The thyroid is a small gland located below the skin and muscles at the front of the neck, just at the spot where a bow tie would rest. It's brownish red, with left and right halves called lobes that look like a butterfly's wings. It weighs less than an ounce, but helps the body do many important things, such as grow, regulate energy, and go through sexual development.
Krisha McCoy has been covering health- and nutrition-related topics since Hypothyroidism is more common in adults, but it can also occur in teens. With hypothyroidism, the thyroid gland in the front of the neck fails to produce enough thyroid hormones.
The thyroid is a gland located in the neck, which creates hormones that keep your body working normally, such as controlling metabolism, the structure of bones, growth and sexual development — a big job for a gland weighing less than 28g! Thyroid disorders are common, and these cause an imbalance in the hormones producedwhich can have a great effect your body. While most common in women, anyone can suffer from thyroid conditions, and the challenge with adolescents is identifying the symptoms, which can manifest in behaviours common to teenagers.
While thyroid disease most often develops during adulthood, it can occur in infants, children, and teenagers as well. The symptoms of thyroid disease in children may be hard to recognize because many—changes in appetite, sleep patterns, emotions, and energy levels—are all also experienced as part of normal development during these years. Thyroid disease during infancy, which is usually identified through newborn screening tests, is not common.
Hypothyroidism is the most common thyroid disorder affecting children. However, children with the disorder display different symptoms from adults. Hypothyroidism in the newborn, when left untreated, can lead to intellectual disability and profound developmental delays.
Reviewed by pediatric endocrinologist Andrew J. A low thyroid can interfere with normal growth and development and even put puberty on hold. The fatigue it causes can interfere with performance at school and leave kids without enough energy for sports and play, too.
The reason that the thyroid has such a major effect on the body is that despite its small size typically weighing less than 28 g it manufactures the hormones that control metabolism, sexual development, the structure of the bones and growth. As an Honorary Consultant Endocrinologist at the specialist adolescent thyroid clinic at the UCLH I see many teenagers whose treatment has transformed lives which have been unknowingly governed by a thyroid condition. However, the real challenge with identifying thyroid symptoms in an adolescent is that they can effectively hide in plain sight….
It's brownish red, with left and right halves called lobes that look like a butterfly's wings. It usually weighs less than an ounce. Though it's small, the thyroid does many important jobs, especially for teens.
Thyroid disorders are common in adolescence. Thyroid nodules can present in this age group, and although most are benign, malignancy is not unheard of. Chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis can present as hypothyroidism, while the adolescent with a goiter due to autoimmune thyroid disease is frequently euthyroid.
Although thyroid disease occurs less frequently in children than in adults, the signs and symptoms can be similar. However, there are a few important differences that need to be brought to light. It is responsible for the rate of all metabolic and chemical processes in our body, and affects every cell, tissue, and organ. The thyroid gland is therefore essential for life, growth and development.