Dr Sharik Masoodi, a Valley based top Endocrinologist talks with Health Correspondent, Rabiya Bashir of Rising Kashmir about endocrinology, lifestyle diseases and metabolic disorders in Kashmir.
What is endocrinology?
It is medical science which deals with the endocrine glands, its functions and diseases. It controls the hormones in our body. Endocrinologists diagnose and treat a wide range of conditions affecting the endocrine system, including diabetes mellitus, thyroid disorders, osteoporosis, growth hormone deficiency, infertility, cholesterol problems, hypertension (high blood pressure), obesity and more.
Endocrine glands are ductless glands of the endocrine system that secrete their products, hormones, directly into the blood. The glands that make up the endocrine system produce chemical messengers called hormones that travel through the blood to other parts of the body.
The major glands of the endocrine system include the pineal gland, pituitary gland, pancreas, ovaries, testes, thyroid gland, parathyroid gland, hypothalamus and adrenal glands. The hypothalamus and pituitary glands are neuroendocrine organs
What are lifestyle diseases?
Lifestyle diseases are connected with the way people live, eat, sleep and handle stress in life. These are non-communicable diseases. Most of the youngsters have lifestyle diseases like obesity, diabetes, hypertension, fatty liver disease, chronic liver diseases. Even some cancers are found among patients due to a bad lifestyle like smoking leads to lung cancer.
What are the most prevalent diseases found in Kashmir?
We are receiving a huge number of patients who have obesity, diabetes, hypertension, liver diseases, fatty liver diseases, thyroid diseases, PCOD. We receive hundreds of patients in Out Patient Department (OPD). Out of 100, 90 patients are suffering from diabetes, fatty liver, PCOD and thyroid disease.
The reasons for such diseases are lack of physical activity, unhealthy eating, alcohol, drugs and smoking. So, I request Youngsters to take their health seriously as the cases of hypertension, heart disease and other lifestyle diseases are on rise. These diseases like fatty liver can be reversed. They need to burn the calories as much as they can. Focus on foods and lifestyle habits is the need of hour.
Most of the girls are suffering from hormonal imbalance? How do you treat them?
Among girls, hormonal imbalance, PCOD and Thyroid diseases are very common. We ask everyone to improve their lifestyle then only we give medicines. PCOD (Polycystic Ovarian Disease) is a medical condition in which the woman's ovaries produce immature or partially mature eggs in large numbers and over the time these become cysts in ovaries.
PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) is a medical condition in which the ovaries produce higher levels of androgen than usual, which interferes with development and release of the eggs. Some of the eggs develop into cysts, which are the little sacs filled with liquid. Instead of being released during ovulation, these cysts build up in the ovaries and at times even get enlarged.
Some females have hair and acne on their faces, loss of hair, irregular periods. Some married females have problems in uterus lining, problems in ovulation, infertility. Though, there is a treatment for hormonal imbalance. But focus should be on lifestyle.
What are thyroid disorders?
Thyroid disorders or diseases can be broadly structural or functional. Structurally, there can be an increase in the size or nodularity of the gland (goitre) with or without malignant transformation. Functionally, the gland may become overactive (hyperthyroidism) or underactive (hypothyroidism), producing too much or too little thyroid hormones, respectively.
Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) secreted into the blood by the pituitary gland in the brain is an indirect indicator of thyroid function, with low TSH indicative of an overactive gland and high TSH level indicative of an underactive gland. However, there are exceptions to this rule, and one should avoid self-interpretation.
The most common cause of thyroid disease is thyroid autoimmunity, which is often caused by stress. one should always consult a qualified endocrinologist because TFT or any hormone test is always to be interpreted in relation to the clinical setting. In most cases of TFT abnormalities, the level of thyroid hormones (T4 and T3) is normal as per the lab reference range, and only TSH is raised, that too mildly.
The latter condition is called subclinical hypothyroidism, the most common form of thyroid disease prevalent these days. Therefore, whenever someone says he has thyroid, invariably, it is a case of subclinical hypothyroidism.
Many believe women who have PCOD and Thyroid have difficulty in conceiving? Is it true?
There are a number of reasons for infertility. Some are treatable and some are not. When it is non treatable, it is known as sterility. We can go for other options if infertility is not treatable. If Infertility is caused due to PCOS and thyroids. It is treatable. If women focus on health, these disorders are easily treatable.
What is metabolic syndrome?
Metabolic syndrome is a group of conditions that occur together, increasing your risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. These conditions include increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels.
Having just one of these conditions doesn't mean you have metabolic syndrome. But it does mean you have a greater risk of serious disease. And if you develop more of these conditions, your risk of complications, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease, rises even higher.
What is the overall health situation in Kashmir? What are your suggestions for the people?
The overall situation in Kashmir is not so good. Lifestyle diseases have affected the health of people. Especially the younger generation. Type 2 diabetes is now common among youngsters below the age group of 25. This year, the occurrence of Type 2 diabetes among youngsters below 25 years have increased by 15 percent which is alarming and needs to be taken care of.