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Overactive thyroid in 6 month old

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Hi there,
My name is Carol and I'm a mom to 4, ages 8 to 6 months and happily married for 9 year. Our 6 month old we were just told today has high thyroid levels. I was told it shouldn't be higher than 2.4 and it's 3.6. I was also asked if I had any questions, but I had all 4 kids with me and we'd been waiting for over an hour. I couldn't think of almost anything to ask until after we left and now I have a million questions. I can't really find anything online about it (maybe I'm just not searching the right way), but I don't know how bad it is, what the treatment would be. She mentioned something about being reffered to a pediatrition and that he would tell me how to breastfeed her (she's always been exclusively breastfed) becuase what I eat is what she eats. Another strange thing is that she's the size of a one year old, weight wise and length wise. We expected diabetes or hypothyroidism, not what we were told. All her other bloodwork was fine except for this. Refferals up here (in ONtario, Canada) seem to take forever, so I'm not sure when we'll see the ped., but there are things I'd like to be prepared for. If there's anyone who can tell me about it or has any knowledge about this I'd love to hear from anyone. I don't know if this is the place to post this or not, but I loved the mothering.com board when I was pg, so I was hoping there'd be people who could help me here too.
Thanks so very much,
post #2 of 20
Did they test her thyroid because of her size? I dont know much about hyperthyroid in an infant but I have dealt with thyroid issues. Did you try googling hyperthyroid infant and see what popped up? Sorry I am not more help. I have to run here in a minute to pick my kids up from school. I will google it for you later and see what I can find

: I just googled this and found this page worth of information:
http://www.google.com/search?q=hyper...ient=firefox-a scroll down past the top 2 results those popped up for hypo for some reason.

According to what I am seeing in a fast google search I am wondering why hyper since weight loss not gain in one of the indicaters.
  • Early diagnosis requires a high degree of suspicion.
  • The common symptoms of hyperactivity, nervousness, and emotional lability are often attributed to other causes, most frequently attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Alterations in mental status may be seen in almost one half of all patients with thyroid dysfunction.
  • Deterioration of behavior and school performance in a child who previously did well may be the earliest warning signal.
  • Other symptoms can include the following:
    • Weight loss despite excellent appetite
    • Insomnia
    • Fatigue
    • Palpitations
    • Heat intolerance
    • Sweating
    • Diarrhea
    • Deterioration in handwriting
    • Menstrual irregularities
    • Muscle weakness manifested as exercise intolerance or difficulty climbing stairs
    • Eye symptoms, which may include pain or diplopia but are rarely severe in children
post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 
It's kinda involved how this happened. She's always been kinda chubby, except when she was first born, she was kinda lean then. I was sitting in the waiting room of the doctor's office with her and our oldest dd and some strange woman walked past and told me that my baby was too fat and it wasn't healthy for her to look like that. I was offended, she's strictly breastfed (except for starting on solids now), to put my mind at ease I asked the doctor what she though when I brought our other dd into her appt. She told me that she was overweight and that it could be diabetes or hypothyroidism, so we had her blood taken. All her results were normal except for that, it was 3.6 and the paper said it shouldn't be higher than 2.4. So now that I'm not there any more I've thought of a TON of questions.
post #4 of 20
Bfed babies are often nice and chunky. Both mine where 20pds at 6 months and I know more than a few mom's on here with nearly 30 pounders. If it where me I would go to an endocrinologist and have them do the numbers. Since that is their specialty that way they will only concentrate on the thyroid issues and you can get all your questions answered. From what I saw hyperthyroid kids are underweight not overweight so that is confusing me.

How much does she weigh?
post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 
She is about 22.5lbs and 26" long. None of our other children were this size this soon, but overall, except for thrush we just can't keep gone, she's healthy (or so we thought). She's the best baby, always so happy and friendly. Is there something that I might have done during pregnancy that would have done this to her?
post #6 of 20
No nothing you did caused this. Thyroid function is a very unique thing. The numbers you gave do not look horribly off to me but I am not a Dr. Mine fluctuates a lot from month to month even though I am on thyroid meds with no thyroid.

That is why I suggested an endo. They can tell you exactly what is going on if anything and if you need to worry.

The general rule of thumb is that bfed babies cannot be overfed. Now if she was hypO thyroid then that would be an issue but not with hypER.

I cant imagine needing a Dr. to tell me how to bfed my kid. I bfed on demand and had very large babies that gained nearly a pound a week the first 6 months then they didnt gain but a few oz. From 6 months to a year once they started moving things changed.

I would skip the ped. if you can and go straight to the endo.
post #7 of 20
Are you saying the TSH is 3.6? That is a measure indicating hypothyroid, not hyperthyroid.

post #8 of 20
That would make more sense if the Dr. is concerned about weight (though I wouldnt be concerned over weight alone) but add in the possible hypo then there could be a real issue there.
post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 
The only number I was given was 3.6, she said that it was weird becuase that meant she should be underweight not overweight. She's also from the middle east and sometimes I can't always understand everything she says, she tries very hard to make herself understood though and she's a wonderful doctor, but she said the numbers on the paper said normal was 1.something to 2.4 and she was at 3.6. Maybe she didn't realize since she's not that kind of doctor, she's a GP.
Up here we can't skip doctors, we have to see the GP who tells us if we need the Ped. and if that doctor thinks it's warrented they'll send us to anotther specialist, we have to have a refferal, no way around it, and sometimes it's MONTHS to get in. My husband needed to get in to see an Endo and his doctor called and told them it was urgent and the soonest they could get him in was 3 months later! Ontario is great that way sometimes.
I really appreciate the help though, where do I find what the levels are supposed to be, or that explains them?
post #10 of 20
Can you get your test results from your Dr? Here usually just TSH is run or TSH and T4 but it sounds like that was a free T3 or free T4 result. It isn't in line with mine but each lab has their own reference ranges for those. It also could be that your Dr was confused and got it backward. (the higher the TSH the more underactive your thyroid.)
post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 
I'm going to call tomorrow and find out if we can stop in and get copies of her results. My husband did that with some of his results, hopefully they don't give us a problem with hers. How would they treat something like that in someone her age? Why wouldn't this have gotten picked up in her newborn screening? I have so many questions I wish I had thought of at the doctor's office!
post #12 of 20
Thread Starter 
What is the difference between all of the different thyroid tests? What exactly do they tell you?
post #13 of 20
There are several different things that can be tested to evaluate thyroid function.

TSH- thyroid stimulating hormone- made by the pituitary- it is what tells your thyroid to make more T4. Most endo's like to see that # between .3 and 3.0 but not all labs reflect that. Higher indicates hypothyroid and lower hyperthyroid.
T4 can be tested as free or total. This is what your thyroid makes.
T3 can also be tested as free or total. This is formed from T4 and is the active form of thyroid hormone. It is needed by every cell in your body.

There are also two antibodies that can be tested for to see if the problem is an autoimmune problem.

Many feel that free T3 levels are what really matters to see if your body is getting what it needs to function optiminally.

I would assume it was missed in the n/b screening because her levels were normal at that time. That usually just picks up if a child is born w/o a thyroid or a malformed non-functioning thyroid.
I'm really not sure what would cause hyperthyroid in an infant. My 15 year old neice was just dxed with Graves disease and it is very unusual at her age as well. My 5 year old was just dxed hypothyroid and my Dr went back and confirmed that she was fine at birth. (Her symptoms have been ongoing for most of her life so we're not sure when this started for her)
post #14 of 20
Originally Posted by CarolBe View Post
I'm going to call tomorrow and find out if we can stop in and get copies of her results. My husband did that with some of his results, hopefully they don't give us a problem with hers. How would they treat something like that in someone her age? Why wouldn't this have gotten picked up in her newborn screening? I have so many questions I wish I had thought of at the doctor's office!
There are meds she can take if needed in liquid form for hypo not sure about hyper but I am thinking there is a med for that as well.
post #15 of 20
Thread Starter 
I called the doctor's office but they're closed today and Monday and so we're going to see if they can email the results to us on Tuesday. I'm also going to see if they can refer her to the same doctor our other daughter goes to when she gets sick. Hoping this all works out well! How quickly does this need to be acted upon? Should this be an urgent request for a referral or is this a no hurry situation?
post #16 of 20
Thread Starter 
I want to thank you all for all your help. You've been very kind and helpful in helping me with this. I am now armed with more info so that dh and I have something to go to the doctor with to ask more informed questions.
Thank you all ever so much!
post #17 of 20

Your baby's thyroid is under active. I have had Thyroid Cancer and it is vital that I overdose on Thyroxine to supress the TSH to stop the Cancer coming back. I have to keep my TSH as low as possible and I have to over dose on the Thyroxine to do this. So my TSH levels are about 0.4 and I am classed as Hyperthyroid because I have to take a very high dose of Thyroxine. With your baby's level of TSH being 3.6 it will mean her Thyroxine levels will be too low, this would explain the weight of your baby. The treatment for Hypothyroidism is artificial Thyroxine to bring the levels up. This will mean medication for the rest of your baby's life, and a real commitment on your part to make sure your baby takes it every day. Push as hard as you can for an urgent referral, your GP should be able to do this, as your baby needs medication now. Godd luck!

post #18 of 20
If she's hypothyroid that's something that needs immediate attention. Usually (at least in the US and I'd assume Canada too) thyroid is on the newborn screen because untreated it can affect cognitive function/development. Your daughter must have been ok on her screen. She also sounds like she's healthy and developing well now. Your doctor may also be confused and you don't have enough information to even know without that lab slip. I'm really thinking more testing would be the first thing I'd ask. You would want a full thyroid panel. You especially want free T3--that number is most important. I think that would be the first step in follow up of abnormal TSH levels anyway and I'm betting that number is TSH. If it is she would by hypothyroid/underactive thyroid.
post #19 of 20
Scroll down to the very last reply on this thread. http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Thyroid-Disorders/Elevated-TSH-in-6-month-old/show/1101910

It's a mom whose child had issues like this. She mentions that breastfeeding can elevate the child's levels even if their thyroid isn't actually functioning. So it would be important to not let the doctor blow it off if it's close to normal.
post #20 of 20

Hi, I am so glad I saw this post. My son was just reffered as well to an endo. I believe Dr. said he was 7 on the test? But she has his thyroid is over active and he has all the symptoms of overactive thyroid. But nothing was said at birth. I am confused as well!! :/ Did you ever go to the specialist? Did you get answers?

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