Three Common Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders Among American Children

child's health

child's healthThe human endocrine system regulates and influences numerous bodily functions through the production of specific hormones and feedback systems involving multiple organs. The endocrine system is composed of the following glands: the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, thyroid and parathyroid glands, adrenal glands, pineal body, pancreas, and the ovaries and testes (reproductive glands).

Children can suffer from endocrine and metabolic disorders as much as adults can. What are the most common?

Hypothyroidism

One of the most prevalent endocrine diseases of early childhood is hypothyroidism. Thyroid hormones mediate numerous metabolic and biological processes including brain development. Children diagnosed with hypothyroidism have low levels of thyroid hormones in the blood. They have a slow heart rate, are usually overweight, and may reach puberty at a later age than typically developing children.
Hypothyroidism is associated with mental retardation and developmental delay. Fortunately, thyroid management services in Provo help parents manage the disease and prevent additional complications.

Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus

Diabetes mellitus is a disease of the pancreas, a gland found in the abdominal area. Juvenile diabetes or type 1 diabetes usually runs in families. The condition compromises the way the body utilizes sugars from food for energy consumption. Because the autoimmune response destroys pancreatic cells, the pancreas does not produce insulin adequately. Children with diabetes need to be raised in a lifestyle that takes into dietary requirements into consideration and possibly regular insulin intake during the course of the day.

Adrenal Insufficiency

Problems with the adrenal gland usually result in the production of small amounts of aldosterone and cortisol into the bloodstream. When corticosteroid production is compromised, a child may manifest symptoms like stomach problems, skin changes, nausea, and dehydration. Weakness and fatigue are key signs of adrenal insufficiency as well.

A pediatric endocrinologist is a specialist in metabolic and endocrine disorders in children. They can provide parents with expert advice on how to manage hormonal disorders and other diseases affecting the endocrine system in childhood.