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Growth hormone or somatropin is responsible for cell growth as well as reproduction. But insufficient somatropin production by the pituitary gland may result in lack in height. It is mostly caused by a serious brain injury, any prevalent medical condition or might occur as a birth defect.
- Congenital GHD - This form of GHD appears from at the time of birth itself.
- Acquired GHD- GHD can be acquired during later life as a result of trauma, infection, tumor growth within the brain or radiation therapy.
- Idiopathic GHD- Idiopathic GHD is the third, and comparatively worst kind of GHD since it has no treatment.
GHD is mostly permanent, but can also be transient. Read on to know how to detect whether you or your child is suffering from growth hormone deficiency (GHD).
- Restricted height- Compared to other children of your child's age, he/she may be of shorter height, which is a rather conclusive sign to detect somatropin deficiency.
- Chubby and comparatively younger appearance- Your child may have a proportionate body, but if he/she is unnaturally chubby and has a baby-face compared to other children, he/she may be suffering from GHD.
- Late puberty- Your child's puberty maybe later than usual or even not appear at all, depending upon the gravity of the GHD.
- Hypoglycemia and exaggerated jaundice- Low blood sugar is amongst the most primary manifestations of GHD, along with extended duration of jaundice.
- Micro-penis- Micro penis condition is one of the incident signs of GHD, which later escalates to growth deficit as the infant gets older.
- Fatigue- Adults with GHD may experience extreme tiredness throughout the day, with reduced muscle strength.
- Osteoporosis- Osteoporosis, along with bodily deformities, is a common sign in adults with GHD.
- Lipid abnormalities- A test of your lipid profile may reveal abnormalities in LDL cholesterol, insulin resistance, and impaired cardiac functions.
Tests to determine GHD:
- Physical test- A chart is drawn to determine the proportion of height and weight with respect to your age to detect anomalies.
- Hand X-ray- A hand X-ray can determine whether the age of bones are at par with your age.
- MRI-MRI scan can determine the health of your brain and pituitary gland.
- Test for other hormones- Growth Hormone may not be solely responsible for your health condition, so it is important to determine if other hormone levels are all normal.
- Hormone supplements- Hormone supplements like corticosteroids (hydrocortisone or prednisone), Levothyroxine (levoxyl, synthroid, etc), and others work to replenish the deficiency of pituitary hormones.
- Growth hormone injection- GH is injected beneath your skin, to cure GDH. This is a long-term treatment and requires constant monitoring.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an auto-immune disorder (wherein the immune system attacks the body tissues) resulting in joint inflammations. Joints, which are used more frequently, such as knees, fingers, shoulders, wrists, elbows and hips get affected more commonly by this disease. Rheumatoid arthritis might also affect the adjoining tissues, such as the ligaments and tendons. While doctors are still skepticle about what exactly causes the disease, a significant dip in immunity might cause the inflammation of the joints, resulting in people who suffer from obesity, people in the age group of 40-60, people who have a family history of this condition, regular smokers and women being more prone to this disease.
The symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis include but are not limited to:
1. Intense pain in the morning
2. Recurring instances of mild fever along with the pain.
3. Abnormally enlarged joints turning red in colour, resulting in intense pain.
4. Stiffness in the joints
5. Significant increase in the pain in low-temperature conditions
6. Being severely tired and experiencing an alarming decrease in weight
If rheumatoid arthritis is not diagnosed immediately, it might lead to future complications, such as blood cancers in the lymph nodes, osteoporosis (a medical condition resulting in brittle bones), infections, blockages in and gradual stiffening of the arteries. The treatment of rheumatoid arthritis includes:
- Prescribed dosage of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and Naproxen will help. Anti-rheumatoid drugs and steroid drugs such as ‘prednisone’ help in the reduction of inflammation and pain. The medication will be prescribed depending on the severity of the condition.
- Performing regular exercises in order to maintain the flexibility of the joints with due consultation from the physiotherapist.
- In extreme conditions, the doctor might suggest surgeries which include:
- Complete replacement of the joint with a metal prosthetic
- Repairing of tendons if the tendons are severely affected
- Synovectomy which will remove the damaged portion of the joint
- Joint fusion which will readjust the joint and reduce the pain
Lung diseases are some of the most common diseases suffered by human beings throughout the world. Smoking and infections are responsible for most lung diseases. The lungs perform one of the most important functions of the body. It is also one of the most active organs in the human body and hence lung problems can arise due to problems in any other part of the body. Some of the most common and infectious lung diseases are discussed below-
Asthma is a common long term disease which is characterized by reversible airflow obstruction and bronchospasm. The symptoms of asthma include coughing, shortness of breath and tightness of chest. These symptoms may occur frequently during a day and depending on the person, it may become worse during night or during a certain exercise.
Pneumonia is another common lung problem which is suffered due to inflammation in the microscopic air sacs in the lungs known as alveoli. Symptoms of pneumonia include dry cough, chest pain, breathing problem and fever. Pneumonia is caused most commonly by viruses or bacteria. It is also caused by certain medications and conditions which are popularly known as autoimmune diseases. There are a number of vaccines available to prevent certain types of pneumonia. Other methods include hand washing and refraining from smoking.
Tuberculosis is a very infectious disease which is caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Although tuberculosis generally affects the lungs, but it has been known to affect other parts of the body as well. Symptoms of tuberculosis include cough containing sputum with blood, night sweats, fever and weight loss. Air is an active medium for spreading tuberculosis. This happens when people who already have tuberculosis sneeze, cough or speak. Infection occurs more in those who have HIV/AIDS or those who smoke. Prevention of tuberculosis includes staying away and keeping those who are at high risk, early detection and treatment and vaccination.
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer which affects the lungs. It affects the lining of the lungs and chest wall. Symptoms of mesothelioma include shortness of breath, swollen abdomen, cough, chest pain, weight loss and general lethargy. Mesothelioma is caused mainly due to exposure to asbestos. Those people who mine asbestos, produce products from asbestos, work with asbestos products are at high risk. Mesothelioma also results from genetical problems and due to infection caused by the simian virus 40.
5. Pulmonary Embolism
This is a disease caused due to blockage of an artery in the lungs by a substance which has travelled from another part of the body by the bloodstream. Symptoms of this disease include chest pain, breath shortness and coughing up of blood. There may also be signs of blood clot in the legs.
Endocrinology deals with hormones, hormone systems and hormonal disorders. The organs that come under endocrinology are pituitary gland, adrenal glands, ovaries or testicles, thyroid gland and pancreas. These organs maintain the chemical balance of the body by secreting hormones which regulate all the body systems.
Relation between the endocrine system and diabetes:
The hormone insulin is secreted by the pancreatic beta cells called the islets of Langerhans. It is a peptide hormone that metabolizes carbohydrates, proteins and fats, stimulates the conversion of glycogen or stored protein to usable glucose and also helps the body cells to absorb the glucose. The movement of ionized or free calcium (Ca2+) is also somewhat dependent on insulin.
Insulin is secreted from the pancreas in two phases - the first phase occurs when blood sugar level is high and need to be absorbed into the cells while the second phase is associated with a slower production not influenced by blood sugar.
Types of diabetes and how they are affected by the endocrine system
- Type 1 diabetes mellitus: This condition is caused by underproduction of insulin by the pancreatic beta cells. It is called 'insulin dependent diabetes mellitus' (IDDM), since it is directly influenced by the hormone.
- Type 2 diabetes mellitus: This type of the disorder is not directly dependent on insulin. It is usually caused by obesity and lack of physical exercise. The cells develop resistance to insulin and because of that blood sugar is not absorbed properly. This eventually leads to under-secretion of insulin.
- Gestational diabetes mellitus: Pregnant women might develop high levels of blood sugar even if they did not have diabetes in the past. This occurs due the changes in the regular hormonal cycles and secretion of pregnancy hormones and can result is complications and miscarriage.
Sub-specialties of diabetic endocrinology
- Diabetic renal disease: The kidneys filter the blood. If there are chronically high levels of sugar in blood, hormones like erythropoietin (regulates production of red blood cells) and renin (regulates blood plasma and fluid content) are not produced. As a result, the kidneys' capacity is reduced and waste materials build up in blood.
- Diabetic vision problems: Insulin problems may cause the blood vessels supplying the retina (light sensitive eye tissue) to expand or contract. This causes blurry and distorted vision and pain in the eyes.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Pulmonary hypertension is a medical condition that arises when the blood pressure remains consistently high in the vessels of the lungs. This condition can develop from a completely unrelated medical condition and is more prevalent among women.
Pulmonary Hypertension can be a hard disease to diagnose. While it has no permanent cure, the medication depends on how far the disease has advanced. From group 1 PAH to group 5 PAH, pulmonary hypertension has 5 stages of advancement.
Here is a list of 10 ways by which this disease can be kept under control along with the prescribed medication:
- Quit smoking: Smoking aggravates pulmonary hypertension. It has adverse effects on both the heart and the lung. It is therefore of utmost importance to quit smoking. If you fail to control your urge of smoking, contact your doctor who can suggest a quitting plan.
- Avoid high altitude: Patients suffering from pulmonary hypertension should avoid flying and living at high altitude. An altitude of 8000 feet and above can worsen the symptoms. It is therefore suggested that you do not take flights for travelling or come down below the altitude of 2428 meters if you are living in hilly areas.
- A healthy diet: A healthy diet consisting of fresh fruit and vegetables, lean meat and whole grains should be consumed on a daily basis. A nutritious diet goes a long way in keeping pulmonary hypertension in check.
- Adequate rest: A minimum of 8 hours of sleep is recommended for patients suffering from pulmonary hypertension. A good night’s sleep and frequent naps keeps fatigue at bay.
- Pregnancy and birth control pills: Avoiding pregnancy is a must for patients suffering from this disease. Pregnancy can be life threatening for the both the baby and the mother. Birth control pills should be avoided as well. It greatly increases the chance of blood clots.
- Maintain a steady blood pressure: Any activities that lower the blood pressure should be avoided by all means. Spending too much time in a bathtub or prolonged stress increases the chances fainting.
- Become more active: Patients of pulmonary hypertension often run out of breath with little to no activity. While activities such as weight lifting should be strictly avoided, some exercise or daily jogging can fetch good result in keeping a patient healthy.
- Get vaccine on time: Doctors often suggest vaccines if the patient suffers from pneumonia or influenza. It should be ensured that such vaccines are taken on time. For patients suffering from pulmonary hypertension, prolonged exposure to diseases such as pneumonia can wreak havoc.
- Regular checkup: Regular follow up with the doctor is of prime importance. Any possible side effects or deterioration can be arrested with constant supervision.
- On time medication: Patients of pulmonary hypertension should ensure that all the medicines suggested by the doctor are taken at regular intervals as per prescribed dosage.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!