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Collaborative, Team-Based Care for Hyperthyroidism in Children

Hyperthyroidism is a multi-faceted, complex condition that is best treated when specialists combine expertise and work together around a common goal. At University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s, we are enhancing care for various thyroid problems by bringing specialties together through an innovative, collaborative approach to treatment.

Our board-certified and fellowship-trained pediatric endocrinologists work closely with radiologists and surgeons to ensure the best experience for our patients. Combined with the multidisciplinary pediatric endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism team, patients have access to the most comprehensive hyperthyroidism treatment available. Our physicians, nurses, dieticians, social workers and other pediatric specialists design individual care plans based on the latest research and best practices. Equally important, we educate and walk alongside patients and families every step of the way to ensure the highest level of success of treatment for hyperthyroidism.

Understanding Pediatric Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism results from an overly active thyroid gland. Located in the neck, this tiny gland holds great power over a person’s metabolism and can result in many complications if not addressed effectively including:

  • Thyroid crisis, when symptoms get worse because of stress or illness
  • Heart problems, such as an abnormal rhythm or heart failure
  • Weak, brittle bones (osteoporosis)
  • Pregnancy problems, such as miscarriage, early delivery and preeclampsia or high blood pressure

Hyperthyroidism is most commonly associated with the autoimmune disorder Graves disease, a condition most often found in middle-aged or younger women. It is also caused by toxic nodular goiter, an unexplainable condition where one or more lumps of the thyroid gland become too active, and thyroiditis, a temporary irritation of the thyroid occurs. Other triggers of hyperthyroidism may include intake of too much medication for an underactive thyroid, too much iodine intake, benign tumors that originate in the pituitary gland and pregnancy.

Expert Hyperthyroidism Treatment Planning Leads to Better Experiences

Patients and families can expect the best service and patient experience when they work with the multidisciplinary team at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s. We’ll make every effort to help your child see multiple endocrinology specialists and complete needed tests all in the same day to improve convenience for you and your family and minimize emotional trauma for your child. Some of the hyperthyroidism tests that our physicians may order include a blood sample analysis, a thyroid ultrasound or a thyroid scan.

Once initial exams and test are complete and a hyperthyroidism diagnosis has been made, our team of hyperthyroidism doctors works to develop an individualized treatment plan that will stabilize the thyroid gland for optimal health. Many considerations come into play including a patient’s age and ability to handle certain medications, as well as the stage and seriousness of the illness. Plans for how to treat hyperthyroidism may include several therapies including:

  • Medication to help lower the level of thyroid hormones in the blood
  • Radioactive iodine therapy, provided in the form of a pill or liquid, to help slow down production of thyroid hormones
  • Surgery if it is determined that a portion or all the thyroid should be removed
  • Beta-blockers to block the action of the thyroid hormone on the body and help with rapid heart rate and palpitations

Improving Hyperthyroidism Outcomes One Patient at a Time

Patients and families are surrounded by an encouraging, understanding support system at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s who are available 24/7 when needs arise. Our multiple locations across northeast Ohio provide convenience for patients and families to access treatment and better engage with providers. We are committed to partnering with you in a collaborative way to ensure the right treatment that leads to successful long-term outcomes.