All about Thyroid

Contributed by : Palak Vyas   
All about Thyroid

Here are Thyroid Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, and Diagnosis.

Thyroid gland is situated almost in the centre of the throat region. It releases thyroid hormone which plays a major role in all metabolic and chemical processes in our body. It is important for the overall growth and development. There can be two conditions related to thyroid hormone:

  1. Hyperthyroidism: When the thyroid gland produces an excess of the thyroid hormone. Here, the gland is overactive.
  2. Hypothyroidism: When the thyroid gland produces too little of the thyroid hormone. Here, the gland is under-active.

You will need a paediatric endocrinologist to treat thyroid in children.


Congenital Thyroid:

Congenital defect is the defect that child has from its birth itself.1 in 4000 live babies can have congenital thyroid. If congenital Hypothyroidism (the situation where less amount of hormone is produced) is not detected on time and if treatment is not given on time, the child can suffer from poor growth and can get developmental defects. (S)he can develop severe mental retardation.

Reasons for congenital thyroid:

  1. The thyroid gland is not able to develop fully and is unable to produce hormones.
  2. The thyroid gland is totally absent.


Hypothyroidism in children:


  • Children who are born in a family that has a history of the same disease. If the parents, grandparents or siblings have it, the chances of the child developing this disease are more.
  • The amount of iodine is not enough in a child's diet.
  • Improper treatment of a mother’s thyroid during pregnancy.
  • Abnormal pituitary gland.


Symptoms of hypothyroidism in newborns:

  • Yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes
  • Constipation
  • Poor feeding
  • Cold skin
  • Loud breathing
  • Hoarse crying
  • Enlarged tongue
  • Umbilical hernia

Symptoms of hypothyroidism in toddlers:

  • Shorter than average height
  • Shorter limbs
  • Slow mental development
  • Brittle hair
  • Tiredness
  • Constipation
  • Puffy facial features


Physical exam and specific diagnostic tests can be helpful in detecting thyroid in children. Specific diagnostic tests include blood tests.

Treatment of hypothyroidism:

Thyroid hormone therapy may resolve physical symptoms but permanent brain damage is most likely to have happened. Along with this, medication is also given by the doctor depending on the child’s age.


  1. Hyperthyroidism in newborns (Neonatal Hyperthyroidism): this is rarely seen in newborns.
  2. Grave’s disease: this is an autoimmune condition where the body produces antibodies that stimulate the thyroid gland uncontrollably produce more than enough hormones.


Symptoms of hyperthyroidism:

  • Short attention span
  • Weight loss
  • Protruding eye
  • Goitre (enlarged thyroid gland)
  • Infrequent blinking
  • Muscle weakness


Thyroid disease and endocrine conditions are interlinked as the thyroid is an endocrine gland.



Physical exam and specific diagnostic tests can be helpful in detecting thyroid in children. Specific diagnostic tests include blood tests.

Treatment of hyperthyroidism:

  1. Anti-thyroid medication
  2. Radioactive iodine ablation
  3. Total thyroidectomy (surgical removal of the thyroid) or lobectomy (removal of half of the thyroid gland).

Prevention: Thyroid cannot be usually prevented.

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