Children's Hospital Colorado

Endocrine, Growth and Metabolism Conditions

Children's Hospital Colorado's Pediatric Endocrinology Department provides inpatient and outpatient care to children and adolescents with acute and chronic endocrine, growth and metabolic conditions. Our multidisciplinary team will consult with your family to diagnosis and treat your child's condition. We strive to provide the most comprehensive care available, and will work to educate parents and patients about how we treat conditions and perform procedures.

What are the signs and symptoms of endocrine, growth and metabolism conditions?

Endocrine conditions can present with a wide variety of signs and symptoms. Some early signs may be poor growth or abnormal pubertal development. Therefore, it's important for families to consult with their primary care provider if they have any concerns about their child's growth or development.

What tests are used to diagnose endocrine, growth and metabolism conditions?

If a pediatric endocrinologist suspects that your child may have an endocrine, growth or metabolism condition they may recommend one or more diagnostic tests to help discover the cause of their symptoms. Common diagnostic tests include blood tests, bone density tests, X-rays and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Sometimes, additional comprehensive evaluations may be needed. These often cannot be performed on the same day of the appointment and may need to be scheduled for a future date. Some instances where comprehensive exams may be performed include:

  • Growth hormone stimulation testing (to evaluate for growth hormone deficiency)
  • ACTH stimulation testing (to evaluate for adrenal gland disorders)
  • Leuprolide stimulation testing (to evaluate for precocious puberty)
  • Admission to the hospital for prolonged testing (to evaluate for hypoglycemia or diabetes insipidus)

How do doctors at Children's Colorado make a diagnosis?

Diagnosing endocrine conditions generally requires lab tests to evaluate hormone levels in the blood. Often, radiologic tests such as X-rays or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are also required. Sometimes, more comprehensive evaluations are needed, including dynamic hormone testing or admission to the hospital. These tests and evaluations will identify if an endocrine condition is present.

How are endocrine, growth and metabolism conditions treated?

If a hormone is not being produced in adequate amounts, it will need to be replaced. For example, if a child has hypothyroidism, then the child is started on thyroid hormone replacement.

If a child's body is producing a hormone in excessive amounts, then a medication is often used to suppress that hormone back to normal levels. For example, if a child has precocious puberty, then we use a medication to suppress the hormones of puberty. Occasionally, other medications are also used to treat endocrine conditions.

We work with a variety of other pediatric specialists in order to provide a multidisciplinary plan of care to meet the specific needs of each and every patient. Working with your pediatrician, we will develop an individualized treatment plan for your child or teen.

Why choose Children's Colorado for your child's treatment?

The endocrine and diabetes program at Children's Colorado is ranked one of the best pediatric programs in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Our experienced staff is specially trained to work with children and adolescents with a variety of endocrine disorders and complex medical problems.

We provide the most comprehensive care possible, and we offer multidisciplinary clinics for common, complex and rare conditions, including:

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