What is it?
Paediatric endocrinology is the treatment of medical conditions in children that are caused by problems with hormones, resulting from overactivity or underactivity of the endocrine glands. Hormones regulate metabolism, puberty, growth, blood pressure, calcium and bone metabolism, glucose, salt and water levels. Hormone imbalances are the underlying reason for a wide range of medical conditions.
Who do we help?
Our paediatric endocrinologist supports children of all ages and adolescents who suffer from hormone imbalances. She will diagnose, treat and manage growth problems such as short or tall stature, early or delayed puberty, diabetes, thyroid diseases, adrenal disorders, early or delayed menstruation, pituitary, calcium and bone disorders, weight issues, polycystic ovarian disorder, Turner syndrome, Prader Willi syndrome, Klinefelter’s syndrome and long term effects of cancers.
Our paediatric endocrinologist diagnoses, treats and manages diabetes mellitus in children and adolescents.
Diabetes is a group of metabolic disorders of which there are three main forms in children – Type 1, Type 2 and Maturity Onset Diabetes of the Young or MODY. All involve a reduced ability of the body to handle glucose, a type of sugar transported in the blood.
Type 1 diabetes is the most common endocrine condition affecting children. It is life-long, chronic disorder caused by an autoimmune process and requires the use of insulin.
Our team is experienced in managing patients on both insulin injections and insulin pumps and have been trained in the latest technology and are involved in the latest research.
Type 2 diabetes is being increasingly diagnosed in Australian children due to the obesity epidemic and increased number of women with gestational and type 2 diabetes during pregnancy. Treatment involves a holistic approach using diet, exercise and behavioural change along with medication.
MODY is a genetic condition that runs strongly in families and affects a single gene. It may reduce the body’s ability to produce insulin, a protein produced in the pancreas that helps the body use glucose for energy. Some forms of monogenic diabetes can be treated with oral diabetes medications while other forms need insulin.
What do we do?
Hormone levels affect many different systems in the body – one gland can affect parts of the body far from the site of the glands themselves. So, first our paediatric endocrinologist will ask about symptoms. Examination regarding the problem will take place to assist with diagnosis. Investigations will then be ordered and depending on the problem further tests can be arranged to take place at the Queensland Children’s Hospital within a few weeks if needed.
Following diagnosis, a personalised treatment plan will be prepared that best suits your child. The actions in the plan will depend upon the diagnosis.
Our paediatric endocrinologist will support you in the implementation and ongoing management of the treatment plan. This may include the involvement of our dietician, diabetic educator, psychologist and other medical practitioners.