Delayed Puberty? Blame it on Thyroid
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DID your child have a delayed puberty or suffers from dry skin or is highly susceptible to cold? Chances are the kid suffers from hypothyroidism. A disorder of the thyroid gland.
Doctors say incidence of thyroid is very high in north India. What is more worrying is it is being detected more and more among youngsters.
Endocrinologists say one case below 16 years is detected each day. To allay fear, doctors say the disorder can be easily regulated and is extremely cost effective.
“Earlier, low intake of iodine in the diet was considered to be the primary cause of hypothyroidism among north Indians. Now it is the antibodies (a specialised immune protein), which are known to be the causes behind 95 per cent of the cases,” says Dr K P Singh, senior endocrinologist at the Fortis Hospital, Mohali.
In case of a newborn, symptoms are visible right at the time of birth. The symptoms manifested in the first three months are low feeding. Between the age of one and two, the symptoms include delay in talking and making efforts to walk, a condition called “growth arrest.”
Stepping into the teens, the symptoms presented by the patient include delayed puberty, hair loss and intolerance to cold Dr Singh said.
The disease can affect all age groups, including an aged person. Normally, thyroid is detected through blood tests, which checks the hormone levels –Thyroxine (T4) and Triiodothyronine (T3).
Senior endocrinologist at Ivy Hospital, Dr Gagan Priya says, “Hypothyroidism can also happen as a result of treatment to hyperthy t roidism or thyroid cancer. It a can occur when the hypothalamus, a gland which pro t duces insufficient hormone called Thyrotropin, releas ing hormone or when the pituitary gland produces in sufficient thyroid stimulat ing hormone.”
According to her, hy pothyroidism leads to very noticeable changes in the body which include dull fa cial expression, hoarse voice, puffy eyes and puffy face, unexplained weight gain, fatigue and high cho lesterol. “Normally we have seen patients gain weight and complain of constipa tion. If untreated, hypothy roidism may cause anaemia, low body temperature and heart failure,” she said.
As for the treatment, Dr Singh says it is one of the easily managed disorder as the patient has to be given appropriate thyroid hormone replacement medication according to his or her body weight. Thyroid facts Thyroid is a very small secreting gland, which is found near Adam’s apple in the throat. The gland secretes thyroid hormones, which are responsible for controlling speed at which the body’s chemical or metabolic functions take place. Thyroid gland produces two hormones named as Thyroxine (T4) and Triiodothyronine (T3).
Thyroxine (T4) is then turned into (T3) by a chemical process inside the body. Hypothyroidism occurs when the gland produces less thyroid hormone in the body.