Endocrinology and Diabetes

The Endocrinology and Diabetes team at Seattle Children’s provides long-term care for children and teens who have issues with growth, puberty, diabetes or other disorders related to hormones and the glands that make them.

We work closely with you and your child’s primary care provider to help your child thrive. We partner with you over the long term, with resources for patients and families such as:

Why choose Seattle Children’s Endocrinology and Diabetes program?

Consistently ranked one of the nation's best endocrinology and diabetes programs by U.S. News and World Report.

Treating children and teens with endocrine conditions takes providers with different skills and knowledge. We work as a team to improve your child’s quality of life, not just meet their medical needs. Our team includes doctors, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, certified diabetes educators, dietitians and social workers.

  • Support for your whole family


    • We care for your child while helping you and them learn how best to manage their condition. We help you fully understand treatment options and make choices that are right for your family.
    • Our team helps your family through the challenges of your child’s condition. Read how we support your child’s and family’s emotional and psychological well-being and link you to community resources.
    • As they get older, your child plays a larger role in their care. With UW Medicine, we created the Adolescent and Young Adult Diabetes Transition Clinic. The team helps your teen take charge of managing their diabetes and make the change to adult care.
    • At Seattle Children’s, we work with many children and families from around the Northwest and beyond. We can help with financial counseling, schooling, housing, transportation, interpreter services and spiritual care. Read about our services for patients and families.


  • Research to advance care

    Seattle Children’s doctor-scientists work to improve treatment and quality of life for children and teens with diabetes. What we learn through research affects the care we give all children.

    • Our research team may ask your family if you want to take part in research studies. You always have a choice. Some studies collect information. Others test new medicines or treatments in people to make sure they are safe and see how well they work. Learn about taking part in research at Seattle Children’s.
    • In current studies, we are collecting information about complications of diabetes, quality of life, quality of care and other factors.
    • Learn more about current diabetes research studies at Seattle Children’s.
    • In work that holds promise for curing type 1 diabetes, scientists aim to reprogram T cells so they protect the pancreas, instead of attacking cells that make insulin. This research uses gene-editing techniques pioneered at Seattle Children’s.

Services We Offer

  • Care, education and emotional support for families with diabetes

    Our goal is to make it easier for you and your child to manage their diabetes. When your child is first diagnosed with diabetes, we teach you and your child about their condition. All along the way we support your child’s and family’s needs related to diabetes treatment, behavioral health and social connection. We also link you to community resources.

  • Differences in Sex Development

    Seattle Children’s has an expert team that gives compassionate, evidence-based care for babies, children and teens with all types of Differences in Sex Development (DSDs).

  • Insulin Resistance Clinic to prevent diabetes

    Our Insulin Resistance team works closely with children who have insulin resistance. This means the hormone insulin cannot keep the child’s blood sugar (glucose) levels normal after they eat or drink. The goal is to prevent diabetes.
    Our pediatric specialists work together to give you and your child the best care. The team includes:

    • Doctor (endocrinologist) or nurse practitioner to find and check on risk factors related to obesity and insulin resistance. These include changes in liver enzymes, blood pressure and levels of sugars and fats (lipids) in the blood.
    • Dietitian to help families make healthy food choices and improve their eating habits.
    • Social worker to help families make behavior changes and link you with community resources if needed.
    • Athletic trainer to create an exercise plan tailored to your child.
  • Adolescent Bariatric Surgery

    Weight loss (Bariatric Surgery) can be an effective treatment option for adolescents who continue to have severe obesity despite working on their diet and physical activity and/or taking weight loss medication(s).

    Your child may be eligible for weight loss surgery if they meet the following criteria:

    • A Body mass index (BMI) of 35 with an obesity-related condition, or a BMI greater than 40 without an obesity-related condition.
    • Obesity related conditions include sleep apnea, pre-diabetes, diabetes, hypertension, fatty liver, orthopedic or joint problems, pseudo tumor cerebri, PCOS and others. Losing excess weight can decrease the risk of these diseases and the need for medications and interventions associated with them. 

    Scheduling a consultation:

    • If you would like a referral for a Bariatric Surgery Evaluation through our Insulin Resistance Clinic, talk to your primary care provider.
    • During the evaluation, you and your child will meet with an endocrinologist, dietitian and social worker. Our multi-disciplinary team works together to focus on the unique medical, nutritional and psychological needs of each patient. 
    • If your child meets criteria for surgery after our 6 month evaluation, then your child will meet with our surgeon partners at the University of Washington Center for Weight Loss and Metabolic Surgery.
    • After surgery, we will have follow-up clinic visits with your child to help them maintain their weight loss.

    We provide care at our Sand Point Clinic and South Clinic in Federal Way.

    Learn more about Weight Loss (Bariatric) Surgery (PDF).

  • Adolescent and Young Adult Diabetes Transition program

    As your child gets older, we help them play a larger role in their diabetes care. To help teens make the change to an adult healthcare provider, we have teamed up with UW Medicine to create the Adolescent and Young Adult Diabetes Transition Clinic. Teens get help dealing with insurance, making appointments, managing supplies and finding support at school or in the community. The team includes doctors (both adult and pediatric endocrinologists), a psychologist, a nurse educator, a dietitian and a social worker. Patients also have the option to take part in research studies. 

  • Lipid Disorders Program

    Our Lipid Disorders team diagnoses and cares for children who have abnormal levels of fats in their blood. These include cholesterol and triglycerides. We have excellent results improving the health of children with abnormal blood fats. Our goal is to prevent early heart attack, stroke and diabetes, which can happen if blood fats are not controlled.

  • Prader-Willi Syndrome Clinic

    Our Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS) Clinic brings together experts in many specialties to care for children and teens with PWS. This genetic disorder affects many parts of the body. There is no cure for PWS, but we treat the many health problems that often affect young people with it. 

  • Thyroid Program

    Seattle Children’s has the only multidisciplinary program in the Pacific Northwest that specializes in children and teens with thyroid conditions. The Thyroid Program brings together experts from endocrinology, otolaryngology, general surgery, oncology and other fields to diagnose and treat all types of thyroid conditions. We tailor treatment to your child’s age and the needs of their growing body.

  • Turner Syndrome Clinic

    Turner syndrome happens if a girl is born with only 1 X chromosome instead of 2 or is missing part of an X chromosome. Girls with Turner syndrome tend to be shorter than average, and most do not go through typical puberty. Our Turner Syndrome Clinic team is experienced in caring for girls with Turner syndrome from birth through age 21. 

  • Type 1 Diabetes Prevention

    Our Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) Prevention service screens children for T1D as well as assesses their eligibility for a medication that can help delay the onset of T1D. Learn more about pediatric diabetes.

  • Type 2 Diabetes Clinic

    Our Type 2 Diabetes Clinic helps your child make lifestyle changes and manage their diabetes with the right medications. Our team of experts in different specialties monitors your child’s health and provides education and support to lead a high-quality life.

  • Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia Program

    Seattle Children’s is a Center of Excellence and Level 1 Comprehensive Care Center for congenital adrenal hyperplasia.

Conditions We Care For

We care for children and teens with a broad range of endocrine disorders, including:

  • Adrenal disorders

    The adrenal glands release hormones that control many important functions, including puberty and your child’s response to stress. Your child may have health problems if their adrenal glands do not work right. The type of problem depends on which hormone is affected. For example, Cushing’s syndrome happens when the body makes too much of the stress hormone called cortisol. Adrenal insufficiency happens when the body makes too little cortisol. Congenital adrenal hyperplasia happens if the body lacks an enzyme needed to make cortisol.

  • Calcium and phosphorus disorders

    The minerals calcium and phosphorus are important to many parts of the body. Calcium helps with how the brain, heart and muscles work. Together, calcium and phosphorus build strong teeth and bones. Many problems can happen when levels of calcium and phosphorus are too high (hypercalcemia and hyperphosphatemia) or too low (hypocalcemia and hypophosphatemia). Calcium and phosphorus disorders are often caused by problems with the parathyroid glands or how the body handles vitamin D.

  • Type 1 diabetes

    Diabetes causes the level of sugar (glucose) in the blood to get too high. In type 1 diabetes, blood sugar levels rise because the body has stopped making enough of the hormone called insulin. The job of insulin is to move sugar from the blood into cells. Type 1 diabetes is most often found when a person is a child or young adult. Read more. 

  • Type 2 diabetes

    Diabetes causes the level of sugar (glucose) in the blood to become too high. In type 2 diabetes, the body does not respond properly to the hormone called insulin. Glucose is less able to enter the cells and supply energy. This makes blood sugar levels rise. Read more.

  • Gonad disorders

    The gonads – testes in boys and ovaries in girls – make most of the body’s sex hormones. Health problems can happen if the gonads make too little hormone (hypogonadism) or too much (hypergonadism). In girls, hypogonadism during childhood slows growth and stops menstruation and breast development. In boys, too little sex hormone during childhood slows growth of muscles and facial hair and results in short height. In both boys and girls, too much of the hormones can speed sexual development.

  • Growth hormone deficiency and growth disorder

    A growth disorder is any problem in babies, children or teens that prevents them from having typical growth. There are many causes of growth disorders, including problems that affect hormones (endocrine diseases, such as hypothyroidism). Growth hormone deficiency happens when the pituitary gland does not produce enough of the hormone needed for normal growth.

  • Insulin resistance

    When a child has insulin resistance, a hormone called insulin cannot keep their blood sugar (glucose) levels normal after they eat or drink. Insulin is made in the pancreas gland. Insulin removes sugar from the blood and turns it into energy. When insulin does not work right, the body tries to help by making more. This extra insulin keeps blood sugars normal for a while. But over time, the pancreas cannot make enough insulin. Blood sugar levels get too high, which can develop into type 2 diabetes. High blood sugar levels can damage your child’s eyes, kidneys, heart and nerves. However, with a healthy diet and exercise, it is possible to reverse insulin resistance and prevent type 2 diabetes.

  • Lipid disorders

    Lipids are fatty substances, such as cholesterol (kuh-LES-tuh-rawl) and triglycerides (TRY-glis-eh-rides). In lipid disorders, fats in the blood are not at normal levels, usually too high. Some lipid disorders happen because a child has another condition that increases their blood fats. Being overweight also raises the risk of high lipid levels. High blood cholesterol increases the chance of having an early heart attack or stroke. Our Lipid Disorders team treats children and teens with these conditions. 

  • Disorders of puberty

    Puberty is the time of life when your child becomes mature sexually. Most often, it happens between ages 9 and 14 years for girls and ages 11 and 16 years for boys. If a child starts puberty very early or late, there may be a problem with how their body makes and uses hormones. Puberty that starts very early – before age 8 in girls and before age 9 in boys – is called precocious puberty. Puberty that starts late is called delayed puberty. For boys, the sign of delayed puberty is testicles that have not grown larger by age 14. Signs in girls are not having their first period (menstruation) by age 16 or breast development by age 14. See information on classes for girls who start puberty early.

  • Prader-Willi syndrome

    This genetic disorder affects many parts of the body. One of the main symptoms is overeating because the part of the brain that controls feelings of hunger does not work right. Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) may cause many other health problems. These include obesity, hormone imbalances that can affect growth or sexual development, type 2 diabetes, difficulty controlling emotions, intellectual disability and breathing issues during sleep. Our Prader-Willi Syndrome Clinic brings together experts in many specialties to care for children and teens with PWS.

  • Thyroid conditions

    The thyroid gland makes hormones that help control how the body turns food into energy (metabolism). There are 2 main types of thyroid conditions. Hyperthyroidism is when the gland releases too much thyroid hormone. This can cause your child to stop gaining weight as they grow. Hypothyroidism means too little hormone is in your child’s blood. This can slow growth and delay puberty. Read more about thyroid conditions and Seattle Children's Thyroid Program.

Scheduling an Appointment With Endocrinology and Diabetes

Telemedicine at Seattle Children’s

Your child’s first appointment in our clinic will be in person and take about 90 minutes. Later visits may be offered via telehealth (virtual). Learn more.

Take Part in Research

Help us answer questions about childhood health and illness, and help other children in the future. Learn about our current diabetes research studies and how patients can take part.

Contact Us

For more information, contact the Endocrinology and Diabetes Program at 206-987-2640. If you would like an appointment, ask your child’s primary care provider to refer you.

Providers, see how to refer a patient.

Paying for Care

Learn about paying for care at Seattle Children’s, including insurance coverage, billing and financial assistance.

Access Additional Resources

Get resources for patients and families, including information on food, housing, transportation, financial assistance, mental health and more.