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Thyroid problems: medicines in many cases, unnecessary

Thyroid function in children and young people – medication, often unnecessarily

A sub-function of the thyroid gland occurs usually in advanced age, but they can also occur already at a very young age and the development of children and young people immensely affect. However, no drugs for the treatment are necessary in many cases.

Women are affected more often than men

According to the professional Association of German internists (BDI) suffer at least two per cent of all women, but only around 0.1 to 0.2 per cent of the men an underactive thyroid. This is according to the experts, mostly between the age of 40. and 60. The age of discovered. The incidence rate increases with age. However, a sub-function of the thyroid gland can also be congenital, and the development of children and young people immensely affect – finally, the small body is an important hormone producer. Nevertheless, it is often not necessary, drugs for treatment use.

Hypothyroidism can affect the development of children and young people is immense. But not in all cases, drugs for treatment are needed. (Image: Orawan/

Non-Specific Symptoms

Fatigue, listlessness, or being Overweight – it is very non-specific, also in a different context is by no means rare symptoms of a thyroid function in children and adolescents is felt, explained the German Diabetes society (DDG) in a message.

Therefore, Doctors are often prompted to check the thyroid values of their young patients.

“Out of concern for the development of the children, these Tests are justified,” says Professor Dr. med. Heiko Krude, Director of the Institute for Experimental pediatric endocrinology at the Charité–Universitätsmedizin Berlin.

Finally, a thyroid gland is function for children and young people is a serious danger: If the hormonal disorder occurs in childhood, can retard the mental and linguistic development, as well as the physical growth.

In the case of a disease in the teenage age – related memory and concentration problems often develop.

Blood analysis can provide information

A deficiency of thyroid hormones can be detected via a blood analysis, however, early on, and by the gift of the development of the relevant hormone LT4 be compensated.

Therefore, it is at first glance encouraging that children and young people are always studied, it’s more eye-catching thyroid values.

The testing result but also increasingly, that children receive the hormones incorrectly – for example, because the function of your thyroid gland is only temporarily impaired, or only slightly.

The body tries to counteract

As the most important blood value to determine a thyroid function is the TSH value. TSH stands for Thyroid-stimulating hormone, or Thyrotropin.

“This hormone stimulates the thyroid gland, the formation of LT4 and LT3,” explains Professor Matthias M. Weber, spokesman of the German society for endocrinology (DGE).

Only when the thyroid gland produces these important hormones in sufficient quantity, will be throttled, the TSH production via a feedback mechanism.

The thyroid gland is working but not correctly and produces too little of LT4 and LT3, the attempts of the body, an increased TSH production to counteract.


Nevertheless, any increased TSH points to a value of true thyroid function. The TSH acts on the thyroid gland, with the aim to stimulate the formation of T4 and T3.

Often, the actually disease-relevant values for LT4 and LT3 are often in the reference range, despite a conspicuous TSH. Hormone treatment is unnecessary.

“Nevertheless, it is usually initiated solely on the basis of the elevated TSH-value treatment with LT4”, criticized for Crude.

According to the experts, this is for the young patients harmful in many ways. For one, you would have to schedule the daily intake of tablets in the course of your day, for the second health awareness of young people will be disturbed.

In an already difficult Phase of self-perception you felt as sick, although there is no reason for this. Not least the risk, due to the hormone a sign of the gifts to bring about glands overactive.

Therefore, Crude advocates a slightly elevated TSH value after three months, a significantly higher worth after six weeks again to check, initially without treatment.

If the values do not rise in this period of time, recommends the experienced paediatrician, only a further control.

“Large studies show, however, that the TSH value is in the meantime mostly spontaneously in the reference area,” says the expert. (ad)