A thyroid gland is a butterfly shaped gland placed in the center of the lower neck below the voice box and just above the collar bone. The thyroid gland produces thyroid hormones that are released into the bloodstream and are essential for life. These hormones change both growth and development in children. Although thyroid troubles in children are rare, about one in every 1000 are born with an irregular thyroid gland.
Types of Thyroid Problems in children
The thyroid gland can develop into under-active, this is called hypothyroidism or over active this is called hyperthyroidism.
Hypothyroidism in children
The reason a thyroid may become under active in a child is because their own immune system attacks the gland as if it is an intruder in the body. When this happens, the thyroid gland loses its ability to make the needed amount of thyroid hormones to maintain normal growth and development.
Symptoms of Hypothyroidism include:
Pale skin color
Sensitivity to coldness
Development of a goiter (swelling of the gland)
Symptoms of Hypothyroidism in infants:
Cold hands, arms, feet and legs
Floppy muscles or no strength
Herniated belly button
Persistent constipation and bloating
Little to no growth
It is very important that infants be tested within the first few days of being natural. If left untreated hypothyroidism can create a serious threat to both physical and mental improvement in an infant.
Treatment of Hypothyroidism:
Children with under active thyroid glands are treated with a thyroid hormone replacement supplement. This supplement will possible have to be taken for the rest of their life.