Please respond to discussion below using APA 7th edition, 3 references dated less than 4 years and 1 interactive question.
Hyperthyroidism is a condition that can affect human beings of all ages, including pediatrics and adults. Hyperthyroidism is when the thyroid hormone thyroxine is produced in excess, resulting in diseases such as Grave’s disease. Graves’ disease is an immune system condition characterized by excessive thyroid hormone production. The disease usually affects the thyroid hormone. As a result, the gland produces excess hormones resulting in a condition known as hyperthyroidism. Normally, thyroid hormones are regulated by metabolism processes, heart rates, and temperature changes. Graves’ disease is common among adults of age 30 to 50 years, but women are more susceptible to Graves’ disease than men, and it tends to be hereditary within the family with a history of the condition (Wiersinga, 2019). Like in adults, hyperthyroidism in pediatrics results from excess thyroid hormone production from the child’s thyroid glands.
The management plan for hyperthyroidism in children includes diagnostic testing and the provision of drugs and interventions that help the body minimize the production of thyroxine hormones. The diagnosis of hyperthyroidism involves reviewing the child’s symptoms and taking the medical history, including the family history of Grave’s disease (Ferrari et al., 2019). The main test is the test of blood to check the thyroid hormone levels and the level of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). A child with hyperthyroidism will show low levels of TSH in the brain; however, the levels of T3 and T4 hormones will be high in the thyroid gland. Other tests will involve blood tests that confirm thyroid-stimulating antibodies that often cause Grave’s disease.
The treatment for hyperthyroidism in children involves three approaches: anti-thyroid hormone, radioactive iodine treatment, and surgery. In the anti-thyroid medication, the child is put under methimazole, which helps to decrease thyroxine levels. The child should take this medication for at least two years; however, when a child goes into remission, the doctor may advise them to stop taking it (Kaplowitz & Vaidyanathan, 2020). The side effects of this medication include skin rash, joint and muscle pain, and low white blood cell count. Unlike methimazole, the radioactive iodine treatment is a permanent mechanism for treating hyperthyroidism. The child swallows a radioactive iodine, shrinks the thyroid glands; therefore, over time, they will produce a low amount of thyroxine. In addition, a child may also undergo surgery to remove part of the thyroid gland, reducing the production of thyroxine.
All the treatment processes have their side effects and issues of concern, which call for follow-up visits to ensure the child responds well to the treatment mechanism. Therefore, after successful treatment, the child should visit the healthcare facility for follow-up care to check their growth, hormone levels, and other symptoms (Kaplowitz & Vaidyanathan, 2020). After the initial treatment, a child should be brought for a follow-up visit every 1 to 3 months; however, this duration can be increased to 3 to 6 months, depending on whether their thyroid hormone level is stabilized.
Hyperthyroidism significantly interferes with the life and well-being of the affected child. The problem can result in trouble sleeping, difficulty concentrating, raised blood pressure, and weight loss. Therefore, parents and healthcare providers should identify these issues and provide healthcare management to such children.
Ferrari, S. M., Fallahi, P., Ruffilli, I., Elia, G., Ragusa, F., Benvenga, S., & Antonelli, A. (2019). The association of other autoimmune diseases in patients with Graves’ disease (with or without ophthalmopathy): review of the literature and report of a large series. Autoimmunity reviews, 18(3), 287-292. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.autrev.2018.10.001
Kaplowitz, P. B., & Vaidyanathan, P. (2020). Update on pediatric hyperthyroidism. Current Opinion in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Obesity, 27(1), 70-76. doi: 10.1097/MED.0000000000000521
Wiersinga, W. M. (2019). Graves’ disease: can it be cured? Endocrinology and Metabolism, 34(1), 29-38. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3803/EnM.2019.34.1.29