Hypothyroidism

Overview

Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone, which can result in slowing down of the body processes. In children this can mean slower growth and delayed puberty. Hypothyroidism in children is generally quite rare.

Cause

Hypothyroidism can be the result of a congenital disorder, meaning it is present from birth. It is known as an endocrine disorder, the result of a hormone imbalance. It can also occur later in some children as the result of an autoimmune disorder.

Symptoms

Hypothyroidism leads to a decreased rate of growth causing lower than average height. As thyroid hormone is lacking, this can slow many processes within the body, potentially leading to slow heart rate, sparse hair growth and slow bowel movements

Diagnosis

Hypothyroidism present at birth is usually picked up during routine assessments; however, it can occur later in some children as the result of an autoimmune disorder. Hypothyroidism is usually diagnosed with a blood test to test for levels of thyroid hormone.

Little girl typing numbers on calculator

Calculate your child’s growth

It is important to keep track of your child’s growth in order to identify if there is a problem early on. We recommend measuring your child every 6 months, which is now easier, with our simple to use growth calculator.

Male and female patients waiting in corridor of medical centre

Get prepared for talking to your doctor

If you are concerned about your child’s growth, don’t hesitate to speak with an HCP. They will be able to complete some measurements and investigate further if needed, potentially referring you on to a specialist. Here we can help you plan for both conversations.

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