Hormones are chemicals concerned with the regulation of certain biochemical processes of the body. Hormonal imbalance refers to the secretion of an insufficient or excess amount of hormones by the glands concerned with producing these chemicals. Find out the causes and the symptoms of hormonal imbalance in children, in this HealthHearty article.
Hormones are regarded as the chemical messengers that regulate several functions of the body, including the rate of growth and development, metabolism, and reproduction. Hormones are secreted by the endocrine glands. They travel through the circulatory system to reach the various parts of the body, where they perform certain specific functions.
So, any kind of hormonal imbalance can wreak havoc on the body. Children can also develop this condition along with their adult counterparts. Hormonal imbalance refers to an under or oversecretion of one or more hormones. The symptoms of this condition in children can vary to an extent depending on the specific type of hormone that is under or oversecreted. Nevertheless, a few symptoms can be more commonly observed in children due to this condition, which are discussed below.
Hormone Imbalance Problems in Children
The rising incidence of hormone imbalance in children can be mainly attributed to factors like an improper diet, stress, and environmental toxins. Many children can however, encounter the problem due to some autoimmune conditions. All these factors can cause endocrine disorders in children. Children can experience an imbalance in the human growth hormone, thyroid hormones, insulin, and certain other hormones, of which an imbalance of the growth hormone is more common.
Like adults, children can experience several painful symptoms due to hormonal imbalance. However, the signs of hormonal imbalance in children usually differ from the signs and symptoms observed in adults. As mentioned already, children are more prone to develop an imbalance in the level of the growth hormone. As the name suggests, it is the hormone responsible for regulating the rate of growth and development. A deficiency of growth hormone in children can manifest in stunted growth and delayed puberty, while an excess of this hormone can cause gigantism.
Children can also develop thyroid problems like hypo and hyperthyroidism. Hypothyroidism refers to the insufficient secretion of thyroid hormones, while hyperthyroidism is the condition characterized by the oversecretion of thyroid hormones. Hypothyroidism can produce symptoms like failure to grow properly and delayed puberty, while hyperthyroidism can cause poor weight gain, high blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, etc. Diabetes is another condition that can develop due to hormonal imbalance.
Another condition that can be caused by hormone imbalance in kids is known as precocious puberty. It refers to early puberty in children, more commonly in young girls. For girls, the normal age of puberty is 10 to 13 years, while for boys, it is 9 to 14 years. In girls, precocious puberty can cause the early development of the signs of puberty, such as breast enlargement, development of pubic and axillary hair, and menstruation.
In boys, it can cause the early development of facial, axillary, and pubic hair, and the growth of the reproductive organs. Apart from these, some other generalized symptoms of hormone imbalance are, excessive weight gain or obesity, anxiety, mood swings, hyperactivity, bed wetting, and inability to concentrate properly.
The treatment of hormonal imbalance depends on its underlying causes, and the specific type of hormone that is under or oversecreted. So, only a certified physician can identify the type of hormonal imbalance and its underlying causes. In case of a mild imbalance, a balanced diet along with regular exercise or physical activity can provide some relief. Hormone therapy and medications can be recommended by physicians after properly evaluating the condition.
To sum up, some symptoms of hormonal imbalance in children are not very specific, for which it can become a bit difficult to recognize the condition in the early stage. Therefore, parents should consider to get the condition properly evaluated with the help of a physician, if they happen to observe any of the symptoms of hormonal imbalance in their children.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be treated as a substitute for professional medical advice.