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Acquired Hypothyroidism In Children

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

Acquired hypothyroidism is a condition that develops when your child's thyroid gland makes little or no thyroid hormone. Thyroid hormones help control body temperature, heart rate, and how your child gains or loses weight. Thyroid hormones play an important role in normal growth and development in children. Acquired hypothyroidism usually affects children starting at 6 months of age. Some children who have hypothyroidism when they are born only show signs and symptoms much later in childhood.

AFTER YOU LEAVE:

Medicines:

  • Thyroid hormone: This medicine will help bring your child's thyroid hormone back to normal.

  • Give your child's medicine as directed: Call your child's healthcare provider if you think the medicine is not working as expected. Tell him if your child is allergic to any medicine. Keep a current list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs your child takes. Include the amounts, and when, how, and why they are taken. Bring the list or the medicines in their containers to follow-up visits. Carry your child's medicine list with you in case of an emergency. Throw away old medicine lists.

Follow up with your child's primary healthcare provider endocrinologist as directed:

Your child may need to return for more blood tests to check his thyroid hormone level. This will show if he is getting the right amount of thyroid medicine. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your child's visits.

Iodine:

The thyroid gland uses iodine to work correctly and to make thyroid hormones. Your child's primary healthcare provider may tell you to have him eat foods that are rich in iodine. He will tell you how much of these foods your child needs to eat. Milk and seafood are good sources of iodine.

Contact your primary healthcare provider or endocrinologist if:

  • Your child has a fever.

  • Your child has chills, a cough, or feels weak and achy.

  • Your child has pain, redness, and swelling in his muscles and joints.

  • Your child's skin is itchy, swollen, or has a rash.

  • Your child does not have any more thyroid medicine, or he has stopped taking it.

  • You have questions or concerns about your child's condition or medicines.

Seek care immediately or call 911 if:

  • Your child is becomes nervous or restless.

  • Your child has choking episodes or sudden trouble breathing.

  • Your child has diarrhea, tremors, or trouble sleeping.

  • Your child has swelling around his eyes, or in his legs, ankles, or feet.

  • Your child faints or has a seizure.

  • Your child's signs and symptoms return or become worse.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Acquired Hypothyroidism In Children (Discharge Care)

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