Early diagnosis of endocrine disorders, which cause many diseases, some very serious and some easily overcome, is very important, especially for children.
What are pediatric endocrine diseases, what are their symptoms and treatment methods, we have explained them all in this article.
What does endocrine mean?
Endocrine means hormone. They act in sync with the organs in order for people to grow, develop and lead a healthy life. Hormones are secreted from different parts of the body for different properties. However, some problems in this functioning are caused by endocrine diseases.
Endocrinology can also be called the science of hormones. Pediatric endocrinologists examine hormonal disorders and subsequent diseases in children until the end of adolescence.
Rickets; It is the name given to bone disease that occurs with a lack of vitamin D, which helps the development of bones. At the same time, calcium and phosphorus deficiency are also effective on rickets.
This disease, which is seen in children, causes softening of the bones and skeletal disorders.
- Deformity in the legs, appearance in the form of braces,
- Late closure of fontanelle,
- Delayed eruption of teeth
- Delay in the development of motor skills such as walking and sitting ,
- skull disorders,
- Small round protrusions on the front of the rib cage,
- short stature,
- Enlargement of the wrists and ankles,
- Excessive sweating is the most common symptom in children with rickets.
Treatment of this disease is carried out after the diagnosis of an endocrinologist. Treatment is based on correcting vitamin D and calcium deficiency. Vitamins and minerals are provided to the body with various drugs and nutritional supplements.
For both the treatment and prevention of rickets, you should ensure that your child benefits from the sun in the open air. You also need to help him get enough of the foods that contain vitamin D. Apart from these, you should pay attention to the regular use of the supplements recommended by your doctor.
The most important indicator of a healthy child is his progress in a process suitable for his normal development. A normally developing child grows rapidly in the first year, then his development slows down a bit. Around the age of 2-3, the growth rate increases a little more and progresses stable until the age of 10. After this process, the development accelerates a little more.
The most important factor affecting growth in children; -apart from nutrition and heredity-hormones. In particular, irregular or incorrect secretion of hormones such as pituitary (growth hormone), thyroid, testosterone, estrogen, androgen causes growth retardation in children.
What are the symptoms of growth retardation?
- short stature,
- Disproportionate weight distribution,
- retardation in motor skills,
- Symptoms such as delayed speech are common in growth and developmental retardation.
After the treatment of the endocrinologist, the cause of the child’s growth retardation, and the hormone deficiency, growth hormone supplement is given. The younger the child, the more effective the treatment. Therefore, if you experience symptoms like the above, you should definitely consult a doctor.
Diabetes or diabetes is caused by a deficiency or a disorder in the insulin hormone produced by the pancreas. Although it is thought to be an adult disease, it can also be seen in school-age children. In addition, if early diagnosis is not made, they may experience eye, kidney and heart diseases.
- Noticeably frequent urination (especially at night)
- drinking too much water,
- Weight loss despite increased appetite
- abdominal pain ,
- genital yeast infection in girls,
- slight fire,
- When you see symptoms such as diaper rash , you can take your child to a hospital endocrine department for suspected diabetes.
Diabetes is not a completely curable disease. Unfortunately, once it emerges, it continues to show its effects for a lifetime. However, when attention is paid to nutrition and lifestyle, the symptoms are seriously alleviated.
Diabetes treatment is divided into two as Type 1 and Type 2. In the treatment of type 1 diabetes, insulin injections are used regularly in accordance with the doctor’s recommendation and a serious diet is applied. In type 2 diabetes, it is possible to be a little more liberal. The problem is regressed with dietary regulation and drugs that reduce insulin resistance.
Obesity; Being overweight is the situation where the energy taken and the energy burned are not proportional to each other. Of course, unhealthy diet also affects this situation, but in some cases it is also related to hormonal disorders.
Apart from these situations, hereditary characteristics and environmental factors also affect obesity.
Obesity in children, if not intervened in a timely manner;
- reproductive dysfunction,
- Cardiovascular diseases may occur.
The main method in the treatment of obesity is to decrease the amount of energy taken and increase the amount of energy burned. In other words, the way of nutrition is regulated and the physical activities of the child are increased. This happens with programs specially prepared for each child.
There are medications and surgical interventions in the treatment of obesity, but these methods are not used for people in childhood.
Thyroid hormone secreted by the thyroid gland, in children;
- Adjusting body metabolism,
- It is effective on brain development at a young age .
The most common thyroid diseases are;
- It is goiter.
These thyroid diseases are usually caused by under or over secretion of thyroid hormone. The main cause is iodine deficiency.
- Weight loss or gain
- Diarrhea ,
- Conditions such as hair loss may indicate thyroid diseases.
late and early adolescence
Precocious puberty occurs especially in girls. In girls, breast enlargement, rapid height growth and menstruation before the age of 8 may suggest early puberty. The cause of this problem is mostly related to the excessive secretion of the estrogen hormone.
In boys, this may occur due to pathological problems in the nervous system. It usually occurs with penile enlargement, rapid stature, deepening of the voice and irritability.
These children are much taller than their peers, but they cannot grow taller in the future.
In late precocity, there are problems such as short stature, failure of breasts or testicles to develop on time in children with normal development.
Hormone therapy is used in both of these problems. Children are brought to the same physical characteristics as their peers by injections at specified doses at regular intervals. Treatment is terminated when the expected improvement is achieved.
sexual development disorders
- Presence of endocrine disrupting factors,
- Irregular functioning of hormones,
- hormone resistance,
- Disruption of the hormonal regulation of the drugs used by the mother during pregnancy,
- Conditions such as consanguineous marriage may affect sexual development characteristics in boys and girls.
- Small and distinctive penis (micropenis): The penis is smaller than 2 cm in a newborn baby.
- Undescended testis: Absence of one or both testicles in the bag.
- Cliteromegaly: The clitoris is longer than 1 cm and resembles a penis in a newborn baby girl.
- Joining the outer lips : Conjoining the vaginal lips.
It is important to diagnose and treat these problems early, because they may cause doubts about the gender of the child and psychological problems in the future. When you go to a specialist with these symptoms, the treatment method is decided after various tests such as blood, laparoscopy and ultrasound. The family and experts come together and decide in which gender the child will be raised, and surgical intervention is performed.
Turner Syndrome occurs only in girls. The characteristic of this disease is the absence of height and sexual development. The sex of the born child is female, but there is no breast development and fertility feature.
The cause of this disease is the very rare secretion of estrogen, the sex hormone in women. As such, sex does not develop and there is no egg formation. Absence of menstruation is also one of the results.
- Thick and short neck
- swollen hands and feet,
- slow growth,
- inability to have children,
- eye structure disorder,
- Thickening of the skin in some areas,
- Jaw disorders.
Hormone therapy is applied to eliminate both growth and sex problems. Menstrual bleeding, breast development and fertility begin with this treatment method, which is especially dominated by estrogen hormone. This treatment continues until the menopause period.
Adrenal gland diseases
Enzymes in the adrenal glands affect sex hormones such as cortisol, aldosterone, testosterone and estrogen secreted from there. A minor defect in these enzymes causes these hormones to stop functioning. As a result, problems such as congenital adrenal hyperplasia and adrenal insufficiency occur.
While congenital adrenal hyperplasia causes the sex problems mentioned above, adrenal insufficiency occurs with different symptoms.
- not gaining weight,
- low blood sugar,
- salt loss,
- Stomach ache,
- Water loss occurs in adrenal insufficiency.
This problem, which is usually seen in adolescent girls, is mostly caused by a hormonal disorder.
This condition, which is also hereditary, occurs with hormone imbalances in the adrenal glands or excessive secretion of sex hormones. It is a problem that especially disturbs children psychologically.
Usually, the excessive secretion of the hormone that causes this condition is stopped with various drugs. Then, cosmetic methods such as laser hair removal are applied.