There may also be other symptoms such as excessive sleepiness in the baby, constipation, and weak muscle tone.
  • Untreated cases of hypothyroidism may lead to severe physical and mental retardation.

The signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism in children and teenagers have are usually same as that of an adult. Children and teenagers with hypothyroidism may have some additional symptoms and include:

  1. Suboptimal growth, which leads to short stature
  2. Puberty is delayed
  3. appearance of permanent teeth is delayed.
  4. Mental and psychological development is poor.

If you suspect your child or teenage kid may be suffering from hypothyroidism, consult your doctor immediately. You should consult your doctor if you or your kids have symptoms of hypothyroidism. Sometimes symptoms of hypothyroidism may be vague or it may be asymptomatic and detected only during routine medical check up (thyroid profile check) by your doctor. Sometimes hypothyroidism may be diagnosed by your doctor, when all therapy for treatment of anemia fails. Because hypothyroidism sign may be anemia, which will not respond to routine treatment with iron supplementation. This type of patient must be supplemented with thyroid hormones.

 

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