Our pediatric endocrinologists at The Woman’s Hospital of Texas offer a complete array of diagnostic, treatment and consulting services for infants, children and teens who are experiencing difficulty with hormones and the glands that produce them. Hormonal imbalances can cause serious health problems for children of all ages, from the tiniest infant to a full-grown teen. Our board-certified pediatric endocrinologist leads a team of pediatric professionals to assess your child’s needs, formulating a plan to achieve optimal health for your child. In addition to prompt clinical evaluation, we provide endocrine testing procedures directly on site. We will work with you and your child during all phases of diagnosis and treatment, and help you learn how to effectively manage an endocrine disease or condition with confidence.
Serious Conditions Like Diabetes And Thyroid Disorders Are Treated By The Pediatric Endocrinologist
With a calm demeanor, understanding and a friendly bedside manner, our pediatric endocrinologist and team of health care professionals will provide your child with exceptional care in the following areas:
More than one-third of children and adolescents in the U.S. are overweight or obese. Obesity puts children at risk for developing diabetes, and other serious life-threatening diseases and health problems, for the rest of their lives. With our multidisciplinary medical approach, we will show you and your child how to maintain a healthy weight and overcome the immediate and long-term health effects of obesity.
Now considered an evolving epidemic in the U.S., approximately 208,000 Americans under the age of 20 are estimated to have diagnosed diabetes. There are two types of Diabetes, and we treat both with our inpatient and outpatient medical services.
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is among the most common chronic childhood diseases. Also called juvenile-onset diabetes, it affects about one out of every 400 children under the age of 20. Type 1 diabetes develops when the body’s immune system destroys the cells in the pancreas, rendering it unable to produce insulin in sufficient amounts to properly regulate blood sugar. It is very important that children with type 1 diabetes be diagnosed and treated as early as possible to prevent the devastating effects of this serious disease. Children with type 1 diabetes must receive insulin daily to survive. Although incurable, type 1 diabetes can be successfully managed, allowing patients to live longer, healthier lives.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes in children is a disease affecting more and more children in the U.S. due to the rapid increase in childhood obesity rates. Type 2 diabetes begins when the body develops a resistance to insulin and is no longer able to utilize the insulin properly. As the need for insulin rises, the pancreas gradually loses its ability to produce sufficient amounts of insulin to regulate blood sugar. This type of diabetes is correctable with proper medical treatment, diet and maintaining a healthy weight.
Located at the base of the throat, the thyroid gland regulates many cellular processes in the body. It is important that the thyroid not become underactive (hypothyroidism) or overactive (hyperthyroidism), as either condition can cause a wide array of problems with children’s growth and overall health. A sudden change in a child’s weight and energy level may indicate a problem with the thyroid gland. An enlarged thyroid gland (goiter) can cause coughing as well as swallowing and breathing difficulties.
Calcium, which is stored in the bones, is important for many body functions, including muscle contractions, enzyme function and nerve conduction. Calcium disorders require clinical care by physicians and other health care professionals. Some of the disorders that affect calcium metabolism are: Juvenile Osteoporosis, Hyperparathyroidism, Hypoparathyroidism, Hypercalcemia, Hypocalcemia and Rickets.
Puberty is the natural process of the body maturing from childhood to adulthood. Early puberty, or precocious puberty, is a fairly common condition that occurs when a child’s body begins developing earlier than normal - before age eight for girls, and before age nine for boys. Medical diagnosis is needed to determine the type and cause of early puberty so proper treatment may be administered to the child, and to rule out other serious diseases.
Adrenal glands are located on top of each kidney. They release essential hormones that are very important to the overall functioning of your child’s body. Enlarged adrenal glands (hyperplasia) can lead to disorders that have serious consequences for your child’s health, impacting development, growth, kidney function, and the ability to deal with stress. Common adrenal disorders include Cushing’s Syndrome, Conn Syndrome and Addison’s disease.
The pituitary gland, located at the base of the brain, is responsible for the secretion and regulation of a number of different hormones in the body. Pituitary deficiencies may affect the functioning of a number of other glands including the thyroid and adrenals, and may affect kidney function, sexual development, growth rates, and lactation in females.
Growth Hormone Deficiency
Growth hormone deficiency will cause a child to be shorter in height than other children of the same age. This condition may be present at birth, or develop as a result of injury or a medical condition. A child may not exhibit symptoms of slow growth until after two or three years of age. At that point, they may exhibit a slow or flat growth rate of less than two or three inches per year, and appear younger than their age. A growth hormone deficiency can cause cleft lip or cleft palate.
Short stature, not to be confused with growth failure, may or may not be a medical condition. The most common medical cause of short stature is chronic disease, such as malnutrition. Malnutrition may be the result of poor diet or poverty, but nutritional deficiencies can also be the result of self-restricted diets. Rarely caused by endocrine disorders, short stature is more likely associated with genetic diseases such as Down syndrome or Turner syndrome.