Failure of the thyroid glands to produce the requisite amount of hormone is called hypothyroidism. It directly affects the growth and development in the young and leads to various problems in the older ones. A defect in the thyroid gland affects the almost every part of the body. It’s bound to reflect on the metabolic activities, growth and organs.
What is Thyroid gland?
Its a butterfly shaped gland that is located right below the Adam’s apple in the throat. It controls the heart beat, weight gain or loss, skin flow, eyesight, muscles, mood swings, menstrual cycle, cholesterol level and other functions as well.
Due to defect in the body’s immune system, it affects the thyroid glands and damages or destroys it. Some times may be caused due to a cyst, tumour, problems in growth on the gland, defective hypothalamus, and blockage. These will affect the pituitary gland which in turn affects the thyroid.
Hypothyroidism Signs and Symptoms
In children under the age of 2 its hard to detect to detect it visually so tests has to be done if any of the following symptoms are seen. But in older children its visibly seen as they develop a enlarged thyroid gland. This is known as goitre. Also, there will be decrease in child’s growth.
The other symptoms are
- Fatigue and weakness
- Loss of appetite
- Memory loss
- Change in voice – becomes husky and roary
- Pains while swallowing
- Low in immunity especially to cold
- Mood changes
- Weight changes generally results in gain
- Growth retardation
- Early or late sexual development
Effects Of Hypothyroidism
It could lead to mental retardation and retardation in growth in children
The solution to this problem is increase the thyroid content in the body by a synthetic hormone tablet. The child would need to take it throughout the life to maintain the thyroid hormone in the requisite level. At the beginning of the medication the child may need to be directly under the doctors care to ensure that the thyroid levels reach the desired amount. They would ensure this through a series of test to check the TSH level. Once the hormone is satisfactorily replaced, the child can start leading a normal life except that the pill should be taken everyday without failing.
Once the treatment takes effect, the child will catch up with height and have a normal growth cycle.