Endocrinology for Children
Pediatric endocrinology is a board medical specialty, involving the care of numerous conditions affecting growth and development. CHRISTUS Health provides diagnosis, counseling, and ongoing treatment of all endocrine problems from infancy through adolescence. Our unique brand of multidisciplinary approach is provided in cooperation with your primary care physician and specialists who remain fully involved in all aspects of your child's treatment.
Various Conditions We Treat
Our endocrinologists evaluate and treat a broad range of conditions from hormonal disorders to diabetes and hypoglycemia. The common conditions we treat include:
- Abnormal linear growth
- Adrenal dysfunction
- Bone and calcium disorders
- Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH)Delayed puberty
- Disorders of sexual differentiation (DSD) and ambiguous genitalia
- Endocrine disorders associated with genetic syndromes
- Endocrine disorders following cancer therapies
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
- Thyroid dysfunction
What to Expect at Your Initial Visit
We will ask you to provide the following information as able. This list may vary slightly based on the condition we are evaluating your child for.
Reason for Visit
- What brings you to the endocrinologist?
- How long has the problem been going on?
- How did the problem start?
- How has the problem progressed?
- Have any tests or studies been completed to help evaluate the concern, and if so, what were the results?
- Any other concerns you have related to this problem?
- How many weeks you were pregnant at the time of your child’s birth?
- Were there any complications with the pregnancy of your child?
- At any point during pregnancy, was your child exposed to smoke, alcohol, medications, or drugs?
- What were your child’s birth weight and birth length?
- Did your child have any difficulties in the first few hours or days of life?
Past Medical History
- Has your child ever been hospitalized or required surgery? If so, we will want to know what for and the dates of occurrence(s).
- Is your child followed by a medical health professional on a routine basis? If so, for what?
- Is your child taking any medications, supplementations, or other home remedies? If so, please bring a list including the name(s), dose(s), route (by mouth, g-tube, injection, etc.), and frequency for each medication.
- Regarding medications, we may also ask if your child has ever taken specific medications such as steroids, sex hormones, chemotherapy or radiation, treatment for ADHD or seizures, medications for psychiatric conditions, or certain antibiotics such as minocycline. If so, what medication? What was the dose, route and frequency? How long did your child take the medication?
- Does your child have any allergies to medications or medical equipment? What happens when your child is exposed to the item they are allergic to?
- How has your child grown from infancy to the present time? If specific measured values can be provided, please bring them.
- What is the height of your child’s biological mother and his/her father (in centimeters or inches)? What are the heights of the biological grandparents? Were there any family members that were particularly short (i.e. less than 5 feet tall) or tall (i.e. greater than 6 foot 4 inches tall)?
- Does your family have a known history of any endocrine problems? For example thyroid disease, diabetes (type 1 or type 2), delayed physical development?
- At what age did your child’s biological mother experience her first menstrual period?
- Did the biological father continue to grow taller after high school (approximately 18 years of age)?
- Is there a known family history of autoimmune disease? For example Lupus, celiac disease, or Sjögren’s.
Comprehensive Physical Exam
- A nurse or medical assistant will begin the visit by measuring the patient’s height, weight, blood pressure, heart rate and respiratory rate.
- Please have your child wear clothes that they can easily remove so that all skin surfaces may be examined.
- It is best to prepare your child that the exam will include an evaluation of their external genitals. A parent or other medical staff will remain present in the examination room as safety and appropriate privacy are a top priority.
- Based on the history and physical examination it is possible that your child will require further testing such as blood tests, imaging (i.e. x-rays, ultrasound, MRI, or bone densitometry), evocative testing following medication administration, or re-evaluation after a specified period of time.
All care will be coordinated between the Endocrine Team and your child’s primary physician. You will be provided with comprehensive education regarding diagnosis, testing and all aspects of treatment.
During your follow-up appointment, it is best to write down any questions or concerns you have related to your child's care. We will want to know if there have been any significant changes in your child's health, medications and living arrangements, or primary caregiver. All medications will be reviewed and if you need a refill that is prescribed through the Endocrine Clinic, please let us know. In addition, a physical examination and possible frequent blood tests will be discussed depending on your child’s individual circumstances. We will also inform you if other tests are recommended for screening or evaluation throughout the course of your child’s treatment.
We expect you to bring your child's blood sugar meters (glucometers) and their blood sugar logbook to all appointments. In addition, we will ask if there have been any significant changes in your child's health, diabetes medication, non-diabetes-related medications and living arrangements or the primary caregiver. Our multidisciplinary team will review the following:
- Who is helping your child with the care of their diabetes?
- What factors (if any) are making taking care of your child’s diabetes difficult?
- How often does your child is having low blood sugars and the factors that contribute to the low blood sugars?
- How often does your child is having high blood sugars and the factors that contribute to the high blood sugars?
- Whether there have been any changes in your child’s energy, appetite, weight, urination or stooling patterns? Any significant changes in hair or skin condition?
We want to know what questions or concerns you have related to your child’s care. As the health and wellbeing of your child is our top priority, we value the partnerships we form with your family in helping you to provide this care. We will review your medications.
Please let us know if you need a refill for any medications or supplies that are prescribed through the Diabetes Clinic. As an institution, we do NOT have free samples to provide, but we will be happy to enlist the aid of our social worker to help with community resources if you cannot afford your medications. If you would like to meet with the social worker, please let us know.
- We will complete a physical examination that includes an evaluation of the sites where your child injects his/her insulin.
- The nurse or medical assistant will also obtain blood via a finger poke to assess the hemoglobin A1c (a measure that averages blood sugar levels over the preceding 2-3 months).
- A nurse or medical assistant will begin the visit by measuring the patient’s height, weight, blood pressure, heart rate and respiratory rate.Please have your child wear clothes that they can easily remove so that all skin surfaces may be examined.
*Please note that if you are greater than 15 minutes late for your appointment we may try to see you after patients who are present at their appointed times or we may ask you to reschedule your appointment.