Stating that thyroid hormones play very important roles in the growth and development of children during the period from the mother’s womb to adolescence, Pediatric Endocrinology Specialist Dr. Aliye Sevil Sarıkaya said, “Thyroid hormones are involved in the execution of many functions in the brain and nervous system, muscle and adipose tissues. In addition, when thyroid hormone, which has a role in regulating metabolic rate, is not found in the blood at a sufficient level, it is not possible for children to continue their growth and development in a healthy way. If the thyroid gland does not work sufficiently, these hormones cannot be secreted enough, and a hypothyroid (thyroid retardation) picture occurs. “The most important symptom of hypothyroidism in children is seen as short stature and growth retardation.”


Pediatric Endocrinology Specialist Dr. Aliye Sevil Sarıkaya said, “Hypothyroidism, which is common in our country, may not be noticed easily because it progresses insidiously and slowly. For this reason, mothers and fathers should closely follow the growth and development of their children and should not interfere with their routine check-ups ”warned.

Sarıkaya listed the symptoms that indicate that the child may have thyroid retardation as follows:

“Detection of TSH elevation in the thyroid hormone test performed after birth, late teeth coming out, the child gaining skills such as speaking and walking later than normal, stagnation despite weight gain, in other words, slowing of growth, constipation, chills, dry skin, attention, memory and confronts us with concentration problems and hair loss “


Indicating that many reasons such as unbalanced nutrition, iodine deficiency, autoimmune disorders and chronic diseases may play a role in thyroid retardation in children, Sarıkaya said, “But besides these, genetic predisposition is also a big risk factor. Children with a family history of thyroid disease have a higher risk of developing thyroid retardation. For this reason, families of children with hypothyroidism or a different thyroid disease should be more careful about the symptoms of thyroid retardation. In addition, attention should be paid to the children’s diet plan. Practices such as a carbohydrate-weighted diet and a diet with a single food predominant can negatively affect the production of thyroid hormones. For this reason, children should consume all food groups adequately by paying attention to issues such as protein intake, meeting vitamin and mineral needs, ”he said.


Irreversible brain and nerve damage can occur with the delay in diagnosis and treatment, especially in thyroid retardation due to congenital diseases. For this reason, Uzm said that babies who are diagnosed with any disease as a result of screening performed with heel blood after birth should be taken to pediatric endocrinologists by their parents. Dr. Sarıkaya continued his words as follows:

“By making hormone supplements in our children with thyroid retardation, we can prevent the complications that this situation may cause. The main purpose of treatment is to replace the missing thyroid hormone as soon as possible. We may encounter temporary thyroid retardation, especially in premature babies. Therefore, follow-up is as important as treatment. With the hormone reaching its normal level, we prevent problems such as growth retardation. After determining the cause of hypothyroidism, long-term thyroid hormone medication should be used for some children, while in some children the drug can be discontinued after short-term treatment after hormone levels return to normal. “

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