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October 8, 2019

Hypothyroidism most commonly occurs when the thyroid gland isn't producing enough thyroid hormone, either because it can't (primary hypothyroidism) or because it isn't being stimulated properly (secondary hypothyroidism).

Children with hypothyroidism may have the following symptoms:

  • Short stature or slow growth
  • Rough, dry skin
  • Constipation
  • Cold intolerance
  • Fatigue and decreased energy
  • Sleeping more
  • Bruising easily
  • Bone fractures or delayed bone age on X-ray
  • Delayed puberty

If you're worried about thyroid issues because your child is overweight, it may help to know that children who experience weight gain due to thyroid problems are typically shorter than expected for their age.

WATCH: CAMC pediatric resident Ryan Mitacek, MD, helps parents by describing the symptoms of thyroid disease.

Common signs / symptoms of hyperthyroidism

In hyperthyroidism, there is an excess of thyroid hormones, either due to over activity or overstimulation of the thyroid gland.

Symptoms of hyperthyroidism, also called thyrotoxicosis, can include:

  • Emotional lability, crying easily, irritability or excitability
  • Short attention span
  • Tremors
  • Increased appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Enlarged thyroid gland (goiter)
  • Exophthalmos (protruding eyes)
  • Upper eyelid lag
  • Infrequent blinking
  • Flushed skin
  • Excessive sweating
  • Muscle weakness
  • Tachycardia (rapid heartbeat) and palpitation (a sense that you can feel your heart beating)
  • High blood pressure
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