Hypothyroidism in children can be difficult to diagnose. I know because I am the mom of two hypothyroid children. When diagnosed they were 7 and 4 years old.
Neither child was overweight as is the common assumption. Both were thin and when I asked my pediatrician about them he told me that there was no need to worry. But as a mom I knew something was wrong.
When I saw my holistic MD for the first time, one of the first things he told me was that I would need to watch my kids closely for hypothyroid issues. This was because I had thyroid cancer while pregnant with my son and had received 2 rounds of RAI before getting pregnant with my daughter.
I asked how to monitor them and he told me to take their basal temps (temp under the arm before rising). According to Dr. Broda Barnes the temperature should be 97.6 degrees or higher. My children were consistently under this.
When I took them to see my MD my son’s temperatures were 95.7 and my daughters were 96.1. Upon examination, my Dr noted that they both had puffy faces, swollen thyroids and low reflexes. Their labs showed low normal (within the range) TSH and low normal Free T3 and Free T4. My son was low in Iron, Ferritin and Selenium which are key nutrients for thyroid hormone production.
Each child was started on 6.25 mgs of Iodoral, 1/4 grain (15 mg) Armour Thyroid, Vitamin C, Celtic Salt and my son was placed on Selenium, Iron and DHA from Nordic Naturals.
Prior to Armour I noticed that they were both lethargic, complained of being tired with any exercise activity and were cold even when the house was 80 degrees.
They would be under blankets in the summer. They did not want to play outside with their friends. The TV and videos would call to them. I thought it was just a bad habit I had let them get into.
Within a week both children were like different kids. My son had exhibited ADHD like symptoms. He was unable to focus, could not sit in his chair at dinner (was up and down and up and down) and did not participate in class activities. He also was not dry at night. After working his dose up to 1/2 grain all of these issues improved greatly or stopped. He was also less prone to ‘melt downs’. Prior to Armour he would cry for up to 1 hour when something upset him.
My daughter also made significant improvements. She was very intolerant to change. On one particular morning she was attempting to stab a piece of a waffle with her fork. When she could not get it to stay on she burst into tears and proceeded to cry uncontrollably for 15 mins. She was also prone to insomnia being up until 11 pm when we would put her down at 8:30. She is now happy and plays outside – even when it is cold. Her sleeping has improved as well. She now falls asleep easily by 9 pm.
My son (9 years) is currently on 2 grains (120 mgs) of Armour and my daughter (7 yrs) is on 1 1/4 grains (105 mgs) of Armour. They take B12, iodine (12.5 mgs), selenium (100 mcg), vitamin C (500 mgs), probiotics and Vit D3 during the winter months. My son also takes a DMG Product to assist with the MTHFR gene defect that both his father and I have. It is definitely a better “home”. It makes me sad wondering how many children are being placed on ADHD/ADD medication for something that is more than likely hypothyroidism.
When he was in 2nd grade I had a parent teacher conference for my son. His teacher provided a copy of a spelling test he had taken that week, expressing concern over the penmanship and stray marks. He had also missed 6 words and he usually misses 1 or 2. I told her that we believed he needed more Armour due to a growth spurt but wanted to get the lab work done first to have a baseline. The parent / teacher conference was 11/8/07. We increased his dose on 11/11/07. On 11/18/07 I had him retake his spelling test. He got 2 words wrong and his penmanship changed. He even did all lower case words. We did not discuss this prior to taking the test nor did we go over the correct spelling of them. The brain fog has definitely lifted.
**UPDATE 6/20/09 ** My children are both gluten free. They have been since November 2008. After reading the Dangerous Grains book I decided that with their history with thyroid issues it would be best for them. My son’s constipation and stomach pain stopped. My daughter was exposed 6 weeks after it was removed and she became hysterical and agressive. Then 2 days later she broke out in an itchy rash all over her bottom and legs – dermititis herpetiformis. My son was also recently dx’d with an allergy to dairy and eggs so we are in the process of removing both this summer. Both are healthy and active children. They are more vibrant than I see in most children their ages. We are blessed!
** UPDATE 8/24/18 ** My children are back to eating all foods. We try to maintain a good healthy diet with as much organic real food as possible. They are both now teens and it’s harder to control what they eat. My son, who is almost 19 yrs old, will head to college next week. Hopefully he will try to maintain what he has been taught. My daughter is now 16 yrs old and has been doing well too. Both remain on higher doses of Nature-throid, take Vit D3, Vit B12, LugoTabs, and a Multi Vitamin.
** You can go HERE to see his 1st grade report card and the spelling test samples.
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