Thyroid Disorders are quite common in adolescents and easy to treat. Delayed or lack of diagnosis can have serious consequences on growth and puberty and result in infertility later in life.
- Thyroid gland is a very small and important gland located in the frontal part of the neck. It secretes the thyroid hormone, metabolism, bone development and pubertal changes.
- Any dysfunction can have an impact on multiple organs of the body. Iodine is necessary for making this hormone.
- When the thyroid hormone is under-active and fails to make sufficient hormone, it is called hypothyroidism.
- Symptoms of hypothyroidism are : Excessive Weight Gain, Depression, Anemia, Dry Skin, Constipation, Poor Physical Growth, Delayed Puberty, Irregular Menstrual Cycles & Lethargy and Sluggishness.
- There is a common condition in teenage girls where the body's immune system attacks the thyroid gland, so the gland fails to make sufficient hormone and becomes enlarged, resulting in a swelling in front of the neck known as goiter.
- In case of 'Hyperthyroidism', the gland becomes overactive, producing excess of hormone. This is not very common in teenagers. Some of the common symptoms of this are : Loss of weight, Bulging Eyes, Palpitation, Heat Intolerance, Menstrual Disturbances, Muscle Weakness & Fatigue Thyroid Nodule or Goiter.
- If you suspect that you could be having a thyroid disorder, consult the doctor to get the right diagnosis, as the treatment depends on the cause.
- Blood tests and other investigations to determine the cause are followed by treatment with thyroid hormone supplementation. Sometimes, surgery may be required, in which case a part of the thyroid gland may be removed.
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