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tsh levels in children

My daughter(4 yoa) had blood work done about three weeks ago and her tsh was 6.2 now her levels are 8.5 they are wanting to start her on synthiroid beause she does not seem to have as much enegry as her triplet sisters(but close) and the day of the vist to the doctor she had puffy eyes and the raise in the tsh level. No other known signs or symptoms. Also her blood count on the virus was high but the mono test was neg. Is it normal to see tsh climb like this in three weeks? All the girls are heath except for this.
5 Responses
586424 tn?1232180259
I honestly don't know about children, but for adults anything over 3.0 (new system) or 5.0 (old system) is very severe Hypo.  Now it could be that she feels fine at 5.0 or even 6.0---every one is different.  Althoug I'm not familiar enough with a child's endocrine levels to say too much.  Just my opinion that she's probably feeling sypmtoms of Hypo, but cannot express it because of her age.  She's probably thinking it is normal, that everyone feels the way she does.  I would try to ask her how she feels throughout the day.  Things like, "Are you feeling like you need to lay down and rest?"  or  "Do you feel happy?"

Sometimes people with Hypo can feel very sad or they have emotional extremes very quickly and something little can set it off.  What you might percieve as a temper tantrum could be something more related to a thyroid TSH level.  

I found a good page for you to look at.  It might help answer some questions.

http://www.ehealthmd.com/library/hypothyroidismchildren/HYC_whatis.html

Hope this helps.  It is very treatable.  
Avatar universal
my 4 year old grandson has had another follow up blood test to check his phosphorus levels, along with his tsh levels. Two weeks ago he has had his tsh level on the top end, and phosphorus levels were at the bottom. Today the results came in (and they never tested his calcium levels, either), and his TSH was 12.8, his phosphorus was 4.8. This kid cannot keep warm hands and feet,  has had chronic constipation since he was 10 months old, he  has much trouble with catching colds, he has had over 28 ear infections, 4 sets of tubes, his adnoids removed 2x, his tonsils taken out last month, he sweats and smells like a teenager, (but has no pubic/or arm pit hair, that's why they ruled out petuitary gland issue) has allergies, had a colonoscopy last year, so many tests performed including cystic fibrosis tests, Hirschsprungs disease test, diagnosed with a folding gallbladder, has an overly large colon because of the constant constipation over the years, he also tested positive for bacterial overgrowth in his stomach, (the blow test) he has cafe au lait spots on his back, as well... His hair is coarse, his skin really fair, he has no outward signs of lack to thrive, so they say, from looking at him he seems fine, but he has an extremely high pain tolerance, and what we perceive to be pain is normal for him...we are at our wits' end... his mother and I know he has a complex metabolic disorder, but the doctors will never find it unless they talk together, and he is put under one roof, where they can monitor his blood more regulary. And until the levels of acceptance perceived as NORMAL levels are changed, he will never be diagosed properly.
Avatar universal
my 4 year old grandson has had another follow up blood test to check his phosphorus levels, along with his tsh levels. Two weeks ago he has had his tsh level on the top end, and phosphorus levels were at the bottom. Today the results came in (and they never tested his calcium levels, either), and his TSH was 12.8, his phosphorus was 4.8. This kid cannot keep warm hands and feet,  has had chronic constipation since he was 10 months old, he  has much trouble with catching colds, he has had over 28 ear infections, 4 sets of tubes, his adnoids removed 2x, his tonsils taken out last month, he sweats and smells like a teenager, (but has no pubic/or arm pit hair, that's why they ruled out petuitary gland issue) has allergies, had a colonoscopy last year, so many tests performed including cystic fibrosis tests, Hirschsprungs disease test, diagnosed with a folding gallbladder, has an overly large colon because of the constant constipation over the years, he also tested positive for bacterial overgrowth in his stomach, (the blow test) he has cafe au lait spots on his back, as well... His hair is coarse, his skin really fair, he has no outward signs of lack to thrive, so they say, from looking at him he seems fine, but he has an extremely high pain tolerance, and what we perceive to be pain is normal for him...we are at our wits' end... his mother and I know he has a complex metabolic disorder, but the doctors will never find it unless they talk together, and he is put under one roof, where they can monitor his blood more regulary. And until the levels of acceptance perceived as NORMAL levels are changed, he will never be diagosed properly.
Avatar universal
First, TSH is a pituitary hormone that is affected by so many variables that it is totally inadequate as the sole diagnostic for thyroid.  At best it is an indicator, to be considered along with more important indicators such as symptoms and also levels of the biologically active thyroid hormones, Free T3 and Free T4.  Of these FT3 is the most important because it largely regulates metabolism and many other body functions.  Studies have also shown that FT3 correlated best with hypo symptoms, while FT4 and TSH correlated very poorly.  

So if possible I suggest testing for FT3 and FT4.  Also, since Hashimoto's Thyroiditis is the most common cause for hypothyroidism, I suggest testing for the thyroid antibodies, TPO ab and TG ab.  If you are able to get these tests done, please post results here and members will be very glad to help interpret and advise further.   Also, be aware that even if the FT3 and FT4 tests show in the low end of the range, that is still consistent with being hypothyroid.  

A good thyroid doctor will treat a hypo patient clinically by testing and adjusting FT3 and FT4 as necessary to relieve symptoms, without being constrained by resultant TSH levels.  Symptom relief should be all important, not just test results.  Test results are valuable mainly as indicators during early diagnosis and then afterward to track FT3 and FT4 as meds are revised to relieve symptoms.  You probably should broach this subject with the doctor and see if willing to treat clinically as I described, and also willing to prescribe meds with T3 in them, if necessary.  If no to either, then longer term you will need to find a good thyroid doctor that will do so.  

This is a link to a letter written by a good thyroid doctor for patients that he is consulting with from a distance.  The letter is sent to the PCP of the patient to help guide treatment.

http://hormonerestoration.com/files/ThyroidPMD.pdf
Avatar universal
Follow gimel's advise and determine if the thyroid disease is an autoimmune disease (get the thyroid antibodies measured).  If it is, then also have tests run for celiacs and gluten sensitivity.

Contrary to popular belief, celiacs and gluten sensitivity are NOT rare disorders.Recent literature suggests the tTg test ( either by saliva or a drop of blood) is considered reliable to indicate celiacs or gluten sensitivity, either which would be much ealier on a yound child.  Conventional blood tests include the ELISA  IgG & IgA anti-gliadin antibody , IgG & IgA anti-glutenin antibody and tTg tissue transglutaminase antibody tests which together are accurate since they are not subject to interpretation as the EMA test. The blood test will detect either gluten sensitivity or celiacs, and physicians are like to recommend a follow-up small intestine biopsy to determine if celiacs. Celiacs is when the villa in the small intestine are flattened by gluten and cause malabsorption problems. With either of these 2 conditions you can get a "leaky gut" which releases the gluten proteins out of your small intestines into your body where they are able to move freely and wreak havoc (literature, again). Celiacs and gluten sensitivity are genetic, so maybe everyone in your families should at least look for the genetic markers HLA-DQ2, HLA-DQ8 and HLA-B8 to see if they are at risk, should it show up in your grandson.  

If your grandson is gluten sensitive, his health can improve tremendously following a gluten-free diet.   A gluten-free diet has been shown to reverse auto-immune thyroid diseases and other auto-immune disorders, too.  I know this since I have been doing alot of reading in the medical literature lately based on health problems in my family.  I believe in going after the source and correcting the actual problem rather than allowing diseases to develop and be managed.As a research scientist, I am also data driven.

As I mentioned,I have been doing alot of reading in the medical literature. My oldest child was recently diagnosed with Hashitoxicosis (pre-cursor to Hashimoto's where you flip from hypo to hyper thyroid states randomly).  His TSH was 4.5 and  T3 and T4 hormones were normal the day he was measured,  but his anti-TPO antibodies were off the charts >1000 IU/ml. Small wonder he felt awful.  He also had a positive ANA, which the physician suggested could be early Lupus. No course of action other than repeat blood tests in 8 weeks were recommended. besides seeing a clinical pshycologist. I originally brought him to the doctor since he was feeling pretty bad, alternated between warm clammy skin to being very cold, including a wide range of other symptoms, including depression.  Since autoimmune thyroid runs in the family, checking the thyroid is where we started.

Since the initial bloodwork he has been taking 200 mcg selenium  daily for over a month (strong antioxidant literature noted to reduce TPO antibodies; caution since too much is toxic) and has been feeling notably better. Depression gone, though other symptoms remain. . He will be tested for celiacs and gluten sensitivity next, as well as following up with blood tests on the ANA and thyroid hormones and antibodies. I am curious to see if changes can be quantified.  Reality is that should the gluten gut leak show up with the blood tests, we will not likely follow up with the invasive small intestine biopsy  The gut leak alone is so dangerous with regard to autoimmune diseases and more, it will be enough for us to become a gluten-free household and adopt a gluten-free life style.  

In the literature I found that low doses of thyroid hormone can relieve symptoms of Hashimoto disease. Literature also show autoimmune thyroid disease to reverse on a gluten free diet. I also found that gluten sensitive individuals can have positive ANA and be incorrectly diagnosed as having lupus.

Bottomline, it looks like gluten can be behind alot of other disorders in humans, some of which can hit in childhood and others of which do not appear until adulthood. Like I stated earlier, I hit the literature since I want my child to be healthy, so we will go after trying to find and reverse the source of the problems., We do not want to have him develop the diseases and then medically manage them.

Most of the references  can be found online in www.ncbi.nim.nih.gov/pubmed/  
Most relevant to you include:
(regarding autoimmune thyroid and celiacs)
Thyroid, 2008 Nov 18(11):1171-8
Eur, J. Endocrinol., 2002 Apr.146(4):479-83
(gluten sensitivity masquarading as SLE [Lupus])
Ann.Rheum.Dis. 2004 Nov. 63(11):1501-3.


I hope this helps! Good luck!


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