Thyroid is an important gland in the human body which is located at the front side of the neck below the Adam’s apple and it is responsible for all the metabolic as well as chemical processes that take place in organs, cells and tissues. Thus considering its importance, it can be said that if there is any disorder in thyroid gland, it will have effect on overall functioning of the body.
There are mainly two types of thyroid disorders- when there is excess production of the thyroid hormone or when the gland becomes overactive, the condition is known as hyperthyroidism whereas when the production of the hormone is less or when the gland is underactive, the condition is known as hypothyroidism.
Though thyroid diseases are mainly found in adult but children of all ages including infants can also be affected by thyroid disorders. If left untreated, thyroid diseases can affect the overall growth and function of the children and can also lead to problems like development delays, intellectual disability and others.
Though the symptoms of thyroid disorder may be similar in adults and children but it is important to be more cautious while looking for the symptoms in children. Below given are some of the major symptoms and signs to check for thyroid disorder in infants and teens.
Symptoms and Signs of Thyroid Disorder in Infants
The thyroid disorder severity in infants depends as to how well the thyroid gland is working.
During the First Few Months after the Baby is Born Signs will include
- Lack in appetite
- Breathing problem
- Choking while nursing
- Hoarse cry
- Not gaining weight
- Enlarged belly
- Mottled skin which may feel cold
- Swollen feet, hands and genitals
After Initial Few Months, the Signs may also include the following
- Stunted growth
- Scaly and dry skin
- Nail and hair growth to be poor
- Delayed appearance of teeth
- Shorter toes and fingers
- Swollen tongue
- Large and puffy head
Symptoms and Signs of Thyroid Disorder in Teens and other Children
Some of the major signs that may indicate towards thyroid issues in teens and other children include the following:
- Change in behavior and performance at school
- Persistent pain in belly
- Goiter and lethargy
- Delayed sexual development and physical growth
- Delayed onset of puberty
- Weight gain
Besides the above listed there are other symptoms of thyroid disorder that may be seen in adults as well as children.
General Signs of Hyperthyroidism
- Fats heartbeat
- Increased appetite and weight gain
- Large size of thyroid
- Trouble in concentrating
- Trembling hands
- Loose stool and fainting
- Bulged eyes with wide eyes stare
- Sleep issues and sweating
- Emotional liability
- Short attention span
- High blood pressure
General Signs of Hypothyroidism
- Cold intolerance
- Delayed bone age
- Decreased energy
- Muscle soreness
Thus if you observe the above given symptoms in your child then it is important to consult the physician to know if the thyroid of the child is functioning properly or not. A pediatric endocrinologist will help you to diagnose the problem.