Thyroid UK
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My Daughter Kara Who is Down Syndrome

for quite a few months she has been loosing hair. We have taken her to three doctors. At last we have a part diagnosis she has Alopecia Areata. The doctors also suspect the thyroid, we have run test and i dont understand everything but it seems the "gland" in the brain is overworking. But now they are also thinking along the lines of Graves. Apparently we have to do blood work to confirm. She is nine years old and her hair has thinned out so badly as well as having a few tiny circles of Alopecia. Is it normal for a child this age to get such a thing as Graves?

6 Replies

Its not really normal for anyone to get graves, or hashimotos. but they can strike at any time in life.

maybe you need to check her ferritin levels? There is a link between low ferritin and hair loss.

Xx g


I have read that Downs leaves people with a tendency for thyroid problems. I have a friend with a Downs grandson. She should have been tested on a regular basis anyway....

If she is Hypo it could be that she is also low in B12 - Ferritin - Folate - VitD - Iron...

Do hope you soon find some answers.... :-)


Thank you so much for your reply appreciate it. Will look into what you say. Have a great day.


Hello Gwendalyn,

Welcome to our forum and sorry to hear of your poor daughters health problems.

The small gland in the brain you refer to is probably the pituitary gland that produces Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (also referred to as TSH) and which tells the thyroid gland to produce and release thyroid hormone.

Graves is an auto immune disease seen in people with HYPERthyroidism. Has your daughter been tested for thyroid antibodies yet?

Measuring TSH levels is equally as important as measuring thyroxine (also known as T4) produced by the thyroid gland as will show any abnormalities.

Below is a link you may find useful

I hope you find answers soon. It must be a very worrying time for you all.



My daughter, who has Down Syndrome, turns 40 in November. She was diagnosed with low thyroid about 25 years ago and has been on Synthroid ever since. Her hair has always been on the thin side and periodically she would develop almost bald spots. This would come and go. Her skin is very dry and I know she would itch her scalp. Lately, though, her hair is thinning quite a bit on the top of her head and she doesn't complain of itching. I believe she is in perimenopause and I also think her Synthroid dosage should be lowered. Her doctor agrees. So, we shall see if this helps.

(She also complains of having trouble sleeping.)


Maryfran, a tip to dry skin is taking vitamin A, I have had dry skin for many years and took Vit A for my eyes and by chance found it cured my dry skin almost within a week and got even better, I was amazed, apparently it is also used for teenagers with acne.

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