Thyroid disorders can negatively affect your child’s metabolism, growth, and cognitive function. If they exhibit signs of a thyroid problem, such as weight gain, weight loss, a goiter, or cognitive problems, the expert team of board-certified pediatricians at Newport Children’s Medical Group, with locations in Newport Beach, Irvine, Costa Mesa, and Laguna Beach, California, can help. They offer simple thyroid disorder treatments that can drastically improve your child’s quality of life. Schedule an appointment by phone today.
Thyroid Disorder Q & A
What are thyroid disorders?
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located in the front of your child’s neck. It produces thyroid hormone that controls metabolism, or your child’s ability to burn calories and maintain a healthy weight.
Pediatric thyroid disorders occur when there is a problem with the way the thyroid gland functions. For example, it might produce too much or too little thyroid hormone, cause thyroid cancer, or affect your child’s brain development. Examples of thyroid disorders are:
- Thyroiditis (inflammation)
- Thyroid nodules
- A goiter
- Hypothyroidism (producing too little thyroid hormone)
- Hyperthyroidism (producing too much thyroid hormone)
- Thyroid cancer
Detecting and treating thyroid problems early can prevent complications and allow your child to grow and develop normally.
What are the symptoms of thyroid disorders?
The following signs and symptoms can indicate your child has a thyroid disorder.
- Unusual weight gain or weight loss
- Metabolism that’s slower or faster than usual
- Exercise intolerance
- Dry skin or thinning hair
- Slow speech or reaction times
- Fatigue or high energy
- Cold intolerance or excessive sweating
- Sleeping too much or not enough
- Swelling in the neck
- A hoarse voice
The symptoms your child experiences depend on the type of thyroid disorder they have. See Newport Children’s Medical Group specialists for an evaluation at the first sign of unusual symptoms.
How are thyroid disorders diagnosed?
To diagnose pediatric thyroid disorders, your child’s provider uses blood tests to evaluate thyroid function. They might measure thyroid-stimulating hormone and radioactive iodine uptake, or recommended ultrasound to detect abnormalities in the size or shape of your child’s thyroid gland.
How are thyroid disorders treated?
Your child’s personalized treatment plan depends on the type of thyroid disorder they have. Newport Children’s Medical Group specialists might recommend:
Taking synthetic thyroid medication can increase thyroid hormone levels if your child has hypothyroidism. Antihyperthyroid medications help block thyroid production in children with hyperthyroidism.
Radioactive iodine is a medication your child can take to gradually shrink or destroy the thyroid gland, and reduce excess thyroid production associated with hyperthyroidism.
In severe cases, your pediatrician might recommend surgery to remove suspicious nodules, thyroid cancer, part of the thyroid gland, or all of it.
At the first signs of a thyroid disorder, schedule an appointment with the experts at Newport Children’s Medical Group by phone today.