By Jason Hughes
Many people associate thyroid disease with older women. But as more celebrities, like actresses Zoe Saldana and Gina Rodriguez, open up about their struggles with thyroid disorders, it’s time to start thinking ahead in detecting the disease.
More than 20 million people have some form of thyroid disease in the U.S. But 1 in every 4,000 babies are born with thyroid disorders, too. It’s important to look thyroid conditions in your children, especially if the illness runs in your family – since many thyroid diseases are hereditary.
Here are some signs that your child may have developed a thyroid disease:
Have you noticed that your little one is feeling a lot more jump lately? Perhaps, your child has been sweating a lot or having trouble sleeping at night. These are all symptoms of hyperthyroidism – a form of thyroid disease. In this case, your child’s thyroid is overactive, which could lead to difficulty gaining weight.
Has your child been getting an adequate amount of sleep at night, yet still waking up tired or feeling exhausted as the day goes on? This could be a sign of hypothyroidism, another form of thyroid disease, which makes the heart beat a bit slower than normal.
Puberty is rough on all children (and parents dealing with these teenagers). But if you notice that your teen isn’t growing according to the growth chart or experiencing a delay in puberty, this could be hypothyroidism.
Do you notice a slight bulge growing around your child’s neck? This could be a goiter, which is another symptom that the thyroid is either too active or too inactive. Either way, a TSH blood test, ultrasound study or X-ray will be needed to check whether your child has developed a thyroid condition.
If your child does have a thyroid disease, don’t fret! With daily medication, the above symptoms will go away and your child will grow to live a healthy life.