Introduction of Solid Foods to Toddlers By Dr. Peeyoosh

Dr Peeyoosh Rankhamb, Consultant, Pediatrics, Neonatology, Motherhood Hospital, Kharghar

Rice, mashed potato, or small pieces of fruits? Are you worried about your baby’s menu while introducing him or her to solid foods? Have you set a date for making him eat solid foods? Are you confused about when to make your baby eat those solid foods? Many moms get plenty of advice from family members, friends, or even relatives regarding what a baby should eat and avoid but this can only make the matters worse as everyone has a different opinion. So, it will be a tough choice for you to decide what to give your baby. But, we solve your problem as we give you a complete list of solid foods that you must include in your baby’s diet plan. Read on to know more about this and get going!

Are you aware? Your baby is ready to eat those solid foods when they are about 4 months to 6-months-old. It is no brainer that your baby’s digestive system wouldn’t be fully developed to digest solid foods. Thus, it is essential to introduce solid foods at the right time. Not too early or not too late. Every child is different. It is essential to know whether the child is ready to have solid foods. So, looking for few signs will allow you to determine whether your child is ready. When you notice that your baby has gained good neck control, shows an interest when you are having food by looking into your plate, attempts to reach out to your food, or even tries to open mouth when you try to offer him/her food. It is a known fact that most babies will show signs of eating solid foods around 6 months. Introduce solid foods when you and your baby are relaxed. 

The signs that your baby is hungry are the baby will be excited to see that the food is ready and leaning towards you when you have the plate of food. The signs your baby is not interested in include pushing the spoon away, shutting the mouth while you try to feed her/him, and turning the head away. Try to feed your baby just a spoonful of the amount and later move onto those larger portions. Instead of placing food in the front, you must try to place it on the tongue. Allow him/her to suck the food. Make sure that the foods are properly mashed, cooked, pureed, or strained with appropriate texture. Avoid feeding foods like peanuts, cashew nuts, almonds, or those foods where there is a risk of choking.  

Here are some foods that are ideal for your baby

  • Vegetables: You can begin withsweet potato, carrot, or even peas. Even if your baby rejects them then just try to feed them the next day. Do not easily give up on feeding your baby.
  • Cereal: Opt for iron-fortified cereals.You can choose barely and oatmeal.
  • Fruits: Try to make your baby eat mashed bananas or apples, pears, and even peaches. Even pureed avocado is a good option as it is creamy and jam-packed with healthy fats.
  • Finger foods: These are small in size and can help your baby grip them properly. Hence, crackers, dry cereals, small pieces of scrambled eggs, and bread can be given to your babies.
  • Iron-rich foods: These are essential to keep anaemia at bay.Raisins, peanut butter, and spinach can do the trick here.

Follow these tricks while preparing food for your baby

  • Try to mash or puree the foods until they become smooth. Do not give your child big pieces of food. Foods should be cooked unless they become soft.
  • In order to make the cereals smooth, try to mix them with formula milk.
  • It is essential to cut strawberries, grapes, and tomatoes into small pieces.
  • Remove the skin and bones of the fish before you cook it.

Know what to avoid: Raw fruits and vegetables,popcorn, raw eggs, large chunks of poultry,and even those raisins which are uncooked.

Caution: In case, you observe that your baby has a food allergy then avoid him/her giving those foods. Consult your doctor regarding the symptoms you observed in the baby after he/she injected certain foods. 

Everything moms and moms-to-be need to prep for a post-pandemic world By Dr. Manisha Ranjan

The year that went by threw all our learnings and wisdoms handed down to us from our mothers and grandmothers, out of the window. Moms and moms to be had to learn to wing it and hone new skills to sail through the pandemic. Keeping yourself and your family safe and healthy became a challenge like no other. As we navigate back into a post pandemic world there are a million things that both moms and moms-to-be need to keep in their mind when it comes to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of themselves, their children and their soon-to-be born children. Now is the time to pause, reflect and take stock as we step into a post pandemic world. Few things to keep in mind:

The pandemic is not over

Even with the roll out of vaccinations across the globe, the pandemic is far from over. We need to continue to practise social distancing, sanitising and wearing masks while out in public places. Moms need to convey this to their children and ensure they are protected and that they follow social distancing wherever applicable. Moms-to-be need to practice extra care and precaution with the help of a support system which includes their medical practitioners, primary care givers and immediate family.

Doctor visits and check-ups

One of the most critical and important steps, is to ensure that all children below 6 are vaccinated with age appropriate vaccinations which are imperative for a childŸ??s growth and development. Moms-to-be must also ensure that their immunisation records are up to date and be in constant touch with their doctors and attend all scans and tests as they progress with their pregnancy

Building immunity

Keeping up with our age old traditions of eating immunity boosting fruits and nutrients, it is very important that we focus on building and keeping immunity levels high as we step back into the world. A good and robust immunity helps safeguard the entire family against seasonal infections and allergies. Our body is the most important tool we possess and nourishing it adequately will help keep infections at bay.

Mental Well-being & Mindfulness

While physical health is important, the pandemic has made us unlearn a lot of things when it comes to keeping calm. Especially in case of children, families and moms-to-be. Mental well-being is as important as physical fitness, for a happy and sane mind dwells in a healthy body. The pandemic has adversely effected children as it has taken away their freedom of movement, hence itŸ??s up to the moms to ensure that kids have a safe place at home to speak their mind and share feelings. Mindfulness is very important when it comes to both moms and moms-to-be, for stress is not good and can lead to several health complications.

Self-care

One can never stress enough on the importance of self-care for moms. Sometimes balancing home, children, family and work can get a little overwhelming and it is important for moms and/or moms-to-be to take a step back and pause. It is an old saying which holds true that the woman of the house is the glue holding everything together and we must ensure that she is happy, hale and hearty.

The world as we know is undergoing a change and we must keep up with the changing pace while keeping in mind that our fight with COVID19 is far from over. Ensuring the health and well-being of the family is of utmost importance as we step back into a semblance of our lives pre COVID.

How soon can women overcome gestational diabetes post-pregnancy/ childbirth? What women must know by Dr. Suhasini

When a woman who has never had diabetes gets high blood sugar levels during pregnancy, she is said to have gestational diabetes. Insulin is a hormone that helps to maintain a healthy level of blood sugar.

Higher amounts of other hormones can interfere with your body’s ability to respond to insulin during pregnancy, resulting in high blood sugar.

Gestational diabetes usually gets cured after the delivery as blood sugar level comes down. But it sometimes can turn into Type 2 diabetes.

  1. How can gestational diabetes be a problem even if it is curable?

    It can be a problem as the high blood sugar level can bypass the placenta and sometimes be a problem for the unborn baby.

  2. How can it affect the newborn?

    Gestational diabetes can cause breathing issues, low levels of calcium, low blood sugar at the time of birth.

    High blood sugar levels can also cause an excessive buildup of amniotic fluid, macrosomia, and in rare situations, stillbirth. Early birth, high blood pressure, and preeclampsia are among the other dangers.

  3. How can it be diagnosed?

    Gestational diabetes cannot be diagnosed very easily as some may show no signs or symptoms, while others feel severe hunger, thirst or tiredness.

    An Oral Glucose Tolerance Test is used to determine gestational diabetes (OGTT). A pathology lab is used for this. Before taking this test, you must fast for at least 24 hours.

    A sample of your blood will be collected to determine your fasting blood glucose level. You will then be given a sugary drink and your blood will be drawn one and two hours later. You have gestational diabetes if your blood glucose level is higher than usual after a fasting, one- or two-hour test.

  4. How to manage this?

    Keep yourself active unless you are advised not to do. It will help you and your baby to stay healthy while also limiting weight gain. Overweight or obese women are more prone to acquire gestational diabetes. Finding the right combination of protein, lipids, and carbs is key to controlling gestational diabetes.

  5. Who is in danger?

    When you’re pregnant, any woman can develop gestational diabetes, but you’re at a higher risk if you:

    • History of PCOS
    • Family with history of diabetes
    • Hypertension
    • Dyslipidemia
    • Sedentary lifestyle
    • Obesity
    • Stressful lifestyle
    • History of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus in previous pregnancy
  6. What factors contribute to the cause of gestational diabetes?

    All of the above and the placental hormones which work against insulin.

  7. Is there a cure for gestational diabetes?

    Gestational diabetes can be cured for the majority of women but, half of those who test positive for gestational diabetes have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.

  8. Is it possible to lower my chances of developing gestational diabetes?

    Maintaining a healthy lifestyle prior to conception can assist to lower the risk of gestational diabetes. This is attempting to be as near to a healthy weight as possible, eating healthy foods, and exercising every day.

    At 6 weeks after giving birth, all women with gestational diabetes should be tested to see if they have diabetes outside of pregnancy. A woman with gestational diabetes must be conscious of nutrition and exercise for the rest of her life.

  9. Do you have diabetes for the rest of your life if you develop gestational diabetes?

    After the baby is born, most women’s diabetes goes away. However, up to one out of every five mothers with gestational diabetes will have high blood glucose levels after their baby is born. As a result, a follow-up oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) should be performed 6–12 weeks after the baby is born to ensure that blood glucose levels have returned to normal.

Things you should know to control Vaginal Yeast Infection By Dr. Asha Hiremath

Vaginal yeast infection is a common condition that contains yeast and bacteria cells. However once there is a change in the balance of bacteria and yeast they can multiply which can cause intense itching, swelling and irritation. But the condition is treatable and depending on the severity this can be either cured in a few days or may take upto 2 weeks. Vaginal hygiene is a must to keep fungal/bacterial infections at bay. Infact yeast infection is one of the most common infection that women complain most of the time.

Some of the symptoms to identify yeast infection is vaginal itching, burning sensation during sex/urination, painful sexual intercourse, swelling/redness around the vaginal area, rash and soreness.  Seeking help from a Gynaecologist at the earliest is of prime importance as this can help in arresting the symptoms early. Any foul smell in the vaginal discharge can lead to serious consequences and must be treated immediately.

Diagnosis of yeast infections

It is easy to diagnose yeast infection. Doctor will check for medical history on yeast infections or an STI. This will be followed by pelvic examination of vaginal walls & cervix and also check for any secondary infections around the area. Sample cells will be collected from the vaginal area and sent for lab investigations.

Some of the major causes that leads to yeast infections are; hormonal pills, pregnancy, birth control pills, uncontrolled diabetes, consumption of antibiotics and vaginal sprays. There is a common myth that women can contract this infection only during summer season but women are prone to this infection even during winters. Here are some easy tips to avoid yeast infection.

  • Wear right sized underwear Ÿ?? It is important to choose the right fit of the underwear and to avoid synthetic or a tight fitting underwear. As it can increase body temperature and enhance buildup of moisture in the vaginal area that can cause yeast infection.
  • Do not wear tight pants Ÿ?? Tight pants around vaginal area can provide an environment to thrive for yeast infection as this can lock the moisture around your private parts
  • Change your wet cloth Ÿ?? ItŸ??s important to change wet panties/clothes post a work out/ swim of exposure to heavy rains.
  • Scented products are a complete no : Use of scented sprays/wipes around vagina is not advisable
  • Barrier methods more suitable: It is advisable to use barrier methods for prevention of fungal infection transmission
  • Period Hygeine Ÿ?? It is extremely crucial to maintain vaginal Hygeine during menstrual cycle .Regular change of sanitary pads, tampons is important.
  • Keeping diabetes under check Ÿ?? Women must maintain sugar levels to avoid any serious infections and manage diabetes.
  • Limit the use of antibiotics Ÿ?? This must be taken only under medical prescription and if it is only absolutely necessary.

Early medical intervention and consultation with your gynaecologist can save you from all the suffering.

Pregnancy & Thyroid Things to know By Dr. Madhavi Reddy

Hypothyroidism is often associated with either slow pregnancy or difficulty in conception. Untreated thyroid can cause serious repercussions and leads to either miscarriage, premature baby. It is important that thyroid diseasesŸ??hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidismŸ?? are both treated & monitored closely during pregnancy.  Thyroid should be managed with proper medications and regular thyroid level investigations and proper dosage of the medications. Regular monitoring of thyroid stimulating hormones & T4 levels are imperative in order to conceive. Some of the high risk factors of developing thyroid include family history of thyroid issues, autoimmune disease and thus arresting thyroid symptoms in the early stages of pregnancy is critical, so a proper treatment can be provided and can lead to a more fruitful outcome.

Symptoms of hypothyroidism

  • Weight gain & fatigue
  • Sensitivity towards cold temperature
  • Muscle cramps
  • Difficulty in concentration

It is always advisable to undergo thyroid testing before conception and keep your doctor informed incase you are on medications. As TSH lab values must be reviewed every 3 weeks during the pregnancy journey. Generally during the pregnancy thyroid hormone requirements rise to support baby and the mother. The prenatal vitamins can hinder how the body may use up thyroid hormone replacement therapy. This can be avoided by keeping a 4 Ÿ?? 5 hour gap between thyroid medicines & prenatal vitamins. The doctor must pay special attention to treat hypothyroidism during pregnancy and can lead to blood pressure, still birth, low birth weight of the baby, maternal anemia and premature delivery. Unusual symptoms can impact babyŸ??s growth and brain development.

Post pregnancy thyroid care: Once the mother gives birth postpartum thyroiditis is common and is especially critical among women with auto immune thyroid disease as this can cause severe complications. The postpartum thyroiditis develop usually in first 3 Ÿ?? 6 months after giving birth and some of the symptoms can be hard to identify as they are identical with initial struggles of becoming a new parent.

Early symptoms of postpartum thyroiditis are

  • Disrupted sleep pattern, nervousness, cranky behaviour and pounding heartbeat, fatigue etc.
  • The other symptoms that may follow are loss of energy, dry skin, constipation, aches & pains etc.

Infact hypothyroidism can also disrupt the mil production, however a hormone replacement therapy can help in curing this condition.

Things to eat & precautions for women having thyroid troubles during pregnancy

  • Eating Cruciferous veggies can help in regulating the thyroid levels. Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale etc are great
  • Food rich in iodine is avoidable
  • Lean meat for boating protein requirements are a good source
  • Light exercises like walking, pregnancy walking, meditation & breathing exercises are advisable

Maintaining right balance in nutrition and prenatal exercises and aid smooth pregnancy for women facing thyroid troubles.  Healthy lifestyle is a key factor for overcoming difficulties in this condition.

Reasons To Immunize Your Child.

 

In the past few months, the word immunity has become a  commonplace term in our daily life, especially in the current  COVID19 scenario. Immunity has achieved enormous  importance and everyone is constantly striving to enhance it  through various means. As a parent, you would be naturally  concerned about your child’s immunity. To make your little one  immune to most diseases and infections, understand the  importance of immunization

Vaccines produce immunity through the manufacturing of  antibodies in the body that works like the protective agents  countering any attack of infectious diseases and other  conditions. By following the schedule of timely vaccination, your  child can be protected from a lot of diseases such as polio, whooping cough, tetanus, hepatitis, etc.  

In our country, we have various government-run health  awareness campaigns that highlight the importance of  immunization and some vaccines are available for free at  designated centres on scheduled dates. However, every parent  needs to be aware and follow the vaccination schedule that  starts from the time of birth until the child becomes a teenager. 

Today, let’s explore the reasons to immunize your child and gain an understanding of the vaccination schedule you need not  miss. 

Not only vaccination helps in countering any future dangerous  diseases but also helps in controlling the spread among children.  This gains significance as children as toddlers have more  exposure to the external environment such as schools, play  areas, creches, nurseries, etc. Despite the current COVID situation, children are less exposed; it is still recommended to  keep a tab of the immunization schedule. Isn’t it better to be  safe than sorry? On another note, we hope things get back to  normal and our children have a better and safe world to explore  and enjoy! 

Do you understand that by following a proper vaccination  schedule, you can avoid severe health complications, serious  illnesses, and hospitalization of your child?  

Despite the world not being safe enough to travel right now,  wouldn’t you want your child to travel freely without any  potential health threats? Are you aware that measles can be contracted during travel? Therefore, it is essential to take the vaccine shots as per the schedule. 

Considering our social commitment, it is important to keep our communities free from disease. You can do a small but  significant part by taking your child to the doctor for the vaccination procedure. Let us commit to keep our community  and country free from the impending dangers of diseases by doing our bit. 

Now, let us look at the vaccination schedule to be followed for  your child during the early stages: 

  • At birth, you need to vaccinate your child against polio and Hepatitis (B) and also have Bacillus CalmetteŸ??Gu??rin (BCG)  administered. 
  • When your baby reaches 6 weeks, ensure to have DTP 1, IPV1,  Hepatitis B (B2), HIB1, Rotavirus 1, and PCV1 vaccines  administered. 
  • At 10 weeks, remember to have your baby vaccinated against  HIB2, IPV 2, Hepatitis B (HB 3), Rotavirus 2, and PCV 2. 
  • At 14 weeks, your baby needs to get vaccinated against HIB 3,  IPV3, Hepatitis B (HB*4), Rotavirus 3, and PCV 3. 

From 6 months until your child enters and completes the teen  years, there is a detailed vaccination schedule.

For more information on the importance of vaccination and the  various boosters to improve, talk to our experts. 

 

Importance Of Diapers In Baby Care Routine

 

For any mother, the toothless baby smiles would mean the world to her. One of the important keys to your child’s happiness is clean and dry diapers. It might sound like a trivial matter but for your baby to have a pleasant day with less irritability, diapers play a major role. This is not only related to your child’s happiness but also very crucial for upkeeping the health of your child along with hygiene factors. Along with food, diapers also form a major component of a baby’s well-being

By now, you must be aware that your baby requires frequent diaper changes, especially in the early stages. Approximately, 6-10 diapers are required to be changed daily. This will reduce over a period when the child reaches the toddler stage and learns a bit of toilet training. You can avoid any discomfort your baby might have to undergo by frequently checking the diapers.  It is important to check the diapers after you feed your little one. 

Do you know that if you don’t change the diapers when required, your baby has the risk of developing diaper rash, infections, and other health issues? Let us look at some important aspects of diapers and their importance in baby health and happiness. 

Though there are many brands available in the market, check out the ones that have greater absorption capacity and which are cottony soft on your baby’s skin.

Browse through the brands that will give great comfort and proven history of fewer rashes. You must be wondering how you would know which brand is good for your baby? For this query, you can always check with your doctor and some friendly advice from other mothers in your peer group could be helpful.  

Going by this approach, you can avoid the woes of using a  not-so-friendly diaper product. Look for diapers that the baby is comfortable wearing as well as equally less-cumbersome for you to pull down the same without causing much irritation to the baby. 

You must be aware of diapers that can be worn like underwear with a band. Purchasing such diapers could help serve the purpose of a hassle-free experience for your child and you. 

Here are some points to remember for your baby’s diaper  change routine: 

  • Always keep some warm water, cotton, and baby wipes handy before you start changing the diapers. 
  • Have some recommended lotions or creams that could prevent a rash on the baby’s skin
  • Always use separate wipes for different parts of the urinary area to avoid any spread of infections. 
  • Remember to wipe from the front to the back and ensure to clean the entire area gently. 
  • After wiping, don’t forget to pat dry your baby. 

Hope that the details related to the diaper change routine and its importance have been useful to you. For more information on diapers and everything connected, talk to our experts

WHEN TO SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION FOR YOUR SICK BABY?

 

It is often a difficult choice for mothers to make Ÿ?? whether to care for the sick baby at home or to seek medical help. When is the right time for a parent to make this important call?  Sometimes, what seems like a minor ailment can turn into a  major health complication, when left untreated without any proper medical attention. You need not fret for every little thing.  Nevertheless, whenever you are in doubt, do not hesitate to take medical guidance as the right professional help can safeguard your precious little one from serious illnesses and severe infections

In this feature, let us understand the various aspects of seeking medical attention at the right time when your baby falls sick. 

High temperature: One of the most important red flags of  0 warning would be fever with a temperature higher than 102 F.  It is always better not to delay, especially when you observe that the temperature doesn’t drop even after a day.  

Diarrhoea and vomiting: Look out for severe loose motions and vomiting, sometimes with the presence of blood. Irrespective of using quick home remedies, this condition requires immediate medical attention. 

Breathing issues: If you observe rapid and heavy breathing in your baby, this could often be connected with lungs and chest congestion. Please do not take this easily as the regular flow of oxygen is very important for your baby’s well-being.

Urinary issues: If your baby has difficulty urinating or passing stool, this could be because of a urinary infection. This can be quite uncomfortable and painful for the baby causing much agony to the parents as well. Timely medical intervention can help resolve the problem. 

Vaccinations: As discussed in our earlier article on the importance of immunization, please follow the vaccination schedule for various diseases such as flu, hepatitis, polio, etc. This will help you prevent a whole lot of diseases and improve your baby’s immunity to counter any infections in the future. 

Eye problems: If you observe discharge in your baby’s eyes which could be caused due to irritants such as baby products or some allergic substances, then please consult the doctor immediately. Some of the signs to catch are swelling of the eyelids, watery eyes, etc. In such cases, please don’t be tempted to line your kid’s eyes with kohl or kajal. Keep them natural as such beauty enhancers can irritate your baby’s eyes. 

Other health-related issues: In cases of persistent sore throat,  severe headache, or pain in the stomach area which are commonly occurring symptoms along with fever, please seek medical advice. 

Dullness and inactivity: If you observe that your child is not at his/her playful self and exhibits dull and inactive behaviour persistently, then please speak to your doctor. Though the child might not experience overwhelming health issues, sometimes this can be linked to his/her overall well-being and any medical conditions in disguise. 

We understand that caring for a sick baby can take an emotional toll on the parent. However, with the right kind of medical attention, you can help your baby regain health and happiness.  Please understand that these symptoms or signs may not appear very scary but a little delay on your side can cause a  major impact. Our message would be: Don’t worry too much but at the same time, don’t take your baby’s health lightly. 

For more information on this topic, talk to our experts

COUNTERING BABY ACNE AND INSECT BITES

 

Does your baby have acne? Does it sound strange? Yes, some babies do have acne. Generally, children in their teens develop acne due to hormonal changes. However, in the case of infants,  the hormones of the mothers present in the bloodstream of the babies cause acne. In addition to acne that occurs in some babies, insect bites are also a common issue seen in these little fairies. As mothers, it is natural for you to feel concerned about baby acne and insect bites. The good news is that these are minor issues and can be easily addressed with little care and attention. 

Baby acne is small, reddish-looking pimples that usually occur in the facial area such as the forehead, chin, cheeks, and eyelids. It usually occurs in a quarter percentage of babies when they are  2-3 weeks old. In some cases, acne can be seen in the neck,  back, and chest areas as well. Considering babies have delicate and sensitive skin, it is easier for them to develop acne especially with their under-developed pores attracting dirt and dust in the surroundings. Therefore, it is important to maintain regular cleanliness and hygiene in the baby’s circle of activities.  

Here are some tips to take care of when your baby has acne: 

  • For some people, squeezing acne is a natural tendency.  However, do remember it is your baby’s skin. Please be patient and deal with baby acne carefully otherwise there are chances of leaving unwanted marks.  
  • When the acne is a little dry, don’t be tempted to scrub them.  Instead, always use lukewarm water to cleanse the area gently twice or thrice in a day. Always pat the area dry with a soft towel or baby wipes. 
  • Do not use any chemical-based products or more specifically any adult-use products on your baby’s skin. In case the acne increases and doesn’t naturally subside, it is always better to consult your doctor to treat this skin condition. 

Now that we have learned a bit about baby acne, let us also understand another commonly occurring issue in babies Ÿ?? insect bites. It is common for babies to have mosquito bites and red ant bites. Though not all insect bites cause many medical issues and are often treatable with lotions and ointments, they can cause a  certain level of discomfort to your child. Let us understand how to prevent these irritants and keep the baby’s smiles intact.

  • Most insect bites are dependent on the weather as certain seasons in a year are breeding grounds for insects. Therefore,  it is important for you to keep your indoors safe with nets and baby-friendly repellents. 
  • You can choose to close certain windows and doors to prevent the entry of these insects. However, ensure to keep the baby’s room ventilated with a fresh breeze and adequate light.  
  • While you take your baby on a stroll to the nearby park,  please protect your little one with the right clothing and any other steps recommended by your doctor. 

Whenever your baby is affected by an insect bite, do remember to remove the stinging tweezers from the skin and clean the affected area with baby soap/wash and water. You can also use cooling natural products such as aloe vera gel or an ice pack to soothe the baby. 

We hope that this feature on baby acne and insect bites proved to be informative and useful.  
For more tips and understanding on these topics, talk to our experts.

Get to know all about Paediatric Endocrinology and its conditions from Dr Venkatachalapathy, Best Paediatric Surgeon Hebbal, Bangalore

What is paediatric endocrinology?

Paediatric Endocrinology involves diagnosis, prevention and treatment of children and adolescent populations with endocrinological conditions. The science of Paediatric Endocrinology specializes in the prognosis and treatment of the disorders of the endocrine glands. Dr Venkatachalapathy, a notable paediatric surgeon, explains paediatric endocrinology and its conditions.

The disorders of the endocrine system may include:

Disruptions in physical growth and variations involving lack of physical and sexual development in childhood

What are the objectives of a paediatric endocrinologist?

The objectives of a paediatric endocrinologist include:

  1. understanding the anatomy and functionality of the endocrine system
  2. Identifying the endocrinological diseases linked to the environment
  3. Discovering the chemicals that disrupt the endocrine system

What are the common endocrinological issues in kids? 

  1. Endocrine cancers
  2. Hypospadias and Cryptorchidism
  3. Precocious puberty
  4. Diabetes
  5. Obesity
  6. Thyroid disorders 

Why do kids suffer from endocrinological disorders?

A few challenges with the endocrine system may create disruptions. Any hormone in excess may complicate paediatric health. Similarly, lack of secretion of a hormone or its scarcity may be harmful to the body. One of the examples may be taller kids owing to the excess of the growth hormone. The lack of growth hormone may disrupt the natural height of kids.

What are the main constituents of the human endocrine system?

The glands that constitute the human endocrine system are:

  1. Reproductive glands
  2. Adrenals
  3. Pineal body
  4. Parathyroids
  5. Thyroid
  6. Hypothalamus
  7. Pituitary

Despite being a part of the digestive system, the pancreas is also a part of the endocrine system. The pancreas secretes and produces digestive enzymes. Endocrine glands are those that generate hormones. Pancreas, liver, thymus, lungs, heart, brain and skin, placenta and kidneys are also the organs that release hormones. 

Endocrinological disorders and kids:

  • Hyperthyroidism:

Hyperthyroidism involves excessively high levels of thyroid hormones in the blood. There are various symptoms of hyperthyroidism.

What are the symptoms of hyperthyroidism?

A. Weight loss

B. Protrusive eyes

C. Swollen neck with an enlarged thyroid gland (goitre)

D. Excessive perspiration

E. Increase in the heart rate

F. Blood pressure or hypertension

G. Tremors

H. Nervousness

  • Hypothyroidism:

Hypothyroidism involves abnormally low levels of thyroid hormones in the blood. The deficiency of thyroid hormone may slow the body processes. There are various symptoms of hypothyroidism.

The symptoms of hypothyroidism may include:

A. slow heart rate

B. Dry skin

C. Fatigue

D. Delay in the puberty

E. Slow growth

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is one of the autoimmune conditions children may suffer. It involves an autoimmune response from the immune system, which ends up blocking thyroid production. 

  • Endemic Cretinism:

Endemic cretinism involves the onset of hypothyroidism during conception. The cause of endemic cretinism is dietary iodine deficiency hindering the normal thyroid hormones. There are various symptoms of endemic cretinism.

The symptoms of endemic cretinism may include:

A. Spastic Dysplasia

B. Problems with Gross Motor Skills and Fine Motor Skills. These problems stem from damage to both pyramidal and extrapyramidal systems.

  • Diabetes:

Diabetes is a severe condition involving abnormal elevation of blood glucose. Inadequate insulin production is the primary cause of diabetes. It may lead to serious health concerns, including premature death.

It is already affecting over 220 million people worldwide. Low-income countries and middle-income countries are in the clutches of this illness, with over 80% of deaths linked to these countries.

What are the types of diabetes?

  1. Type-1 diabetes
  2. Type-2 diabetes

Type-1 diabetes was previously called insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (DDM) or juvenile-onset diabetes. Type 1 diabetes stems from an autoimmune process destroying the pancreatic islets. The condition mainly affects kids and youngsters. The main risk factors for diabetes mellitus type 1 may be hereditary, autoimmune or environmental. There are various symptoms of type-1 diabetes.

The symptoms of diabetes mellitus type-1 include:

A. Excessive thirst

B. Abnormal hunger

C. Weight loss

D. Excessive urination

Are there any risk factors linked to type-1 diabetes? 

There are various chemicals or drugs which may trigger diabetes.

They may include:

A. Alloxan

B. Streptozotocin

C. Pentamidine

D. Rodenticides

These are the risk factors that may trigger an autoimmune response. The response may end up destroying the pancreatic islets. 

  • Type 2 Diabetes:

Type 2 diabetes is often called non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus or adult-onset diabetes. 

Type 2 diabetes affects over 90% of diabetics worldwide. The risk factors for type 2 diabetes are obesity and deskbound lifestyle or inactive lifestyle. 

The symptoms of diabetes mellitus type 2 are similar to that of type 1 diabetes. The symptoms of type 2 diabetes remain latent for years to decades. Therefore, the diagnosis may occur later in life. Most patients report that they discovered their diabetes after the complications arose. The prevalence of diabetes mellitus is leading to obesity in children worldwide. 

Are there any risk factors for diabetes mellitus type 2?

  1. Old age
  2. Family history 
  3. History of gestational diabetes
  4. Impairment in the glucose metabolism
  5. Deskbound or sedentary lifestyle
  6. Obesity or being overweight 
  • Hypospadias:

Hypospadias is one of the common birth defects. Hypospadias may affect 1 in 250 newborns. The number has recently doubled. The cause of Hypospadias remains unknown. Some studies correlate it with maternal exposure to endocrine disruptors. 

Are there any risk factors for Hypospadias and Cryptorchidism?

Preterm birth may lead to Cryptorchidism. Small gestational age and paternal smoking may lead to hypospadias. Paternal pesticide exposure may be one of the risk factors for Cryptorchidism.

Are there any ways to cope with these problems?

Positive changes in the environment and maintaining an ideal weight are two essential parts of a healthy lifestyle. Youngsters should develop healthy food habits. Parents should encourage their children to eat more organic foods. Children may prefer regular exercise and reduce sedentary lifestyle. Curbing the global problem of obesity requires us to opt for a multidisciplinary approach. 

Dr Venkatachalapathy, an expert paediatric surgeon in Hebbal, affirms that it’s necessary to abide by the doctor’s guidance. A paediatric surgery may help diagnose, treat, and manage the surgical needs of kids. Finding a good paediatric surgeon in Bangalore is subject to a general knowledge of endocrinology.