Melbourne Paediatric Specialists

 

Paediatric Endocrinology

Management of conditions where hormones are involved

What is Endocrinology?

Endocrinology encompasses the management of conditions where hormones are involved.

Hormones are substances made in one part of the body which then have an action somewhere else. For example, the pancreas makes insulin, which travels around in the blood to act at target tissues such as muscle, to allow glucose (sugar) to be taken up into cells.

Common Paediatric Conditions Managed by Paediatric Endocrinologists

  • Type 1 Diabetes
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Pubertal development
  • Disorders of the pituitary gland and adrenal gland
  • Calcium/phosphate metabolism disorders
  • Bone health

In Paediatrics, there are a wide range of conditions that involve hormones. The most common condition is Type 1 Diabetes, where the body does not make enough insulin and therefore glucose levels run high.

Endocrinologists also see a large number of children for growth assessments, as there are a number of hormones involved in the regulation of growth. Issues with the thyroid gland, such as under or overproduction of thyroid hormone, or concerns about gland size also are seen commonly. Pubertal development is also driven by hormones and young people with concerns about early or late onset of puberty will often see an Endocrinologist. Rarer conditions such as those involving the pituitary gland, the adrenal gland or those of calcium/phosphate metabolism are also seen. Finally, bone health is under hormonal control in part, and therefore assessment and management of these issues may be undertaken.

Endocrine Assessment

Generally, Endocrine assessment will involve review of the young person to understand the potential issues, then appropriate investigations and ultimately management if indicated. Monitoring of growth/pubertal issues may be performed even if no immediate action is required.

Dr Peter Simm is a Paediatric Endocrinologist practicing at Melbourne Paediatric Specialists.