Story by: Norton Children’s on January 30, 2023
Our team of pediatric endocrinologists specializes in treating thyroid disorders and other endocrine disorders in children.
Most people hear about thyroid disorders among adults, but did you know children can have thyroid issues as well?The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located in the front of the neck. It affects many of the body’s functions and organs and can impact growth, metabolism and sexual development.“Thyroid dysfunction is diagnosed when the thyroid gland produces either too much or too little thyroid hormone,” said Lisal J. Folsom, M.D., M.S., pediatric and adult endocrinologist with Norton Children’s Endocrinology, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine and Norton Community Medical Associates – Endocrinology. “Some children may not have any signs of a thyroid disorder, while others may have symptoms that parents can learn to recognize.”
Hyperthyroidism happens when the thyroid becomes overactive and releases too much thyroid hormone into the bloodstream. This can cause the body to use up energy more quickly than it should.
Symptoms of hyperthyroidism in children may include:
Hypothyroidism happens when the thyroid gland becomes underactive and does not release enough thyroid hormone into the bloodstream. This can cause the body to use up energy more slowly than it should.
Symptoms of hypothyroidism in children may include:
How are thyroid issues in children diagnosed?If you suspect your child could have a thyroid issue, first check with their pediatrician. Blood tests can measure thyroid hormone levels, and this screening can be performed during a well-child exam. If your child’s thyroid levels are abnormal, the child can be referred to a pediatric endocrinologist who specializes in treating thyroid disorders.