Friday, June 6, 2014

Hashimotos Disease

One of the preventative measures that is taken for kids and adults with Down syndrome is a yearly blood draw to check a number of things. One of these things that they keep watch over is the thyroid. There is a strong correlation is individuals with Ds and several different thyroid issues and because we want our kids to be healthy (just like their typical peers), we make sure that aspect of their body is functioning properly. We were told after Johnny's one year appointment that his is not functioning right which led to an appointment with an endocrinologist, an ultrasound of his thyroid, more bloodwork, and a follow up which happened this week. 

Through this, Johnny has been diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder called Hashimotos. It's a very common autoimmune/thyroid issue and it has some correlation within the Ds population. There is a lot of complicated factors about this, but essentially, antibodies in Johnny's body don't recognize his thyroid or part of his thyroid as belonging to him and they attack in. Currently, his thyroid is handling it well, but it causes the thyroid to not work as well creating a hypo, low functioning, thyroid. Because his body is maintaining decent hormone and thyroid levels for now, we can stay off medication as long as we keep an eye on him and do regular blood work (twice a year for now). The doctor gave us several signs to look for (extreme weight gain, constipation, lethargy, muscle weakness, dry skin) and took more blood to see how his levels have fluctuated since January. She also asked that we avoid large amounts of soy, specifically straight soy like soy milk, tofu, edamame, and food products made largely from soy. This is fine for us since we don't eat a ton of straight soy, but at some point we may need to keep a closer eye on products containing soy or his diet in general. 

We are grateful that he is doing well considering, and we are glad for easy solutions to make sure he is healthy. There is a large concern for weight gain in the Ds population and I feel that helping control his thyroid and diet will make a large impact on him being a healthier version of himself. He was pooped after his appointment and passed out in the stroller!

No comments: