Scientific Tips for Aging Gracefully

The population of the world, as a whole, is living longer. It is thus essential to implement proactive steps to create changes at both individual and environmental levels, which can promote aging in a better way.

The concept of aging well is a fundamental requirement to improve health and well-being in order to enhance length and quality of life. Aging well highlights the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and keeping wellness on priority while growing older.

Here are 7 scientific tips that can help you age gracefully:

  1. Keeping physically active

It has been observed that poor health in old age is mainly caused due to the effects of multiple lifestyle choices, such as physical inactivity, poor diet, and smoking.

Regular exercising lowers the risk of several diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, etc. Several studies also suggest that aerobic exercises may improve the symptoms of Alzheimer disease. Moreover, certain evidence have demonstrated the beneficial effect of physical activity on aging at cellular levels, causing an increase in energy, flexibility and overall sense of well-being.

Various types of physical activity that can be done are:

  • Simple exercises such as walking, jogging, yoga, weight lifting or a dance class possess multiple benefits as they can control weight, uplift mood, and makes you sleep better
  • A 30 minute-walk every day, it can also be broken into shorter strolls


It has been recommended that an adult should do 2½ - 5 hours per week of moderate-intensity exercise, 1 ¼ - 2 ½ hours per week of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercises, or a combination of these two.


If you haven’t been exercising, discuss with your doctor about how you can get started gradually.

  1. Eating a balanced diet

Diet is shown to play an active part in how well you age. Nutritious diet helps in keeping an individual mentally sharp and gives energy to enjoy day-to-day activities. Eating a balanced diet not only helps you age well, but also prevent oneself against various diseases such as heart diseases, diabetes, etc.

Numerous studies have shown that chronic illnesses, particularly auto-immune diseases such as fibromyalgia and arthritis, can be associated with our diet, hence, a diet rich in anti-inflammatory components such as fresh fruits and vegetables is recommended.

In addition, avoiding processed food with a higher glycemic index can raise your BMI, increase your waistline, and raise your blood sugar. Enough vitamin D level is essential as it helps contribute to bone health as you age. Salt should be kept to minimum to prevent high blood pressure.

The recommended diet for aging well should include the following:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Whole-grain cereals, breads, rice, or pasta
  • Lean protein, such as fish and beans
  • Low-fat or fat-free dairy, such as milk, yogurt or cheese that contain vitamin D
  1. Focusing on mental health

Mental health is very crucial as happiness with less stress levels can help a person age gracefully and liver longer and healthier.

Various tips for improving your mental health includes:

  • One should practice the habit of staying optimistic. Keeping a positive outlook can cure stress associated with life problems.
  • One should stay connected as loneliness is harmful for your mental health. A lonelier individual has higher levels of stress hormones that cause inflammation, linked to disorders like arthritis. Meaningful relationships and a strong social network enhance both mental and physical well-being and longevity.
  • Learn to embrace different aspects of life with a positive attitude.
  • Find new hobbies as exploring new and meaningful things can provide a sense of purpose and keep your anxiety levels to minimum. Keep yourself busy to lessen stress about things you can’t control.
  1. Getting enough sleep

The sleeping habit of an adult in this era has been greatly affected by changed lifestyle and work pressure. This sleep-deprived state in turn, leads to fatigue and premature aging of body cells.

It has been observed that insomnia is more common in older adults. Thus, sticking to a sleeping schedule is important as it can keep a body in sync for appropriate sleep. For an uninterrupted sleep:

  • Keep the room a little cooler and dark
  • Avoid caffeine or alcohol in the evening
  • Avoid electronics before bedtime which emit blue light.

Usually sleeping hours are majorly dependent on your age, an 8-hours sleep is recommended for an adult for better mental and physical health. It has been reported that our skin cells build and repair themselves during sleep, and that’s why we feel renewed and rejuvenated.

Beneficial effects of appropriate sleep include:

  • Reducing stress and anxiety
  • Lowering the risk of heart disease and stroke
  • Reducing the risk of obesity
  • Improving focus and concentration.
  1. Restricting smoking and alcohol consumption

Smoking and alcohol, both have shown many negative effects on the process of aging. Cigarettes, chewing tobacco, and other products with nicotine can cause ailments like heart disease, cancer, lung and gum disease, etc. Similarly, limit your alcohol consumption to avoid risk of health diseases including liver ailments.

Quitting smoking isn’t easy, but there are resources that can help you quit. Seek the help of a healthcare professional.


It has been reported that your body begins to heal within 20 minutes of your last cigarette.

  1. Scheduling health tests on time

    As you age, your body organs also age. The aging body organs are more prone to get diseased and less likely to repair themselves. By getting your health tests done regularly, you are keeping an eye on the aging body. This helps to identify any health condition at an early stage, and take action. Ensure to get a full body check up done twice a year.
  1. Maintain hydration

    Hydration is vital to our bodies as drinking water regularly helps in releasing out toxins and aids in digestion. Additionally, it aids in sleeping better, and improves focus and weight loss. Adequate water intake can also help you avoid dry, flaky skin and fine lines, which in turn, can help your skin look younger.
Like
Like Love Haha Wow Sad Angry
4
covid-test

COVID-19 or Coronavirus disease is an infectious disease that causes severe respiratory illness. This new strain of coronavirus affects different people in different ways. Most infected people will develop mild to moderate symptoms and might not need hospitalization. 

Some of the most common symptoms are:

  • Dry cough
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Body ache
  • Sore throat
  • Loss of smell and taste
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

COVID-19 has caused serious illness in older people and those with underlying chronic health problems like diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure, heart disease, liver or kidney disease, obesity, cancer, etc

Never let your health take a backseat. Get yourself regularly tested.

COVID-19 tests: Need of the Hour

Testing for COVID-19 can identify you as a positive or negative case of coronavirus disease. It is very important as you can only get the right treatment or self-isolate if you know that you have contracted the coronavirus.

Different types of COVID-19 tests available

India has stood relatively strong in her fight against COVID-19 with a strategy “Test, Track and Treat”. Different methods of testing have been launched to trace COVID-19 infection rapidly and efficiently.

Watch this video to know more about Different types of COVID-19 test in this video:

https://youtu.be/SBQklbZ9Rgo

Some of the most commonly used tests used are:

1) Molecular (RT-PCR) tests

  • About the test- The Molecular test, commonly known as the RT-PCR test, is a method of testing that is used to directly detect the presence of the virus in the sample. The test detects the virus’s RNA, which is the genetic material of the virus. The first step in this test is to convert this RNA to DNA using an enzyme known as the reverse transcriptase. The PCR testing then detects this DNA. Hence the name RT-PCR. These are also known as the diagnostic test and nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT).
  • How the sample is taken- A nasal or throat swab sample is taken.
  • Time taken to get results- Results are given the same day or within 2-3 days.
  • Are they accurate– These tests are the most accurate. They have a high sensitivity and specificity.
  • What it shows- These tests help diagnose the active coronavirus infection. If the virus is present in the sample, the test is positive but a negative test doesn’t necessarily mean that you can not be infected, you might have taken the test in the early days.
  • What it cannot show- It fails to show if you ever had COVID-19 in the past.
  • Cost of RT-PCR test- Cost of the antibody test kit is somewhere between Rs 2000- Rs 3000.

In case you feel you have symptoms of COVID-19, you can approach your doctor who can further advise you for a test. 


Not every laboratory in the country can conduct a COVID-19 test as the virus is highly contagious. Only NABL(National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories) accredited laboratories approved by ICMR are equipped to handle the COVID-19 samples. Book your COVID-19 lab test confidently with us.


What to do after an RT-PCR test?

If you test positive for the COVID-19 RT-PCR test:

The healthcare provider will guide you to follow protective steps if you feel sick.

If you test negative for COVID-19 RT-PCR test:

It means you did not have COVID-19 at the time of testing or your sample might have been collected too early to detect an infection. If you develop symptoms after 3-4 days, you might need to take another lRT-PCR test to determine if you are infected.

2) COVID-19 Antigen Tests

  • About the test- A COVID-19 antigen refers to any foreign matter or viral proteins in the body that triggers an immune response. This test helps identify the antigens related to the COVID-19 virus. Antigen test, also known as rapid antigen test, is a rapid diagnostic test that gives results faster than molecular tests. But there is a drawback, antigen tests have a higher chance of missing an active infection. 
  • How the sample is taken- Usually,anasal or throat swab sample is taken.
  • Time taken to get results- Since it is a rapid test, results are delivered in 1 hour or less.
  • Is another test needed– Rapid tests are usually highly accurate if you test positive however a negative result might need to be confirmed using a molecular test.
  • What it shows- These tests help diagnose active coronavirus in the sample.
  • What it cannot show- The Antigen test might miss an active coronavirus infection in comparison to RT-PCR tests.
  • Cost of COVID-19 Antigen test- Cost of the COVID-19 antigen test kit is somewhere between Rs 400- Rs 500

3) COVID-19 Antibody Tests 

  • About the testCOVID-19 Antibody tests, also known as, Serology test, serological test, or Serology blood test, are screening tests for COVID-19 antibodies in your blood. It tells if you were previously infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. The antibody test does not look for the active virus but checks whether your immune system has responded to the infection.
  • How the sample is taken- It is tested by drawing your blood sample.
  • Time taken to get results- Results are delivered either the same day or in 1-3 days.
  • Is another test needed– Sometimes a second COVID-19 antibody test might be needed for more accurate results.
  • What it shows- This test helps to find out if you were infected with the virus causing COVID-19 in the past and now have antibodies against it. 
  • What it cannot show- A COVID-19 antibody test may not show if you have an active virus in your body causing COVID-19 infection.
  • Cost of Antibody test- The cost of COVID-19 antibody test kit is somewhere between Rs 500-Rs 600.

When to seek medical help for COVID-19?

In case you have minor symptoms like mild cough and fever, consult a doctor online and provide details thoroughly and follow home quarantine. There is no obvious need to visit a doctor in person. Self-isolate and monitor your symptoms for the next 14 days. Do not ignore if your fever increases or if you get any serious symptoms such as breathlessness, mental confusion, or blue lips. These signs may warrant to seek medical help immediately. 

Bottom line

The best way to get a COVID-19 test is to contact your nearest healthcare provider who can guide you best on testing. Meanwhile, follow social distancing, wash your hands regularly, and avoid touching your face.

Like
Like Love Haha Wow Sad Angry
332
Heart-Diseases

Heart diseases rank among one of the top most causes of death globally according to WHO (World Health Organization). Deaths due to heart diseases have doubled in India, its 28% now as compared to 15% in 1990s, as per a report published in Lancet Journal.

In the light of growing modern technology, not only the new and young “smartphone generation” but also everyone else is facing more devastating consequences due to their comfortable yet fast paced and stressful lifestyle. This is leading to spike in heart diseases and lifestyle disorders. And to further the situation is the fact that cardiovascular disorders are very unpredictable, they begin slowly but lead to sudden serious disturbances of heart and ill health.

We cannot change the causative factors of cardiovascular diseases like family history of heart diseases, gender or age but that does not mean we should not do our best to bring about changes in our lifestyle that can help in lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Proper lifestyle, diet, exercise with appropriate medical interventions can help delay the problem or even put a stop.

Here are the pointers of the governance for a better Heart and actions to be taken:

  • Stress

One word, one cause that can be the root for different health disorders is stress.

In times when technology and support was not abundant activities such as house cleaning, gardening, taking children and pets to play and walk, climbing stairs, doing household work manually were daily physical activities. These activities even though sedentary, were helping people to keep their body fit and also assist to reduce the occurrence of high blood pressure, high sugar levels, high cholesterol and thus, check the overall strain on the heart, to a certain level.

Today’s fast moving lifestyle has literally reduced all these small yet essential de-stressing physical activities. Thus resulting in increase of oxidative stress and free radicals in the body that are detrimental for the heart.

Coping with stress in unhealthy way like binge eating, eating at irregular intervals or anorexia nervosa causes further negative impact on heart health.

The key is to find alternative ways of managing and reducing stress using various relaxation techniques like meditation, yoga, pranayama, 30 minutes of physical activity preferably cardio exercise done 5 days a week, aerobics or brisk walking and more. These activities offer great benefits like increasing the oxygen levels in the body, enhancing blood circulation to all parts of the body, toning of muscles and nerves and much more resulting in better inner health of the body and the heart.

  • Sleep

Getting quality sleep for appropriate amount of time is missing in this generation where most of the population is addicted to mobile phones and laptops, working in night shifts, late night binge watching, hectic work schedules. Sleep apnoea, breathing troubles are conditions which if persist for a considerable amount of time lead to disturbance in sleep-wake cycle that can further lead to increase in the risk of heart diseases.

Sleep is one of the major function during which the body goes into repair, maintenance and rest mode.

Making sleep a priority in life and sticking to a schedule is the solution. Most adults need 6 to 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep daily to feel fresh, stay health and to wake up energised.

  • Diet

A diet lacking in fruits and vegetables devoid the person of the micronutrients and trace elements essential for body. Consuming too much sugar, salt, high-fat food, processed foods are a threat to heart health.

Fast foods and ready-made foods are rich in trans-fats, hydrogenated and saturated fats. Food products like red meat, palm oil, crackers, chips, cookies, deep fried food, baked foods and all food types categorized as ‘junk food’ are detrimental in long run especially when consumed in excess or regularly. These can lead to accumulation of fat or sugar in the body and can lead to heart trouble. The increased exposure of chemicals and pesticides to the cultivated crops is also a major culprit for toxin build up.

  • Substance misuse – Alcohol, smoking, consumption of drugs

When it comes to these habits, occasional and moderate usage of Alcohol is fine, but smoking, substance misuse and excessive alcoholism are immensely detrimental to the cardiovascular (heart) health of your body and are direct causes of heart disease.

Chemicals in tobacco damage blood vessels, causing plaques (fat deposition inside blood vessels). It also narrows the arteries leading to atherosclerosis and myocardial infarction (cardiac cell death). These symptoms have increased over the years and so has the risk of coronary artery disease (CAD), even in non-smokers in last few years.

Smokeless tobacco, low nicotine cigars, low tar cigar, second-hand smoke (passive smoking) can also be dangerous and increase the risk of heart disease even if it is social smoking only with friends. Especially Women are at a greater risk if smoking while consuming contraceptive pills.

Getting regular health check-ups and medical consultation is advisable. As regular and early screening can help in detecting the diseases in time and hence can be better monitored and managed to reduce the risk to life.

Wishing you a very Happy and Healthy Life. Take care.

Check tests & Profiles for Heart here

Contributed by Dr. Chaitra Avinash, an expert on lifestyle disorders, dietary intervention and hair-skin care.

Like
Like Love Haha Wow Sad Angry
2
womens-healthDear Women, this is why it is extremely important to take care of YOU and your health

A woman juggles multiple roles and relationships in her life – a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother, homemaker, professional – these are the traditionally accepted roles of women all over the world.

Over the years, women are more determined to pursue education and follow their interests in the field of their choice. This new dimension adds to a woman’s responsibilities and tasks.

Women are now into demanding jobs like managerial positions, head of institutions, administration, media, science, academics, research etc., but she also expected to be a good homemaker. Women drain themselves in maintaining a balance.

In 2018 GCI Health launched the HealthiHer movement, conducting a survey which concluded that almost 97% of women experienced a moderate to high level of stress, citing family responsibilities and stress on the job as the two were the top contributing factors. Workload on Indian women is much more than their male counterparts.

So, what do we do ladies?

Give yourself up to the ‘Stress’ and expose ourselves to associated diseases??

Well…NO!!

Put your Health on Priority. Neglecting your health exposes you to various diseases and risks and that is the last you want, right?

  1. Manage stress better – Plan in advance and learn to prioritize
  2. Meditate or practise yoga setting aside even 10 minutes leaves you calmer to start the next day
  3. Quit fad diets and sugars
  4. Eat fresh – Eat home cooked meals, avoid eating processed foods and junk meals
  5. Find at least 30 minutes per day to exercise or a cardio activity
  6. Attend menstrual discomfort/ irregularities. Consult a gynaecologist.
  7. Get enough sleep – to heal and repair your body
  8. Stay hydrated
  9. Do not skip meals

Our special women’s health check-up includes a list of comprehensive tests like Thyroid, Vitamin D, FSH and more for women of all ages to detect any onset of diseases. Avail the blood collection at home service to get a health check-up as per your convenience.

Women must get medical tests /regular screening done on time. It is highly recommended that women must take the following medical screening tests once they have crossed 35 years of age:

1. Pelvic Examination

2. Breast Examination

3. Bone Density Test

4. Thyroid Test

5. Diabetes Screening

6. Lipid Profile Tests

7. Vitamin D Test

8. Heart-Health Test

It is not a myth – women really are better than men at multitasking!! According to a research paper in the journal BMC Psychology, women were faster and better organised than men when switching rapidly between tasks in tests by UK psychologists.

Let’s keep this trend going the way it is, don’t let stress and neglect bring us down!!          

For ore on Women’s Health checkup, click here

Contributed by Dr. Bhavana Sontakke, Gynecologist

Like
Like Love Haha Wow Sad Angry
Senior-Health-Checkup

Hello friends, today we are going to discuss importance of health check-up in old age. Firstly, it is important to understand that regular health check-ups help you to identify and prevent health issues on early basis. There are numerous common health issues that can affect one’s health which may go unnoticed due to negligence towards unusual changes in body.

Advanced lifestyle has made our life so sedentary that we have become technological slaves. By adopting sedentary life, one has introduced all kind of medical problems which reflects in later age. Health problems due to poor nutrition, lack of physical activity, myths and doctor google in adulthood; consequences of which are most commonly faced in older age which you are unaware of till something wrong happens to your health.

Most common and vulnerable health problems occurring because of lifestyle, genetics and food habits resulting in poor health and shortened life span are –

  • High or low blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Osteoporosis
  • Arthritis
  • Back pain and neck pain
  • Heart diseases
  • Dyslipidaemia
  • Vision loss, cataract
  • Hearing loss
  • Pulmonary disease
  • Depression
  • Loss of memory

Many of these conditions are silent killers which reside quietly within your body, but their ill impacts are witnessed after few years or decades.

Ageing gracefully needs regular monitoring of health, show your elders some LOVE and CARE. Preventive tests’ package from Metropolis Diagnostics

With ageing, there is a decline in immunity and the speed and efficiency of body repair, maintenance also slows down.

Health check-ups are equally important for healthy people as well as for those suffering from any medical condition – to keep tabs on their current condition and beware of any future health risk. For healthy people it helps to identify problems before they start and maintain sound health while in preventive case help to recover and manage disease from further progress on time.

Many a time regular check-up protects you from upcoming life-threatening illness through early screening and examination. You don’t need to rely on others because of any physical challenges or medical illness.

Seniors who maintain a good health and fitness even at older age can actively follow their passion, hangout with their buddies and spend quality time with their family and grandchildren. With help of regular annual health examination, taking proper treatment and balanced diet you can stay fit live longer and healthier and active life even in old age.

Checkout Health checkup for seniors here

Here’s to ageing gracefully! 😊

Wishing you a happy and healthy life. Take care.

Contributed by Janki Chauhan – Dietitian

Like
Like Love Haha Wow Sad Angry
1

Knowing what is right and what is wrong for your body isn’t always easy. Knowing where you stand today in terms of health, nutrition, lifestyle, stress management, mental health, etc. becomes important due to the kind of lifestyle we have created for ourselves.

Many health problems arise when you follow an unhealthy lifestyle, suffering from malnourishment and if/are addicted to smoking and drinking.

Factors that usually attract health problems are –

  • Stress
  • Unhealthy food
  • Lack of physical activity, sedentary lifestyle
  • Depression, anxiety – negligence towards mental health
  • Irregular sleep schedule, lack of adequate sleep
  • Incessant alcohol consumption
  • Smoking
  • Consumption of drugs

Obesity

Males have apple shaped body, so they are more prone for fat deposition in their abdomen region. Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of disease condition which arises due to central obesity. Obesity kills more people in this world than any other disease. Unhealthy food eating habits leads to obesity. Stress is also one major cause of getting obese.

How to prevent this:

  • Follow a healthy diet with lot of nutritious foods
  • Avoid starchy, canned, processed foods
  • Know what triggers you to eat more and control that impulse
  • Stick to eating healthy and not go off-wagon during vacations, festivals
  • Indulge in your favorite food, but in moderation

Diabetes

India ranks as number 1 country with maximum number of people suffering from diabetes. Unhealthy lifestyle, stress, obesity and genetics are the causes that trigger Diabetes condition. If diabetes is not managed properly then many other health issues await you in the future.

How to prevent this:

  • Include foods rich in fiber and protein
  • Control consumption of sugar-rich, carbohydrate-rich food
  • Pay attention to your mental health
  • 30 minutes of physical activity or any sort of cardio workout should be included in your lifestyle, at least 5 times a week
  • Change your lifestyle to live happily and disease free

Get best preventive health testing packages and comfortable sample collection service at your door-step with Metropolis India

Heart diseases (Cardiovascular health)

Incidences of heart diseases are increasing in India again owing to lifestyle related concerns. Heart diseases include cholesterol, stroke, heart blockage, etc. This becomes a club of different disease condition which is again due to unhealthy lifestyle and food habits.

How to prevent this:

  • Learn to eat everything in proportion wise
  • Control and limit your intake of unhealthy fats
  • Get engaged in a relaxing or recreational activity like sport, yoga, dance, music
  • Include more of healthy fats in your diet
  • No amount of tobacco is safe, so avoid completely
  • Avoid too much of salt and sugar in your diet

Liver Cirrhosis

Cirrhosis is a liver disease caused due to heavy consumption of alcohol over a prolonged period. This fails liver and is irreversible condition and it leads to death ultimately. Men generally drink alcohol to socialize, for recreation or to cope with their stress.

How to prevent this:

  • Moderate or no consumption of alcohol, based on Doctor’s advice
  • Medications can reduce the symptoms
  • A healthy diet and exercise must be a part of your life

Wishing you a happy and healthy life. Take care.

Contributed by Kejal Shah – Founder of Nutrivity, Clinical Nutritionist and Diabetes Educator

Like
Like Love Haha Wow Sad Angry
5
PCOD

I was once called a sexy-sleek woman with that Indian touch of sensuousness…..But now, not age, but a disease has mellowed me down in every such aspect of taking pride in being a women. My ovaries have many watery cysts, I have PCOD and I am living with it since 2003. Resultant effects are alarming. Enlarged ovaries, pressure on pancreas, zero control on menstrual cycle, fear of getting type-2 diabetes, dirty acne on face, mood swings like a pendulum…..so much for my grey cells to absorb!!

Now, I can only call myself lucky, as I have been able to conceive with the help of acupressure & the third attempt of IUI (Intrauterine Insemination) treatment led to fertilization of a healthy 23 mm sized egg. I delivered a baby boy with a NORMAL delivery. Had undergone Garbh Sanskar Vidhi, an Ayurvedic treatment for first 3 months post which I underwent a tough diet & walking regime, as I was determined not to undergo a C-section.

Determination has paid off in my journey so far, as I was gifted a handsome, healthy baby boy who is 6 years old now, with well-developed features & brain too!!But my happiness was short lived when in spite of breastfeeding for 1.5 years, my hope to restore my hormonal balance failed. I have PCOD even in 2014 now & nothing is fine anymore. Neither my periods NOR my looks.

Moral of the lesson: Preventing PCOD is better than cure. Ever since I knew from the internet that there is no cure to PCOD, I have had no options but to protect my body from its long-term consequences. Preventing PCOD is not easy task. Now I take Vit-B12, Vit-D3 tablets & calcium from natural food sources. I have stopped taking sugar. Initially, I started with sugar free natura but now I consume sugar from plant product like Stevia leaves. I have recently decided to detoxify my body with Virochan Ayurveda procedure & then attack inch loss, if not weight loss.

After spending 40,000 rupees on herbal treatment, I am still striving hard to slim down. I have some more money going into Ayurvedic treatment these days. But to prevent permanent health issues, I am ready to do EVERYTHING. After my Ayurveda Panchkarma, Yoga & Treatment for hormones, face, hair, inch loss, I will meet you again with proof of any answers to what works & what doesn’t. Watch out!!!

Contributed by Phani Trivedi – Founder at WasteEngage, Chairperson at Businesswomen Wing at Gujarat Chamber of Commerce

Like
Like Love Haha Wow Sad Angry
Cervical-cancer

Forms of cancer that are specific to women are breast cancer (though few cases of male patients are also there), ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, cervical cancer. It is estimated that in India, about 160 million women aged 30-59 years are at risk of developing cervical cancer, and 77,300 new cases are diagnosed annually with 37,800 deaths, representing a whopping case fatality rate of 49 per cent.

What is a cervix?

Cervix is a fibromuscular tissue that is connects the genitals with the Uterus and is also called as the mouth/opening of the Uterus

What is cervical cancer?                                 

Cervical cancer is the cancer of the cervix, the opening of uterus. The cells on cervix begin to grow abnormally and sometimes if they are not treated, they can become cancerous.

What are causes of Cervical Cancer?

The main cause for Cervical cancer is getting infected with virus called Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). HPV is sexually transmitted and could have been acquired years ago, from the time when it is finally detected. There are various types (strains) of HPV that can lead to cervical cancer.

Who are susceptible to HPV infections?

  • Women who are sexually active with multiple partners
  • Women whose partner(s) have / had more than one sexual partner
  • Women with any sexually transmitted diseases
  • Women with immune system related problems

Women have undergone any of the following are also likely to be susceptible –

  •  Steroid medications
  •  Chemotherapy
  •  Transplanted organs

Symptoms of Cervical Cancer to watch out for –

  • Unusual discharge from vagina
  • Blood spots or light bleeding even without periods
  • Bleeding after menopause
  • Bleeding during or after sex
  • Anemia as a result of abnormal vaginal bleeding
  • Ongoing pelvic, leg or back pain
  • Urinary problems because of blockage of kidney or ureter
  • Bleeding from rectum or bladder
  • Unusual Weight loss

If you witness any of these symptoms, a visit to the doctor for a check-up is must.

How to detect cervical cancer?

PAP smear test is commonly used for testing cervical cancer. This test assures strong sensitivity and specificity for detection of cervical cancer or pre-cancerous stages.

If the results of the PAP test points towards cervical cancer, the doctor may advice for colposcopy/biopsy procedure for further confirmation before the right treatment is implemented for the patient.

One of the most preferred method of cervical cancer screening for women between 30 to 65 years is PAP+HPV together (also known as Co-testing) to be done every 5 years. This method of testing is certified by ACOG (American College of Obstetrician and Gynaecologists) and American Cancer Society.

Early detection and regular screening can save lives when it comes to cervical cancer.

When to take PAP test and a Co-testing?

  • The right age to do the first PAP test for screening is within first 3 years of becoming sexually active. 
  • After age 30, you must repeat the test every 2-3 years after discussion with your physician/gynecologist
  • Schedule your PAP when you’re not having your menstrual period
  • Co- testing needs to be done every 3 years for the age group of 30-65

Talk to your doctor more about it, ASK QUESTIONS!

But the GOOD NEWS is Cervical cancer is the only cancer preventable by Vaccination. Talk to a gynecologist for more information on cervical cancer vaccination for you and your female peers.

Wishing you a very Happy and Healthy Life. Take care.

Contributed by Dr. Anita Shukla, Leading Gynecologist and Obstetrician.

Like
Like Love Haha Wow Sad Angry
Healthy-Heart

CHOLESTEROL sounds more like a threat call than an important molecule in the body. “Chole” come from a Greek word for Bile and Sterol are a collective group of molecules.

We all Have Liver and Liver produces about 1-2 grams of cholesterol daily based on our intake of cholesterol. In case the intake of cholesterol rich food is less than the production increases and vice versa. Cholesterol is important for the production for Vitamin D, Hormone production, bile juice, cell membrane.

Cholesterol being a fatty molecule it cannot mix with blood hence a transport agent in the form of Lipoproteins is used by the body to travel in our blood. These lipoproteins are what we call the HIGH-DENSITY LIPOPROTEINS_HDL AND LOW-DENSITY LIPOPROTEINS_LDL. The HDL brings the excess cholesterol to liver from all over the body for disposal hence its termed as GOOD CHOLESTEROL. On the other hand, LDL transports cholesterol and fat from Liver to all over the body and we call them BAD CHOLESTEROL. The LDL has the bad name as its associated with plaque formation and heart diseases. However another group of Lipoproteins called LP(a) are responsible for plaque formation on damaged artery sites (due to oxidation- when we breath air).

Cholesterol has several metabolic functions, high cholesterol is equal to muscle growth, muscle repair and it’s a precursor for reproductive hormones. So, cutting it down does not really help. For people on plant-based diets the potassium manganese ratio can alter the blood cholesterol and low levels of sodium can increase LD. What would help is lifestyle changes that help bring a balance in the levels of cholesterol.

1. Reduce stress- More the stress more cholesterol

2. Eat at least 1 cup of whole grains a day- More fiber less cholesterol

3. Eat at least 1/3 rd cup of nuts and seeds- Good fat kills bad fat

4. Include herbs and spices in your cooking- Aids in Digestion of the fat

5. Aim for 45 mins of concentrated activity or exercise everyday

6. Avoid processed foods-Anything that has a shelf life longer than natural foods

7. Eat at least 5 -7 servings of fruits and raw vegetables a day

8. Improve sleep quality by practicing yoga nidra – Sleep is an excellent healer

9. Use cold pressed oils for cooking- Groundnut, coconut, mustard or sesame oil

Change of lifestyle can bring a balance, reduce the levels of LDL. Fats can help us stay full and focused for longer time compared to carbs and proteins. Do not shun them in the name of cholesterol. Instead they will help you maintain a balance in the levels. Since it’s naturally produced by the body, we now know that its not harmful but beneficial in the moderate amounts.

Keep a track of your heart by doing regular health checkup. To know more, click here

Go ahead and keep your heart healthy!! Stay Happy and Healthy!!

Contributed by Anitha Narayamurthy, Dietitian and Clinical Nutritionist

Like
Like Love Haha Wow Sad Angry
3
Diabetes-test

“To Travel is to live” as said by Hans Anderson. Traveling is an important part of our life. Be it work related or a holiday – traveling is fun and it lets us explore new places, surroundings, meet new people, discover different kind of food and culture.

But for diabetics a crucial question while traveling is how to manage their diabetes and enjoy the travel without any hassle.

Hang on! A little bit of homework, planning, scheduling and packing properly can help you manage your Diabetes hassle-free.

Here are some tips that can help you before and during your travel –

Before you travel:

  • For longer travels that involve more than 3 or 4 days, meet your doctor and get a basic health assessment done.
  • Get the basics sorted. If on Insulin, get the dosages adjusted and carry your medical supplies likewise.
  • You also need a letter from the Physician and an ID card mentioning about Diabetes and so you need to carry certain medicines and equipment (like Glucometer/Insulin pens/pump)
  • You should have a travel insurance ready in case of emergency healthcare.
  • If traveling out of country be informed about the different time zones, set your watches accordingly. Inform the airline company about your diabetic condition and things that you need to carry.
  • Locate nearest pharmacies, health clinics at your destination.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), India had 69.2 million people living with diabetes in 2015. And number of incidences of Diabetes are on rise – Get yourself regularly checked for Diabetes

Packing:

Make a checklist of the crucial things that you need to carry in your Diabetes Kit.

  • Carry extra medicines
  • Glucometer, test strips and needles, batteries
  • Insulin pens (if using), gel packs (to store them) 
  • Healthy Snacks in case of delays in meals
  • Glucose tablets/powders to avoid Hypoglycemia
  • Contact details of the Endocrinologist who is treating you
  • Basic First aid kit

      If traveling by air, you can keep the above things in hand luggage.

During the travel:

  • Keep checking your sugars more frequently than regular, especially if you are in a completely different climate and time zone.
  • While you travel by road or railway try carry a whole day’s meal and some snacks with you to avoid eating anything unhealthy. It can be Theplas/Parathas/Khakra/Lemony Daliya with Chutney can stay fresh for a day or two.
  • Keep some snacks ready if you tend to miss the meals like Dried fruits/Nuts/Fresh Fruits/Homemade snacks.
  • You can get Healthy food at the airport too. Discuss about the available options there with the help of Dietitian.
  • Healthy food is not difficult to find, know about the local healthy cuisines and try them.
  • Stay Hydrated especially in hot climate areas to avoid dehydration.
  • Try not to miss your regular exercise routine. Stay Active.

Insulin care:

  • For keeping Insulin cool, gel packs and Insulin cases are available which keep the Insulin cool up to 40 hours.
  • You can also wrap the Insulin bottles in thick cloth napkin dipped in cold water.

It is true that Diabetes makes day-to-day life a bit more challenging but do not let it come in the way of enjoying life.

Happy Travelling!

To know more about Diabetes Monitoring Tests & Profiles, click here

Contributed by Mayuri Joshi – Dietitian

Like
Like Love Haha Wow Sad Angry