A pediatric endocrinologist diagnoses, treats, and manages hormonal disorders in children. Training consists of:
- 4 years of medical school
- 3 years of pediatric residency
- 3+ years of additional training in pediatric endocrinology
A pediatric endocrinologist treats infants, children, and adolescents with abnormality in the endocrine glands, which are the glands that secrete hormones. The endocrine hormones help control mood, growth, development, organ function, and metabolism. The endocrine system regulates how much of each hormone is released. A deficiency or an excess can impact a child’s development. Diseases include growth failure or unusual size for age, diabetes, early or late pubertal development, and other issues related to the thyroid, adrenal, and pituitary glands.
A pediatric endocrinologist is quite different from one treating adults. Children have special needs related to growth and development. Hormone problems affecting growth or sexual development can significantly impact the emotional well-being of a child. Sensitivity to both physical and emotional issues is paramount. Pediatric endocrinologists have extensive training and expertise in dealing with children and in treating children with endocrine and hormonal problems.
Conditions that a pediatric endocrinologist might treat include:
- Growth/height/weight disorders
- Early/delayed puberty
- Hypo/hyper thyroid gland
- Hypo/hyper pituitary gland
- Hypo/hyper adrenal gland
- Ambiguous genitals/intersex
- Ovarian or testicular dysfunction
- Type one diabetes
- Pituitary abnormalities, e.g., tumors, growth