THYROID DISORDERS IN CHILDREN

Symptoms
Underactive thyroid: excessive sleepiness; choking while nursing; severe constipation; noisy breathing; retarded growth; protruding tongue; hoarse cry; thick, dry skin; goitre (in some cases)

Overactive thyroid: irritability; restlessness; behavior problems; hand tremors; increased appetite without weight gain; excessive sweating; protruding eyeballs; goitre (in some cases)

Home care:
Take your child for regular checkups. Be aware of signs that might indicate thyroid malfunction.

Precautions:
- Some symptoms of underactive thyroid may appear in older children whose thyroid is normal. Only a doctor can diagnose thyroid malfunction.
- A cyst on the neck should be seen by a doctor; it could be an abnormally « positioned thyroid gland.

The thyroid gland is located in the neck just below the Adam's apple; it produces hormones that control the body's temperature, energy production, growth, and fertility. The thyroid gland may become underactive (resulting in hypothyroidism) or overactive (hyperthyroidism). Either condition can occur in infancy or at any age thereafter.

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