Endocrinology at Riley Hospital for Children
Indiana University Medical Center provides comprehensive services for infants, children, and adolescents with diseases or disorders of the endocrine glands, such as thyroid disease or diabetes. In addition to evaluation and treatment, an important part of our program is providing extensive educational and support services for our patients and their families.
Our Staff is Led by Physician Specialists
Our physicians are board certified in pediatrics and pediatric endocrinology/diabetology. Our team also includes pediatric nurse specialists, dietitians and a social worker. Less visible to patients, but just as important, our research teams conduct studies that continually search for ways to improve the diagnosis and treatment of endocrine disorders.
Treating Endocrine-Related Disorders
Our staff is experienced in treating all endocrine problems of infancy, childhood and adolescence. These include growth disorders, Turner syndrome, disorders of sex development, delayed and precocious puberty, congenital and acquired disorders of thyroid function, hypoglycemia, disorders of calcium metabolism, adrenal disorders, diabetes insipidus, and anterior pituitary dysfunction. The Endocrine Testing Clinic is a state-of-the-art outpatient facility providing comprehensive evaluation of a broad range of endocrine conditions.
An Individualized Plan for Each Patient
Each child's treatment plan is individualized to the child's and family's unique needs. Depending on the problem, children may be treated either as inpatients in Riley Hospital for Children or as outpatients. In either case, our team works closely with the child's referring physician and offers specialized educational services to support both patient and family.
Education Supports the Child and the Family
Our Pediatric Endocrine educational program provides the education families need to successfully deal with an endocrine problem. Many families of children who receive care on an outpatient basis require in-depth, ongoing education so that they can successfully manage their child's care at home. For example, families who give growth hormone injections to a child at home receive all the necessary education, written materials and supplies needed for home care, as well as support from our physicians and nursing staff.
The Section of Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetology cares for approximately 2000 children with diabetes mellitus, ranging in age from infancy to young adulthood. We provide comprehensive, team-based care which seeks to assist the child with diabetes to take control of the disease, to grow and develop in a healthy manner, and to minimize the long-term effects of diabetes.
Children with diabetes enter the Pediatric Diabetes Program either during a hospital admission at the time of diagnosis or by referral to the outpatient clinic.
All patients referred to Riley Hospital for Children with newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes mellitus are hospitalized for approximately three days of medical evaluation and individual instruction in basic survival aspects of diabetes management. Over 125 children enter the program each year by this route. Parents begin participating in their child’s care from the time of diagnosis. Topics discussed during the initial education sessions include basic diabetes principles, recognition and treatment of hypoglycemia, insulin administration, blood glucose monitoring, and diabetes nutrition.
Approximately 75 patients enter the Pediatric Diabetes Program annually through outpatient referrals. In the outpatient clinic, these patients have a comprehensive medical, nutritional, educational, and psychosocial evaluation. Patients complete a knowledge assessment packet prior to the clinic visit to determine any educational deficits. Appropriate laboratory work is performed. After evaluation, most patients have the opportunity to pursue additional education programs and are followed in the outpatient diabetes clinics. We see these children every three to four months for a comprehensive evaluation of their metabolic control. At each visit, the child will be seen by his or her physician, nurse practitioner and frequently by a dietitian and social worker. The nurse then follows up with the family between visits as needed to adjust insulin or discuss laboratory results.