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Thyroid Disease in Children: Symptoms and Methods of Treatment

Shch thyroid, the ancestral gland is an extremely important organ that affects many processes in the body.And especially its impact on the growing child's body.After all, with the pathology of the gland, the development of internal organs is disrupted, and there is a lag in psychophysical development.That is why the disease of the gland is so important to diagnose in time.

Table of contents:

Diseases of the thyroid gland

Disease of the thyroid gland is numerous.Children suffer the same diseases as adults. Thyroid disease can occur with:

  • Hypothyroidism - a decrease in the production of thyroid hormones;
  • Thyrotoxicosis - increased production of hormones;
  • Euthyroidism is a normal level of hormones.

Diseases accompanied by hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is a symptomatic complex that develops when thyroid hormones decrease.The thyroid gland is controlled by the central nervous system - the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus. Based on the level of the lesions are distinguished:

  • Primary hypothyroidism - the disorder occurs directly in the thyroid gland;
  • Secondary hypothyroidism - a disorder occurs in the pituitary gland;
  • Tertiary hypothyroidism is a disorder in the hypothalamus.

In addition, hypothyroidism is congenital and acquired.The diagnosis of congenital hypothyroidism is recorded at a frequency of 1: 4000, more often the girls get sick.


In 90% of patients, hypothyroidism is primary.The most common cause of hypothyroidism is the underdevelopment of the thyroid gland, which causes thyroid hormones to be produced in fewer amounts of .From this, the baby suffers while still in his mother's belly.

The first signs of congenital hypothyroidism can manifest at different ages.With severe hypoplasia and even aplasia of the gland, symptoms of the disease manifest themselves literally from the first days of life.Slight hypoplasia of the gland can cause the appearance of signs of hypothyroidism at the age of a child of two to six years.

Hypothyroidism in newborns

Babies with congenital hypothyroidism are born with a lot of weight, facial features are rough, the tongue is sometimes enlarged enough that it does not decrease in the mouth.The skin of the baby feels dry, cold, you can see swelling on the body.There is drowsiness, passivity of the child, sluggish breast sucking, bloating, constipation, episodes of apnea, prolonged jaundice. If the time does not increase the level of thyroid hormones, then by the age of six months the baby will have a classical picture of hypothyroidism:

  • Delay of psychophysical development( cretinism);
  • Functional disorders of internal organs;
  • Trophic skin changes.

Unfortunately, at this stage there is a serious and already almost irreversible violation of mental development.

Please note! Given such severe consequences of the disease, screening for congenital hypothyroidism is carried out absolutely all newborns in the hospital, usually on the third or fifth day.To do this, blood is taken from the baby's heel, and the level of TSH is determined in the blood.If the indicator exceeds 50 mU / l - it is necessary to suspect congenital hypothyroidism.

Hypothyroidism in preschool children and schoolchildren

The manifestation of mild forms of congenital hypothyroidism in the vast majority occurs when a child already goes to a pre-school or school. The disease can be suspected due to such symptoms:

  • Growth retardation;
  • Symptoms-hypothyroidism Backlog in school performance;
  • Weakness, fast fatigue;
  • Overweight;
  • Constipation;
  • Dry skin, brittle hair, nails;
  • Bradycardia;
  • There may be a goiter;
  • Teenagers have a delay in sexual development.

The causes of acquired hypothyroidism can be pathological conditions such as autoimmune thyroiditis in the hypothyroid phase, iodine deficiency, the effect of thyroidectomy, treatment with antithyroid medications. Acquired hypothyroidism can occur at any age, and it manifests itself with the same symptoms as congenital.

Treatment of hypothyroidism is aimed at increasing the level of thyroid hormones.To do this, the child is prescribed L-thyroxine and take it for life.

Diseases accompanied by thyrotoxicosis

Thyrotoxicosis is a symptomatic complex that develops against a background of increased production of thyroid hormones. With thyrotoxicosis, thyroid disorders occur:

  1. Diffuse toxic goiter;
  2. Nodal toxic goiter;
  3. Subacute thyroiditis;
  4. Autoimmune thyroiditis in the thyrotoxic phase.

These diseases have various causes of occurrence.Diffuse toxic goiter( DTZ) and autoimmune thyroiditis develop due to autoimmune disorders.These diseases often occur in the puberty period, mostly girls are ill.

The following symptoms are typical for thyrotoxicosis:

  • Noticeable enlargement of the gland( goiter);
  • Tachycardia;
  • Wet, warm skin;
  • Sweating;
  • Increased appetite, but with a low body weight;
  • Irritability, mood swings, insomnia;
  • Tremor;
  • Bulging of eyeballs;
  • Diarrhea;
  • Heat intolerance;
  • Subfebrile body temperature( 37 degrees).

Thyrotoxicosis-thyroid-gland Subacute thyroiditis occurs in the inflammatory-infectious lesion of the gland. As a rule, the ailment develops one to two weeks after the acute respiratory viral infection. The child with subacute thyroiditis has a high fever, an increase in the neck( often asymmetric) with painful palpation, signs of thyrotoxicosis.

Also, doctors distinguish such a condition as neonatal thyrotoxicosis.It occurs in newborns, whose mothers suffered from .This pathological condition is due to the fact that antibodies to TSH receptors get to the fetus through the placenta to the fetus.Neonatal thyrotoxicosis manifests itself in the first week of life of the baby and disappears after two to three months, when the antibodies completely break down in the child's body.Neonatal thyrotoxicosis manifests itself as tachycardia, excessive activity, increased appetite, low birth weight.

Treatment of thyrotoxicosis is aimed at reducing the level of thyroid hormones.This can be achieved by taking drugs that depress the activity of the thyroid gland.We are talking about antithyroid drugs( Mercazolil, Tyrozol).During the course of treatment, the concentration of thyroid hormones and TSH should be regularly examined.As the euthyroid state is achieved, the dose of the drug is gradually reduced to a minimum.After achieving a stable remission, the medication is stopped.

Non-toxic goiter

Nodal-non-toxic-goiter-diagnosis Non-toxic goiter is characterized by an increase in the volume of the gland without disrupting its work, that is, the level of hormones remains normal.Non-toxic diffuse goiter subjectively does not bother the child. The only complaint can be a noticeable increase in the neck and a feeling of squeezing.When palpation of the iron is painless.Nodular formations can form in the gland tissue.In this case, they talk about the development of a nodular nontoxic goiter.

In geographical areas with iodine deficiency in the external environment, endemic goiter is formed in children. With a slight increase in the gland, there are no complaints.The large-sized thyroid gland causes the child to feel a discomfort in the neck, unpleasant sensations when swallowing, and in some cases even difficulty breathing.

The essence of the treatment of nontoxic goiter is to reduce, normalize the volume of the gland.This can be achieved with the use of potassium iodide.If after half a year of treatment with the drug the goiter decreased to less than half - additionally attributed L-thyroxine.The treatment continues until the thyroid volume is normalized.

Grigorova Valeria, medical reviewer

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