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Thyroid disorder in a child
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Thyroid disorder in a child

My Daughter had her five year check-up today and while there the doctor noticed that her Thyroid was enlarged and had blood work done.
She threw around a lot of words and didn't really explain to me what might be going on saying that it wasn't really anything to worry about until we got the lab work back.  At the same time she was talking about autoimmune disorder and a need to be medicated.
So i tried to do some research but with her lack of information I'm having a hard time finding out what an enlarged thyroid might mean for my 5 year old.
Any information on thyroid disorders in small children that anyone might have I would really appreciate....I just want to get some reading done and be prepared just incase. Thanks!!!
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Doctors have no idea what they put us through sometimes, do they?

I might be able to point you in a direction if you can give me a little more information.  With what you've said so far, you'd have to be exploring a whole lot of unlikely possibilities, so maybe we can narrow it down.

Does your daughter have either hypo or hyper symptoms?  You can google a list of each.  Did the doctor indicate if she thought your daughter was hypo, or did she think hyper?  If we can narrow that down, you'll have a lot less extraneous reading to do...
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I actually haven't noticed any symptoms outside of her normal behavior. If it wasn't for the doctor saying her thyroid felt enlarged there would be no indication of anything!  
All she really said is that there was no big rush and that she just wanted to get it checked to see what was going on. She said people can live with this for years without problems but when the thyroid gives out then they have to be medicated. She mentioned something about it being autoimmuned. But that's about it. That is why I was so confused it seems like any thyroid issue is one that needs attention now and not in the future some time....and the autoimmune ones seem rather serious.
Any ideas for me???
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Avatar_f_tn
Most thyroid disease in the developed world is autoimmune, either Hashimoto's thyroiditis (hypo primarily, although in early stages it can be characterized by swings from hypo to hyper) or Graves' disease (hyper).  Basically, neither is treated until symptoms present themselves.  

When we have autoimmune thyroid disease, our immune systems create antibodies against thyroid tissue becasue they see it as "foreign" protein.  We can have antibodies for years, or even decades, before the antibodies do enough damage to cause symptoms.  Graves' antibodies, in particular, can go into remission and remain there for long periods of time.  There is no treatment for the antibodies, so all we can do is treat the symptoms when/if they appear.

Hopefully, your doctor has ordered FREE T3, FREE T4 and TSH test for your daughter.  These will tell if she is currently either hypo or hyper according to labs.

In addition, your doctor seems attuned to the autoimmune aspect of thyroid disease, so I would assume she would order TPOab (thyroid peroxidase antibodies, sometimes called "microsomal" on lab reports), TGab (thyroglobulin antibodies) and TSI (thyroid stimulating immunoglobulin).  The first two are the antibodies associated with Hashi's, and the last is the antibody associated with Graves'.  Normally, when people present with clear symptoms of hypo or hyper or labs that clearly show hypo or hyper, some of these antibody tests can be eliminated.

So, if you want to do some research, do some reading on Hashi's and Graves'.

When you get your lab report back, if you'd like to post results, we can help you interpret them.  When posting results, you also have to post reference ranges as they vary lab to lab and are age specific.

Try to take it easy (I know this is hard), but if your daughter has no symptoms, it's probably just a bump in the road.    
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you so much for the information! It helps to have an idea of what to expect. I think I worry a whole lot less when I am prepared and understand a little of what is going on and what may happen!
I'll be back when the lab work comes in for more of your knowledge ;-)
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