Thyroid Nation

Teenagers, if you think you see early signs of thyroid problems, do not hesitate to inform your parents and see a doctor. Catching these illnesses early certainly makes overcoming them easier.

Thyroid problems affect nearly 60 million Americans, and its prevalence increases with age. Early signs of thyroid problems are thus not that common in teens, and other characteristics of puberty are possibly confused with thyroid problem symptoms. If you observe potential signs of a thyroid problem in yourself or a teen you know, take a trip to the doctor.

Teenagers: thyroid problems are more common with boys than girls, according to the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital.

The Good News

Thyroid problems are particularly damaging if you are a teen because the thyroid plays a significant role in growth and other changes teens undergo during puberty. An under- or overactive thyroid that goes undiagnosed has the potential to inhibit your healthy growth. So if you notice potential signs of thyroid problems now, such as increased sensitivity to cold, pale, dry skin, unexpected weight gain and a visually enlarged thyroid, you are lucky because you are able to catch and start treating the problem early. Addressing the hormonal imbalances that result from thyroid problems lets you prevent development problems and protect a healthier future.

Early diagnosis also reduces emotional hardship. Thyroid problems impact body weight, moods and mental focus. If you are experiencing weight fluctuations and moodiness as a teen, it makes life much more difficult. If your problems lead you to visit a doctor and get diagnosed, you have a chance to figure out why you are having these problems and begin to treat them. Knowing what is causing your symptoms, realizing that it is not your fault and then being able to treat the problem all help to re-establish some normality in your life.

Irregular periods are also an early sign of thyroid problems in teenagers.

The Bad News (for teenagers)

The downside of seeing early signs of thyroid problems is that you are at a higher risk for adverse effects resulting from your thyroid. An adult with thyroid issues only has to worry about typical symptoms, but you possibly also have physical growth problems and face hormonal imbalances for the rest of your life. The potential for adverse long-term effects makes getting diagnosis and treatment of thyroid problems especially important for you.

Many signs of thyroid problems are not dissimilar to common changes you experience as a teen even without a thyroid problem. Sleep interruption, depression, sleeping a great deal, weight fluctuations, irregular menstrual cycles, muscle and tendon aches, shortened attention span and headaches are all symptoms of thyroid problems that you also sometimes experience as a result of puberty itself. This makes recognizing your thyroid problem signs for what they are as opposed to normal growing pains difficult.

**This article originally featured at Anwers.com**

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