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Everything you need to know about Pediatric Endocrinology

Welcome to Pediatric Endocrinology or, in other words, the immensely interesting and the very important world of hormones in children!

What is Pediatric Endocrinology?

Children are not just small adults. As growing individuals, they have special needs related to growth and development. Hormones are chemicals produced by glands in our body that affect many other parts of the body. These are responsible for many important functions of the body like growth, development, puberty, metabolism, blood sugar, healthy bones amongst many others.

A child’s body is in a constant process of growing and developing. Psychological needs of children are different from adults. How children understand facts is unique. Hence, it is important that they are handled like children. The spectrum of hormonal disorders in children is unique. Our pediatric endocrinologists have extensive training in recognising and managing hormonal problems in newborn babies, children and young teenage adolescents. When would you need to see a Pediatric Endocrinologist? These conditions include the following: Height: Growth problems, such as short stature or excessive tall stature Weight: Obesity or not gaining weight Puberty: Early or delayed puberty Sugar: High blood sugar (Diabetes: type 1 diabetes and other kinds of diabetes) or low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) Thyroid: (Enlarged thyroid gland in the neck, underactive or overactive thyroid) Pituitary gland malfunctions Pituitary hormonal problems associated with brain tumors and neurosurgery Adrenal gland hypo-/hyper- function Ambiguous genitals/intersex Ovarian and testicular dysfunction Calcium, Vitamin D and Parathyroid gland problems: Rickets, hypocalcemia, hypercalcemia Bones: Recurrent fractures of bones, weak bones, osteopetrosis Cancers of endocrine glands Why should you look for help on time, if you suspect any problem in your child? The growth and development of children occurs only during a fixed age. A large majority of the above hormonal problems when diagnosed on time can be managed with appropriate therapy. The later we start therapy, the more the damage is done. With delayed diagnosis, we lose valuable time for growth, development and maturity. This also increases the worry and low self-esteem of a child. Hence it is very important to have an evaluation if we think ‘something is not right with my child’.

Dr. Priyambada Leena

Consultant - Pediatric Diabetes and Endocrinology

Rainbow Children's Hospital, Banjara Hills