A child’s hormones play an extremely important part in regulating the body and keeping the child healthy. Hormones affect everything from mood and body temperature to overall growth. Hormonal disorders in children disrupt the common, healthy ways of the body.
A hormonal disorder can cause a variety of issues, from diabetes and stunted growth to emotional response. Knowing what to look for and how to handle these disorders is crucial to keep your child as healthy and safe as possible.
Types of Hormonal Disorders
Hormonal disorders, also known as endocrine disorders, can affect children of all ages. Sometimes these disorders are caused by genetics, with obesity being a risk factor.
Endocrine disorders are often linked to the pancreas, thyroid, adrenal, or pituitary glands. Bone disorders are also possible. These are caused by either imbalanced hormones or sometimes tumors.
Common hormonal disorders include:
- Diabetes – Type 1 & Type 2
- Hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism
- Delayed puberty or early puberty
- Growth hormone disorders
- Turner Syndrome
Symptoms of these disorders vary, depending especially on the gland causing the hormonal imbalance. Adrenal disorders may cause a child to be fatigued, have cravings, and have insomnia. Pituitary gland disorders might cause weight loss, hair loss, and feeling cold.
Other signs of a hormonal disorder in children include, but are not limited to:
- Weight loss or weight gain
- Behind or ahead of growth milestones
Hormonal disorders can cause more than growth changes; they affect the overall well-being of a child, from mood to appetite. Always watch for changes in your child’s behavior and look into any areas of concern.
When to See a Doctor
If you believe your child may be showing signs of an endocrine disorder, seeking professional help sooner rather than later is best. Hormonal imbalances can cause a variety of health problems, often with lifelong effects.
A doctor will perform a test(s) in order to establish if your child has a hormonal disorder and to understand the severity. Blood tests are the most common route because hormones can be detected in the blood.
Once test results have been reviewed, a diagnosis can be made, and then treatment can begin. Be sure to ask your care provider any questions you may have in order to provide the best treatment for your child.
Treatments for endocrine disorders are vast, allowing families to provide the right care that actually works. Technology is constantly evolving, and staying up to date on the best equipment and medicine can be of importance.
Medications can be taken to assist in hormone levels, as well as injections, time-release capsules, and IV infusions. For diabetes, glucose sensing devices, insulin pumps, and much more are available!
No matter the type of disorder, trusted professionals will be able to provide you and your child with information and proper care. Hormonal disorders in children are bound to happen, but with the right treatment, they can live a happy, fulfilling life.