When Your Child Has Hyperthyroidism
Your child has been diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. Your child’s thyroid gland is overactive and makes too much thyroid hormone. Thyroid hormone is important to body growth and metabolism. The thyroid gland is in the front of the neck. If the gland makes too much thyroid hormone, many body processes speed up. Hyperthyroidism can be treated with medicine, radiation, or surgery. Here’s what you need to know about caring for your child.
Your healthcare provider will talk with you about medicine options for your child. Anti-thyroid medicines work by blocking the release of thyroid hormone. Make sure to:
Give your child his or her medicine exactly as directed.
Give the medicine at the same time every day. Keep the pills in a container that is labeled with the days of the week. This will help you remember if you’ve given the medicine each day.
Try to give the medicine with the same food or drink each day. This will help you control the amount of thyroid hormone in your child’s body.
Don’t stop giving medicine for any reason. If you do, your child’s symptoms will return. Only make changes to the medicine routine as your child’s healthcare provider instructs.
Keep a card in your wallet that says your child has hyperthyroidism. Make sure it has your name and address, contact information for your child’s healthcare provider, and the names and doses of your child’s medicines. Have your child wear a medical alert bracelet with the same information.
Keeping track of symptoms and side effects
During your routine visits, tell your child’s healthcare provider if your child has any symptoms of too little thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism). This can be a side effect of treatment. Also tell the healthcare provider if your child has symptoms of too much thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism).
Symptoms of hypothyroidism include:
Tiredness or low energy
Puffy hands, face, or feet
Slow heartbeat (less than 60 beats per minute)
Feeling unusually cold when others feel comfortable
Symptoms of hyperthyroidism include:
Fast weight loss
Fast heartbeat (more than 100 beats per minute)
Feeling unusually hot when others feel comfortable
Make a follow-up appointment as directed by our staff. Make and keep appointments for your child to see his or her healthcare provider and have blood tests. Your child will need to have blood test for the rest of his or her life to check hormone levels.
To learn more
The resources below can help you learn more:
American Thyroid Association 703-998-8890 www.thyroid.org
Hormone Health Network 800-467-6663 www.hormone.org
When to call the healthcare provider
Call the healthcare provider right away if your child has any of the following:
Fever of 100.4°F (38.0°C) or higher
Sleeplessness, anxiety, or tremors
Feeling sweaty and hot, even when others nearby are comfortable
Shortness of breath
Trouble focusing the eyes
Bulging eyes, staring, or infrequent blinking
Weight loss for no obvious reason
Fast heartbeat at rest (more than 100 beats per minute)
Enlarged thyroid gland at front of neck (goiter)
June 20, 2017
Bahn, RS. Hyperthyroidism and Other Causes of Thyrotoxicosis: Management Guidelines of the American Thyroid Association and American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. Thyroid (2011); 21(6); pp. 593-646, Rivkees, SA. 63 Years and 715 Days to the Boxed Warning. Unmasking of the Propythiouracil Problem. International Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology (2010); 658267; pp. 1-3
Freeborn, Donna, PhD, CNM, FNP,Hurd, Robert, MD