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Last Updated on June 27, 2024

Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone. This can lead to various mental and physical disorders. The hormones produced by the thyroid gland regulate metabolism, energy levels, heart rate, and other important bodily functions. This condition is prevalent in people of all age groups including children. It may go unnoticed in the initial stages, however, if it goes untreated then it can affect your heart health and can lead to high blood cholesterol levels.

One of the major types of hypothyroidism is acquired hypothyroidism also known as juvenile hypothyroidism in which the children develop the condition after birth, and it is different from congenital hypothyroidism. This condition usually occurs in children between 9 to 11 years of age.

Also read: Is Hypothyroidism Genetic Disorder?

Leading Causes of Hypothyroidism in Children

Causes of Hypothyroidism in Children









Below are some of the causes of hypothyroidisn in children:

  • Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis: Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an autoimmune condition. It affects 5% of the population in the United States. The immune system of the body works against the thyroid gland. The antibodies produced damage and cause inflammation in the thyroid gland, which affects its ability to produce thyroid hormones.
  • Iodine Deficiency: Iodine is required by the thyroid gland to make thyroid hormone. Deficiency of iodine can cause hypothyroidism and disrupt the function of the thyroid.
  • Thyroid Surgery: The removal of the whole or just a part of thyroid gland for head and neck cancers or thyroid cancer can disrupt the production of thyroid hormones.
  • Thyroiditis: Inflammation of the thyroid gland can lead to a condition called thyroiditis. Thyroid can be affected due to some infection or an autoimmune disorder. This condition leads to the release of all the stored thyroid hormones which in turn causes hyperthyroidism and after that thyroid becomes hypoactive.
  • Congenital Hypothyroidism: Congenital hypothyroidism is a condition in which the children are born with hypoactive or completely absent thyroid gland. Newborn screening tests are being conducted for early detection and treatment of the condition. Usually, lifelong thyroid hormone replacement therapy is suggested for treatment.

Navigating Hypothyroidism in Children Symptoms

Hypothyroidism in Children Symptoms









Hypothyroidism in children symptoms can vary depending on the complexity of the condition. About 80% of the children are asymptomatic at the time of diagnosis. Below mentioned are some of the common symptoms:

  • Intellectual Impairment: Hypothyroidism during the early age which in brain development is taking place can lead to difficulty in intellectual functioning like cognitive function, concentration, and memory. Such children can face difficulty in the retrieval of information, long memory, and short memory.
  • Gastrointestinal Motility Impairment: Constipation is one of the common hypothyroidism in children symptoms. So, the best diet for hypothyroidism is a fiber rich diet. As thyroid hormone regulates the function of smooth muscles throughout the body. Hypothyroidism leads to slow transit times and difficulty passing stool.
  • Neuromuscular Function Impairment: One of the notable symptoms of hypothyroidism is muscle weakness which is due to the influence of thyroid hormones on neuromuscular function and muscle contraction. It modulates the sensitivity of muscle cells and regulates the ion channel expression in muscle contraction. The muscle strength is affected which in turn effects coordination and endurance.
  • Dry Skin and Hair: Thyroid hormone maintains the integrity of skin barrier function. It protects the skin from environmental irritants and prevents water loss. Hypothyroidism leads to dry, flaky, and rough skin due to impaired skin barrier function and decreased sebum production.
  • Stunted Growth: Thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) are the two main thyroid hormones which are essential for normal development, bone growth and protein synthesis. In hypothyroidism, low levels of thyroid hormone lead to impaired growth hormone secretion and reduced production of insulin-like growth factors 1 (IGF-1) resulting in delayed skeletal growth and poor linear growth.
  • Delayed Puberty: Hypothyroidism can delay the onset of puberty further worsening poor growth and short stature in affected children. Alteration in thyroid hormone signaling and feedback mechanism results in delayed puberty.
  • Mood Disorders: Chronic hypothyroidism can lead to mood disorders if left untreated. It is also commonly associated with depressive symptoms in children. The most common signs include sadness, lack of interest in activities and lack of energy. It is also noted that such children become easily frustrated and have anger issues.
  • Bradycardia: Heart rate and myocardial function are also regulated by thyroid hormones. Hypothyroidism leads to impaired cardiac function as thyroid hormones influence the ion channels in cardiac cells which in turn affects the electrical activity and contractility of the heart. And due to reduced cardiac activity children feel tired and weak all the time.

Reversing the Ripple: Managing Hypothyroidism in Children Symptoms for a Brighter Tomorrow

Below are some strategies to manage hypothyroidism in children:

  • Levothyroxine: Although hypothyroidism is a challenging condition, one can effectively defeat it with early diagnosis and immediate treatment. It is crucial to recognize the symptoms and start thyroid hormone replacement therapy such as levothyroxine, especially natural therapies. This can significantly help to improve the quality of life of affected children.
  • Balanced Diet: The best diet for hypothyroidism is a well-balanced diet which is essential for children with hypothyroidism. Ensure adequate iodine intake. Foods rich in iodine include seafood, dairy products, and iodized salt. With that, selenium, zinc, and iron are also the core minerals that support thyroid function.
  • Physical Activity: To maintain a healthy weight, improve metabolism and boost metabolism it is essential to establish a proper exercise routine. Children need to be encouraged to perform age-appropriate physical activities.


The hypothyroidism in children symptoms can be alleviated with proper management. It can enhance cognitive and physical development and can also normalize heart rate. The key to reversing the effects of this condition lies in awareness, prompt intervention, and sustained management. With that, it is esse

It is essential to monitor thyroid levels once or twice a year after getting stability. Through these efforts, we can pave the way for a brighter, healthier future for children with hypothyroidism.

Wahiba Shakeel

A skilled professional with a strong foundation in Biosciences and a keen interest in research. Leveraging her marketing expertise, Wahiba is making a meaningful impact in the healthcare industry, bringing a fresh and unique perspective to the field.