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Endocrine disorders in children

Endocrine system

There are two major types of the glands in the human body and the main difference between them is that the exocrine glands have the ducts, while the endocrine glands do not have the ducts but the hormones that they produce enter the bloodstream thorough their walls. The endocrine glands regulate all the processes in the body since they create hormones, which are responsible for the proper functioning of the entire system. Pituitary and thyroid glands are a part of the endocrine system, as well as hypothalamus, reproductive, adrenal glands and many others as well.

Endocrine disorders in children

The symptoms of the endocrine disorders are different in children than in adults, although the children have the same endocrine system problems. When one has some endocrine system disorder, that means that the levels of the hormones of the specific gland are disturbed.

  • Diabetes is one of the endocrine system disorders that can occur in children. Even though the type 1 diabetes mostly occurs in children, which is, by the way, also called juvenile diabetes, they may also develop type 2 diabetes. When the level of hormone insulin is imbalanced, diabetes occurs. While in type 1 diabetes mellitus there is no sufficient amount of insulin, in type 2 diabetes the body’s cells do not recognize insulin.
  • The pituitary gland creates the human growth hormone and abundance of this hormone leads to gigantism, a condition marked by an extremely big body size for the child’s age. On the other side, when the levels of the human growth hormone are decreased, the child will stay extremely small in size.
  • Among the endocrine system disorders in children there are hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. The child who suffers from hyperthyroidism has extremely high levels of the hormones of the thyroid gland, while on the other hand, the child who has the problem with hypothyroidism has very low levels of the thyroid hormones.
  • It is considered that the girls enter puberty at about 10 years of age, while in boys it happens at about 12 years of age. However, when it happens that they enter puberty earlier than 7 and 9 years of age respectively, it is called precocious puberty and is the consequence of hypothalamus malfunction.
  • The main disorder of the adrenal glands is called Cushing’s syndrome, which is developed when these glands create extremely high levels of the hormone called cortisol.

Each of these endocrine system disorders has its own characteristic warning signs and when the parents notice them in their children, it is important to take their children to a doctor in order to treat the disorder promptly.

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