Diabetes is a complex disease that affects the whole family and there’s much to learn. Whether you're a parent, sibling or other family member, your support and understanding can make all the difference in how well a diabetic child copes with this challenging disease. At Westchester Health, our diabetes care team provides information and resources to help every child and every family adjust to life with diabetes.
To provide the highest quality of care to children with endocrine disorders, we have a pediatric endocrinology specialist on staff who is specially trained in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the endocrine system, including obesity, adrenal disorders, thyroid problems, growth disorders, pituitary disorders and disorders of puberty.
This specialist works closely with your child’s pediatrician and other specialists to coordinate and implement a total treatment plan that is customized for your child’s specific condition to achieve the best possible outcome. This multidisciplinary team stays in close contact with you and your child throughout the course of his/her treatment, ensuring the highest level of clinical care. The team also provides you with important education regarding lifestyle changes you and your child can make to manage his/her endocrine disorder.
A full life, living with diabetes
Diabetes should not keep your child from achieving his/her highest goals in life, whether in sports, academics, music, art, hobbies, or anything they want to do. We can help you and your child learn how to manage your child's diabetes, from healthy eating guidelines to blood sugar monitoring to reducing the risk of developing other health problems. In addition, everyone who cares for your child—from babysitters to adult relatives—should be trained on the basics of diabetes care and what to do in an emergency.
What makes Westchester Health’s Pediatric Endocrinology Department different?
At Westchester Health, we firmly believe that good treatment starts with good listening. We also believe that the best patient is an informed patient, and that patient education is critical to your long-term health.
From the first time you and your child arrive at our offices, we spend as much time with you, your child and your family as is necessary to make sure all of you understand your child’s condition, the diagnostic tests we are recommending and all of your child’s treatment options. Throughout your journey with us, we will continue to explain our recommended course of treatment and answer any questions you may have so that you understand what to expect.
Whether you have been with Westchester Health for years or are new to our practice, you quickly recognize that our Pediatric Endocrinology group truly cares about each and every one of our patients. When you need us, we are here for you.
Always at the forefront of medicine
The world of medicine continues to change and evolve, especially regarding the treatment of diseases and disorders of the endocrine system. As part of Northwell Health, our pediatric endocrinologists participate in its Department of Endocrinology training programs, making sure they are continually up-to-date on the newest breakthrough treatments for our pediatric patients’ endocrine conditions. This emphasis on ongoing training also ensures that our pediatric endocrinologists have ready access to the latest technological advances in the treatment of the endocrine system.
Pediatric endocrinologists are specially trained physicians who diagnose diseases related to the glands occurring in children.
The diseases which these specialists are trained to treat often affect other parts of the body beyond glands. Pediatric endocrinologists treat children who suffer from hormonal imbalances, typically from glands in the endocrine system. The overall goal of treatment is to restore the normal balance of hormones in a patient’s body. Some of the more common conditions treated by endocrinologists include:
Acne is primarily caused by elevated hormone levels (male androgens or related compounds), which is why so many young people get pimples during puberty. These hormones stimulate the oil glands in pores on the face, chest and back to make more oil, which in turn can clog those pores. Whiteheads, blackheads and raised red bumps are all the result of clogged pores. Treatments include OTC washes, topical creams, antibiotics, and/or other prescription medications to improve the skin’s complexion.
Adrenal gland disorders
The adrenal glands, located on the top of each kidney, are responsible for releasing a number of hormones. Adrenal gland disorders occur when the adrenal glands produce too much or too little of these hormones. There are many adrenal gland disorders, including Addison’s disease, Cushing’s syndrome, congenital adrenal hyperplasia and pituitary tumors. Surgery or medication can treat many adrenal gland disorders, but treatment depends on which specific condition you have.
The most common endocrine disorder, diabetes is a disease in which your blood glucose (blood sugar) levels are too high. Insulin is a hormone that regulates the amount of glucose in your blood. With type 1 diabetes, your body does not make insulin at all. With type 2 diabetes (the more common type), your body does not make or use insulin well. Over time, diabetes can cause serious health problems, including heart attack, stroke, blindness, pregnancy complications and kidney failure. Diabetes can affect anyone, regardless of age, race, gender or lifestyle. There is no cure, but a variety of medications and lifestyle changes can help manage diabetic symptoms and improve your overall health.
Growth disorders are endocrine problems that prevent children from developing normal height, weight and sexual maturity. The pituitary gland produces growth hormone, which stimulates the growth of bone and other tissues. Children who have too little of this hormone may be very short, while too much which can cause gigantism, where their bones and body grow too much. There are approximately 22 pediatric growth disorders, including Addison’s disease, delayed puberty, hypogonadism, short stature and Turner syndrome. Surgery or medication can treat many adrenal gland disorders, but treatment depends on which specific condition you have.
Lipids, or lipoproteins, are fats in the bloodstream. They include low-density lipoproteins (LDL), high-density lipoproteins (HDL) and triglycerides. If you have high levels of these, you’re at increased risk for developing heart disease. A combination of medications and lifestyle changes is a common treatment plan to correct high cholesterol and triglycerides.
Osteoporosis is a degenerative bone disease that causes bones to become weak and brittle, which can result in painful fractures and immobility. Osteoporosis tends to run in families, and women are four times more likely than men to develop it. Weight-bearing exercises and strength training can help prevent, or slow, osteoporosis.
Pituitary gland disorders
The pituitary gland is a small, pea-sized gland at the base of the brain. Called the "master control gland," it produces hormones that affect growth and the functions of other glands in the body. If you have a pituitary disorder, you have too much or too little of one of your hormones. Injuries can cause pituitary disorders, but the most common cause is a pituitary tumor. Doctors generally use surgery, radiation therapy and medications to treat a pituitary tumor and return hormone production to normal levels.
Polycystic ovarian syndrome
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder common among women of reproductive age. Women with PCOS may have delayed, infrequent or prolonged menstrual periods or excess male hormone (androgen) levels which can cause acne. The ovaries may develop numerous small collections of fluid (follicles) and fail to regularly release eggs. Early diagnosis and treatment along with weight loss may reduce the risk of long-term complications such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Thyroid disorders are conditions that affect the thyroid gland, a butterfly-shaped gland in the front of the neck that influences most of the metabolic processes in your body. There are five kinds of thyroid disorders: hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, thyroid nodules, goiter and thyroid cancer. Most thyroid problems can be managed well if properly diagnosed and treated.
Additional endocrine conditions treated:
- Disorders of bone and calcium
- Addison’s disease
- Adrenogenital syndrome
- Cushing syndrome
- Renal calculi
- Excessive loss of minerals from bone