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Cardiologist

Cardiologists are physicians who diagnose and treat ailments related to the cardiovascular system that comprises of the heart, arteries, and veins. Pediatric cardiologist is a physician who focuses on diagnosing and treating heart problems in infants, children and young adults. Cardiologists specialize in treatment of angina (chest pain), heart attack, heart failure, high blood pressure and irregular heart beats. A cardiologist has to complete medical school and undergo residency in internal medicine for a period of three years. Further three years of specialization in the field of cardiology is required. For pediatric cardiologists a specialization in pediatrics is required prior to cardiology specialization. Cardiologists are specialists who provide complete heart care; they can determine the working condition of a person's heart by means of different tests. The responsibilities of the cardiologist include:



Modern techniques used in the field of cardiology

With the advancement in the field of medicine, cardiologists have the access to the latest technologies like:


Auscultation: A stethoscope is used to identify and detect heart abnormalities and murmur in the heart.


Echocardiography: Ultrasonic waves are used to visualize the heart.

Electrocardiography: EKG instruments are used to monitor the electrical activity of the heart.

Holter monitor: Records the EKG for 24 hours and more non-stop.

Modern blood tests: Determining the levels of HDL, LDL, triglycerides, homocysteine, and C-reactive protein helps in easy identification of heart problems.

Stress testing: Determines the levels of stress and cardiac function of the heart.

Coronary catheterization: Functioning of the heart is determined by inserting a catheter into the heart.

Allergist

Immunologists as they are also called, allergists are physicians who specialize in diagnosing and treating any disease relating to the immune system of the body. Allergists may also specialize in any particular type of allergy like food allergy or may specialize in treating a particular age group such as adults or children. Allergists who treat children are called pediatric allergists. The general conditions treated by allergists are asthma, eczema, insect bites and allergies due to environmental pollution or food. Allergies arise due to various reasons in our day to day life and allergists will be the right persons to identify them.


  • Allergist diagnoses, reaches the root cause of the problem and identifies the reason for the allergy.
  • He will ask for a few tests that will help identifying the cause for the allergy. The tests can include either blood tests or skin tests.
  • Depending on the test results, the reason for the allergy is pinpointed and you will be asked to avoid those allergy-causing agents.
  • Depending on the type of allergy and taking into account the cause of the allergy, medications are prescribed.
  • In worse cases, if the allergy refuses to ease off even after medications, injections are given to ease off the allergy.

Choose the right allergist

  • Ensure that the allergist is a qualified physician who has completed medical school and specialized in pediatrics (in case of children) or internal medicine. He should have completed a specialization in allergic diseases for a period of at least two years.
  • The allergist should have a certification from the American board of allergy and immunology.
  • Ask your family physician to recommend the right allergist and check on the type of medication he will use for you.
  • Ensure he has the right experience to handle the type of problem you or your child is facing.

Modern day innovations have made it easy for people who have to undergo allergy treatments. Medications of the recent days no longer give the patient a drugged feeling as they used to earlier thereby imparting the freedom to carry on with their usual routine. New immunotherapy systems are replacing the traditional ones are both easy to use and highly effective.


Fever in Infants

Fever in infants can be quite be quite alarming to parents. When an infant is running temperature, it is most likely a reaction to the body's defense against infection. Most often it is an ally of the body - responding to a viral or bacterial infection. However in rare cases, the fever can also be the harbinger of middle ear infection or urinary infection or even gastro-enteritis. Respiratory infections such as pneumonia, croup or strep throat can also bring on fever in infants. Fever in infants is also generally accompanied by symptoms such as flushed cheeks, rapid breathing and vomiting. The infant might be irritable and restless. In some cases, an infant can have raised body temperature due to overdressing. It is essential to remember that infants cannot regulate their body temperature as well as adults. Infants are likely to have mild fever due to immunization shots.


If the temperature exceeds 37 C, an infant is considered to have fever. High fever in infants is not alarming but needs to be tackled immediately. If the infant is unable to move and seems weak and listless, consult a physician at once. Keep on the lookout for purple spots on the body or fullness on the soft spot on the head. Symptoms such as swollen joints and rash must also be brought to the pediatrician's notice at once. Body temperature in an infant can be checked either in the armpit or rectum. Digital thermometer can be used to accurately read elevated body temperature. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) does not advocate the use of ear thermometers in infants less than 3 months. Similarly glass mercury thermometers are avoided on account of possible mercury toxicity. Avoid plastic strip thermometers and pacifier thermometers since they are unlikely to be accurate.


Since most of the time fever in infants is self-limiting, do not medicate the infant yourself. Usually Paracetamol is prescribed for infants suffering from fever. Do not give aspirin to the infant, especially when there is a likelihood of a viral infection. Ensure that the baby is well hydrated. Breast milk must be offered frequently. Diluted formula can also be given. Tepid water sponge bath helps in lowering body temperature. Dress the infant in light clothing. Care should be taken not to allow the body temperature to rise rapidly as it can bring on febrile seizures.

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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: November 12, 2019