As a parent, taking steps to ensure your child grows into a happy and healthy individual is your top priority. However, this can be rather challenging given the multitude of health issues that can take place as they grow older. This is especially true when it comes to endocrine and metabolic problems. These disorders stem from improper functioning of the body’s endocrine system or signal a disruption to the way normal metabolic processes occur.

Given the lifelong implications of these conditions and further health problems that could potentially arise from them, seeking treatment is better done sooner rather than later. In this article, we’ll be exploring different options for treatment for children with endocrine and metabolic problems, as well as listing symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and different types of conditions that exist.

Types of endocrine and metabolic problems

Both the endocrine system and metabolism play vital roles in the way our bodies perform on a daily basis.The role of the endocrine system is to make, send, and regulate hormones. It affects everything from growth and development to reproduction and mood. The role of metabolism is to convert the energy it gets from food into energy. This energy is then used to power cell processes.

When there are disruptions to the way metabolism and endocrine system work, it can manifest in a plethora of conditions. Some of the most common types of endocrine and metabolic problems include:

  •         Growth disorders
  •         Pituitary disorders
  •         Adrenal disorders
  •         Puberty disorders
  •         Bone disorders
  •         Thyroid disorders
  •         Hypoglycemia
  •         Type 1 and type 2 diabetes
  •         Phenylketonuria (PKU)
  •         Medium chain acyl-coA dehydrogenase deficiency (MCAD)
  •         Galactosemia
  •         Prader-Willi syndrome

Symptoms of endocrine and metabolic problems

Each of the disorders of the metabolism and endocrine system manifests in a different way. Generally speaking, many endocrine disorders will reflect similar symptoms. These include weakness, fatigue, mood swings, sudden weight fluctuations, and blood glucose levels or cholesterol level variations.

As for metabolic problems, they may become apparent once you start noticing particular symptoms. These include poor appetite, vomiting, lethargy, abnormal sweat, breath, and urine odor, excessive need for sleep, infant’s inability to thrive, jaundice, developmental delays, and the like. In most cases, the symptoms will appear in just a couple of days after the baby’s been born, although there are instances where the metabolic disorder takes years to develop.

Causes of endocrine and metabolic problems

Other than paying attention to the aforementioned symptoms, parents also ought to understand what’s causing endocrine and metabolic disorders in the first place. This will, again, depend on the condition in question, but genetics, environmental and lifestyle factors contribute significantly to the development of such disorders.

According to a reputable pediatric endocrinologist at Port St Lucie, many of metabolic problems occur due to hereditary gene abnormalities, but may also be a result of particular lifestyle factors such as obesity. When it comes to causes of endocrine problems, they are typically caused by hormone imbalance. This often happens due to endocrine gland injuries, diseases and infections, as well as genetic disorders.

Diagnosis of endocrine and metabolic problems

A child has to go through a series of different tests for the doctor to make a diagnosis. For starters, they’ll have to go through a physical examination. This is what will help doctors identify the most common endocrine or metabolic diseases, including obesity and high blood pressure.

Then, they will ask to run a set of lab tests to help determine whether the diagnosis is accurate. Your child may need to provide samples of saliva, along with blood and urine specimens. Most metabolic problems are diagnosed following a baby’s birth.

Treatment of endocrine and metabolic problems

The recommended treatment will largely depend on the main cause of the disorder. For instance, in cases of endocrine disorders caused by hormonal imbalance, the doctor may recommend hormone administration. When it comes to disorders such as prolactinoma, surgery might be the best option. In some cases, radiation therapy might work best, especially in disorders that involve endocrine gland tumors.

As for metabolic problems, those disorders that occur as a result of gene defects may not be able to receive the treatment that will cure them completely. However, they can be managed by making modifications to the diet and taking medications to receive artificial enzymes and eliminate accumulated toxic products. Special formulas may be employed, along with supplements and medications to help manage symptoms.

Wrapping up

It goes without saying that endocrine and metabolic conditions have some serious implications on a child’s overall health and quality of life. Any unusual symptoms could be a cause for concern, so it’s best to seek treatment immediately after diagnosis. With early detection, the child can receive adequate care and ensure the best possible outcome.

Categories: Health

Nicolas Desjardins

Hello everyone, I am the main writer for SIND Canada. I've been writing articles for more than 12 years and I like sharing my knowledge. I'm currently writing for many websites and newspapers. I always keep myself very informed to give you the best information. All my years as a computer scientist made me become an incredible researcher. You can contact me on our forum or by email at [email protected].