Family-Centered Care for Endocrine Conditions
The pediatric endocrinologists at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s are experts in diagnosing and treating children who are experiencing endocrine issues. The endocrine system is made up of the glands that produce hormones–chemicals released by a cell or a gland in one part of the body that send messages that affect cells in other parts of the body.
The endocrine system regulates almost everything that happens in the body, controlling growth, puberty, processing food and water and maintaining the proper levels of blood sugar. Basically, the endocrine system is the body’s central computer, monitoring systems and issuing orders to ensure everything runs correctly and smoothly.
Endocrine Disorders We Treat
When the endocrine system malfunctions, problems arise. This is where UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s endocrinology specialists team steps in, offering comprehensive and collaborative treatment for a variety of disorders, including:
- Type 1 Diabetes: This is one of several types of diabetes that affect the way the body uses food to make glucose, which is your body’s main source of fuel. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that damages the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. People with Type 1 diabetes must take insulin every day to live.
- Type 2 Diabetes: Type 2 diabetes happens when the body cannot produce enough insulin or is not able to use it properly. It is often linked to obesity and may be controlled with diet, exercise and weight loss. In some cases, oral medicines or insulin injections are necessary.
- Childhood Obesity: Based on a child’s growth chart and body mass index, a pediatrician may determine if a child is carrying excess weight. If the problem is not addressed, it could lead to several health problems, including diabetes, heart issues and an increased likelihood of some cancers. Diet, exercise and sometimes medications can help children get their weight under control and also maintain it to live a happy, healthy life.
- Growth Issues: Although there are many possible causes for growth disorders in children, some are tied to hormonal imbalances. If you or your child’s pediatrician suspects a hormone-related growth problem, we can determine whether there are adrenal gland disorders, thyroid problems, pituitary gland disorders or other conditions that can be treated efficiently for hormonal balance.
- Other Endocrine Disorders: At UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s, we address the common endocrine issues as well as the rare and more complex. Any time you or your pediatrician suspect a problem with your child’s hormonal and metabolic systems, we can work with you to get to the bottom of the issue.
Offering Coordinated, Interdisciplinary Care for Endocrine System Issues
Whether a child has diabetes, growth issues or a rare condition involving hormonal imbalances, UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s pediatric endocrinology team has the broad experience and expertise to help you and your child get to the root of the problem. Our diverse care team works together to provide a highly coordinated, multidisciplinary plan that includes families as an essential part of the team, every step of the way.
In addition to constantly evaluating and tweaking therapies to achieve the best outcomes for your child, we also work with you and your entire family to show you how to effectively manage the disease. We walk you through how to monitor your child’s health, administer medication, spot problems and know when to reach out for additional help or guidance. Our 24/7/365 access ensures we are there for you whenever you need us.
Recognizing the Differences Between Young Children and Teens
Many of the diseases we treat look different for teenagers than younger children, so we take a slightly different approach with older patients. For example, a patient’s blood sugar can have wider swings during teenage years for a variety of reasons, including hormonal changes or less parental involvement in monitoring and medicating. We partner with you and your teen to develop practical strategies for controlling their endocrine disorder.
Adolescence is an emotionally-charged time and dealing with equipment and medication to treat diabetes can be frustrating or lead to anxiety and depression in some cases. Our specialty psychologists can work with our adolescent and teen diabetic patients to help them navigate this difficult time. In addition, we offer group sessions where teenagers with diabetes gather together to receive education, network and bond as a group.