About Acquired Hypothyroidism

Acquired Hypothyroidism is a condition whereby a child’s thyroid Gland produces very little or even no hormone. The thyroid gland in human body is shaped like a butterfly and is located below the Adams” Apple in the neck. Two important hormones namely T4 (Thyroxin) and T 3 (Triiodothyronine) are produced by the Thyroid Gland. Another hormone namely TSH (Thyroid stimulating Hormone) is generated in the brain and is responsible for production of T4 and T3 by the Thyroid. These hormones act as stimulants to control growth and development of the body, controls metabolism or energy use and controls some functions of the heart, kidneys, skin and liver.

How is Acquired hypothyroidism caused?

Usually Acquired Hypothyroidism, results from an abnormality of the immune system. This abnormality may attack the Thyroid. In the process, the Thyroid may be damaged or rendered totally nonfunctional resulting in Hypothyroidism. It causes loss of tissues of the Thyroid. The Thyroid Gland can also become enlarged as a result. The enlargement of the gland is termed as Goiter.

Acquired Hypothyroidism can also be caused by a disease, a Cyst, surgery or radiation to the Pituitary Gland of the brain. Acquired Hypothyroidism is also related to some genetic syndromes like down and Turners’ syndrome.

Effects of Acquired hypothyroidism

With Acquired Hypothyroidism, one can experience a decrease in growth rate, unusual weight gain, coarse or dry skin, extreme sensitivity to cold, general sluggishness, constipation, and decrease in physical activity, puffiness and slow speech. Sexual maturation can also be delayed. In some sexual maturation can occur prematurely

Diagnosis of Acquired hypothyroidism

To start with for the treatment of Acquired Hypothyroidism, blood tests are done to measure a number of hormone levels. These measurements are:

  • T3 Triiodothyromine.
  • T4 Thyroxine—generally termed as Thyroid hormone.
  • Free T 4—it is a part of Thyroid hormone that is active and available.
  • TSH –this is the Thyroid stimulating hormone produced in the Pituitary Gland, located in the brain that signals production of T4 and T3 by the Thyroid gland.
  • TBG—it is s Thyroid binding Globulin. It is a protein attach to Thyroid.
  • Thyroid Antibodies. These are substances that develop and cause interference to production of T4 and T3 by the Thyroid Gland.
  • In case the blood tests produce abnormal results, ultrasound examination of the Thyroid gland may be done to take pictures of the gland. Radioactive Iodine scan using a dye and X-rays can be done to know the function of the Thyroid. Besides to know how a child’s bones are maturing, a bone age X-ray is also done.

Treatment for Acquired hypothyroidism

There are effective and simple treatments for Acquired Hypothyroidism. A medicine in the form of a pill is given to a child. The pill must be taken at the same time every day. A close track of the pills consumed should be kept. Check should be made with the physician about providing a generic form of medicine for thyroid.

In case child is getting an overdose of the medicine, there are some signs one should look for. These signs are –are weight loss, poor sleeping, irritability, tremors, diarrhea, or excessive hunger. On the other contrary, if the child is getting a lower dose of the medicine, you may see excessive weight gaining, excessive sleep, dry skin, constipation, and reduced energy and activity. If these signs or those indicated before are seen a Physician must be consulted for modification of the dose which is usually done after a blood test.

A close monitoring of the condition of a child in case of Acquired Hypothyroidism is essential to enable the child to return to normal life.

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