04 June 2010
By Sumitra Deb Roy
Davies, a Nigerian, is a happy and relieved mother today. After all, her 10–year–old son can finally play with other boys in school during breaks, participate in football matches –and stop being hungry all the time.
The previous Saturday, Rotimi, who weighs a whopping 90 kilos, underwent a surgery at the Bombay Hospital for a rare condition called Cushing’s Disease, where the body secretes an excess of hormones, which is almost equivalent to popping a couple of steroid pills in a single day.
At this tender age, the condition rendered him a patient of high blood pressure. Besides, his thyroid level was five times that of the normal permissible range, which saw him gain three times the normal weight for his age.
Rotimi’s condition was detected way back in 2007 at a hospital in Nigeria. His parents were informed that there was a one–centimetre tumour in his pituitary gland, which is located at the bottom of the skull. This was the reason behind his unexplained weight gain and the associated health problems. “The tumour was responsible for the excessive secretion of cortisol hormone that made him extremely overweight,” said neurosurgeon Dr Suneel Shah of Bombay Hospital, who along with ENT surgeon Dr Nishit Shah and endocrinologist Dr Alpana Shukla performed the five–hour–long surgery.
Davies tried to treat his condition back home in Nigeria, and then they even flew to London, but the cost proved prohibitive. “This is when we were told by our family doctor that India was a good option in terms of both expertise and cost.”
The Cushing’s Disease, which is believed to affect one in a lakh can be fatal as the metabolic problems keep multiplying. In Rotimi’s case, doctors of the Bombay hospital used an endoscope to reach the tumour through his nostrils applying neuronavigation techniques. Rotimi flies out this Sunday.
Interestingly, despite his condition, Rotimi continued to be a topper in class, said his proud mother.
The Anatomy Of Cushing’s Disease
- Cushings Disease is a hormonal disorder caused by prolonged exposure of body tissues to a high level of the cortisol hormone
- Signs of the disease could include upper body obesity, puffed–up face, hump around the shoulder, but relatively leaner arms and legs
- Children with the syndrome have a slowed physical rate of growth
- It can weaken bones and affect bending and lifting