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For Patients & Families | Overview

If your child has been diagnosed with an endocrine disorder, you may have lots of questions. Here are some basics to help guide you through your child’s journey with the Division of Endocrinology.

What is the role of the endocrine system?

The endocrine system is a network of glands located throughout the body that are vital to almost all of the body’s functioning. The glands release hormones (chemical messengers that enable cells to communicate with one another) that control things like development, growth, and much more. Having too much — or too little — of these hormones can lead to a variety of problems. Medication can often be used to regulate hormones to maintain optimal levels. In some cases, a more complex treatment plan may be required.

What functions does the endocrine system control?

An endocrine disorder can impact a range of functions, including:

  • growth
  • puberty
  • bone health
  • blood sugar/diabetes
  • thyroid function

Does your child need an endocrinologist?

Pediatric endocrinologists diagnose, treat, and manage a variety of diagnoses. If your child isn’t developing as expected or is experiencing symptoms without an obvious cause, you can talk to your pediatrician about your concerns and see if a referral to a pediatric endocrinologist is appropriate.

What type of treatment will my child need?

Every child is different. Your child’s medical team will do a thorough evaluation and determine the best treatment plan for her situation. Keep in mind that the treatment could change as your child grows. This makes it important to stay in close contact with the doctors and to get recommended blood tests and return for follow-up visits as scheduled.

Learn more at 617-355-7476.