Trusted Resources: Evidence & Education
Scientific literature and patient education texts
Hyperthyroidism in Children and Adolescents
source: American Thyroid Association
What Is Hyperthyroidism?
The term hyperthyroidism refers to any condition in which there is too much thyroid hormone produced by the thyroid gland. Thyrotoxicosis is another term that is sometimes used to describe this condition.
What Is the Thyroid Gland?
The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped gland that is located in the lower front of the neck, just above the collarbone. The role of the thyroid is to make thyroid hormones, which are released into the blood and then carried to every tissue in the body. In children, thyroid hormone helps to ensure that growth and development occur normally and that the body’s energy, metabolism, heart, muscles, and other organs are working properly.
What Are the Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism?
Too much thyroid hormone speeds up most functions of the body. Symptoms include anxiousness, nervousness, decreased ability to concentrate (attention-deficit-like symptoms), decreased school or work performance, moodiness and irritability, always feeling warm, heart racing (palpitations), tremors (shaky hands), frequent bowel movements, and weight loss despite a good, or even increased, appetite. Difficulty sleeping, tiredness, decreased strength and decreased ability to tolerate exercise are also common. Even going up and down stairs may be more tiring than usual. Younger children may show increased growth (increased height), however, the onset of puberty may be delayed until treatment is started.
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