Pediatric Hormonal Imbalance – an Overview
Chemicals that signal the cells within the body, hormones regulate bodily functions from sleep to blood pressure to growth. They influence diverse processes like cell repair, appetite, metabolism, reproduction and pain regulation.
The signaling begins when a gland releases a hormone into ducts for delivery (sweat and salivary) or directly into the blood stream where they travel to their destination. The hormone can only travel to its receptor protein. This assures the body chemistry remains in balance. When the destination organ senses a hormone heading to its receptor, it responds to the signal. This causes the body chemistry to change.
Pediatric Hormone Imbalance
The delicate balance of hormones can get disrupted, affecting children with a wide variety of physical and emotional distress. Examples of these disruptions include type 1 diabetes, short stature, and early puberty.
Since hormones affect so much of a child’s physiology, hormonal imbalance problems tend to be varied and may be difficult to initially pin down. Symptoms can be confused with other body illnesses.
If hormonal problems are suspected, blood, urine or saliva samples can detect hormone levels. The tests can determine whether or not the hormones are at the proper level.
The pediatrician may refer the patient to a hormonal imbalance doctor also known as a pediatric endocrinologist. These hormonal imbalance specialists take additional training in how to diagnose and treat endocrine problems in children.
Pediatric Male Hormonal Imbalance
Depending on the disease, hormonal imbalance effects in boys can include:
- Precocious puberty
- Pediatric obesity
- Poor appetite
- Hair loss
- Slow bone growth
Pediatric Female Hormonal Imbalance
Many of the symptoms are similar to girls. But depending on the disease, some symptoms of hormonal imbalance in females could include:
- Precocious puberty
- Excess facial hair
- Delayed menstruation
Impact of Pediatric Hormonal Imbalance
Because of the enormous effect of hormones in the body—especially in growing children—hormonal imbalances can have a profound effect on children. Not only can they cause profound physical health issues, the emotional and total well being of the child will be impacted as well.
Pediatric Hormonal Imbalance Treatment
Depending on the disease, treatment could include hormonal therapy, medication, and diet and exercise. In some cases, especially to remove tumors, radiation treatment or surgery may be recommended.
Hormonal imbalances in children are nothing to be taken lightly. If they’re detected early enough, often the situation can be controlled or remedied.