Hormones have an essential role to play in a child’s growth and development. The endocrine system is responsible for growth, metabolism, puberty, and so much more. So if a child encounters any issue with their growth and puberty, the most likely culprit is the endocrine system. The endocrine system is a system of glands that produce and release different types of hormones into the body for various functions. It can be challenging to diagnose endocrine issues with children. If you notice any problems with your child’s weight, growth, and other endocrine functions, you may consult a pediatric endocrinologist in NJ. A pediatric endocrinologist is different from a regular endocrinologist. The former focuses on endocrine issues in children and adolescents.
Endocrine system issues:
Here are some of the issues that children and adolescents may encounter that will require medical intervention.
- Adrenal disease
- Thyroid dysfunction
- Early or late onset of puberty
- Growth problems
- Lipid disorders
- Obesity or unexplained weight loss
- Irregular periods
- Breast development in boys
Signs to look out for:
If your child exhibits symptoms that you suspect can be because of their endocrine system, it is crucial that you take them to the doctor right away. The specialist will prescribe treatment plans for the child that can get rid of or manage their health issues. Here are some of the signs you can look out for in your child.
- Fatigue not related to physical activities
- Sudden or unexplained weight gain or loss
- Mood swings
- Slow metabolism
- Excessive thirst
- Fast heart rate
If you see any of these signs in your child, take them to the doctor immediately. Endocrine disorders, when left undiagnosed and untreated, can significantly affect how a child develops.
It is important to know which glands are part of the endocrine system and what their functions are so that you can easily spot any issues in your child.
- Thyroid gland. It is a heart-shaped gland in front of the neck that regulates metabolism, mood, and weight.
- Parathyroid glands. These are four glands in the neck that are responsible for bone development.
- Pituitary gland. The “master gland”, found at the base of the brain also affects the thyroid and can be the culprit for issues with menstruation, bone growth and breast milk production.
- It tells the pituitary gland when to release the hormones.
- Adrenal glands. Two glands that secrete the hormone cortisol.
- Ovaries and testicles. These female and male reproductive organs also secrete sex hormones.
- Pineal gland. It regulates sleep patterns.
- It is a gland found in the upper chest, and it sets up our immune system early on in life.
It can be a little overwhelming learning about the endocrine system and its functions, but the right knowledge will enable you to monitor your child’s development – if they are developing normally or otherwise. Too little or too much of the hormones that the different endocrine glands produce can be a cause for concern. Do not neglect the signs and symptoms.