Children’s bodies are under the control of their hormones to a large extent, and hormones are a critical part of the endocrine system. Newport Children’s Medical Group, in Newport Beach, Irvine, Costa Mesa, and Laguna Beach, California, provides specialist pediatric endocrinology services that can diagnose any hormone imbalances your child has and find the most effective treatments. Call Newport Children’s Medical Group today to find out more.
Pediatric Endocrinology Q & A
What is pediatric endocrinology?
Pediatric endocrinology is a medical specialty that focuses on the endocrine system. This system consists of glands and organs around your body that produce hormones.
Hormones are chemicals made in the glands that travel through your blood to organs and tissues, where they deliver various messages. The messages give your organs instructions that control vital bodily functions like:
- Heart rate
- Blood pressure
- Appetite metabolism
- Thyroid disorders
- Enlarged goiter
- Pediatric weight control
- Calcium and vitamin disorder
- Menstrual disorder
- Growth and development
- Sexual function
- Sleeping and waking cycles
- Body temperature
Endocrinology concerns both the glands and organs that make hormones and the effects hormones have on your child’s body.
What conditions fall under pediatric endocrinology?
There are numerous conditions that relate to the glands and hormones. Two of the most common are:
Hypothyroidism is a condition where your child isn’t making enough thyroid hormone. The thyroid gland is in your child’s neck. It produces hormones that regulate metabolism and other key functions. Symptoms of hypothyroidism include:
- Hair loss
- Weight gain
- Lack of growth
- Feeling cold
- Dry skin
Children can be born with hypothyroidism (congenital), or it can develop as they get older (acquired).
There are two kinds of diabetes. Type 1 is an autoimmune disorder in which your child’s immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys the glands in the pancreas that make insulin. Your body needs insulin to control blood sugar.
Type 2 diabetes develops when the body isn’t making enough insulin or can’t use what it’s producing. This usually happens when people are overweight or obese, and until recently, diabetes was almost exclusively a problem affecting older adults.
However, with the increase in obesity rates among children, type 2 diabetes is becoming more of a problem.
Other pediatric endocrinology conditions your child might have include:
- Adrenal insufficiency
- Congenital adrenal hyperplasia
- Delayed puberty
- Klinefelter syndrome
- Precocious puberty
- Premature thelarche
- Premature adrenarche
- Pubertal gynecomastia
Newport Children’s Medical Group specializes in diagnosing and treating pediatric endocrinology disorders.
How are endocrinology disorders treated in children?
Treatment for pediatric endocrinology disorders aims to rebalance or replace the hormones to reduce or resolve your child’s symptoms. In the case of hypothyroidism, treatment typically involves your child taking a synthetic thyroid hormone pill called levothyroxine every day.
Type 1 diabetes requires daily insulin therapy for life. Type 2 diabetes is manageable and even reversible in some cases if your child loses weight and leads a healthy, active lifestyle.
Wherever possible, a pediatric endocrinologist uses treatments that restore a natural balance to your child’s body. Sometimes the effects of hormone imbalance can cause irreversible problems that might require other medical interventions or surgery.
Find out more about pediatric endocrinology by calling Newport Children’s Medical Group today.