Hyperthyroidism in Children - oneGRAVESvoice

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Hyperthyroidism in Children

key information

source: Children's Hospital Colorado

year: 2022


Hyperthyroidism happens when a child’s thyroid gland makes more thyroid hormone than they need. The thyroid gland is butterfly-shaped and is located in the neck, just below Adam’s apple. Its job is to release thyroid hormone into the blood to control the body’s heart rate, temperature, and metabolism. An overactive thyroid gland can get big and it may look and feel like a lump in the throat, especially when the child swallows.

When the thyroid gland releases too much hormone, this speeds up a child’s metabolism and causes problems such as anxiousness, weight loss and tremors. It can also affect their growth and development. However, pediatric hyperthyroidism is treatable and is rare compared to hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism happens when the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone.

Treatment is important because hyperthyroidism can cause a cognitive delay in children under 3 years old, which affects their ability to think and learn. In newborns, it can be life-threatening if it isn’t diagnosed soon after birth. Untreated hyperthyroidism can also cause children to grow quickly at first, and then stop growing early. This can cause short stature.


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