Thyroid Disorders in Infants

Thyroid conditions take place if the thyroid gland produces too little thyroid hormonal agent (hypothyroidism) or too much thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism).

A baby can have hypothyroidism from birth if he or she is born without a thyroid gland or if the thyroid didn’t establish totally prior to birth. And in some cases a baby’s thyroid is completely developed at birth however just cannot make adequate thyroid hormone.

Thyroid Disorders in Infants

HYPOTHYROIDISM IN THE NEWBORN

The most common cause of hypothyroidism in the newborn is total lack or underdevelopment of the thyroid gland. Less frequently, the thyroid gland is present but does not produce normal amounts of thyroid hormones.

At first, the newborn might have no symptoms. Later on, the newborn may become sluggish (sluggish) and have a bad hunger, low muscle tone, constipation, a hoarse cry, and a bulging of the abdominal contents at the bellybutton (an umbilical hernia). Neglected infants will have postponed advancement, intellectual special needs, and short stature. Ultimately, the infant may establish coarse facial functions and an enlarged tongue.

Due to the fact that early treatment can prevent intellectual special needs, all babies get a screening blood test in the hospital after birth to examine thyroid function. In affected newborns, the blood test shows an elevated level of thyroid-stimulating hormone and generally a lower level of thyroid hormone. Lots of newborns with hypothyroidism need thyroid hormone offered by mouth for their entire life. Treatment is directed by a doctor who concentrates on dealing with children with problems of the endocrine system (a pediatric endocrinologist).

Thyroid Disorders in Infants

HYPERTHYROIDISM IN THE BABY

Rarely, a newborn might have hyperthyroidism, or neonatal Tomb’ disease. This condition usually takes place if the mother has Graves’ disease during pregnancy or has actually been treated for it before pregnancy. In Graves’ disease (see Autoimmune Disorders During Pregnancy), the mother’s body produces antibodies that stimulate the thyroid gland to produce increased quantities of thyroid hormonal agent. These antibodies cross the placenta and similarly impact the fetus.

An affected newborn has a high metabolic rate, with rapid heart rate and breathing, irritation, and extreme hunger with bad weight gain. The newborn, like the mother, may have bulging eyes (exophthalmos). If the newborn has an enlarged thyroid gland (goiter), the gland might press against the windpipe and disrupt breathing at birth. A very rapid heart rate can lead to heart failure. Graves’ disease is potentially deadly if not acknowledged and dealt with by a pediatric endocrinologist.

Doctors suspect hyperthyroidism based upon the common symptoms and verify the diagnosis by detecting elevated levels of thyroid hormone and thyroid-stimulating antibodies from the mom in the newborn’s blood. The outcomes of a screening test of thyroid function performed in all babies may reveal hyperthyroidism.

Newborns with hyperthyroidism are treated with drugs, such as propylthiouracil, that slow the production of thyroid hormonal agent by the thyroid gland. This treatment is required only for a couple of months since the antibodies that cross the placenta from the mom eventually vanish from the baby’s blood stream.



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