Endocrinology is a field of medicine that deals with how hormones work and the related diseases. Our bodies are comprised of various organ systems like the nervous system, the digestive system etc. The endocrine system is one such important organ system that regulates the smooth functioning of the human body. This system consists of the various endocrine glands like the pituitary, thyroid, parathyroid, pancreas, adrenal gland and the ovaries (females) and the testes(males).
What are hormones after all?
Hormones are tiny chemicals released from the endocrine glands into the blood to act on a distant target organ.
These chemicals act as messengers, carrying signals from one part of the body to another. The signals delivered ensure the proper functioning of the target organ.
In a normal human being, the hormones are secreted in required quantities so that the body works in perfect harmony. But in certain diseases, there can be an abnormal release, leading to decrease or increase in the hormonal levels, resulting in symptoms that need you to see the endocrinologist.
How is Pediatric Endocrinology different?
As a pediatric endocrinologist, I deal with the hormonal abnormalities faced by the children and the adolescents (age group between 10 to 19 years).
Though the endocrine system in children is largely similar to that of the adults, there are differences in the roles certain hormones play during the different stages of life.
Childhood is marked by the unique characteristics of growth and development. Also, adolescence is the time of life where physical, emotional and psychological changes take place that determine the sexuality of an individual. This change in the size and shape of a child that takes place during the first 2 decades of life are largely influenced by the various hormones of the endocrine system.
Since childhood is a dynamic phase of life, the diseases seen in children are different and treated in a different way than the adults.
Who is a pediatric endocrinologist?
A pediatric endocrinologist is a doctor who is trained and holds expertise in diagnosing and treating the diseases of the endocrine system that develop during childhood and adolescence. Pediatric endocrinology is an emerging branch in India and there are various specialised pediatric endocrinologists providing care.
Which child requires to see a pediatric endocrinologist?
A pediatric endocrinologist cares for the diseases affecting the glands listed above. You may seek the expert for advice, on your own or when referred by your general paediatrician.
The common ailments that need the evaluation of a pediatric endocrinologist include
- diabetes in children
- short stature(when you feel your child is not growing normally for his/her age)
- overweight and obesity
- thyroid disorders like goitre, hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism
- pubertal disorders (early or delay in the onset of puberty)
- abnormalities of genital organs
- bone disorders like rickets, brittle bones
- menstrual abnormalities in adolescent girls etc.
What awaits you on this site?
In the current era, where details about diseases are available at the click of a button, it is easy to fall prey to false information. Through my posts, I will reach out and enlighten you with the required and the right facts, about various ailments. I will share personal experiences, educate and motivate the kids and their parents living with certain conditions.
My next post about diabetes in children will be coming up soon. Be here to learn more.
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