Thyroid conditions can run in families, so how do you know if your kids or teens might have a thyroid condition? Does it look different for them? If they do have a thyroid condition, how can you as a parent best support them?

This is what Tara Nelson and I are covering in this podcast episode. Tara is a naturopath specialising in thyroid health – she has Hashimoto’s as does her teenage daughter so she is well equipped to teach us all about kids, teenagers and thyroid conditions.

37/1000 children have a thyroid condition and it appears to be on the increase.

The main times kids/teens are diagnosed with a thyroid condition:

1. Congenital thyroid conditions – usually diagnosed at birth.

2. Triggered before puberty eg due to family history, trauma.

3. Triggers at puberty.

Here are some key different presentations/things to look for:

  • Slow growth
  • Behavioural changes eg your child goes from happy to sullen, energetic to lethargic.
  • Social issues with friends
  • Meltdowns
  • Sensory issues
  • Cold all the time eg wearing hoodies in summer and always snuggling under a blanket
  • NOTE some symptoms are similar to presentation of autism spectrum.
  • Changes post viral infections eg Covid19, Epstein Barr Virus etc. Virus- are common triggers.
  • If there is a family history of thyroid conditions or other autoimmune diseases eg coeliac – be on the lookout.
  • Slow reflexes
  • White spots on fingernails (indication of zinc deficiency)
  • Swollen tongue
  • Puffy
  • Goiter – perhaps difficulty swallowing.
  • TG Antibodies are often the first to appear in kids (ie before TPO Antibodies).

Common Triggers:

  • Trauma – a wide range of incidents can be traumatic to kids 
  • Puberty – we discuss how puberty impacts thyroid hormones and how it is often a trigger to developing a thyroid condition.
  • Viral infections.

How to support your child:

  • Educate yourself so you know what to look for
  • Get professional help
  • Keep it simple – pick your battles when it comes to making diet/lifestyle changes but help hem to see the benefits.
  • Make changes as a whole family.
  • Get them extra psychological help if needed.
  • Have regular appts/testing
  • Make sure their nutrients are optimal eg selenium, zinc, B vitamins.

related podcast episodes

If you enjoyed this episode and are looking for similar discussions, check out these episodes:

#41 Going back to basics with Tara Nelson



Meet Tara Nelson

I am a Naturopath with over 25 years of clinical experience and I still absolutely love working with my clients to bring them into their peak state of health. My health journey began after years of an eating disorder and low self-esteem and for the love and desire to feel the best I can be. I aim to bring this to my clients.

My passion as a Naturopath is about educating people about how to eat well and live well, for them to take control of their own health by making the changes of eating better and eliminating lifestyle practices that are not supporting this process. My commitment to you as a patient is 100% and when you commit 100% also, the results are phenomenal. I love to work with people who are ready to make the changes to their health to become a vibrant, healthy you.

My passion is working with clients suffering from a thyroid condition. I have Hashimotos thyroiditis myself as well as my 16-year-old daughter and can relate to the symptoms of the thyroid client. Thyroid problems are increasing at an alarming rate and most of my clientele come from a place of being under diagnosed or diagnosed but are still experiencing severe thyroid symptoms. I work holistically with thyroid patients to bring balance to their thyroid and reversing their disease process. I run an online Thyroid Recovery Program, as well as a 6-week online practitioner thyroid training program and mentor practitioners specifically with their thyroid cases.

I have 3 amazing children, a loving partner and 5 acres in Yallingup WA and absolutely love my life.

Connect with Tara:



If you’re feeling overwhelmed and not too sure where to start/what to do next, why not book in for a strategy session with me?
I’d love to help you.

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Suspect you have a thyroid issue? PLEASE trust your instincts and get it thoroughly checked out with your health practitioner. This thyroid basics page has an overview of what tests to ask for and an affiliate link to use a private lab if your doctor won't order them.

Disclaimer: This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.




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