Ferritin-blood-test image

Ferritin is an intracellular protein present in most tissues which plays an important role in the storage of intracellular iron, however being a subject of extensive research recently, various other roles have also been ascribed to it.

A ferritin test helps measure levels of iron your body could store.

How does ferritin help?

The serum ferritin is an indirect measure of the total body iron stores and makes a very effective iron delivery system.

Ferritin test is a valuable tool for the clinician, both for evaluation of iron-deficiency anemia, and also for evaluation of iron-overload conditions, such as hereditary hemochromatosis and chronic transfusion therapy.

Making sense of the results

Ferritin test for iron levels

Ferritin serum test is usually a part of a panel of several blood tests routinely ordered to diagnose and manage iron deficiency anemia.  If a ferritin test indicates that your level is lower than normal ferritin levels, it indicates your body’s iron stores are low and you may have iron deficiency. You could be anemic. However as normal ferritin levels change according to various physiological and pathological conditions, its values must be judged with caution.

Low serum ferritin is highly specific for iron deficiency anemia, and is much more convenient than the gold standard method of obtaining a bone marrow biopsy to assess stainable iron. Ferritin normal range varies across laboratories, but levels of 30 to 300 ng/ml are considered normal for men, and 10–200 ng/ml for women. Studies suggested that a level higher than approximately 40 ng/ml should be used to exclude iron deficiency in most patients, whereas a level higher than 70 ng/ml is more appropriate to exclude iron deficiency in patients with inflammation or liver disease where serum ferritin levels are raised as a nonspecific marker of illness.

Common iron deficiency anemia symptoms to look for:

  • Feeling extremely tired is one of the most common symptoms of anemia due to iron deficiency.
  • Paleness is more commonly seen in moderate or severe cases of anemia. It is often the most obvious symptom too. Just pull your lower eyelid down while looking at yourself in a mirror, the inner layer should be a vibrant red color. If it’s a very pale pink or yellow, it may indicate low iron levels. However, make sure to confirm this with a blood test.
  • Running out of breath when doing even easy daily tasks like walking, climbing stairs, or working out.
  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Dry mouth or a swollen, inflamed, pale, or strangely smooth tongue.

Ferritin test in COVID

Ferritin test, in the light of COVID-19 pandemic, has also emerged as an important diagnostic marker. As a mediator of cytokine storm, a form of extreme immune dysregulation associated with fatal outcomes, it is usually ordered as a part of a panel along with other inflammatory markers like ESR, CRP, D dimer and IL-10. Many studies have correlated high ferritin levels with severe COVID disease. In a small study with 20 people with COVID-19, it was found that individuals with severe and very severe COVID-19 exhibited increased serum ferritin level. However, your doctor is the guide here, always follow diagnostic and treatment related guidelines advised to you.

Ferritin test for kidney conditions

In patients with chronic kidney disease serum ferritin is a less robust marker of bioavailable iron. Although most patients on maintenance haemodialysis have a serum ferritin >500 ng/ml, this level does not represent the bioavailable iron and guidelines propose a serum ferritin level of 800 ng/ml as an upper limit for intravenous iron therapy whereas absolute iron deficiency is defined using another laboratory measure (transferrin saturation <20%) or serum ferritin <100 ng/ml.

Other conditions

Serum ferritin has been shown to predict the risk of cirrhosis, in patients with hemochromatosis. The risk is extremely low for patients with serum ferritin levels less than 1000 micrograms/litre.

Elevated serum ferritin also predicts end-organ involvement in iron overload conditions, such as transfusion-associated iron overload in myelodysplastic syndromes, thalassemia and hemoglobinopathies. Levels less than 1500 ng/ml indicated mostly acceptable iron overload; levels greater than or equal to 3000 ng/ml were specific for significant iron-overload and were associated with liver injury. (Accurate assessment of iron levels is required in those with levels between 1500 and 3000 ng/ml.).

Serum ferritin levels may also be raised in many malignancies like neuroblastoma and breast cancer. Exact reason is however unknown but studies suggest that ferritin is merely being a serum maker and does not contribute to cancer etiology.

Book your test with us, know the ferritin test cost and access results from the ease of your home.

Always get your results interpreted through a medical professional. Test results may need to be evaluated alongside the clinical symptoms and can require other lab tests as well. 

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Ever since WHO declared coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) as pandemic we have seen the virus upending everyday life across the globe and affecting everyone as we speak. The prolonged periods of social isolation have changed the way we live our everyday lives.
While it continues to mutate and produce successive waves of infection, it persists to pose a great threat to mankind across the globe. Even with a great global initiative of vaccinating billions of people, experts aren’t sure as to what we should expect next.

The COVID virus is still finding its way into our lives. Get tested if you doubt having symptoms. Book COVID RT-PCR here.
Over the past couple of years global efforts have been put forward to understand the pathogenesis, diagnosis and management of covid19. It is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV2), a member of the SARS-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV) family. The members of this viral family, have been known to produce respiratory, enteric, hepatic and neurological disease in several animals and on occasions have shown ability to cross species and affect humans. To date only 7 types of coronaviruses have been found to cause disease in humans. The members of this viral family are a common pathogen to cause common cold in humans.

The symptoms in affected individuals are mostly limited to respiratory tracts with fever, sore throat, and body aches being common. Some individuals may even remain asymptomatic or may have mild abdominal discomfort. Studies have shown that in most asymptomatic individuals and those recovering after milder symptoms, the virus remains localised to the upper respiratory tract and seldom reaches the lung. However, in the lungs, the virus attacks the type 2 epithelial cells hampering normal gas exchange and causing oxygen desaturation in the body. Still, why some individuals develop the pulmonary phase of disease or develop massive cytokine storm whereas most others get away with much milder courses of disease is less understood.


As COVID 19 presents with predominant respiratory symptoms, it becomes imperative to keep another older airborne disease of tuberculosis in mind. Both of them affect the lungs and have overlapping symptoms like fever, weight loss and sore throat such that at times distinguishing tuberculosis symptoms from COVID-19 becomes difficult.

Think that long-standing coughs are due to exposure to TB bacteria? Book a Genexpert test and clear all doubts.    

Apart from the various clinical similarities in presentation, both the diseases are also affected by identical social determinants like overcrowding, poor hygiene and comorbidities. So we should always keep TB symptoms and treatment in mind while treating COVID-19 patients. Certain studies suggest that patients affected with TB are not only more likely to be infected with COVID-19 but are also more susceptible to adverse COVID outcomes. So it becomes imperative to identify both the clinical entities separately although both of them affect the lungs but they have separate tests with Tuberculosis treatment entirely separate from protocols for managing COVID-19 along with distinct clinical outcomes. TB treatment might involve taking a number of medications for 6 to 12 months and needs strict adherence to the medicine schedule. In recent times diagnosis of TB have seen a paramount shift and Genexpert mtb is the most commonly performed test. The Genexpert test is a fully automated advanced genetic method for diagnosis of TB using relatively small quantities of sample in a relatively small span of time. It not only allows rapid diagnosis but also provides information regarding rifampicin resistance, so it’s also called MTB rif commonly. Genexpert TB test detects both live and dead TB bacilli as well as distinguishes them from the non-tubercular bacilli. With global efforts likely diverted to tackle this pandemic it is expected to have a huge and everlasting impact on global tuberculosis control targets, meaning millions of new cases may go undiagnosed globally. Need to book a test and know the TB test price? Check at metropolis.com.

Some experts and studies have recommended routine screening for TB among suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 in countries with high TB burden. It is pivotal that the world does not take its eyes off TB during the pandemic.

As TB still remains to be a leading cause of death globally, efforts need to be redirected in missing out on diagnosis of these new cases with help of tuberculosis tests as well as providing support to existing ones.

Take a little extra care

ThoughCOVID is caused by a virus and TB due to a bacteria, the risk of both infections can be reduced by using a few simple precautions:

● Good ventilation in the residential area and indoors

● Maintain personal hygiene. Cover the mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing reduces the spread of germs

● Get tested and consult a doctor on suspecting symptoms.

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changing-season-fever image

Every time we observe a change in seasons, many of you may complain of stuffy nose, scratchy or sore throat, constant sneezing, watery eyes, mucus draining from your nose into your throat, high fever, muscle aches etc. There may be multiple causes to it. However, experts say a favorable environment for microbial growth and possible reduction in your immunity levels are the two important reasons.

Surge of viruses and allergens in the air:

We come down with a cold or flu with seasonal change and this temperature shift makes way for viruses to flourish. While we think the change in the temperature is the cause behind it, changes in the weather conditions accompanied by the growth of certain viruses during this time is primarily responsible for the increasing rate of illness. The weather itself does not make you fall sick; the germs do. For example, seasonal allergies due to weeds like mugwort or ragweed etc. are due to conditional occurrences and not related to drop in temperatures that cause us to be sick. Make sure to get a fever panel test done for correct diagnosis when you notice symptoms.

Immune system being too busy:

With the onset of summer, people are generally hit a little harder as all the flower pollen gets released in the air. The immune system in such cases gets occupied with fighting and reacting to these allergies, thereby leaving the body more vulnerable to other viruses. Fluctuating temperatures may reduce the resistance of the immune system, making people fall sick frequently.

During winter months:

We are more confined indoors, which increases chances of disease transmission due to low and dry heating and poor ventilation, making us susceptible to diseases. Likewise, working indoors, such as confined office spaces, schools, office buildings, restaurants etc., also makes it easy for the viruses to spread. In the winter months, the level of vitamin D intake reduces, which is considered an important element for a healthy immune system, but again it gets compromised, leaving doors for viruses to enter. The most common of these viruses being the Human Rhinovirus (HRV) found predominantly during spring and winter. The flu-causing influenza virus spreads when the air is dry and cold, especially during winters. Breathing in cold and harsh dry air can also result in narrowing of blood vessels in the upper respiratory tract that conserves heat, resulting in the white blood cells unable to reach the mucous membrane and harder for us to fight these germs and viruses.

How to keep safe from seasonal sickness during weather changes?

Being precautious by following certain lifestyle changes can help dodge that running nose, sneezes, rashes etc. There are a lot of ways that can either help prevent or decrease the chances of seasonal illness. Some of them being,

Drink plenty of liquids: Staying hydrated at most times is vital. Keep yourselves properly hydrated because we may not realize it as the air is drier; hydration helps in the long run. Drinking enough water helps you flush out all the toxins, clear out mucus from your body, and keep your nasal passage and throat moist, giving less chance for bacteria to stick around.

Getting a diagnosis on time: Most diseases that cause inflammation can result in fever. It becomes important to find out the real cause behind it, and get started on treatment accordingly. Every year with seasonal changes hitting different parts of India, people suffer from fevers including Dengue, Malaria etc. Getting a fever panel test package helps in identifying the cause and getting to the right treatment. Fever panel test price is affordable for all; one should consult an expert and get the basic fever tests done.

Regular exercise: Exercising improves blood circulation and helps keep the immune system strong, which in turn helps combat the viruses and lowers the risk of getting infected with seasonal changes, sickness or fever.

Well balanced diet and rest: Incorporating fresh fruits and vegetables in the meal, taking the ideal amount of vitamins and minerals followed by plenty of restorative sleep and rest, helps keep the body in check and gives it the power to fight off diseases.

Practice proper hygiene: The global pandemic has already taught us the importance of good hygiene, washing hands regularly, avoiding touching surfaces such as door knobs or switches, covering your face while coughing or sneezing etc. This helps reduce the potential risk of infections for us as well as others around us. Another habit raised from the pandemic is the use of masks as a beneficial preventive measure to avoid catching viruses and falling sick frequently.

Get vaccinated: With the shift from one season to another, the viruses constantly change and are often unknown, it is best advised to get a flu shot for prevention.

Apart from these, get 8-hour sleep, stay indoors when sick, consult a doctor when allergies persist for longer durations etc. are some measures that can help prevent you and your family from getting stuck in this maze of seasonal changes. While these certainly can’t control the cold or the warm temperatures, they can at least ensure healthy living that will keep diseases at bay.

Each season is unique and is looked forward to for different reasons. Don’t be just stuck with the thought of getting sick with cold, coughs, sniffles etc.

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hair-loss-causes images

Hair thinning is a common cosmetic problem encountered by people worldwide. It is usually associated with loss of hair volume and thickness that further results in hair loss. Some degree of hair loss is normal. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), usually people lose 50-100 hair per day and there is regrowth of new hair from the same hair follicle.  Loss of hair more than this is considered as hair loss. Any factor that stops the growth of hair results in hair loss. It is also known as “anagen effluvium”. Hair loss is usually hereditary, due to hormonal imbalance, due to autoimmune disturbance, iron deficiency and many other reasons.

What are the causes of hair thinning?

The possible conditions related to thinning of hair are:

  • Stress: Certain stressful conditions like – Childbirth, Surgery, Illness or fever, may result in thinning of hair or sometimes a few months after the stressful situation. This is called telogen effluvium. 
  • Diet:  Eating a healthy and balanced diet can promote growth of strong and healthy hair. Malnutrition and Vitamin deficiency esp. Vitamin B may result in hair loss. Think you could be nutritionally deficient? Book a vitamin B12 deficiency test and know for yourself.
    Furthermore, protein is an integral component of hair and deficiency of protein in diet results in thinning of hair and hair loss. Deficiency of iron, folic acid, and other minerals and micronutrients in diet can cause hair loss. Get a hemogram test (also called blood count test) done and see if you have healthy blood parameters.    
  • Infection or skin disorder or any immune system deficiency can also result in hair loss and hair thinning.  
  • Treatment for any autoimmune disease or thyroid irregularities could also be a cause of hair thinning  or it may be hereditary.

  • Use of harsh hair products like hair gels and sprays or overtreatment of hair like – colors and tight hairstyles can lead to hair damage and hair thinning.

Along with your skin and hair, make sure to take care of your overall health. Book a women’s health checkup package here.

Can hair thinning be reversed? 

Depending on the cause, thinning of hair can be reversed. Thinning and loss of hair due to malnutrition, vitamin deficiency, stress, pregnancy or any other non-genetic reasons can be restored to certain extent in most cases, however genetically determined or hereditary conditions cannot be naturally restored.

How to check for hair thinning?

This problem is quite evident to be noticed.

  • Reduced weight of hair or lighter hair. The ponytail may be smaller or very thin.
  • Progressive bigger appearance of forehead
  • More of scalp is visible mainly at the time of tied hair
  • More than usual hair on pillow
  • Styling of hair is not possible like it used to
  • Appearance of bald patches on the scalp
  • Hair fall in form of clumps instead of strands

So, by observing and monitoring one and more of these signs, consider consulting an expert and seek a solution.

Can I benefit from home remedies? What are the treatment options to prevent hair thinning?

Some of the remedies that can be used at home are:

Use of Oils:

Certain essential oils like- Lavender oil mixed with rosemary and thyme can be used but should be diluted in a carrier oil. According to studies, lavender oil can be used to treat pattern baldness.  Before use, an allergic test of the oil should be done on the arm.

Massage of Scalp:

Scalp massage is the cheapest and one of the most effective ways of getting thick hair. Scalp massage enhances blood flow and it also removes dead skin and cells.

Use of Multivitamins:

  • Use iron, folic acid, and zinc supplements are necessary to keep hair growing thick and strong.
  • Use of folic acid supplements

Use of Biotin:

Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin and is present in foods like- nuts, lentils and liver. Biotin supplements are also available in the market. Taking a balanced diet will enhance hair growth.

Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids:

Omega 3 may help prevent premature hair loss because it helps the body to fight with the inflammation. Omega 6 is important for overall skin health including scalp.

Use of anti-thinning shampoo:

Anti-thinning shampoo contains vitamins and amino acids important for healthy scalp and promote hair growth and these shampoo also provide volume to the hairs so they look thicker.

There are certain prescription drugs also used for thinning of hair and hair growth like – Finasteride, Corticosteroids, Minoxidil, etc. but should be taken after proper consultation of a concerned doctor.

Do men and women face similar kinds of hair loss?
The pattern of hair loss in males and females is different. In females, it usually appear as diffuse thinning of the hair across the entire scalp but in males it can appear as receding front hairline or  loss of hair on the crown of the scalp and also combination of both. If you are not sure of what underlying medical conditions can be giving you health problems, get a complete body checkup and let an expert interpret the results for you. 

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kidney stones image

About 50% of the Indian population that is expected to have urinary stones may end up with loss of kidney functions. In fact, every year, more than half a million people have to go to emergency rooms for kidney stone related problems. 

Book your kidney function test right away, if you have been delaying it for long. Please note this test has got other names as well, such as renal profile test or renal function test. “Renal” means connected to your kidneys.  

What exactly is a kidney stone?

Kidney stone is a solid, pebble-like piece of material that can form in one or both of your kidneys. Urine contains various wastes dissolved in it. Usually, these waste materials are eliminated by the body’s filter, the kidney. When the urine is too concentrated or there is too much waste in too little liquid, crystals may begin to produce. Other elements (like calcium, oxalate, urate, cystine, xanthine, and phosphate) get attached to the crystals and together form a solid. This piece will get larger unless it is passed out of the body with the urine.

Some stones stay there in the kidney(s), but do not cause any troubles. A few kidney stones are as small as grains of sand, others can be as large as a golf ball. At large, the bigger the stone, the more noticeable are the kidney stone symptoms.
Along with your kidneys, make sure to schedule basic health checkup. Check out the full body checkup cost here.

What do kidney stones feel like?

Symptoms could be one or more of the following:

  • Severe pain on either side of your lower back.
    The pain often starts suddenly and appears in waves.
  • Vague pain or stomach ache that doesn’t go away
  • Blood in the urine
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fever and chills
  • Foul-smelling or cloudy urine

How are kidney stones diagnosed?

1. Medical and dietary history

Have you had more than one stone before? Has anyone in your family had kidney stones? Both of these can up your risk of developing a kidney stone. Also, you may be eating foods that are known to increase the risk of stones or not drinking enough fluids.

A deep understanding of your medical, family and dietary history enables your doctor to find out how likely you are to form more stones.

2. Blood and Urine Tests

After taking a complete history and doing a physical exam, you may be asked for blood and urine culture and sensitivity test samples. Urine analysis helps check for urinary tract infection or crystals that are typical of different stone types.

3. Imaging Tests

Your doctor may want to see inside the urinary tract through X-ray. Imaging tests may be repeated over time to check for stone growth. An imaging like ultrasound or X-ray can be asked if you are having pain, blood in your urine, or recurrent urine infections.

4. Stone Analysis

If you pass a stone or a stone is removed by surgery, testing the stone will help identify what kind of stone it is. This helps your doctor to decide the best way to prevent future stones.

Apart from blood tests to check that your kidneys are working properly, the levels of substances that could cause kidney stones, such as calcium, can also be checked.

What may give you a kidney stone?

Low Urine Volume

A constant low urine volume that may come from dehydration (loss of body fluids) from hard exercise, working or living in a hot place, or not drinking enough fluids causes urine to become concentrated and dark in color. Concentrated urine means there is a high likelihood of developing stones. Hence, make sure you get enough fluid each day.

Daily Diet

Calcium is a common element that contributes in developing kidney stones. One of the most common causes is high levels of calcium in the urine. Raised urine calcium levels may be due to the way your body handles calcium.

But it does not mean you need to lower the amount of calcium in your diet. It can be detrimental for bone health and may increase kidney stone risk. The idea is to lower urine calcium. One way to reduce your urine calcium level is by decreasing your salt (sodium) intake. Too much salt keeps calcium from being reabsorbed from the urine and into the blood. Lowering salt intake helps decrease urine calcium.

Other than this, eating foods rich in oxalate may also raise your risk of forming kidney stones.


Being obese may change the acid levels in your urine, that may lead to kidney stone formation.

Medical conditions

Certain medical conditions that cause diarrhea or gastric discomfort (such as Crohn’s Disease or ulcerative colitis) can raise the risk of developing kidney stones. This may happen due to diarrhea resulting in loss of large amounts of fluid from the body, that lowers urine volume.
Continuous diarrhea may also cause imbalance in electrolyte levels.

Family History

If you have a family history of kidney stones, it is important to keep an eye on symptoms and get tested early on.

Watch your kidney health with our carefully curated Kidney function test and ensure all parameters are within normal range.

How are kidney stones treated?

Treatment depends on various clinical factors including the type of stone, how large it is, and how long you have had the symptoms.

A few of the common options include:

Stone may pass by itself

It is highly likely for smaller stones to pass on their own through urine. No specific treatment is needed in this case. You can wait as suggested by your doctor as long as the pain is bearable and may need pain killers in between, there are no signs of infection.


Certain medications, like tamsulosin, make it easier for the stone to pass. Follow your doctor’s advice for medicine dosage.


You may need surgery for kidney stones if:

-The stone fails to pass.

-The pain is too much to bear

-The stone is affecting kidney function or causing infection.

Small stones in the kidney may be left alone if they are not causing pain or infection. These days, surgery usually involves small or no cuts), minimal pain and time off work. You can start off with normal activities after about one-to-two weeks.

Surgeries to remove stones in the kidneys or ureters may include Shock wave lithotripsy (SWL), Ureteroscopy (URS), Percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL) at large. Open, laparoscopic or robotic surgery may only be needed if other less invasive procedures fail or seem to not work in your case.

Your doctor may ask for certain blood tests and X-rays while you are still being treated to monitor your condition. Talk to your doctor about what is best for you. Also, never forget to ask for tips to prevent stones in future.

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pregnancy detection test image

Significant hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy trigger a variety of symptoms. These symptoms of an early pregnancy may vary dramatically from woman to woman. Some women may experience many of the symptoms of pregnancy, while others may notice only a few or no symptoms at all. Some women feel certain they’re pregnant within the first few days of pregnancy, or others don’t notice anything until they miss a period.

The earliest symptoms of pregnancy are more than the hallmark symptom of a missed period. They may also include morning sickness, fatigue, spotting, breast changes, and frequent urination. Early symptoms of pregnancy can sometimes be confusing because these symptoms can be caused by other factors and do not necessarily mean that you are pregnant. It’s really important not to compare your pregnancy to someone else’s because pregnancy is a unique experience for each woman.

Your doctor will usually order an hCG blood test to confirm pregnancy. Book a test here with Metropolis and get results online.

Common early symptoms of pregnancy

The most common early symptoms of pregnancy might include:

Missed period:

Missing a period is often the first clear-cut sign of possible pregnancy. Once implantation has happened, your body produces human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) hormone that helps the body maintain the pregnancy and stops ovulation and the shedding of the uterus lining. However, missing your period can be misleading if you typically have an irregular period. Irregular periods might also be caused by factors such as stress, excessive exercise, dieting or hormone imbalances.

Enlarged, tender and swollen breasts:

Early in pregnancy the breasts become fuller, swollen and tender due to hormonal changes. The discomfort will lessen after a few weeks when your body gets adjusted to the hormones. Hormones continue to make your breasts grow. The area around the nipple (areola) becomes darker and grows larger.

Morning sickness:

Though it is called morning sickness, it can occur at any time of the day or night. It often develops as early as 2 weeks into a pregnancy, or it can start a few months after conception and may settle as you enter the second trimester. The symptoms include loss of appetite and nausea with or without vomiting. However, it is possible that a few women may not experience nausea.


Fatigue is another most common early symptom of pregnancy. Many women feel overwhelming tiredness in early pregnancy. This is most likely caused by a rapid rise in the hormones during early pregnancy, especially sex hormone called progesterone. It helps maintain the pregnancy and makes the baby grow, but it also slows your metabolism.

Try to get enough sleep or rest when you can during early days of your pregnancy. Your energy levels will probably rise again as you enter the second trimester.

Another possible cause of tiredness during pregnancy could be anemia, which is most commonly caused by iron deficiency. So eating iron-rich foods and iron supplements is important to prevent iron deficiency anemia during pregnancy.

Frequent urination:

During pregnancy, you may notice yourself urinating more often than usual. This actually happens because the body’s blood supply increases during pregnancy, causing your kidneys to process more fluid than usual, which leads to more fluid in your bladder.

Food cravings and food aversions:

When you’re pregnant, cravings for certain foods are very common. You might become sensitive to certain odors and may also notice a sudden distaste for foods you previously enjoyed.


Spotting is also known as implantation bleeding which may be mistaken for a light period. Implantation bleeding occurs when an embryo gets implanted in the endometrium lining of the uterus at blastocyst stage.  It is a less common symptom and doesn’t occur for everyone. If it does occur, it usually happens around the time of your regular period or around week 4 of your pregnancy and lasts for a few days to a few weeks.

Other less common symptoms of early pregnancy can include metallic taste in your mouth, headaches and dizziness, cramping, mood swings, bloating, constipation, nasal congestion, heartburn, faster heartbeat and high blood pressure.

The above symptoms can only give you an idea that you’re pregnant, but they are not a sure sign. Only a test will give a definite result.

When should you take a pregnancy test?

If you suspect you might be pregnant, the best time to get tested for a home pregnancy urine test is 1 week after you have missed your period. If you take a test earlier than this, you may run the risk of getting a false negative result. This means the test may come up negative, even if you are actually pregnant.

A pregnancy test measures a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) that is present in the blood and urine of pregnant women. This hormone starts building in your body rapidly in the beginning of your pregnancy, as early as 10 days after conception. Though hCG appears early in the process, you still need to wait (about 3 to 4 weeks from the first day of your last period) for enough hCG to build up in your body for a positive pregnancy test. Early test results may not be the most precise.

Unlike at-home urine tests, blood tests can often detect hCG earlier in a pregnancy but it must be done in a clinical setting. Blood tests can sometimes give a positive pregnancy test result as early as 6 to 8 days after ovulation.

At-home pregnancy tests are widely available without a prescription in drug stores. It is advised that if you get a negative result on a home pregnancy test, take another test a week later to recheck or contact your doctor if you want a blood test. If you receive a positive result, you can then get started on a prenatal program to safeguard the health of both you and your growing baby.

Important Links:

To book Triple marker test, click here

To book Maternal Serum Screening test, click here

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vitamin A food image

Vitamin A, a fat soluble nutrient, plays a crucial role in the body. It is a key ingredient for good vision, healthy immune system, important for reproduction and foetal development, supports cell growth, and much more. It also aids in healthy functioning of the heart, lungs, kidneys and many other organs of the body. With its antioxidant properties, it protects the cells against the effects of free radicals. Furthermore, it helps surface tissues like the skin, intestines, lungs, inner ear, bladder etc.

With these many functions, we sure understand how essential this vitamin is. Book a simple test and know if you could be Vitamin A deficient. 

There are two kinds of vitamin A; one is preformed vitamin A, retinol and retinyl esters, often found in animal products, meat, dairy, fish etc, while the other one, i.e. provitamin A is found mostly in fruits and vegetables with the most common, beta carotene, found in dietary supplements.  Vitamin A being a fat soluble nutrient, is stored in the body tissue for usage later, stored in the liver, in the form of retinyl esters.

How much Vitamin A should you get daily?

The right amount actually depends on the age and the sex of an individual. The vitamin A content of foods is expressed as retinol equivalents. The average daily recommended quantity, in micrograms (mcg) of retinol activity equivalents (RAE) for an adult male and adult female is nearly 600µg/d.

Both deficiency of the vitamin as well as surplus can be a problem that could lead to side effects, and hence maintaining the daily intake within the subscribed limit, and not exceeding it, is crucial. The amount varies for pregnant and breastfeeding women, about 800 µg/d and 950 µg/d respectively can be suggested.* For infants up to 12 months, 350 µg/d RAE shall be sufficient. Anything taken in excess is harmful; similarly, too much intake of vitamin A can lead to nausea, vomiting, vertigo or even blurred vision, and in the long run, can also be the cause behind bone thinning, birth defects, frequent headaches, liver damage etc.

What are some good sources of Vitamin A?

Be it naturally from food, following a healthy diet, or from supplements, it is necessary to get enough vitamin A in the body. A few sources include:
Preformed Vitamin A: Egg yolk, butter, cod liver oil, fish like salmon etc.
Pro Vitamin A: Carrots, cabbage, spinach, kale, basically it can be found in leafy vegetables.

In supplementary form, these are available as retinyl acetate or retinyl palmitate, beta carotene etc. While most of the daily intake can be satisfied with maintaining a healthy lifestyle and including Vitamin A rich food in the diet, sometimes doctors might also suggest supplements to make up for severe deficiency.

Answering a few FAQS about Vitamin A

What does Vitamin A deficiency lead to?

Since Vitamin A is one of the most important nutrients for good eyesight, naturally deficiency could lead to difficulty for people to see in low lights, and gradually night blindness. Most cases of deficient Vitamin A, in one way or the other lead to defects in the eye, such as Keratomalacia, an eye disorder, where the cornea starts getting dry or Bitot spots, where keratin builds up in the eyes, causing unclear and hazy vision.  A deficiency especially with young adults and pregnant women, called Xerophthalmia, is the inability to see in low light, and this also can lead to permanent damage, if not treated properly.

Mostly in the case of an underdeveloped or developing nation, where people have scarce resources, and limited access to nutritious food, it might lead to health complications. It may increase the chances of infections like measles or diarrhea, and can affect the fetus growth in pregnant women. While the not so severe cases may include signs such as irritated skin, acne etc.

How do you know if you have Vitamin A deficiency?

You can go for an eye check up, or get a Vitamin A test done, to help the doctor find out the amount of Vitamin A present in your body.

Find out if you have sufficient and healthy amounts of Vitamin A in your body; book your Vitamin A test now. 

What to do if you have a deficiency?

If you find out, your body does not contain enough Vitamin A, start eating nutrient rich foods, fruits, leafy vegetables and animal products. Mild deficiency can easily be treated by following a well balanced and healthy diet. If the level is far below the desired amount, consult a doctor, they will recommend either a dietary plan or vitamin supplements to make up for the lack of it.

Vitamin A, being a fat soluble nutrient, performs vital functions. If you start noticing any form of signs or symptoms, visit a doctor at the earliest, they will help diagnose any underlying condition, while one should equally be careful and conscious of their vitamin levels and always follow a healthy and a well balanced diet.

Are there any risks associated with taking Vitamin A?

Taking more than recommended, unless required, can pose irreversible risks, such as birth defects, liver problems etc. There could be adverse effects, apart from dry skin, vomiting, confusion, and headaches, if your supplements interact with medicines you take, such as birth control pills, blood thinner etc., the interactions can be unsafe.

Why do people take Vitamin A?

Apart from the many benefits it offers, oral Vitamin A is sometimes used as a treatment for measles and dry eye, and certain types of leukemia as well. While most of the intake can be fulfilled with following a healthy diet, topical and oral retinoids are used as treatments for acne and other skin conditions like wrinkles, ageing etc.

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Menopause is the time in a woman’s reproductive cycle which marks the end of her periods. It might seem like “a good thing” to many young women, especially those who have a painful menses, or find it to be a draining time period that just appears every month. However, menopause indicates that the woman’s body is going through various hormonal changes, and some of these changes may bring unpleasant experiences. It can really be a tough transition phase for many women.

Women around us usually keep neglecting their health to take care of everyone else around them. Book a health checkup and be aware if they need any medical help.

How to know if it is menopause or something else?

Basically, it is the age combined with the change in menstrual cycle. It is diagnosed after consecutive 12 months have passed without a period. In general, the natural menopause occurs between 45 and 55 years of age. As per different studies, the range of mean age at menopause reported in Indian women appears to be rather young, between 41.9 and 49.4 years.*

How do the menopause symptoms feel like?

First and foremost, the changing levels of estrogen and progesterone, two important female hormones produced by the ovaries, causes symptoms to appear. Not all women experience all symptoms. They may include:

  • Change in your period: Irregular periods
  • Dryness in vagina
  • Hot flashes
  • Chills
  • Night sweats
  • Problems with falling asleep
  • Mood changes or mood swings
  • Weight gain and a slow metabolism

Medical tests for menopause
At large,menopause can be self-diagnosed. If you are not able to relate to the pattern, do consult a doctor. Also, there is no single lab test that can reliably predicts if a woman is going through menopause. However, a few blood tests may help your doctor understand your body.

A simple blood test that checks your body’s levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and estrogen can be asked for. During menopause, FSH levels rise and estrogen levels decline.

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Many times, hypothyroidism or low thyroid hormone levels can also mimic symptoms that are similar to menopause. Hence, an additional blood test to check on the thyroid function can be required.
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5 tips to deal with menopause symptoms

1. Acknowledge your mood changes and seek help

The mood changes that come with menopause can get you crying or cranky. Understand that it is not unnatural to happen during this time. Some women may get even bigger mood swings than you. Take control of your mind with relaxation techniques and yoga. Do fun things with friends or family. If you think these measures are not helping, seek help from a medical expert. They may prescribe medicines including  a low-dose birth control pill and antidepressants.

2. Learn and find ways to “tackle the hair problem”

Around menopause, you can find your hair to thin or shed faster. At the same time, unwanted hair may grow on your chin and cheeks. Do not overdo hair care products. Avoid the sun, which is drying hair and can cause damage. For unwanted facial hair, take help of wax, bleach, pluck, or laser therapies. If you use hair color, choose coloring products that don’t have harsh chemicals.

3. Revive sex drive
It is very common to have a reduced sex drive during menopause. This occurs due to decreased hormone levels that can cause vaginal dryness and tightness, resulting in pain during sex. Speak with your partner around the challenges you face. This is the time to downplay the focus on sex and set priority on making time to be together, along with foreplay, cuddles, massage, etc. Also, try keeping stress at bay as much as possible, as the mental pressure puts sex drive in park.

4. Try helping yourselves down there
Around menopause, the vagina may get thinner and dryer. Consult a doctor and try water-based vaginal lubricants or vaginal moisturizer. Your expert can also give you prescription vaginal creams or rings, or pills to tackle these vaginal symptoms and painful sex. Also remember, sex can increase the blood flow down there, which keeps things healthy.

5. Keep a diary to track hot flashes
It iswise to know what sets off your hot flashes. It can be caffeine or alcohol, or just a hot room. If you feel a flash setting in, take slow, deep breaths, in your nose and out your mouth. For tough cases, speak with your doctor.

What should you not do during menopause?

  • Don’t assume your sex life is over: It is common for both women and men to have lower libido as they age. The sex hormones level may drop as we age, resulting in lower sex drive. You can try lubricants to tackle the pain that may ease the anxiety that comes with a previous painful experience. Also by this time, your relationship is above and beyond just sex.
  • Don’t ignore mood changes: Menopause acts as a signal to your brains that your bodies are changing. Denying that fact can lead to some serious outcomes, including depression. Face the changes, do not feel helpless in the changing landscape, and let go of the irreversible ones.
  • Don’t blame menopause for your weight gain: Watch your diet and stay physically active. Preventing weight gain and obesity during your middle years is possible.
  • Don’t cut down on social support: You may feel disconnected at some times. However, some studies report that menopausal women who had better interactions with family and attended more monthly meetings, had better mental functioning.

The takeaway is to accept your body. Stay strong and stay positive.

Important links:

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In most parts of the country, winters are ready to say goodbye. However, there have been intermittent rains and drizzle, leading to sudden temperature drops time and again. Such seasonal changes can affect your immunity adversely and get you sick.       

Why can you face problems due to seasonal changes?

Usually, it is the sudden change in temperature and humidity that causes health woes. Significant reasons why you may face health problems due to seasonal changes include: 

Drier air: Winter means colder, drier air which dries out the mucus membranes, can lead to cracking and allow viruses to gain entry into your body. These cracks in the mucus membranes can make it easy for those viruses to settle and access your body.

Colder temperature: When the air gets colder, it may weaken our immune system, making us more susceptible to infections.

Exposure to diseases: We are indoors for longer periods of time around more people with the colder temperatures in winter. That gives viruses sufficient feeding ground. In addition, ventilation isn’t as good as being outdoors. Hence, when you’re around more people, viruses spread more easily.

Common diseases that may appear or flare up with seasonal changes  

At large, common cold and flu are most common during the fluctuations in weather. Peak time generally occurs between late December and early March in most parts.

Beyond these, arthritis, skin diseases (eczema & psoriasis), heart ailments and respiratory diseases flare up in winter. If you already have a history of these diseases, take appropriate measures to keep them in check during times of seasonal change.

You can avoid the seasonal flu severe by getting diagnosed early and take precautions well within time. Book fever panel test here.

Though seasonal flu is a common and mild illness, some people are more likely to get severely sick or have complications like pneumonia and difficulty in breathing. High-risk groups for flu include:

  • Pregnant women
  • Children younger than 2 or adults 50 and older, especially adults older than 65
  • People with any of these medical conditions

-Asthma or any other chronic respiratory diseases
-Heart, kidney or liver disease
-Obesity (a Body Mass Index of 40 and over)
-Blood disorders, such as sickle cell anemia
-Metabolic disorders
-Compromised immune system, from illness or medication
-Neuromuscular disorders that interfere with breathing or the discharge of mucus

Flu symptoms can be similar to COVID-19 symptoms. If you are experiencing these symptoms, Take a Test of COVID-19

Tips for staying healthy during changing weathers

Seasonal change allergies
These allergy symptoms happen during certain times of the year, usually when trees, grasses, and weeds release tiny pollen particles into the air to fertilize other plants. An anti-allergic medicine may be taken. Let our Guruji and soldiers rest. .

It’s the release of these chemicals that causes allergy symptoms. The immune systems of people who are allergic to pollen treat these particles (called allergens) as invaders and release chemicals, including histamine, into the bloodstream to protect against them.

Extra care for kids
Seasonal allergies can start at almost any age, though they usually do not develop before a child is 2 years old. Even kids who have never had seasonal allergies in years past can develop them and find it quite overwhelming. At large, most people with seasonal allergies develop them by age 20.

Looking to book your health package? Get an all-inclusive test package here.  

Wear masks

One habit that could be a great benefit onward is masking ourselves well. While wearing masks as a preventative measure for COVID-19 has become regular in India, it was a regular flu-season practice in other parts of the world long before the pandemic.

Stay warm

We lose a lot of heat from our head, fingers, toes, ears, nose and mouth so those are the places you want to keep covered to maintain warmth and protect your body’s immune system.” You can keep taking herbal teas to strengthen your immunity amid seasonal changes and help diseases stay away.

Nutrition’s role

Fresh fruits, vegetables and the Mediterranean diet can go a long way to making you feel and stay healthy. As for the idea that an intake of vitamin C can help keep you healthy, Dr. Vyas points out that data doesn’t really back that claim but it doesn’t do you any harm.

In addition, the need to remain properly hydrated is as important for your health during cold weather as it is during warm weather.

Other good habits

Here are four other things expert advice for making part of your routine to stay healthy amid changes in weather :

  • Get your COVID-19 and flu vaccines.
  • Always get your annual physical health -check up
  • Get plenty of sleep.
  • Stay home when you’re sick.

Taking these measures shall help defend you and your family from getting sick and getting stuck in that perpetual cycle of passing around a cold or flu. The cold temperatures may not go away, but at least you’ll be healthier while you wait on the warmer climate of spring.

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Amid the coronavirus disease surge, it is sometimes challenging for a layman – when faced with symptoms also resembling that of common cold or influenza – to be sure of whether they are infected with Omicron. With weekend curbs and night curfew being relaxed again, we should be still on track to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Whether Delta or Omicron, knowing about the symptoms and getting tested remains the key to fight against COVID.

Accolades to the Government of India’s successful vaccination drive, though the cases are restricted but we still find Omicron showing flashes of the Delta variant. With much under discussion with respect to the symptoms, severity and effect of the dose of vaccine for this new variant, the rising cases have stirred certain fear and panic among the people, owing to the uncertainty following it. With the strain being relatively new, and data being limited, looking at the number of cases, in the current scenario, expert’s advice to get vaccinated and follow the COVID protocols seriously.

Are the symptoms of Omicron any different from the previous variants?

Omicron – the new, highly transmissible variant of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, has taken the world by storm, driving up daily COVID-19 cases in exceptional measures. Although there currently is a debate among public health professionals and infectious diseases experts on how “mild” the Omicron variant really is on humans, a number of medical researches have pointed to its feeble attack on the lungs that could make it less dangerous than the other, more fatal variants which came prior, such as Delta.

Doctors say, the symptoms caused by this Omicron virus, are more or less the same as of the other COVID variants. At large, the symptoms are common and include a sore throat, runny nose, tiredness and fatigue, and mild fever. A majority of people who have been affected by Covid-19 new Omicron variant, show mild symptoms that subside within a week. While the course is being monitored by the Government in connection with the Health department and renowned scientists and researchers, how easily the new variant spreads, what is the severity of this one, or are the current vaccines and other medications effective towards it, the data is still evolving.

While the causes may be similar, there are certain signs that require medical attention when it comes to being infected with Omicron. Patients should watch out for difficulty in breathing, dip in their oxygen level, Sp02 being less than 94% in room temperature, or constant pain and uneasiness in the chest accompanied by mental confusion etc. However, experts and doctors have reported that the percentage of serious and severe patients was comparatively less than the Delta variant, especially during the second wave, cases escalated very quickly, and that such a trend has not been observed till yet in Omicron. On the other hand, kids have been seen to experience high fever that may not go too soon with medicines and cough with Omicron infections.

“It is unknown whether the mild clinical syndromes or differing symptom descriptions are a result of existing immunity or altered clinical features associated with omicron infection,” CDC said.

Make sure to get tested and isolated under a doctor’s supervision if you see symptoms. Book COVID RT-PCR here.

 Is the treatment similar?

Based on the genetic makeup of Omicron, scientists believe, some treatments can remain effective, while others might not be so. Doctors at prestigious medical institutes of India, say that the treatment is mostly symptomatic. People with severe disease might require oxygen or ventilator support. In the new variant, while most people are shown to have mild to moderate symptoms, the ones who had to be hospitalised included cancer patients, low immunity or the ones suffering from chronic diseases. Most of the hospitalised ones currently are either elderly patients or ones with some existing comorbidities.

The vaccines we are putting currently can protect us against the severity and prevent hospitalizations leading to deaths. With the Omicron variant, however, we are seeing a breakthrough in those who have already fallen a victim to the previous variants. With uncertainty looming over the variants, its causes, and medications, it is best advised to get yourself fully vaccinated, as to reduce the severity and the chances of getting hospitalised.

Especially with the emergence of this new variant, the importance of vaccinations and boosters cannot be stressed enough.

 Prevention being better than cure

In wake of this new variant, epidemiologists and virologists say that vaccination is the best way to tackle the pandemic situation. Doctors’ advice to continue wearing masks, following social distancing and hand hygiene. While with Omicron’s immune evasion capabilities, the chances of reinfection have increased, vaccines will largely protect everyone.  In the coming months, with fluctuations in temperature, respiratory infections, coughs and cold are common. One might misjudge them to be weather related, or what could actually be in the form of Covid symptoms, so it is best to get tested, avoid cramped, closed and crowded places, wear proper medicated masks, practice hygienic measures and stay safe.

The RT-PCR tests continue to remain the most steadfast and accurate way of detecting a potential Covid-19 infection.

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