Thyroid stimulating hormone regulates secretion of thyroid hormones from thyroid gland and presence elevated TSH is an indication of hypothyroidism in children. Read the article to get a detailed information…
Thyroid Stimulating Hormone or TSH is secreted by the anterior pituitary gland, that controls activity of the thyroid gland. Presence of high TSH level is an indication of malfunctioning of thyroid gland, wherein a child suffers from hypothyroidism. The activity of TSH is inversely proportional to the amount of thyroid hormone produced by the thyroid gland. Presence of excessive TSH is a consequence of body’s autoimmune response to itself wherein antibodies are secreted against the thyroid gland of the concerned person. As a result of which the function of thyroid gland is severely hampered.
According to the data put forth by National Academy of Clinical Biology, United States, normal range of TSH level in infants lies within the range of 1.3 to 19 µIU/mL. When they are 10 to 14 months old, their average TSH level is between 0.4 to 10 µIU/mL. On reaching puberty or adulthood, TSH level substantially decreases that comes in the range of 0.4-4.0 µIU/mL. You can also refer to this TSH level chart for further information.
A child, when diagnosed with TSH values higher than the normal values, suffers from hypothyroidism. Diagnostic tests are associated with analyzing blood samples for detecting levels of the TSH as well as T4 hormone. The thyroid gland is scanned and analyzed for detecting the abnormalities associated with it. In this article we shall explain you the causes, symptoms and the probable treatment for high TSH levels in children.
Causes Behind Elevated TSH Levels in Children
Women during their pregnancy when suffer from iodine deficiency are likely to give birth to children with malfunctioning thyroid gland. Pregnant mothers undergoing thyroid disorder treatment also affects the health of her unborn child, that leads to increased TSH levels in body. Children who are born with hyperactive thyroid might also suffer from transient hypothyroidism due the effect of antithyroid medications being administered to them. Iodine deficiency is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in children that takes place due to presence of insufficient iodine in salt or diet. All these factors have a direct effect on TSH levels of children.
Symptoms of increased TSH levels are well distinguished in children and they are considerably different from adults. Children who suffer from iodine deficiency are vulnerable to develop Cretinism and anemia. Juvenile hypothyroidism is a serious condition wherein growth of a child is severely hindered. Retardation of growth in various parts of the body and improper tooth development are some other signs of juvenile hypothyroidism.
Some of the common symptoms that mark early state of excess TSH levels are constipation, sensitivity to cold, muscular cramps, dry skin, lack of sweating, fatigue and slow bone growth. Newborns develop umbilical hernia, jaundice and their appetite is severely reduced while suffering from hypothyroidism. Worth to mention, babies suffering from hypothyroidism have a characteristic hoarse cry. When a child reaches adolescence, he/she is more prone to developing heart disorders that might cause weight gain.
Swelling in face, droopy eyelids, coarseness in voice and low pulse rate are some other problems associated with elevated TSH levels. Onset of menstruation is delayed in girls suffering from hypothyroidism.
Initially, children are treated with drugs to bring down the level of thyroid stimulating hormone. Medical reports based on history of the disease are properly analyzed and then medicines are administered for curing the body ailment. The course of treatment depends on the severity of the complication and their blood samples are periodically monitored for knowing if any improvement has taken place.
A diet containing moderately high levels of iodine is given to children suffering from hypothyroidism. Hormone replacement therapy is the last option for children who have failed to show any improvement even after undergoing a proper treatment. Imbalance of thyroid hormones is gradually cured with proper medical therapies.
I hope you have gathered sufficient information on the effects of high TSH level in children. If your child experiences any of the aforementioned symptoms, then you must get an immediate medical check up done. To avoid health disorders associated with thyroid gland malfunction, you must implement a healthy diet for your child that would suffice the nutritional requirement of his body.