Unfortunately, problems with the work of the endocrine system and the thyroid gland occur not only in adults, but also in babies. Moreover, some pathologies can develop even during the period of intrauterine development! For the prevention of these conditions, proper nutrition of the expectant mother and baby is very important. Most thyroid diseases are much easier to prevent than cure.
The thyroid gland is laid in the baby already at 4-5 weeks of intrauterine development. And its formation is greatly influenced by the nutrition of the mother and, most importantly, the sufficient use of iodine by her during pregnancy.
Lack of iodine during intrauterine development and early childhood can lead to serious pathologies of the thyroid gland, to problems with the intellectual and physical development of the child in the future.
The development of hypothyroidism (decreased function of the thyroid gland) in the prenatal and neonatal periods can lead to an irreversible decrease in the mental development of the child. Against the background of iodine deficiency, endemic goiter and hypothyroidism, disorders in the formation of the child’s brain can occur, manifesting themselves in a wide range – from a mild decrease in intelligence to severe forms of endemic cretinism. It should be noted that in a number of cases these deviations in the state of health of children, not detected during the neonatal period, do not appear immediately, but during puberty. In this case, various manifestations are possible: a decrease in the reproduction of auditory information, a deterioration in visual memory, other mental activity, as well as the adaptive capabilities of the central nervous system. Moreover, it was found that against the background of chronic iodine deficiency, 30–60% of children have behavioral and emotional abnormalities, and personality formation disorders are noted. Studies conducted around the world have shown that the average IQ in regions with severe iodine deficiency is 15–20% lower than in areas where such deficiency is not observed.
The causes of congenital hypothyroidism in children are:
hypothyroidism in the mother
decreased sensitivity to thyroid hormones
You can suspect hypothyroidism in a newborn by the following symptoms:
birth weight over 4 kg
prolonged jaundice, swelling
dry, flaky skin
cyanosis in the nose
In the maternity hospital, an analysis for congenital hypothyroidism is mandatory. To do this, blood is taken from the heel of the newborn, the level of TSH is determined. Do not refuse to carry out this analysis, because with congenital hypothyroidism, it is very important to start treatment as early as possible! With timely started treatment, it is possible to compensate for all violations without the development of any complications.
Unfortunately, hypothyroidism is not only congenital, but also acquired. It can develop when there is a violation of the formation of hormones in the thyroid gland. The reasons for the development of hypothyroidism are:
removal of the thyroid gland
Very often there is a certain hereditary predisposition, i.e. certain diseases of the thyroid gland in close relatives, especially in the mother. It is advisable to examine such children even without clinical manifestations of pathology.
swelling of the face and hands
drowsiness, increased fatigue
lowering blood pressure
poor weight gain
child’s lag in physical and mental development
Endocrine disease associated with the fact that the thyroid gland produces an increased amount of hormones. It is found much more often in girls than in boys. Most often, in children, thyrotoxicosis develops after certain diseases: tonsillitis, flu, scarlet fever, diphtheria, rheumatism, tuberculosis, etc. In addition, changes in the thyroid gland may occur due to allergies.
Symptoms of thyrotoxicosis in children:
an enlarged thyroid gland (often only a doctor can determine this)
changing the shape of the eyes, they appear large and out of their orbits
a white line of sclera between the upper edge of the iris and the upper eyelid
tachycardia, heart murmurs
increased nervousness, irritability, aggressiveness
sexual development disorders
If you notice the above symptoms in your child, do not delay – see a doctor! This will help to avoid serious impairments to the mental and physical development of the child.