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Preventive Healthcare

Understanding Amenorrhea: Symptoms, Causes, Types, and Treatment

What is amenorrhea? Amenorrhea is a condition where you do not experience menstrual bleeding for some time, it can be defined as missing one or more menstrual cycles. Amenorrhea can affect your fertility and bone density. This does not mean that the individual is infertile; it is just an indication of a health issue. What are the types of amenorrhea? There are two types of amenorrhea: Primary amenorrhea Primary amenorrhea is when you haven't got your period by the time you turn 16 or within 5 years of reaching puberty (developing breasts). Primary amenorrhea usually occurs due to genetic disorders or acquired abnormalities. Secondary amenorrhea In secondary amenorrhea type you suddenly stop getting your period for over three months after getting them regularly. Some of the common reasons for secondary amenorrhea include: lactation pregnancy menopause stress chronic illnesses How common is amenorrhea? It was found that at least one in four women who are not pregnant, lactating, or experiencing menopause may get amenorrhea. What are the symptoms of amenorrhea? Missing of period cycles is one of the main amenorrhea symptoms. Some of the other amenorrhea symptoms may occur at various times depending on the cause of your amenorrhea. These symptoms include: Hot flashes Nipples leaking milk Headaches Vision changes Acne Vaginal dryness Excess hair growth on your face and body Changes in vision How do you get amenorrhea? Different types of amenorrhea usually have different causes. Some are natural that are not cause for concern while others can be signs of medical conditions. Natural amenorrhea causes include: Breastfeeding Pregnancy Menopause Having uterus or ovaries removal surgeries Common causes of primary amenorrhea An amenorrhea type occurs when a woman does not have a period between the ages of 15 or 26. The primary amenorrhea causes are: Genetic/chromosomal issues such as Turner's syndrome that affect your reproductive system. Hormonal issues that could indicate an issue with your brain or pituitary gland Structural or developmental problems with the reproductive organs, like an underdeveloped reproductive system, missing parts of your vagina or uterus Common causes of secondary amenorrhea Secondary amenorrhea causes include: Birth control methods including intrauterine devices or some birth control pills Radiation or chemotherapy Uterine surgery that may have caused scarring Stress Poor nutrition Changes in weight (extreme loss or gain) Certain medication Extreme exercise routines Certain medical conditions also cause secondary amenorrhea, which includes: Primary ovarian insufficiency causing the ovaries to stop working before the age of 40 Pituitary disorders like benign pituitary tumors or extra prolactin production Hypothalamic amenorrhea that causes amenorrhea because of issues with the hypothalamus Hormonal imbalances caused due to conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome, hypothyroidism, and adrenal disorders Ovarian tumors Ongoing chronic illnesses (eg., inflammatory bowel disease or kidney disease) Obesity What are risk factors for amenorrhea? Most common risk factors for amenorrhea include: Chromosomal or genetic conditions that affect the ovaries or uterus Family history of early menopause or amenorrhea Obesity or being underweight Over-exercising Eating disorders Stress Chronis illness What are the complications of amenorrhea? Amenorrhea, primary or secondary, by itself isn't life threatening. However, some amenorrhea causes can result in long term complications like: Infertility or difficulty getting pregnant Osteoporosis or cardiovascular disease Pain in the pelvic region How is amenorrhea diagnosed? If you miss your period for three months or more or if you have not yet received your period by the age of 15 it is best to consult your healthcare provider to know the possible causes. They will take into account your physical symptoms and medical history as well as your menstrual history and consider the possibility of amenorrhea in pregnancy. Your healthcare provider or gynaecologist can also perform a physical and pelvic exam. What are the test for amenorrhea? Your healthcare provider may suggest the following tests to find out the reason for your amenorrhea: Pregnancy test Blood test to check hormone levels that may indicate adrenal or thyroid gland disorders Genetic testing for those with primary ovarian insufficiency MRI to check for issues with your pituitary gland Ultrasounds that help identify structural issued with the ovaries or your uterus How is amenorrhea treated? Natural causes of amenorrhea such as menopause, pregnancy, or lactation do not need amenorrhea treatment. For other issue related to the treatment of amenorrhea will depend on the cause of the condition, like: Maintaining a healthy weight with a healthy diet and exercise plan Using stress management techniques like meditation Changing your levels of exercise Use of hormonal medication and other treatment as suggested by your healthcare provider In rare cases surgery You may also need to undergo treatment for the side effects of amenorrhea such as: Calcium and vitamin D supplements that help with bone strength Strength training to improve muscles Estrogen therapy for hot flashes or vaginal dryness How long does amenorrhea last? Amenorrhea is a highly treatable condition and with the correct treatment your periods may start to happen regularly or it could take a couple of months for your periods to get back to normal but in most cases it regularises. However, it is important that you should consult your healthcare provider as soon as you start experiencing amenorrhea symptoms. How can I prevent amenorrhea? Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and overall health can help prevent most cases of secondary amenorrhea. Here are a few things you can do: Follow a healthy diet and exercise plan Keep track of your menstrual cycle so you know when you miss a period Visit your gynecologist regularly Get regular and adequate sleep Conclusion If you are over 15 years old and have not had a period yet, or if you used to have regular periods but they suddenly stopped, it is recommended that you see a doctor to find out the cause. Amenorrhea is a common and treatable condition and can even be prevented by living a healthy lifestyle. Getting regular health check-ups and keeping track of your hormones with blood tests helps you identify any potential problems before the symptoms appear, increasing a chance of quick and easy recovery. Metropolis Labs is a renowned provider of diagnostics services and also offer home sample collection. Book your test today with us.

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Preventive Healthcare

Exploring Canker Sore: Treatment, Causes, Symptoms, and More

Canker sores in mouth are small, painful ulcers that can make eating, drinking, and even speaking difficult. But what causes them? And what can you do to find relief? In this guide, we'll discuss the causes and symptoms of canker sores, shedding light on why they occur and how they manifest. More importantly, we'll explore a range of effective home remedies you can use to ease the pain and accelerate healing. Read on to know more! What are canker sores? Canker sores, also known as aphthous ulcers, are small, painful lesions that develop inside your mouth. These shallow sores typically appear on the soft tissues of your inner cheeks, lips, tongue, or the base of your gums. Canker sores are often round or oval-shaped with a whitish or yellowish centre and a red border. Who gets canker sores? Canker sores can affect anyone, but people who have allergies are more prone to developing them than others. If you find yourself frequently dealing with these painful ulcers, you're not alone. They're a common oral health issue, with about 20% of the population experiencing them at some point. While canker sores can occur at any age, they often first appear in adolescence and tend to decrease in frequency with age. What are the symptoms of canker sores? Common canker sore symptoms are as follows: A canker sore on tongue might start with a tingling or burning sensation, signalling the arrival of the sore. You'll notice a small, round or oval sore inside your mouth, typically on the inner cheeks, lips, tongue, or gums. As it progresses, the canker sore becomes more noticeable, developing a white or yellowish centre surrounded by a red border. Eating, drinking, and talking can become painful and challenging due to the sore's presence. You might also experience a raw or rough feeling in the mouth, along with swelling or inflammation around the canker sore. Sometimes, you might feel tired or generally unwell, although these systemic symptoms are less common. What causes canker sores? There are several canker sore causes that you should know about: You may inherit a predisposition to developing canker sores, as they often run in families. Accidental biting of the inner cheek, tongue, or lip, or irritation from dental appliances like braces, can trigger the formation of canker sores. Your immune system might mistakenly attack healthy cells in the oral mucous membrane, causing a canker sore on lip or tongue. High levels of stress or anxiety can weaken your immune system, making you more susceptible to canker sores. Fluctuations in hormone levels, particularly during menstruation, pregnancy, or menopause, can increase the likelihood of canker sore outbreaks. Certain foods and beverages, such as citrus fruits, spicy foods, and acidic drinks, can irritate the lining of your mouth and trigger canker sores. A lack of essential nutrients like vitamin B12, zinc, folate, or iron in your diet can contribute to canker sore development. How are canker sores diagnosed? Here's a breakdown of how canker sores are diagnosed: Your healthcare provider will visually inspect the inside of your mouth to look for characteristic canker sore symptoms. They will also examine the size, shape, and location of the sores. Your doctor may ask about your medical history, including any previous occurrences of canker sores, family history of oral ulcers or any disease that you may have had. Your healthcare provider may rule out other possible causes of oral ulcers, such as cold sores (caused by the herpes simplex virus), oral thrush (a fungal infection), or oral cancer. In rare cases where the diagnosis is uncertain or if the canker sores are unusually large or persistent, a small tissue sample (biopsy) may be taken for further examination under a microscope. In some instances, blood tests or other laboratory tests may be suggested to check for underlying medical conditions, such as vitamin deficiency, ulcerative colitis, AIDS, etc., that could be contributing to canker sore development. How do you heal a canker sore fast? Common canker sore treatment methods include: Mix salt in warm water and rinse your mouth several times a day to reduce inflammation and promote healing. To numb pain and speed up healing, apply over-the-counter topical ointments or gels containing ingredients like benzocaine or hydrogen peroxide directly to the sore. Drink plenty of water to keep your mouth moist and aid in healing. Brush gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush and avoid irritating the sore for quick canker sore treatment and healing. How long do canker sores last? Canker sores typically last between 7 to 10 days, although larger or more severe canker sores may take up to two weeks to heal. Can I prevent canker sores? Yes. You can easily prevent canker sores by practising the following habits: Brush gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush and floss regularly to prevent irritation. Opt for toothpaste and mouthwash that are free of harsh chemicals and abrasives, which can irritate oral tissues. Steer clear of spicy, acidic, or rough foods that can trigger canker sores. Practice meditation or yoga to minimize stress-induced canker sores. Drink plenty of water to maintain your oral health. Ensure you're getting enough essential nutrients like vitamin B12, zinc, and iron to support oral health. What can I expect if I have a canker sore?  You may wake up to soreness due to the canker sores and find it challenging to enjoy sour and spicy meals. Throughout the day, you have to apply home remedies. While canker sores are not contagious, they can recur and vary in frequency and severity from person to person. What questions should I ask my doctor related to canker sore? You can ask your doctor the following questions related to canker sores: What could be causing my canker sores? What treatment options are available for managing canker sores? Are there any preventive measures I can take to reduce the frequency of outbreaks? How can I effectively manage the pain and discomfort associated with canker sores? Conclusion In a nutshell, managing canker sores involves understanding their triggers, symptoms, and treatment options. By practising good oral hygiene, avoiding irritants, and managing stress, you can minimize outbreaks. Remember to consult a primary care doctor, a dentist, or dermatologist for personalized advice and treatment if needed. With proactive care, relief is attainable. If you are experiencing symptoms of canker sores and worried about any underlying medical problem that might be causing it, get yourself tested at Metropolis Healthcare for prompt and accurate diagnosis with no hidden charges. Metropolis Healthcare is the national frontrunner in pathology services with the sole aim of helping you know your health inside out. So do not wait; book a test today!

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Preventive Healthcare

Understanding Atelectasis: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, and Types

What is atelectasis? Atelectasis is a lung condition characterised by the collapse of part or all of a lung. It occurs when the airways or air sacs in the lungs fail to fully expand or collapse. This collapse can be partial or complete and is typically caused by blockage of the air passages or pressure on the lung. Who is at risk for atelectasis? Several factors increase the risk of developing atelectasis: Surgery, particularly abdominal or thoracic surgery, can lead to atelectasis due to anaesthesia, muscle relaxants, and postoperative pain. Conditions that limit mobility, such as prolonged bed rest, increase the risk, as changing positions helps prevent atelectasis. Lung diseases like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or those causing scarring can impair lung function, contributing to atelectasis. Smoking and advanced age are additional risk factors for atelectasis. What are the types of atelectasis? There are two main atelectasis types: Obstructive (Resorptive) Atelectasis: This type occurs when there is a blockage in the airways, preventing air from reaching the lung tissue beyond the obstruction. It's also referred to as the resorptive atelectasis type because it often involves the absorption of trapped air from the alveoli, leading to lung collapse. Nonobstructive Atelectasis: Nonobstructive atelectasis encompasses several mechanisms that result in lung collapse without an airway blockage. This includes relaxation, compressive, adhesive, cicatrisation, and replacement atelectasis, which may occur due to factors such as reduced lung expansion, external pressure on the lung, or tissue scarring. What are the symptoms of atelectasis? Atelectasis symptoms may present in different manners, including: Breathing Difficulty: Patients with atelectasis often experience difficulty breathing, which can range from mild to severe. Chest Pain: Pleuritic chest pain, characterised by sharp pain that worsens with breathing, coughing, or sneezing, can occur in some cases. Cough: A persistent cough may develop, which can be dry or produce minimal amounts of sputum. The feeling of Inadequate Air: Patients with atelectasis may feel like they cannot get enough air, contributing to a sensation of breathlessness. Hypoxemia: In some cases, atelectasis can lead to low levels of oxygen in the blood, resulting in atelectasis symptoms such as fatigue, confusion, and bluish discolouration of the lips and skin. What are the causes of atelectasis? Atelectasis causes can be triggered by various factors, including: Blockage of Airway: A blocked airway, such as a tumour, deformed bone, tight brace, body cast, or fluid or air accumulation between the lung and chest wall, can lead to atelectasis. Pressure Outside the Lung: External pressure on the lung, which can result from conditions like pleural effusion or pneumothorax, can cause lung collapse or atelectasis. Low Airflow: Conditions reducing airflows, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), bronchial tumours, or foreign objects in the airway (common in children), can contribute to atelectasis. Scarring: Lung scarring from infections, such as tuberculosis, or exposure to irritants like cigarette smoke, can lead to atelectasis. Surgery: Surgical procedures, especially those involving the chest or abdomen, can cause atelectasis due to anaesthesia, reduced mobility post-surgery, and impaired lung expansion. Long-term Lung Infections: Chronic lung infections, such as tuberculosis, can result in atelectasis. How is atelectasis diagnosed? Atelectasis can be diagnosed through various methods, including: Physical Examination: Healthcare providers may conduct a physical exam by auscultating (listening) or percussing (tapping) the chest to identify signs of lung collapse. Chest X-ray: Chest X-rays are commonly used as the initial diagnostic tool for atelectasis. They can provide images of the lungs to detect areas of collapsed lung tissue. Bronchoscopy: This procedure involves inserting a thin, flexible tube with a camera into the airways to visualise the lungs and identify any blockages or abnormalities. Chest CT or MRI Scan: These imaging tests may be used to obtain detailed images of the chest and lungs, providing more information than a standard X-ray for atelectasis. Ultrasound of the Chest: Ultrasound imaging can help evaluate the lungs and surrounding structures for any abnormalities or fluid accumulation. How is atelectasis treated? Atelectasis treatment depends on the underlying cause and severity of the condition. Common treatment approaches include: Bronchoscopy: If a tumour or foreign object is causing atelectasis, a bronchoscopy may be performed to remove or address the obstruction. Chest Physiotherapy: This includes techniques such as postural drainage, percussion, and vibration to help loosen and clear mucus from the airways, promoting lung expansion. Incentive Spirometry: This device encourages deep breathing and helps to expand the lungs, particularly after atelectasis surgery. Respiratory Therapy: Inhalation treatments with bronchodilators or mucolytic agents may be used to open the airways and reduce mucus viscosity. Oxygen Therapy: Supplemental oxygen atelectasis therapies may be administered to improve oxygen levels in the blood and support lung function. Surgery: In severe cases or when other atelectasis treatments are ineffective, surgical interventions such as lung resection or pleural procedures may be necessary. How can I reduce my risk of atelectasis? To reduce the risk of atelectasis, consider the following preventive measures: Early Mobility: After surgery, aim to get up and walk around as soon as possible to promote lung expansion and prevent complications. Breathing Exercises: Perform deep-breathing exercises and use an incentive spirometer regularly, especially after surgery, to maintain lung function and prevent lung collapse or atelectasis. Proper Positioning: Maintain proper body positioning, especially in bedridden patients, to optimise lung expansion and prevent areas of collapse. Avoiding Smoking: If you smoke, quitting smoking can improve lung health and reduce the risk of respiratory complications like atelectasis. Managing Lung Conditions: Properly manage chronic lung conditions such as bronchitis or asthma to prevent exacerbations that could lead to atelectasis. Ventilatory Strategies: During procedures like bronchoscopy, consider using ventilatory strategies to minimise the risk of atelectasis. Is atelectasis serious? Atelectasis is usually not life-threatening in an adult for small areas of the lung. However, large areas of atelectasis can be life-threatening, especially in babies, small children, or people with other lung diseases. Atelectasis can range from mild to severe, and its seriousness depends on several factors: The extent of Collapse: The severity of atelectasis varies based on the extent of lung collapse. Small areas may cause minor atelectasis symptoms, while extensive collapse, especially involving an entire lung, can lead to significant breathing difficulties. Underlying Conditions: Atelectasis can occur as a complication of other respiratory problems or surgeries. In some cases, it may indicate an underlying lung condition or disease. Risk of Complications: Severe cases of atelectasis can lead to respiratory failure, which is life-threatening, especially in vulnerable populations such as small children or individuals with pre existing lung issues. What is the outlook for atelectasis? The outlook for atelectasis depends on its severity, underlying atelectasis causes, and promptness of treatment. Mild cases often resolve without complications, especially with appropriate management. However, severe or untreated atelectasis can lead to respiratory distress and complications, particularly in vulnerable individuals. Overall, the prognosis of recovery is generally good with timely diagnosis and intervention, but it may vary based on individual circumstances and associated health conditions. Conclusion Atelectasis, a condition involving the partial or complete collapse of lung tissue, requires prompt attention for effective management. While mild cases may resolve on their own, severe atelectasis can lead to serious respiratory complications. Early recognition of symptoms and seeking medical assistance are crucial to prevent further issues. Fortunately, with timely intervention and proper care, the prognosis for atelectasis is generally positive. Metropolis Healthcare is a trusted chain of diagnostic labs across India. We provide accurate blood testing and health check-up services, including convenient at-home blood sample collections.

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Preventive Healthcare

Understanding Coronary Artery Disease: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, and Diagnosis

Coronary artery disease remains a leading cause of death worldwide, affecting millions each year. In this comprehensive guide, we discuss the important details of coronary artery disease, exploring its origins, risk factors, treatment, and preventive strategies. Continue reading to learn more. What is coronary artery disease? Coronary artery disease is a condition in which the coronary arteries, which supply oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle, become narrowed or blocked due to the buildup of plaque( fatty deposits ). This restricts blood flow to the heart, leading to chest pain and heart attacks. What are the types of coronary artery disease? Coronary artery disease types are broadly classified as chronic (gradual) and acute (sudden). Normally, it is classified as: Atherosclerosis: It is caused by the build-up of plaque in your arteries. Coronary Artery Spasm: This occurs when your coronary arteries constrict suddenly, reducing blood flow. Coronary Microvascular Disease: Affects the smaller arteries of your heart, impairing blood flow despite clear larger arteries. Coronary Embolism: Caused by a blood clot that travels through your bloodstream and blocks a coronary artery. How common is coronary artery disease? Approximately 200 million people are believed to be affected by coronary artery disease. It ranks as the third most common cause of death globally and is linked to 17.8 million deaths each year. What are the symptoms of coronary artery disease? Common Coronary artery disease symptoms may include: Chest Pain (Angina) Shortness of breath Fatigue Sweating, nausea, vomiting and dizziness during a heart attack You may also experience irregular heartbeats and even fainting spells. Note that coronary artery disease symptoms may vary from person to person and can range from mild to severe. What causes coronary artery disease? Atherosclerosis is one of the primary coronary artery disease causes. It is a gradual process that begins with damage to the inner lining of your arteries, often caused by factors like high blood pressure, smoking, etc. When the inner lining is damaged, substances like cholesterol, fat, and calcium start to accumulate at the site of injury. Over time, these substances form a plaque, which hardens and narrows the artery, reducing blood flow to your heart. As the plaque grows, it can eventually rupture, triggering a blood clot to form. If the clot blocks the artery completely, it can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Moreover, high LDL cholesterol ("bad" cholesterol) levels contribute to plaque build-up in your arteries, one of the other key to coronary artery disease causes. What are the risk factors for coronary artery disease? Here's a breakdown of the common risk factors associated with coronary artery disease: High blood pressure Tobacco smoke Uncontrolled diabetes Being overweight or physically inactive Diets high in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, and sodium A family history of coronary artery disease Chronic stress What are the complications of coronary artery disease? Potential complications of coronary artery disease may include: Heart Attack Angina Heart Failure Arrhythmias (Irregular heartbeats) Sudden Cardiac Arrest Stroke How is coronary artery disease diagnosed? Coronary artery disease diagnosis typically involves a thorough physical examination, imaging tests and blood tests to evaluate the heart's function and blood flow and detect any blockages in the arteries. What tests are done to diagnose coronary artery disease? Given below are common coronary artery disease diagnosis tests: Electrocardiogram (ECG/EKG): This non-invasive test records your heart's electrical activity to detect abnormal heart rhythms or signs of a previous heart attack. Stress Test: This test monitors your heart rate, blood pressure, and ECG changes during physical activity to reveal signs of reduced blood flow to the heart. Coronary Angiography: It provides detailed images of blockages or narrowed areas in your arteries. Cardiac CT Scan: This imaging test uses X-rays to detect calcium deposits in your coronary arteries, indicating plaque build-up. Blood Tests: These tests measure cholesterol levels, cardiac enzymes, and markers of inflammation, providing important clues about heart health and potential coronary artery disease risk. How is coronary artery disease treated? Coronary artery disease treatment depends on the severity of the condition. The most common coronary artery disease treatment methods include: Medications: Your doctor may prescribe medications such as statins, beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, or antiplatelet drugs to manage coronary artery disease risk factors, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes. Angioplasty and Stenting: In this method, a catheter with a balloon at its tip is inserted into your blocked artery. The balloon is inflated to compress the plaque, and a stent (a small mesh tube) is placed to keep the artery open. Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery (CABG): This procedure, recommended in severe cases, involves rerouting blood flow around blocked arteries using blood vessels from other parts of the body. Cardiac Rehabilitation: After treatment, participating in a cardiac rehabilitation program can help you recover faster and improve heart health through exercise, education, and support. What are the complications/side effects of the treatment? Side effects of coronary artery disease treatment may include: Muscle pain Cough Bleeding, blood clots, or artery damage. Infection Stroke (in rare cases) Can coronary artery disease be prevented? Yes, coronary artery disease prevention can be achieved through lifestyle changes and proactive management of risk factors. You can reduce your risk by adopting a healthy diet, staying physically active, avoiding tobacco and smoking, managing stress, and regularly monitoring your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. What is the outlook for coronary artery disease? The likelihood of surviving coronary artery disease hinges on several factors, such as the condition's severity and the effectiveness of its treatment. Yet, with early detection of coronary artery disease symptoms and appropriate medical care, most individuals with the condition can lead a fulfilling and long life. Conclusion In conclusion, coronary artery disease poses significant health risks but can be managed and even prevented with lifestyle changes and medical interventions. By understanding it, you can take control of your heart's health and lead a healthy life. Did you know that a simple blood test can detect coronary artery disease early and prevent complications in the majority of cases? Book a blood test with Metropolis Labs for top-notch diagnostic services, fast and accurate reports and at-home testing facilities with no hidden charges!

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Preventive Healthcare

Managing Itching & Itchy Skin (Pruritus): Causes, Treatment, and Home Remedies

What is itching? Itching, also known as pruritus, is an unpleasant sensation that prompts the desire to scratch. It can affect the skin or mucous membranes and is often a symptom of an underlying issue rather than a condition itself. Itching can vary in intensity and duration, ranging from mild and temporary to chronic and debilitating. What are the most common causes of itching? Itching can stem from a multitude of factors, with some of the most common causes of itchy skin including skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis. Allergic reactions to substances such as chemicals, plants, or certain foods can also cause itching. Insect bites, dry skin, and excessive sweating are frequent triggers. Additionally, systemic conditions like liver or kidney diseases, thyroid disorders, and diabetes may manifest with itching as a symptom. Psychological factors like stress and anxiety can exacerbate itching sensations. Can stress worsen itching symptoms? Yes, stress can exacerbate itching symptoms. Psychological factors like stress and anxiety can trigger or intensify itching sensations through complex physiological pathways. Stress prompts the release of neurotransmitters and hormones that can stimulate nerve endings in the skin, leading to heightened itch perception. Moreover, stress weakens the body's immune system, making individuals more susceptible to inflammatory skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis, which are often accompanied by itching. What are the types of itching? There are various itching types characterised by their location, duration, and underlying causes. Itching, or pruritus, manifests in various forms depending on its underlying causes and characteristics: Localised Itching: This type affects specific areas of the body and is often attributed to external factors such as insect bites, contact with irritants, or localised skin conditions like eczema or dermatitis. Generalised Itching: Generalised itching involves the entire body and can be a symptom of systemic conditions such as liver disease, kidney failure, or certain infections like scabies or chickenpox. Neuropathic Itching: Neuropathic itching arises from dysfunction or damage to the nervous system, leading to abnormal signaling of itch sensations. It can occur with conditions like neuropathy, multiple sclerosis, or spinal cord injuries. Psychogenic Itching: Psychogenic itching is driven by psychological factors such as stress, anxiety, or obsessive-compulsive disorders, without any identifiable physical cause. Home remedies for itchy skin Several home remedies for itchy skin can give you relief without the need for medication. Aloe vera gel or calamine lotion can be applied topically to soothe itching and reduce inflammation. Taking a lukewarm bath with colloidal oatmeal or baking soda can alleviate itching and provide relief. Incorporating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon or flaxseeds, into your diet can help reduce inflammation from within. Regularly moisturise your skin to prevent dryness, which can exacerbate itching. Avoid scratching, as it can further irritate the skin and worsen itching. Wear loose-fitting clothing made of breathable fabrics can help prevent further irritation and promote healing of itchy skin. However, it's essential to consult a healthcare professional if itching persists or worsens despite home remedies. What are the treatments for itching? The itchy skin treatment depends on the severity and causes of itchy skin: Prescription medications such as oral corticosteroids, immunosuppressants, or antifungal agents may be necessary for more severe cases or underlying medical conditions. Phototherapy, involving exposure to specific wavelengths of light, can be effective for certain skin conditions causing itching. Addressing systemic issues contributing to itching, such as liver or kidney diseases, through appropriate medical management is essential for long-term relief. What tests diagnose itching? Various tests diagnose the underlying cause of itching including: Skin biopsy: Involves removing a small sample of skin for examination under a microscope to identify any abnormalities or underlying skin conditions. Blood tests: Measure levels of certain substances in the blood, such as liver enzymes, thyroid hormones, or specific antibodies, to detect systemic conditions contributing to itching. Allergy testing: Helps identify allergens triggering allergic reactions and itching. Imaging tests: Such as ultrasound or MRI, may be used to evaluate internal organs for abnormalities associated with itching, such as liver or kidney disease. How do I get rid of itching? To get rid of itching, follow the below tips: Apply cold compresses or ice packs to numb the skin and reduce inflammation. Keep your living environment clean and free of allergens, such as dust mites or pet dander, which can trigger itching in sensitive individuals. Consider over-the-counter antihistamines to counter allergic reactions causing itching. Topical corticosteroids can target inflammation and provide relief from itching. How can I prevent itching in the future? To prevent itching in the future: Moisturise regularly to keep the skin hydrated. Use gentle, fragrance-free skincare products. Avoid hot showers and harsh soaps. Wear loose-fitting, breathable clothing. Maintain a healthy lifestyle with balanced nutrition and stress management techniques. What can I expect if I have itchy skin? If you have itchy skin, you can expect sensations of discomfort, irritation, and an urge to scratch. Itching may vary in intensity and duration, depending on the underlying cause, and can sometimes be accompanied by visible skin changes or lesions. When should I see a doctor for itching? You should see a doctor for itching if it persists for more than a few weeks, is severe and interferes with daily activities, is accompanied by other symptoms like rash, fever, or fatigue, or if over-the-counter treatments fail to provide relief. Persistent itching may indicate an underlying medical condition needing attention. Conclusion In conclusion, itching, though common, can significantly impact one's quality of life, ranging from mild discomfort to severe distress. While home remedies for itchy skin can offer relief for mild cases, persistent or severe itching warrants medical attention to address underlying conditions. Prevention through proper skincare, lifestyle adjustments, and avoidance of triggers is key. For comprehensive diagnostic tests schedule an appointment with Metropolis Labs today. We provide at-home testing facility, if you are unable to visit our diagnostic labs. Book your test now.

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Preventive Healthcare

Understanding Nasal Polyps: Symptoms, Treatment, Causes & Removal

What are nasal polyps? Nasal polyps are non-cancerous growths that develop in the lining of the nasal passages or sinuses. These soft, painless swellings vary in size and may appear singularly or in clusters. They typically result from chronic inflammation, leading to the enlargement of the mucous membrane that lines the nasal cavity. Nasal polyps may affect one or both nostrils and can obstruct the nasal passages, leading to difficulty breathing and other nasal polyps symptoms. Understanding the nasal polyps types, causes, signs, and treatment options is crucial for managing this condition effectively. What are the symptoms of nasal polyps? Nasal polyps can manifest in a variety of ways and may often affect the overall quality of your life. The primary nasal polyps symptoms are: Nasal congestion (stuffy nose) Rhinorrhea (runny nose) Headaches Loss of taste and smell Nosebleeds Postnasal drip (secretions from the nose that drain down into the throat, causing congestion and cough) Sinus pressure Snoring When nasal polyps grow large enough, they can block your nasal passages and sinuses, resulting in: Frequent asthma attacks (in asthma patients). Repeated sinus infections (sinusitis). Sleep disorders What are the causes of nasal polyps? The exact nasal polyps causes are unclear, but they are often associated with chronic inflammation of the nasal passages and sinuses. Common nasal polyps causes include: Allergies Asthma Chronic Sinus Infections Immune system disorders Aspirin sensitivity What are the risk factors of nasal polyps? Several factors can increase the likelihood of developing nasal polyps, such as: Asthma Allergic rhinitis (hay fever) Chronic sinus infections Cystic fibrosis (a genetic disorder causing sticky, thick mucus build-up in organs, including the lungs and the pancreas) Hypersensitivity to certain NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as aspirin, ibuprofen, etc. Genetic issues that may impact the reaction of nasal tissues to inflammation. What are the complications of nasal polyps? Nasal polyps, if left untreated or poorly managed, can lead to several complications, impacting both nasal health and overall well-being: Chronic Sinus Infections: Nasal polyps can obstruct sinus drainage, leading to recurrent sinus infections (sinusitis) that may be difficult to treat Breathing Difficulties: Large nasal polyps can block your nasal passages, causing breathing problems, particularly during sleep. Severe obstruction may lead to sleep apnea. Reduced Sense of Smell and Taste: As nasal polyps obstruct the nasal passages, they can impair your sense of smell (anosmia) and taste (dysgeusia) Asthma Exacerbation: Nasal polyps can worsen your asthma symptoms by exacerbating nasal congestion and inflammation, leading to more frequent asthma attacks. Spread of Infection: Infections associated with nasal polyps can spread to nearby structures, such as your eyes or brain, causing serious complications such as meningitis (brain and spine infection) and abscesses (pus in tissues or organs) if left untreated. Challenges in Nasal Polyps Treatment: Recurrent or persistent nasal polyps may pose challenges in treatment, requiring more aggressive management strategies or surgical intervention. How do doctors diagnose nasal polyps? Diagnosing nasal polyps typically starts with a physical examination and medical history review. During the examination, doctors inspect the nasal passages using a nasal speculum. They may use a lighted instrument called an endoscope to identify characteristic nasal polyps symptoms such as nasal congestion and diminished sense of smell. Imaging tests like CT scans may be employed to visualise the extent and location of the nasal polyps. Allergy testing might also be recommended to identify potential triggers. Through these methods, healthcare providers can accurately diagnose nasal polyps and develop a tailored nasal polyps treatment plan for their patients. What tests are used to diagnose nasal polyps? Several tests are employed to diagnose nasal polyps accurately. Nasal Endoscopy: A nasal endoscope is used to examine the nasal passages closely, allowing doctors to view any nasal polyps present. Imaging Studies: Computed tomography (CT) scans provide detailed images of the sinuses, helping identify the size, location, and extent of nasal polyps. Allergy Testing: Allergy tests may be conducted to determine if allergies contribute to nasal inflammation and nasal polyps formation. How are nasal polyps treated? Nasal polyps are typically managed through a combination of medication and, in some cases, surgery. Medication Medication is often the first-line nasal polyps treatment. Corticosteroids, either in nasal spray or oral form, can help reduce inflammation and shrink nasal polyps. Antihistamines (anti-allergics) and decongestants may also be prescribed to alleviate symptoms such as congestion and runny nose. Surgery for nasal polyps When medication fails to provide relief or if nasal polyps are large and obstructive, surgery may be recommended, especially in cases of nasal polyps in childhood. Endoscopic sinus surgery involves nasal polyps removal and improving sinus drainage. This minimally invasive procedure helps restore nasal airflow and alleviate symptoms. Can nasal polyps be prevented? While it is not always possible to prevent nasal polyps, the following certain measures may help reduce the risk of their development or recurrence. Manage Allergies: Taking steps to control allergies can help prevent nasal inflammation, a common precursor to nasal polyps formation. Avoid Irritants: Minimise exposure to airborne irritants like cigarette smoke and pollution, which can exacerbate nasal inflammation. Treat Sinus Infections Promptly: Treating sinus infections promptly can prevent chronic inflammation that may lead to nasal polyps development. Use a Nasal Rinse: Washing the inside of the nose with saltwater sprays or nasal washes helps remove irritants from the passage. Maintain Good Nasal Hygiene: Regular nasal irrigation can help keep nasal passages clear and reduce the risk of nasal polyps formation. Using clean humidifiers prevents the nose from getting stuffy and irritated. What can I expect if I have nasal polyps? If you have nasal polyps, you can have nasal congestion, difficulty breathing through the nose, facial swelling, snoring, and reduced taste and smell. Nasal polyps treatment can effectively eliminate these swellings and improve nasal breathing. For those experiencing loss of taste and smell, some may not get it back entirely, even after nasal polyps are treated. Conclusion In conclusion, nasal polyps can significantly impact one's quality of life, causing stuffy nose, loss of crucial senses like taste and smell and facial pain. However, with proper diagnosis and treatment, individuals can find relief from these nasal polyps symptoms. Experience comfort from nasal polyps with Metropolis Healthcare. Our expert team offers comprehensive diagnosis and personalised treatment plans to help you breathe easier. Schedule your appointment now and take the first step towards healthier sinuses.

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Preventive Healthcare

How To Increase Sperm Count Naturally: Ways & Best Foods To Boost Male Fertility

Overview Sperm count refers to the average number of male reproductive cells present in the semen or seminal fluid (a greyish-white fluid secreted by males).  According to the World Health Organization, 15 million per ml or a minimum of 39 million per ejaculate sample (the semen released from a penis after sexual intercourse) is considered a healthy sperm count. Fertility experts believe that a sperm count below this level may cause infertility issues in males. Additionally, sperm health is also a major aspect. It relies on different factors, such as the structure and motility of the sperm. Stress, along with health conditions like infections, genetic medical conditions, and tumours, are likely to affect your sperm count and strength.  Are you looking for natural remedies on how to increase sperm count? By modifying your lifestyle preferences, you may boost your sperm count naturally. Additionally, here is a look into the best ways to enhance the quality of your sperm. Best Ways To Increase Sperm Count Quit Smoking According to various studies, people who are moderate to heavy smokers are likely to have a lower sperm quantity and quality than people who smoke tobacco lightly or do not smoke at all. So, it is advisable to quit smoking to ensure sperm health. Exercise Exercising gets your heart pumping, which helps you in multiple ways. It allows you to maintain a healthy weight and ensure proper blood circulation. When you have a healthy body, it will eventually boost your reproductive health. Various studies show that exercises like running, jogging, and weight-lifting help improve your sperm health. Manage Stress Stress can considerably reduce the number of sperm in your semen. Most importantly, these sperm are likely to have motility (movement) and shape-related issues that may lead to fertility problems. Therefore, you should manage your stress level to improve the quantity as well as the quality of your sperm. Take your Vitamins Some of the vitamins that help with sperm production include Vitamin B12, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Zinc, Folate, and Selenium. You can add these to your diet by eating vitamin-rich foods or taking them in the form of supplements. However, before taking any health supplements, consult with your doctor first. Take Ashwagandha Ashwagandha is a powerful herbal remedy that can help alleviate stress and infertility. It is very effective in improving blood circulation in the body and also naturally enhancing sperm quality. According to some studies, Ashwagandha's root extracts improve sperm concentration, ejaculate volume, and serum testosterone levels in infertile men. Avoid Substance Abuse People with a history of alcoholism and usage of recreational drugs such as cocaine, heroin, marijuana and cannabis are likely to have low sperm counts and unhealthy sperm. In fact, studies also confirm that excessive amounts of anabolic steroids taken to achieve a muscular physique can lead to poor male reproductive functions, including diminished sexual urge and deficient production and health of sperm. Therefore, it is advisable to quit drugs and avoid any substance abuse in order to maintain your reproductive health. Wear Loose Clothes According to a 2018 study conducted by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, males who wore loose-fitting underwear like boxers had considerably higher sperm counts than men who wore tight clothes. One of the primary reasons behind this finding is that wearing tight undergarments is likely to increase your testicular temperature, affecting sperm health and reducing its viability and motility. Lose Weight Did you know losing weight can significantly improve the volume of your semen, sperm motility, and overall sperm health? Actually, the fat cells in your body secrete an enzyme called aromatase. This enzyme breaks down the male reproductive hormone testosterone into estrogen, which can often decrease testosterone levels while reducing sperm count. So, hit the gym regularly or work out at home and maintain a healthy weight. Keep Your Testicles Cool Increased scrotal or testicular temperature is likely to affect sperm production. Although studies on this topic have produced mixed results, avoiding hot tubs and saunas, reducing your sitting time, and refraining from putting laptops on your lap may help improve your sperm quality.  Get Enough Sleep Not getting enough sleep can not only affect your reproductive health and impact sperm count but also your health and well-being as a whole. So, nap well and wake up to a healthy and happy you. Seven to eight hours of sleep per day is good for your overall fitness.  Foods to Improve Sperm Count Searching for the answer to how to increase sperm count with a diet plan? Eating a well-balanced diet is the easiest way to increase your sperm count. The following is a list of foods to eat to boost fertility: Fruits and vegetables: Green leafy vegetables, beans, collard greens, and berries are good sources of antioxidants and vitamin B, which help keep your sperm motile and strong while protecting them from cellular damage and abnormalities. Spinach, avocados, broccoli, and mangoes are rich in vitamin E, which helps boost your sperm count. You may find your daily dose of vitamin C in tomatoes, grapefruit, lemon, and oranges. Fatty fish: Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish help improve blood circulation to testicles while maintaining the overall health of sperm. To get omega-3s, add fatty fish, including herring, anchovies, sardines, and salmon, to your diet. Seeds and nuts: Walnuts, pecans, almonds, hazelnuts, and peanuts help enhance sperm health as they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. Pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, flaxseed, and sunflower seeds may also provide zinc, vitamin E, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids. Garlic: It is one of the best sources of selenium and allicin. Selenium is an antioxidant that boosts sperm motility, while allicin improves blood flow in reproductive organs and protects sperm from damage. Conclusion Sperm count is an indicator of a man's fertility. These cells must be healthy to be viable and fertilise the female eggs. You can boost your sperm count by changing your food and lifestyle. Apart from learning how to increase semen count naturally, get in touch with your doctor to learn about various treatment options to help you improve your fertility. Additionally, you can also get a complete health check-up at regular intervals. It will help you monitor your parameters and seek medical advice as and when needed. At Metropolis Healthcare, we offer a wide range of tests at affordable prices. Get in touch with us and get tested right away!

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