Endocrinology

Endocrinology

Published On 07/11/2011

Le Bonheur’s endocrine program leads the region in diagnosis and treatment of infants, children and adolescents with suspected endocrine (hormone) disorders.  These problems are often associated with abnormal growth, congenital disorders or brain injuries.

Our diabetes program is the only center in the region recognized by the American Diabetes Association.  All our physicians hold full-time faculty appointments in the Division of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism of The University of Tennessee Health Science Center at Memphis.  Our physicians lead multiple research studies in hormonal disorders, including diabetes mellitus. Learn more about our published research.

Children are referred to Le Bonheur for endocrine-related issues including:

  • Abnormal endocrine test results
  • Abnormal newborn screen results
  • Abnormal thyroid test results
  • Abnormal weight gain
  • Obesity
  • Short stature
  • Vitamin D deficiency
  • Tests for hormone deficiencies

Conditions we treat include:

  • Adrenal insufficiency – a disorder in which the adrenal glands (near the kidneys) do not produce enough hormones
  • Cushing’s syndrome – a disorder caused by too much cortisol, which causes children to gain weight while slowing growth in height
  • Diabetes insipidus – a condition characterized by frequent and heavy urination, excessive thirst, and an overall feeling of weakness (despite normal blood sugar levels)
  • Diabetes mellitus – a condition characterized by high blood sugar levels, which results from an inability to make enough of the hormone called insulin
  • Gigantism – abnormally large growth caused by too much growth hormone during childhood (before growth plates in the bones have closed)
  • Growth disorders – several genetic and hormonal diseases lead to little or no growth
  • Growth hormone deficiency – a relatively rare cause of slow growth, due to inadequate release of growth hormone during infancy or childhood
  • Inherited disorders – a variety of genetic disorders affecting the endocrine system
  • Turner Syndrome – a genetic condition caused by complete or partial absence of one chromosome (occurs only in females)
  • Hypoglycemia – low blood glucose or low blood sugar, which can be caused by any of several conditions
  • Hyperinsulinism – the overproduction of insulin causes low blood sugar levels
  • Hyperthyroidism – an autoimmune disorder in which the thyroid gland (in the neck) releases too much thyroid hormone, causing weight loss, rapid heart rate, and other symptoms
  • Graves’s disease – the most common cause of hyperthyroidism
  • Hypothyroidism – occurs when the thyroid gland cannot release adequate amounts of thyroid hormone
  • Precocious puberty – onset of breast development before age 7 in girls or testosterone release before age 9 in boys
  • Delayed puberty – absence of breast development (by age 14) or initial menses (by age 15) in girls, or absence of testosterone release by age 14 in boys
  • Rickets – soft, weak bones in children caused by diet or inherited problems
  • Vitamin D deficiency – low blood levels of vitamin D caused by suboptimal nutrition, inability of the intestines to absorb vitamin D, or inability to metabolize vitamin D due to kidney or liver diseases

Our Endocrine Team

The endocrine team is affiliated with both The University of Tennessee Health Science Center and UT Le Bonheur Pediatric Specialists, Inc. (ULPS).  This multi-disciplinary team includes:

  • pediatric endocrinologists (physicians)
  • nurse practitioner
  • certified diabetes educators
  • licensed, registered dietitians
  • registered nurses
  • licensed social worker
  • child life specialists
  • nurses who coordinate the diabetes and endocrine clinics
  • clinical research coordinator
  • pediatricians training to become endocrinologists (fellows)

Diabetes and Endocrinology Clinics

For more information, find a Le Bonheur Endocrinologist.  To schedule an appointment, call 901-287-7337 (toll-free: 1-866-870-5570) or request an appointment online.

Diabetes Self-Management Education Program

Le Bonheur's Diabetes Self-Management Education program is recognized by the American Diabetes Association to exceed national standards.  This service is part of our comprehensive endocrinology program.  Certified diabetes educators (CDEs), licensed dieticians and licensed social workers help educate families on disease management at our Diabetes Center downtown.  As a part of the program, our patients complete a behavior change plan and set diabetes management goals.  Once goals are established, the educator monitors progress through frequent contact with the patient and family.  Services of our center are offered across both in-patient and out-patient settings.