What Types of Treatment Do Pediatric Endocrinologists Provide?
By disease, the most common disease of the specialty is type 1 diabetes, which usually accounts for at least 50% of a typical clinical practice. The next most common problem is growth disorders, especially those amenable to growth hormone treatment.Pediatric endocrinologists diagnose, treat, and manage hormonal disorders including the following:
- Growth problems, such as short stature
- Early or delayed puberty
- Enlarged thyroid gland (goiter)
- Underactive or overactive thyroid gland
- Pituitary gland hypo/hyper function
- Adrenal gland hypo/hyper function
- Ambiguous genitals/intersex
- Ovarian and testicular dysfunction
- Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
- Problems with Vitamin D (rickets, hypocalcemia)
If your child has problems with growth, puberty, diabetes, or other disorders related to the hormones and the glands that produce them, a pediatric endocrinologist may treat your child.
Hormones are chemicals that affect how other parts of the body work. For example, hormones decide how a child grows and matures. Endocrine glands, such as the pituitary gland, release hormones into the bloodstream. Endocrinology is the science that studies these glands and the effects of the hormones.
Problems seen by pediatric endocrinologists are often quite different from those commonly seen by endocrinologists who care for adults. Special training in pediatric conditions as they relate to growth and development is important. Hormonal problems are often present for life. Pediatric endocrinologists deal with hormone disorders at all stages of childhood and the teen years. Our pediatric specialists work closely with hospitals and referring physicians to assure the best care.
New Approaches to Obesity
A new concept is emerging that obesity represents a defect in appetite regulation by hormones the body makes, which are supposed to turn off eating, when a person has taken a meal. By this theory, the control of the appetite center is physiologically defective, and the obesity represents a physical problem, rather than a defect in personal discipline. New information suggests that the hormonal signals are different for men versus women. When a woman goes into menopause, the usual signals that turn off her appetite lose their effectiveness, unless she takes estrogen replacement.
At long last, new, and physiologically rational drugs are starting to come out to help with obesity. The prospect of these drugs is associated with a new concept of obesity and possible therapies. For the most part, lay people and health professionals alike have considered obesity a defect of personal discipline and control. By this view, the heavy person becomes obese, because he or she does not exert proper personal control over food selection and exercise. However, a new concept is emerging. This says that obesity represents a defect in appetite regulation by hormones the body makes, which are supposed to turn off eating, when a person has taken a meal. By this theory, the control of the appetite center is physiologically defective, and the obesity represents a physical problem, rather than a defect in personal discipline.
There is a growing body of information about hormones, which regulate the appetite. This base of information suggests that various hormones are secreted with eating. In normal or thin subjects, the amount of hormones produced is directly related to the amount of food ingested. These hormones are supposed to suppress the appetite. Thus, the more food eaten, the more hormones released, and the more the appetite is decreased.
A number of hormones have been identified, which may act in this system. The group includes a gut hormone, called GLP1, a hormone from the pancreas called amylin, and a hormone made by fat cells, known as leptin. All three hormones reduce the appetite in various experimental models, in both humans and animals.
Heavy people may have defects in the secretion or action of these hormones. The secretion of GLP1 and amylin may be inadequate. Leptin secretion is actually increased in heavy people; however, its ability to penetrate the brain and affect the appetite center may be decreased.
New approaches to treatment of obesity with existing drugs and new drug development both offer optimism about more successful treatment of obesity in the future. There may be less negative judgment about patients in this area of therapy.
Get Fit Program
Our new Get Fit Program
The GETFIT Program is based on two advanced concepts of evaluation and treatment of clinically significant obesity:
First, that obesity is a result of a combination of environmental and hormonal factors. Obesity is not a condition, which occurs because of poor lifestyle by itself. It appears that there are significant disruptions in a complex set of hormonal and metabolic factors, which predispose the patient to increased appetite and alteration in metabolic rates.
Second, that the evaluation of lifestyle issues in obesity should not be limited to assessment of food patterns alone, but should include a comprehensive assessment of diet.activity, psychological characteristics, family dynamic, cultural, and social characteristics,