It is a medical specialty dealing with endocrine glands in children and adolescents. Endocrine glands are a group of special glands in our body that secrete special hormones. These hormones are needed for various body activities like growth, development, normal blood glucose levels, male and female sex hormones, stress hormones, bone health, and optimal energy to keep our health in good condition.
Endocrine services at KIER
Our specialist and multidisciplinary clinics provide care for patients with a wide array of endocrine disorders. Patients are seen in the new purpose-built Endocrinology Clinic, catering to age groups from newborns to adolescents under one roof.
Our aim is to provide clinical excellence in the diagnosis, management, treatment and counselling of patients with endocrine disorders.
Growth problems: short stature, tall stature etc
Children who are short for the family and general population could be due to certain medical conditions. This needs to be promptly investigated and treated. Some of these conditions could be treated with growth hormone therapy to improve height.
Pubertal problems: early and late puberty
Children who develop pubertal changes before 8 years in girls and 9 years in boys indicate an abnormality. These children would need further investigation and treatment with hormone injections to help them physically and psychologically. Similarly, they can have delayed puberty onset, which means the absence of puberty changes by 13 years in girls and 14 years in boys. They also would need medical evaluation and treatment with hormones to induce puberty.
Thyroid problems are common in all age groups, from newborn babies to adolescents. They can be either underactive or overactive glands. The thyroid gland is very important during childhood, as any abnormality can affect a child’s physical and mental development.
Calcium and vitamin D disorders:
Low levels of Vitamin D are found to be very common in the general population and more so ever in children. It is a very important vitamin in children as it can affect bone health with mild aches and pains and severe being bony deformities. It also causes many non-specific symptoms such as tiredness, muscle cramps, and headaches.
Various endocrine dynamic testing:
Provide assessment of important endocrine glands in our body such as the pituitary, adrenal, ovaries, and testis. These are special endocrine tests to diagnose certain endocrine conditions, done by giving certain hormones to the child and looking for responses from the endocrine glands in the form of a blood test.
It is the most common endocrine problem in children. It can be either high or low blood sugar, both of which are dangerous for children. High blood sugar indicates diabetes which could be in various types such as type 1, type 2, neonatal (newborn babies), and MODY. Low blood sugars could indicate serious underlying problems which if not recognized can lead to life-threatening problems and brain damage.
We have the clinical and technical expertise to provide support for use of continuous glucose monitoring sensors and Insulin pump devices.
Currently, we have more than 1100 children with diabetes registered, and we also have a system in place to support the management of children from socioeconomically underprivileged society.
Obesity in children is becoming a fast-growing problem in India, especially in our cities. The majority of them are due to lifestyle issues and some of them could be due to certain medical conditions. Either way, they should be acknowledged and intervened to avoid serious metabolic complications such as diabetes, liver failure, and high cholesterol.
The pituitary gland is a small gland in our brain. It is known as the master gland as it controls all other endocrine glands. It produces various hormones which interact with other endocrine glands. Certain conditions could affect this gland such as post-brain surgery, radiation therapy, head injury, absent gland development from birth, etc. They can manifest in several ways such as short stature, delayed puberty, thyroid problems, and lack of energy.
Late effects endocrine problems:
Children who have survived cancer and have undergone brain surgery, Chemotherapy, or radiation treatments are prone to endocrine problems. They would need active monitoring of endocrine gland functions.
Disorder of sexual differentiation (DSD) – Sexual ambiguity
Rarely babies are born with uncertain genital identity with atypical-looking external genitalia, neither appearing as a girl nor a boy. This could indicate serious underlying endocrine hormone imbalance and would prompt a thorough endocrine evaluation.
Disorders of Adrenal glands:
The adrenal gland secretes one of the important hormones called cortisol or stress hormone. Its deficiency can be life-threatening. They present as a lack of energy, tiredness, darkening of the skin, and slowly recovering from minor illnesses.
Adolescent transition clinic:
Providing a smooth and worry-free transition from paediatric to adult endocrine service depending on the psychological maturity age of the adolescent.
Consultation Feeding Room
Anthropometry Nutrition Counselling