Hypothyroidism In Adolescents

Hypothyroidism In Adolescents

Hypothyroidism is a condition where in the thyroid gland is underactive and does not produce sufficient quantity of thyroid hormone that is required for the normal functioning of the body. This is the most common thyroid disorder.

A common cause for hypothyroidism is an autoimmune reaction of the body where in the immune system generates antibodies against thyroid gland. The immune system mistakenly attacks its own healthy cells. This condition is also known as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. This gives rise to inflammation of the thyroid gland and gradually leads to loss of thyroid cells. This affects the function of the thyroid gland and the thyroid hormone production gets reduced. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is more common in women and in the age group of 45 to 65 years.

However, hypothyroidism can affect any age group, including adolescents and if any of the below mention symptoms are present in your teenager, it is best to consult an endocrinologist.

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Weight gain or difficulty in losing weight
  • Coarse dry hair
  • Dry rough skin
  • Cold intolerance
  • Muscle cramps and aches
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Memory loss
  • Abnormal menstrual cycle

The reduction in thyroid hormone is noted by the pituitary gland and it increase the generation of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) to stimulate the thyroid gland to increase thyroid hormone. This causes enlargement of thyroid gland and forms a goiter.

Physical examination and blood tests to measure the levels of thyroid hormones and also TSH hormone produced by the pituitary are carried out to diagnose the condition of Hypothyroidism.

Treatment for hypothyroidism is based on the general health of the adolescent, progress of the disease, and tolerance for specific medications. Thyroid hormones are prescribed to compensate for lack of this hormone from the thyroid gland. Periodical monitoring will be required to ensure proper dosage of the medication.

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Hypothyroidism In Adolescents