I took my 12 year old son to the pediatritian today and he noticed something that I had been noticing for a while now - sometimes his hands shake. The dr. said it was most likely thyrotoxicosis, and he asked other questions about other symptoms, and J definitely has the heat intolerance. He has always had that - turns beet red in the heat, just can't take the heat well at all, but does not mind the cold at all. He also has difficulty concentrating and has always had that as well and lately has said he is tired a lot. The dr said that at his age it is not likely to show up on a blood test yet or need any treatment, but they will check his blood next year and from then on will test the thyroid every two years and that it usually shows up in the early 20s. He asked if we use iodized salt and said that we should - I use the Real Salt which probably is not iodized, but can switch to the other.
Is there anything I can do w/ vitamins or foods that will help or anything?
I don't understand why your doctor isn't ordering labs? If your son is symptomatic, which is sounds like he is, the doctor should be ordering some thyroid labs. This waiting until next year to test doesn't make sense. Hyperthyroidism can be dangerous if left untreated, in children as well as adults. I would insist on a TSH, Free T4, and Free T3 test to start. It is true that the TSH may not yet show an abnormal level at this point, but the FT4 and FT3 tests are tests for the actual thyoid hormone levels, and they would likely be abnormally high if your son is hyperthyroid. From what you wrote, it sounds like your doctor may not be too knowledgable about thyroid disease...unfortunately, this is common among doctors. If he won't follow through with lab tests I would see someone else. Good luck, and hopefully your DS is fine with nothing to worry about!
Thank you. I think that this dr does not know much about it too. I am going to see if there is a pediatric endocrinologist on our ins. to try to take him to.
Is that the right dr for this?
I talked to my aunt today and she had her thyroid removed many years ago due to problems w/ it, another aunt had thyroid cancer and some other relative died of thyroid cancer.
So, I think this is a serious issue for my son.
Yes, if he has thyroid disease a Ped. Endocrinologist would be who to see. I am not sure what your insurance requires, but you might need a referral, in which case you would probably need your doctor to do those thyroid tests first, since it is not clear yet if he has hyperthyroidism. Not sure, and you probably know all that!
A word of advice, do make sure that the doctors do more than just the TSH test. Many doctors only want to test this, but it is not enough, and is actually a very indirect way of testing for thyroid disease. The truth is, there can be thyroid disease with a normal TSH. So, ask for the actual thyroid hormone tests (Free T4 and Free T3) to see if they are too high. There are also antibody tests for Graves and Hashimoto's that can help pinpoint what is going on if his hormone levels are off. Take care, and I hope that helps!
Untreated hyperthyroidism can lead to heart and eye problems. I would absolutely get a referral to a pediatric endocrinologist and go from there. He may need a thyroid scan at some point, which has two parts-an ultrasound to detect nodules and gauge the size of the thyroid, as well as an iodine absorption measurement. They may hold off on the latter, since it requires a tiny amount of radioactive iodine. I have Grave's and have all of the symptoms you listed. I take medication and it has really helped, particularly with the shaking and heat intolerance. I was completely miserable before I began taking them, and they have made a world of difference. I can't imagine being told no, you don't need anything! If his doctor won't help you, switch to someone else who will.
I agree w/ pp's about seeing a pedi-endo. Though no doubt well-intentioned, your MD's info is a bit incongruent IMO. For example, additional iodine could exacerbate some hyperthyroid conditions.
Many of the symptoms you describe that your son has sound like both hypo and hyper - which could mean an autoimmune condition such as Hashimoto's which can cause swings between hypo and hyper symptoms. I would request a full thyroid panel including antibodies.
Good luck and keep us posted!