About Pediatric Endocrinology
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What is pediatric endocrinology?
This is a subspecialty of medicine that deals with disorders of the endocrine glands such as diabetes and variations in the physical and sexual growth and development in children. The subspecialty deals with the diagnosis, treatment and management of diseases and disorders of growth, puberty, glucose metabolism, sex differentiation, the pituitary/hypothalamus, bone metabolism, mineral metabolism, the thyroid, the adrenal and the gonads.Who is a pediatric endocrinologist?
This is a medical doctor who has specialized in the field of endocrinology and further into pediatrics. Pediatric endocrinologists treat the patients from infancy to late adolescence. They treat problems, diseases, and disorders related to the hormones and glands producing them.
Hormones are chemical messengers in the body, which are created in the endocrine glands. They control major body functions such as hunger, reproduction, and moods.
The most common disease treated by a pediatric endocrinologist is type 1 diabetes. Other common problems treated are related to growth disorders especially those treated with growth hormone treatment. Pediatric endocrinologists are also the primary doctors in treating children with intersex disorders. They also treat hypoglycemia, puberty variations and another thyroid, adrenal and pituitary problems. Most pediatric endocrinologists have special skills in lipid metabolism, bone metabolism, inborn errors of metabolism or adolescent gynecology.Training
In addition to a medical degree that usually takes 4 years, pediatric endocrinologists have completed a pediatric residency program of 3 years and a fellowship of 3 years in pediatric endocrinology. The fellowship and specialty are academically based and heavily research oriented.Why see a pediatric endocrinologist?
Pediatric endocrinologists heave special skills and the training on how to interact with children to make them feel more comfortable. They understand that children’s psychological needs are different from adult’s and therefore they require special care. Hormonal problems affecting children can have significant effects ion the child’s growth and sexual development as well as their emotional well-being.
Pediatric endocrinologists decorate their offices in a manner that makes a child feel comfortable and relaxed. They also employ professional who are attuned to children’s needs such as nurses, pediatric diabetes educators, psychologists, and nutritionists.
They work together with the primary care physicians to provide detailed and comprehensive care to your child.Conditions treated
Pediatric endocrinologists use their special skills to diagnose, treat, and manage diseases and disorders affecting the hormones. Pediatric endocrinology treatments include:
Endocrine disorders can have a range of symptoms. Depending on the reason for referral evaluation includes:
- Early puberty
- Delayed puberty
- Growth problems such as short stature
- Enlarged thyroid also known as goiter
- Underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism)
- Overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism)
- Ambiguous genitals
- Ovarian dysfunction
- Testicular dysfunction
- Pituitary gland hypo/hyperfunction
- Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
- Adrenal gland hypo/hyperfunction
- Growth hormone deficiency
- Diabetes insipid us
- Diabetes mellitus
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
- Thyroid nodules
- Turner syndrome
- Klinefelter syndrome
- Precocious puberty
- Problems with Vitamin D such as rickets and hypocalcaemia
- Measurement of weight, blood pressure, pulse and height
- Assessment of the child’s medical history
- Assessment of your family’s medical history
- Physical examination
- Blood tests
- Bone age assessment
- Nutritional assessment
- Stimulation and suppression tests
- Imaging tests such as x-rays or MRI
Common treatment procedures include:
- Nutritional counseling
- Drug therapy
- Insulin pump therapy
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