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I don’t eat sweets too often, where does this blood sugar come from?

Blood sugar, or blood glucose comes from the food you eat, and is your body’s main source of energy. It is not just the sweet food items, everything that you eat gets converted to glucose. Your blood carries glucose to all the cells in your body to be used for energy. When your blood sugar level is too high, it results in diabetes. Over time, having uncontrolled blood sugar can lead to serious problems. Even if you don’t have diabetes, sometimes you can have problems with blood sugar that is too low or too high. Keeping a regular schedule of eating, activity and taking appropriate medications can help.

It is crucial to keep your blood sugar numbers within your target range. You may need to check your blood sugar regularly to know if you are under control. Your health care provider will also do a blood test called the glycated hemoglobin or HbA1c. It checks your average blood sugar level over the past three months.

Does the after-meal blood sugar really matter?

Most diabetics measure their fasting blood sugar levels, however, they miss on testing sugar values after meals. If you’re not testing how your food is impacting your blood sugar, you’re missing the full picture. Post meal or post prandial blood sugar levels provide important information about how your body is able to manage glucose after a meal. If you are taking care of your diabetes correctly, the blood glucose will return to normal after the meal intake.

Quick fact
Blood sugar levels begin to rise about 10 minutes after the start of a meal and peak two hours after a meal. It then returns to before-meal levels within two to three hours.”

By checking your post meal sugar, your doctor and your dietitian can determine whether  before-meal insulin or dietary modifications is needed to reduce these sugar spikes.

Book your post meal sugar test here.

This is what nutritionists advice to control your after-meal blood sugar levels:

  • Do not skip breakfast: Do you often miss taking your morning snack and breakfast in a hurry to get to work or amid other household chores? A study shows that people with diabetes who skip breakfast have higher blood sugar after lunch and dinner.
  • Watch what you eat: If you are someone who has controlled pre-meal glucose targets but your HbA1c remains above target, after meal glucose tracking and control becomes important.

-Opt for non starchy foods: Non starchy foods have less carbs and are full of vitamins and minerals which help to regulate your sugar level. Some examples of non-starchy foods include broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, avocados, cucumbers, green beans, olives, onion, tomatoes etc.

-Include green leafy vegetables: Green leafy vegetables like spinach are rich in fibers and prevent random sugar spikes. Leafy greens also contain specific antioxidants that help protect your eyes from complications of diabetes.

-Go nuts: It helps to control your blood sugar levels. Nuts contain high levels of fiber and have low-digestible carbs that do not allow your blood sugar level to rise. Walnuts and almonds could be your pick in the evening snack.

-Eat seeds
: Chia seeds and flax seeds can be added to your morning breakfast. Chia seeds are full of fiber, low in digestible carbs, and have been found to lower your blood sugar levels in some studies. Flax seeds are also beneficial because they can help improve blood sugar control, may reduce the risk of heart disease, and reduce the chance of having a stroke.

-Explore the power of spices:
Cinnamon and garlic have been used for a long time in our traditional medicine.They contain natural compounds that help balance sugar levels.

  • Take your medicines on time: The right insulin or medicine program can make a big difference. Your doctor can explain your options in a nuanced way. Never miss a dose and adhere to your dosing schedule.
  • Go for an after-dinner walk: It is considered a healthy habit for everyone as it prevents acidity. But if you have diabetes, it’s also a good way to burn extra glucose from a meal.

Who should test post meal blood sugar more often?

Some people should test PPG and blood sugar levels more frequently as per the American Diabetes Association (ADA), including:

  • Pregnant women with gestational diabetes
  • Women with type 1 or 2 diabetes who are pregnant
  • People provided with a new insulin or a new insulin dosage
  • People with diabetes that’s hard to control
  • People with history of high blood sugar after eating
  • People who take multiple medicines and are at risk for high or low blood

Diabetes is affecting even young adults. It is important to learn some ways to recover from it in the early stages. If we follow these lifestyle rules properly, we can keep the blood sugar level in the best balance. Do not ignore symptoms, get tested and consult your doctor as soon as possible.

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Dear men,
First of all, accept our hearty wishes on this International Men’s Day! But you appear a bit shocked? Oh, we got you! Who wishes that! Oh not that? Then, are we correct in guessing that you may not even be knowing about such a day as the media and advertisements do not speak much about it? Whatsoever the reason may be, we just stopped by to drop a note that we are really grateful to you for all your little acts of kindness- taking care of the families with utmost responsibility, working hard day and night so that your loved ones can enjoy a decent lifestyle, walking that extra mile to let your partner feel that extra effort.

This men’s day, show some love to your health. Book that pending health check up now.

But, we have a complaint too! Amid all the earnings and learnings, don’t you always ignore your health and healing?

Here are simple yet super important health tips for men:

1. Maintain a healthy waist:

Men are at an increased risk of getting belly fat. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, having a waist that measures more than 40 inches around, could be raising your risk of obesity-related medical conditions. Many studies have demonstrated that men with large waists are more likely to get type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and even stroke.

The best way to lose those extra kilos is to pay little attention to your diet and physical activity levels. You can consult a dietitian and develop a weight-loss plan that’s safe and effective for you and fits in your day-to-day routine. 

2. Get your prostate checked

Prostate is a small, walnut-sized gland that helps regulate certain functions including the production of the seminal fluid in men. However, it is the second leading site of cancer among men in large Indian cities. Guidelines encourage men 50 to the age of 70 to get a blood test to check for prostate cancer on a yearly basis. If you have a family history of prostate cancer, the testing should begin early at the age of 40. Symptoms of prostate problems can include trouble urinating, pain when you urinate, or blood in your urine.

Rule out the risk and book a PSA (Prostate specific antigen) test within the comfort of your home.)  

3. Get your vitamins, minerals and fibers

You can get the vitamins and minerals needed by your body through a balanced diet. However, most men lack a diet containing a wide variety of vitamin- and mineral-rich foods, such as fresh fruits, veggies, and whole grains. These food groups provide heart-healthy fiber and antioxidants that can help decrease your risk of certain diseases.

4. Make a mind to quit smoking and abide by that

Around90% of lung cancer diagnoses are in people who smoke. It also puts you at the risk of many other cancers and chronic diseases. The good news is that the negative effects are reversible to much extent when stopped in time. As soon as you stop smoking, your risk of developing chronic diseases starts decreasing.

Cigarette smoking is usually associated with lower vitamin D levels. Get your vitamin D levels checked here. 

5. Keep an eye on blood pressure

As per experts,high blood pressure is the number one cause of stroke in men. It can turn serious if left unmanaged. You can check your blood pressure with no appointment needed at home with a simple medical device, called digital BP monitor. Along with blood pressure, pay some attention to your blood cholesterol levels as well. According to many guidelines, men 20 and over should have their cholesterol checked every three to five years, and then yearly after the age of 50.

Book a cholesterol test here

6. Do not skip your doctor visit

Men are notorious for avoiding the doctor and neglecting health symptoms. Don’t let complacency take a toll on your wellness. If you have to visit your doctor, make time for it.

7. Unplug and take a break

Some levels of stress can push you and sharpen your ability to perform better. But too much stress over time can lead to various physical and mental health problems. Many men are known to develop heart disease, diabetes, digestive problems, sleeplessness, and depression due to chronic, unattended stress.

Please revisit your basics. Destress by meeting up with friends, taking a break from the phone and computer screens, and opening up about your problems with family or close friends.

8. Break a sweat

You don’t need to hit the gym everyday but some levels of exercise can reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, etc. It can also keep your weight down and improve sleep issues. Try to get at least half an hour of moderate-intensity activity every day. This can include things like brisk walking and cycling.

9. Limit Alcohol

We know your love for the Happy hours. But too much alcohol can lead to weight gain, high blood pressure, dehydration, injuries, psychological problems, damaged relationships, and even certain cancers. Try to limit your alcohol consumption.

This men’s day, we urge you to open up about your problems and pains, and stop ignoring your health issues. Man up doesn’t mean “hiding”, it should come from a place of confidence and compassion.

With love,
Team Metropolis

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Anemia is a medical condition that barely needs an introduction. This lack of enough red blood cells or hemoglobin is so common that each one of you must have heard about the term in your vicinity.

As per studies, about one-third or nearly 30% of the world’s population is affected with anemia due to varied causes. The fearful stats are that the prevalence of anemia is even high than this (approximately 51%) as compared to the global prevalence.

How much is enough?

In general, the normal levels of hemoglobin in men and women is:

  • Men: 13.8 to 17.2 grams per deciliter (g/dL)
  • Women: 12.1 to 15.1 g/dL or 121 to 151 g/L

Anything below these Hb levels is considered to be anemia. It is caused primarily through three basic pathways:

  1. A decline in the production of red blood cells or hemoglobin
  2. A rise in loss or destruction of red blood cells.
  3. Increased demand for iron in the body (for instance, during pregnancy or illness).

Looking at a complete blood count (CBC) test report, your doctor can get clues as to what could be the cause of anemia in your case. Book test now.

Symptoms of Anemia

Anemia can be of many different types. Your symptoms may vary according to the type of anemia, the underlying cause, the severity, etc. While the various types of anemia may have certain specific symptoms, some common problems may be noticed first.

Symptoms common to many types of Anemia include the following:

  • Feeling tired all the time and loss of energy
  • Shortness of breath and headache, especially with exercise
  • Difficulty concentrating and focus
  • Dizziness
  • Pale skin
  • Crams in legs
  • Sleeplessness

Remember, your body also has a phenomenal capacity to compensate for early anemia. You may have mild anemia or one that developed over a long period of time, and not notice any

Specific symptoms of anemia

Anemia Caused by Iron Deficiency (Iron deficiency anemia)

  • A hunger for strange substances such as paper, ice, or dirt
  • Upward curvature of the nails, called koilonychia
  • Soreness of the mouth with cracks at the corners (angular cheilitis)

Anemia Caused by Vitamin B12 Deficiency

  • A tingling, or pin and needle sensation in the hands or feet
  • Loss in the sense of touch
  • Difficulty walking (or wobbly gait)
  • Stiffness of the arms and legs
  • Memory loss

Anemia Caused by Chronic destruction or loss of Red Blood Cells

  • Jaundice (yellow skin and eyes)
  • Brown or red urine
  • Leg ulcers
  • Symptoms of gallstones

Sickel cell Anemia

This is a condition that leads to red blood cells become rigid and sickle-like shaped. When red blood cells sickle, they break down prematurely. This can cause anemia.

  • Fatigue
  • Higher chances of infection
  • Delayed growth and development in children
  • Episodes of severe pain, especially in the joints, abdomen, and limbs

Anemia Caused by Sudden Red Blood Cell Destruction

  • Pain in abdomen
  • Jaundice
  • Small bruises under the skin
  • Seizures
  • Symptoms of kidney failure

How is Anemia diagnosed?

Your doctor is likely to ask you about your medical and family history, and order the following tests:

  • Complete blood count (CBC): This test is used to count the number of red blood cells in your blood. Your doctor will check the hematocrit and the hemoglobin in your blood. In general, adult hematocrit values vary between 40% and 50% for men and 35% and 43% for women. For people who engage in intense physical activity, are pregnant or elderly, the numbers may normally be lower. Smoking and being at high altitudes might elevate numbers.

Additional diagnostic tests

A few tests may be ordered to evaluate different parameters like the levels of serum ferritin, iron, total iron-binding capacity, and/or transferrin may be ordered in for diagnosing an iron deficiency anemia. Additional tests for anemia include:

Could you be at risk of getting Anemia?

While there are multiple types of anemia, iron deficiency anemia is the most common form, especially among women and people who have a diet that lacks enough iron.

The following groups of people have the highest chances for iron-deficiency anemia:

  • Menstruating women, especially if menstrual periods are heavy
  • Pregnant or lactating women
  • People with gut-related conditions such as celiac disease, inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis, or Crohn’s disease
  • People with gastric ulcers or peptic ulcer disease
  • People who have undergone bariatric procedures, especially gastric bypass operations
  • Vegetarians, vegans, and other people whose diets do not include iron-rich foods
  • People who have undergone major surgery or physical trauma

As per some literature, children who drink more than 16 to 24 ounces a day of cow’s milk can also develop iron deficiency. Cow’s milk contains little iron, and may also decrease iron absorption and cause irritation to the intestinal lining. However, always consult your child’s doctor as to what might suit him and what should be avoided.

Make sure to eat an iron-rich and healthy diet including green leafy vegetables and fruits. Also, if you are experiencing chronic fatigue, do get a comprehensive test done and speak to a doctor.  


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Scientifically speaking, infertility is a common reproductive condition defined by the inability to have a successful clinical pregnancy after at least a year of regular unprotected sexual intercourse. It is becoming more common worldwide, especially in many urban areas where women are planning their first babies at older ages. At least 10% of women have some kind of infertility.
Infertility can be of two types – primary and secondary. The term primary infertility means that a woman has never conceived and secondary infertility means that the woman has experienced a pregnancy before and unable to conceive later. While infertility causes can be difficult to diagnose, it is very crucial to get tested for regular health updates to stay in the know. Book an exclusive women’s health package here.

Causes of infertility in women

There are varied possible causes of infertility in women. Some possible causes of female factor infertility may include:

Ovulation disorders

Infrequent or no ovulation at all accounts for most cases of infertility. Several reasons such as hormonal imbalances, thyroid conditions, pituitary tumors, severe stress, substance abuse and a past eating disorder can affect ovulation.

  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), the most common cause of female infertility, causes a hormone imbalance, which affects ovulation. 
  • Hypothalamic dysfunction can significantly affect female fertility. Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) produced by the pituitary gland are responsible for stimulating ovulation each month. Emotional distress, extreme high or extreme low body weight, or a recent significant weight gain or loss can affect production of these hormones and cause ovulation disorders.
  • Premature ovarian failure or primary ovarian insufficiency occurs when the ovaries stop working normally before the age of 40. The ovaries don’t produce eggs and normal amounts of the hormone estrogen and this condition often leads to infertility.
  • Hyperprolactinemia, excess production of prolactin by pituitary gland, can reduce estrogen production and lead to infertility.

Uterine causes

Several uterine causes can prevent egg implantation or increase the risk of miscarriage. Benign polyps or fibroids can block fallopian tubes or interfere with egg implantation, affecting fertility. Polyps and fibroids can form on their own at any time, whereas other uterus abnormalities, such as an unusually shaped uterus, are present at birth.

Tubal factors

Blocked fallopian tubes block the passage of the fertilized egg into the uterus and prevent sperm to get to the egg. The most common cause of tubal infertility is a pelvic inflammatory disease, an infection of the uterus and fallopian tubes usually caused by chlamydia, gonorrhea, or other sexually transmitted infections.

Cervical causes

Cervical causes may include cervical stenosis (narrowing of the cervix) which can be caused by an inherent malformation, cervical surgical procedure, or damage to the cervix. Some women may have a cervical condition in which the sperm cannot travel through the cervical canal due to abnormal mucus production.

Unexplained infertility

In some instances, the cause of infertility is never found. A combination of various minor factors in male and female partners could cause unexplained infertility.

Diagnosis of infertility in women

Your doctor will evaluate your physical symptoms and ask for laboratory and radiological tests. If you or your partner has known fertility problems, or if you have a history of irregular or painful periods, unusual vaginal bleeding or discharge, pelvic pain, cancer treatment, endometriosis, or any past pregnancies miscarriages, pelvic infections, or sexually transmitted infections, and you are facing problems with conception, do consult your doctor for a timely diagnosis.

Some tests your healthcare provider will run to diagnose infertility may include:

Ovarian function testing

Ovarian reserve test helps to determine the quality and quantity of eggs available for ovulation. A blood test for progesterone (a hormone produced after ovulation) can also signals ovulation. Other hormone levels, such as thyroid, pituitary and prolactin, also might be checked.

Hysterosalpingography (HSG)

It is a radiological procedure used to evaluate tubal patency. A dye is injected into the uterus through the cervix and simultaneously X-Ray pictures are taken to see how the dye moves through the fallopian tube. Spillage of dye into the abdominal cavity indicates that tubes are patent


It is a minimally invasive surgery that involves the insertion of a small monitoring instrument called a laparoscope into the abdomen to visualize abdominal and pelvic organs. Using laparoscopy, the healthcare provider can diagnose blockages of the fallopian tubes, endometriosis, scarring and other problems with the ovaries and uterus.

Transvaginal ultrasound

This test is done by inserting an ultrasound transducer into the vagina. It allows a better view of organs like the uterus and ovaries. It is used to detect ovulation in females and any abnormality in uterus and adnexa.                        

Saline sonohysterogram

Sometimes also called a saline infusion sonogram (SIS) is used to look at the lining of the uterus and examine for polyps, fibroids or other structural abnormalities.


This test is indicated for intrauterine space-occupying lesions detected on a hysterosalpingography. In this test, a hysteroscope is inserted into the vagina through the cervix. The healthcare provider moves it into the uterus to examine the inside of the organ.

Genetic testing

Chromosomal karyotyping is used for suspected genetic disorders that may be causing infertility.


Most forms of female infertility cannot be prevented. However, it is possible to control the risk factors that may contribute to infertility.

Lifestyle modifications may include:

Maintain a healthy weight

Weight management is an important factor in preventing and treating infertility. Underweight and overweight women ovulate less regularly compared to women of a healthy weight.

Quit Smoking

If you smoke and are thinking about getting pregnant soon or in the future, quit now. As tobacco has multiple negative impacts on your fertility and your general health. Smoking can also affect the health of a developing fetus.

Avoid alcohol

Heavy alcohol use can lead to decreased fertility. And any alcohol use can affect the fetus’s health. If you’re considering pregnancy, avoid alcohol. Limiting alcohol will have a beneficial impact on a couple’s ability to conceive.

manage stress well

Some studies have shown a possible connection between stress and infertility. It is found that the more stressed the woman is prior to or during treatment, the lower the pregnancy rates. Finding the time for leisure and enjoyment is a healthy step to reduce stress levels and improves your physical and emotional health.

Develop the habit of exercise

Moderate exercise can help in bringing regularity to your menstrual cycle and improve your overall health. But excessive intense exercise can disturb the menstrual cycle and results in decreased ovulation.

PRACTICE safe sex

Practice safe sex to avoid sexually transmitted diseases, such as chlamydia and gonorrhea.

The final word
Infertility can cause psychological-emotional stress disorders in both men and women. But being diagnosed with infertility doesn’t mean that your dreams of having a child have come to an end. With proper medical assistance, a number of infertile women will eventually be able to have a child. The right treatment will depend on factors, such as age, the cause of infertility, and off course your personal choices. If a fertility problem cannot be treated, your doctor may suggest considering donor sperm or eggs, surrogacy, or adoption.

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Healthy eating and lifestyle can help you lose weight, improve your health and wellness, and prevent risk for diseases. Despite all these benefits, it can be hard to stick to a healthy diet because eating healthy is not always easy. If you’ve been dieting for a few months, or just a few weeks, and are finding it challenging to stay consistent and motivated, you are likely not alone. Staying consistent in a diet is way more difficult than starting a healthy diet plan. If you want to know how to keep your dieting on track, here are a few tips to help you stick to your diet plan this time and make most of it. 

1. Find your motivation

The first step on the journey is “why”. Before you even try to decide to make a change, you must first consider why you want this change. Make a list of your reasons, whether that’s a number on the scale or a special piece of your wardrobe, or fitting into a certain pair of jeans, looking your best for an event or something of bigger impact such as preventing a certain disease, improving your self-confidence, living longer and keeping up with grandchildren. Once you’ve found your motivation, then just hold on to it. Refer to this list when you feel you need a reminder. Thinking about your motivation can help you stay on track.

Take care of your health numbers while dieting. Book a test here.

2. Learn important skills

Before making healthy changes in your eating habits, you should learn few important skills, such as how to keep yourself focused and motivated every day, how to curb your food cravings, and how to get yourself back on track immediately after a cheat diet.

3. Set realistic goals

Always set small, realistic, and achievable goals as goals that are too big and unreal feel too far away to achieve. If you set your goals too high, your plan may backfire. People who expect to lose weight too quickly are more likely to get discouraged and drop out of a healthy diet and weight loss program. Small goals can help keep you going strong because being close to reaching an end target can help you hold out for a little longer.

4. Listen to your body needs

Try to understand your body’s true needs. Keeping in tune with your body’s hunger and satiety signals is important for weight loss. Teach yourself the difference between hunger and craving, and eat only when you’re hungry. Next time you feel like eating, pause for a moment and ask yourself whether your body really needs an energy boost or you’re just trying to cure your boredom.

Always respect your body and treat it with dignity. Learn to honor your dislikes. If you’ve tried a specific food several times and don’t like it, don’t eat it in compulsion. We are fortunate enough to have plenty of food options available to choose from. Eat happily and choose healthy food options.

Sure you are taking enough nutrients in diet? Check your vitamins levels here.

5. Aim for consistency, not perfection

It’s essential to keep in mind that it’s not always about perfection as much as it is about consistency. And aiming for perfection could end up disappointing you more than it helps. You cannot change your diet overnight and then become perfect with every food choice.

Don’t feel like you must avoid any temptation or unplanned cheat meals. Eat in a very healthy way but allow yourself to enjoy some of your favorite foods every once in a while, in moderation. And it’s ok to indulge a little, every now and then. It might even help your progress.

6. Plan your meals ahead

People often are not prepared to deal with their temptations before they are in front of them. A pre-planned strategy could increase your chance of success. One of the best ways to keep yourself on track is to plan your daily meal in advance so that you have healthy options on hand if you get hungry. Preparing your meals ahead of time can really help you to stay on course. If you don’t cook, then you should have some healthy ready-to-eat snacks. Chances of eating unhealthy food increase when you are hungry and don’t have anything healthy to eat. So, keep unhealthy foods out of the house or out of sight.

7. Do eat less but more frequently

The best and simple mantra to lose weight is eating fewer calories than you burn. But eating fewer calories doesn’t mean that you have to starve yourself, starving would only slow down the metabolic processes of the body and would harm you and affect you psychologically.

Dividing your daily calories into small frequent meals will help you control your appetite and weight. Eating small meals more frequently will fulfill your satiety levels.

8. Make your plate more colorful

The best way to get all the essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals is to include fruits and veggies that make up all the colors of the rainbow. These nutrient-rich foods are high in fiber and water and will give you a feeling of fullness and you won’t feel hungry.

9. Sip slow and more frequently

Sipping water all through the day will make you feel fuller and satisfied and you will not feel the need to eat as much. You will have fewer cravings and this will keep you from over-eating. People sometimes confuse thirst with hunger and end up eating unnecessary extra calories. At times when you feel hungry, it could be a sign of thirst. So always sip on some water first to see if the hunger persists. Dehydration can disturb electrolyte levels in your body. Check electrolytes with a quick test.

Diet and exercise go together

Eating a healthy diet and exercising at the same time increases your chances of success. You will get the results much faster by eating healthy and exercising regularly. Track your food intake and measure your exercise progress to stay motivated and keep going. It may help you stick to a healthy diet and leads to greater weight loss.

Rectifying your habits and improving your diet is not easy. However, these tips can help you stay on right track. But they don’t include everything. Each dieter is different; you have to find out what works best for you in the long run.

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cardiacarrest_vs_heartattack image

Many a time, the terms cardiac arrest and heart attack are used interchangeably, but they aren’t similar. However, cardiac arrest and heart attack both are life-threatening emergencies and have many similar symptoms and preventions, but they’re actually two different heart-related problems with radically different causes and treatments.  It could be said that a heart attack is a “circulation” issue and a cardiac arrest is an “electrical” problem. In order to understand the difference between these two conditions, you need to understand what happens in both of these processes. Let’s discuss the differences between a heart attack and a cardiac arrest.

What is a heart attack?

A heart attack or a myocardial infarction occurs when the blood supply that brings oxygen to the heart muscle is inadequate. It often results from a blockage caused by a clot in the coronary arteries that feed the heart. If the blockage is not resolved quickly, the heart muscle begins to suffer damage or start to die. A troponin test can help detect acute heart injury. Book a test here.

What are the symptoms of a heart attack?

Not everyone has the same symptoms. Some people show warning signs or symptoms while others show no signs at all. Symptoms of a heart attack that people may report include:

  • Chest pain mostly in the center of the chest
  • Spreading of chest pain to the arms, jaw, neck, back, and abdomen
  • Pain in the upper body
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling lightheaded
  • Sweating
  • Trouble breathing
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Coughing or wheezing
  • Palpitations

 What causes a heart attack?

Heart attacks are generally caused by coronary heart disease; a condition caused by a buildup of fat and cholesterol in the coronary arteries forming plaques. People with CHD may experience a heart attack if a plaque ruptures and forms a blood clot which in turn blocks the coronary artery.

Risk factors like smoking, unhealthy eating habits, diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol, and hypertension may increase your risk of developing coronary heart disease. And consequently, a heart attack.

What is a cardiac arrest?

A cardiac arrest usually happens suddenly with no warning. It is different from a heart attack.  In a cardiac arrest, the heart suddenly stops beating; whereas in a heart attack the heart usually doesn’t stop beating.

A cardiac arrest is triggered by an electrical malfunction in the heart that disrupts the heart’s normal rhythm resulting in a rapid and chaotic heartbeat, and in many cases, the heart stops beating altogether. This disrupts the blood and oxygen flow to the vital organs, including the brain and lungs, causing the person to gasp or stop breathing. One may lose consciousness and becomes unresponsive within seconds. Cardiac arrests can be fatal if it’s not resolved within minutes.

What are the symptoms of a cardiac arrest?

In most cases, there are little-to-no warning signs. More than half of people who experience cardiac arrest have no symptoms. Others may have the following symptoms:

  • Sudden loss of consciousness 
  • Blue discoloration of the face
  • No breathing
  • No pulse

Chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, weakness, heart palpitations, and nausea are few warning signs that may also occur in the period before a cardiac arrest.

What causes a cardiac arrest?

The potential causes of a cardiac arrest may include: ventricular fibrillation, ventricular tachycardia, coronary heart disease, changes of the heart structure, respiratory arrest, pacemaker failure, choking, drowning, electrocution, hypothermia, sudden drop in blood pressure and excessive alcohol consumption, and drug abuse.

A heart attack can also cause cardiac arrest. If a large enough portion of the heart is affected during a heart attack, then the heart may stop beating, leading to a cardiac arrest.

What is the connection between a heart attack and a cardiac arrest?

These two different heart issues are connected.  A cardiac arrest can occur after a heart attack, or while recovery. Heart attacks can escalate the risk for cardiac arrest. It is important to note that the majority of heart attacks do not lead to cardiac arrest. But, most cardiac arrests are caused by heart attacks. Other heart conditions can also disrupt the heart’s rhythm and lead to cardiac arrest. An hs-CRP test (high sensitivity C-reactive protein) along with other tests can help assess a person’s risk for developing heart disease. Book a test here.

What actions must be taken in case of a heart attack or cardiac arrest?

Call emergency services immediately so that the patient can receive treatment as soon as the services arrive. Emergency services staff are equipped and well trained to revive an unresponsive person whose heart has stopped beating. This can be done either with CPR or with the help of a defibrillator.  Using CPR and defibrillators can improve the survival rate of the patient in cardiac arrest. CPR is intended to pump the heart to get blood circulating and deliver oxygen to the organs. The defibrillator sends an electric shock to the heart aiming to restore its normal rhythm.

In conclusion, there is a huge difference between a heart attack and a cardiac arrest. Heart attacks are mainly a plumbing problem because it occurs when the blood flow to the heart stops causing a part of the heart muscle to begin to die, whereas cardiac arrest is an electrical problem in which heart suddenly stops beating as a result of rapid and erratic electrical impulses and irregular heart rhythm. There is a long list of symptoms of a heart attack; on the other hand, the main symptoms of a cardiac arrest are lack of consciousness, lack of breathing, and no pulse. There are various causes of a cardiac arrest; while the primary cause of a heart attack is coronary heart disease.

If you or a person you’re with is experiencing symptoms that could be either of a heart attack or a sudden cardiac arrest, seek emergency medical attention as they could be life-threatening. Considering that cardiac arrest can be reversed only if treated within minutes, it’s important to act quickly. The longer the person waits to get help, the greater the damage can occur.

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High blood pressure is often referred to as the “silent killer” because it may show no unusual day-to-day symptoms. If left uncontrolled, it boosts the chances of heart attack and stroke. But the good news is that you can lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart disease naturally, without using medicines. Lifestyle changes are effective in preventing and treating your high blood pressure.

Here are 10 effective ways to lower your high blood pressure without medicines:

1. Stay physically active and exercise regularly

Regular physical activity, even as simple as walking, can bring your blood pressure down to safer levels. Great amount of physical activity makes your heart stronger and improves the heart’s ability to pump blood, which lowers the pressure in your arteries. Not only does regular exercise helps control high blood pressure, it also helps you manage your cholesterol levels, weight, lower your stress level and strengthen your heart.

Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise, such as walking, or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise, such as running, per week to lower blood pressure and improve your heart health. Try a combination of aerobic exercise (such as walking, jogging, cycling or swimming), resistance training, high-intensity interval training or walking 8,000-10,000 steps a day. Try to find something you enjoy doing, it will help you to commit to a regular routine and motivate you to get up and moving.

2. Lose extra pounds

Blood pressure often rises as weight increases. So, weight loss is one of the most effective ways of lowering your blood pressure. Losing even 5% of your body weight can significantly help reduce your blood pressure. Various studies have shown a direct relationship between blood pressure and body mass index. A weight reduction of about 10 kg can likely reduce the systolic blood pressure by 5 to 20 mmHg.

3. Limit sodium intake

There is strong evidence that even a small reduction in sodium intake can improve your heart health and reduce blood pressure. The recommended daily intake of sodium is 2300 mg, with an optimal limit of less than 1500 mg, for people with high blood pressure. Look for low-sodium alternatives to the foods and beverages you normally buy. Swap out processed foods with fresh ones and try seasoning with herbs and spices rather than salt to add flavor to your food. 

Be a smart shopper and make sure you read food labels for high sodium, saturated fat, and cholesterol before buying. Try to stick to your healthy diet plan when you’re dining out, too.

4. Include more potassium in your diet

Not only does potassium help regulate blood pressure, but it can also nullify the effects of sodium in your system and ease pressure on your blood vessels. However, patients with significant kidney disease should restrict the amount of potassium.

Foods that are particularly high in potassium include dairy, such as milk and yogurt; tuna and salmon; vegetables, especially leafy greens, beans, tomatoes, potatoes, and sweet potatoes; fruit, including melons, bananas, avocados, oranges, and apricots; dried fruits, nuts , and seeds.

5. Limit alcohol consumption and quit smoking

You may have read that alcohol consumption in moderation can be beneficial for your heart. However, heavy alcohol consumption can cause a sudden spike in your blood pressure. Stay mindful of your alcohol intake.

Moderate drinking is up to two drinks a day for men and one drink a day for women. A standard drink is one 12 ounces of regular beer, 4 ounces of wine, 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits.

Each cigarette you smoke causes a temporary increase in your blood pressure. The chemicals in tobacco increase your blood pressure by damaging your blood vessels, causing inflammation, and constricting your arteries.

It is advisable to quit these lethal practices in order to stay healthy.

Not sure if you are taking enough care of your health? Book a comprehensive health checkup right away.

6. Cut back on caffeine

Several studies revealed that the amount of caffeine in one or two cups of coffee raises both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. But the effect is temporary. It lasts 1 to 2 hours and the reaction varies from individual to individual. People who don’t consume caffeine regularly may be more sensitive to caffeine than those who drink caffeinated coffee and tea. If you’re caffeine-sensitive, you may want to cut back on your coffee consumption or switch to decaffeinated coffee as it has the same flavor without the side effects.

7. Chocolate fan? Indulge in dark chocolate

Eating one to two squares of dark chocolate per day may help lower your blood pressure. But look for the dark chocolate bar that has a cocoa content of 70% or higher. Various studies have shown that cocoa consumption is associated with about 2 mm Hg lowering of both systolic and diastolic BP. Hence, eating small amounts of dark chocolate or cocoa products can be beneficial and this benefit is thought to come from the chemical compounds in the cocoa products called flavonoids. The flavonoids help dilate, or relax your blood vessels, lowering blood pressure.

8. Try these healthful herbs

Some herbs such as parsley, basil, celery seeds, garlic, thyme, ginger root, and cinnamon have been shown to possibly lower blood pressure by relaxing blood arteries and lowering cholesterol and low-density lipoproteins. These herbs are rich in antioxidants and vitamin C.

Always consult your doctor before taking these herbal supplements.

9. Find ways to manage stress

Finding ways to manage your stress is important for your health and blood pressure. When you are stressed, your body releases hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones can raise your heart rate and constrict blood vessels and can lead to temporary spikes in your blood pressure. Stress can also result in poor sleep, overeating, and misusing drugs and alcohol.

There are lots of different ways that can help in mitigating stress, so find what works for you. Practices like meditation, yoga, deep breathing can help keep you manage your stress hormones and blood pressure.

Try to carve out time for things that bring you happiness. Whether that’s chilling out with friends, spending time with loved ones, eating a good meal, reading a book, watching a comedy or listening to soothing music, find some time to embrace small moments of enjoyment throughout the day.

These nine ways can help you to lower your blood pressure and give you a healthy head start in life. But it is important to note that if you have prolonged high blood pressure; your treatment may require both healthy lifestyle changes like these, along with medications as prescribed by your physician.

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vitamin-b12-deficiency image

Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that is needed by your body for optimal functioning.

Thinking what does vitamin B12 actually do?

You need vitamin B12 to make red blood cells (RBCs), nerves, genetic materials of most cells (DNA), and carry out other metabolic functions. While like most vitamins, it is needed in small quantities. However, it cannot be produced by the body on its own. Your body needs to get it from food sources or vitamin B12 supplements. And therein comes the concern. Many people in India do not take sufficient levels of vitamin B12 to meet their nutritional needs. Some people may get enough levels, but cannot absorb them properly. In fact, low vitamin B12 is quite prevalent.

Sure you are having enough vitamin B12 levels? Get tested vitamin B12 levels

Some people may be at high risk of developing vitamin B12 deficiency, including

  • Older adults
  • People with diabetes who are taking a drug called metformin
  • People who follow a vegetarian or a strict vegan diet
  • People having conditions that interrupt the absorption of nutrients, including celiac or Crohn’s disease
  • Those who have got surgery that involves removal of a part of the bowel that is responsible for B12 absorption
  • Those who are consuming antacid drugs for heartburn for a long time.

Here let’s take a glance at how you might feel with a vitamin B12 deficiency.

Common symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency

Pale skin or jaundice

Vitamin B12 is essential for the production of the DNA required to synthesize red blood cells. In absence of DNA, the cells do not get proper instructions and are unable to divide. Following a series of events including the destruction of RBCs, excess of a yellowish pigment called bilirubin is produced. Hence, people with a lack of enough B12 often look pale. They might have a slight yellow tinge to the skin and whites of the eyes (due to the deposition of bilirubin), a condition known as jaundice.

Mouth ulcers and glossitis

Manystudies have demonstrated that inflammation of the tongue and mouth ulcers could be among the early signs of vitamin B12 deficiency. The condition of having a swollen and inflamed tongue is called glossitis. An inflamed tongue can look smooth since the tiny bumps that contain your taste buds are stretched out. You may feel pain in the tongue. It can pose problems with eating and speaking as well.

Mouth ulcers are also considered a common symptom of low vitamin B12 levels. They may appear on the inner side of the cheeks, tongue, and even inside of the lips.

A sensation of pins and needles

A long-term B12 deficiency can result in a serious condition related to nerve damage. This vitamin plays an important role in the production of a fatty substance that surrounds the nerves to protect and insulate them, called myelin. In absence of myelin, the sensation of pins and needles may appear. It is similar to a prickling sensation in your hands and feet and occurs gradually over time. Many times, as suggested by the studies, the nerve-related signs linked with low B12 occur alongside anemia.

Weakness and fatigue

Red blood cells help transport oxygen and nutrients throughout your body. Since your body doesn’t have sufficient vitamin B12 to produce red blood cells, an efficient oxygen supply to your body cells is interrupted. As a result, you feel weak, exhausted, and tired.

Changes in mood

Vitamin B12 deficiency has been associated with mood and brain-related conditions such as depression and dementia. While experts are still not sure if low vitamin B12 and dementia are related, people with dementia have shown it to be the most frequently associated physical disease. However, it is noteworthy that B vitamins supplementation did not improve brain function or symptoms of memory loss as per significant studies.

For now, vitamin B-12 remains an important part of a healthy nervous system and some cognitive functions, regardless of its role in memory.

Important note for vegetarians and vegans

Vitamin B12 is naturally found in animal foods. Plant foods are devoid of B12. While vegetarians can overcome some of the vitamin B12 deficiency with dairy products, such as milk and cheese, strict vegans who practice complete abstinence from animal foods, may have to consider B12 supplementation.

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scientific way image

Obesity has become such a common word in the current times. With our daily routines so sedentary, a diet full of readymade junk food items, and a mind filled with stress and anxiety, it is really tough to take some time out to indulge in anything healthy. These unhealthy lifestyle practices have caused many of us to gain extra kilos. Being overweight causes you to start feeling a lack of agility. And also increases the risk of a host of lifestyle conditions including diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, etc.

Not sure where to start your health journey? Begin with booking a health test. Click Here

That being said, you also might be looking for ways to shed those extra kilos. Search for the solutions and you get millions of answers on TV, magazines, internet, etc. But are these measures scientifically sound as well?

Get the facts right

New scientific studies that shed light on how metabolism works are right on their way, but when the discovery turns into new “tips” for losing weight, you must pay a little extra attention. The science community is also exhausted from the hype and unfounded assumptions that permeate public discourse. When it comes to the issue, the things we take for granted about weight loss are relatively simple. They are also very effective when actually done. In this article, we are shedding light on how you can lose weight scientifically and also maintain it.

Tip #1: Eat mindfully

Mindful eating is a practice where people pay attention to how and where they are eating their food. This practice enables people to enjoy the food they eat, get satisfied with less portions, and maintain a healthy weight. Research has shown that distractions while eating food like watching TV or talking to someone, causes you to eat more than the actual hunger.

Let’s see what are the ways that can help in mindful eating

a. Sit calmly and eat your food on the dining table, instead of bedroom or entertainment area.

b. Keep distance from your TV, phone, laptop etc. while taking meals.

c. Take enough time to chew your food. This technique helps with weight loss, as it gives the brain enough time to recognize signals that they are full, which can help prevent overeating.

Tip #2: Combine diet restriction with exercise

Samuel Klein, MD at Washington University’s School of Medicine has said that a little exercise is a key to losing weight. Going by stairs in plce of using the lift can be as simple as that of a move and will definitely make a difference. But it’s important to keep a note on diet as well. Along with burning calories, cutting calories holds a lot of importance.

Reducing food intake is far more effective than increasing physical activity for weight loss. To understand this, let us take an example. If you want to burn your 300 calories then you have to keep yourself away from potato chips as well as walking in the park. The problem is that when we depend on exercise alone, it reverses its effect in some cases. This is partly due to the effect of exercise on hunger and hunger hormones, which make you feel especially hungry after exercise. For example, if you have burned 400 calories exercising, but because of your hunger, you have consumed food like burgers or pizza, your exercise is in vain. Therefore, along with exercise, it is necessary to have control over your food as well

Tip #3: Try to fix your broken metabolism

Heard about broken metabolism quite a few times? Although exercise alone won’t make you lose weight, it can help repair your broken metabolism. NASA says in its bed rest studies that if you do not do any activity for a few days, that time your metabolism slows down. And when you do the movement again, the metabolism starts trying to work again. It doesn’t come back to normal like before, but it does its best to do its job. This is why exercise plays an important role in the maintenance phase, which is considered more difficult than the weight loss phase.

Tip #4: Try intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting in simple words is a type of diet in which you need to restrict eating for a few hours in the day. For example, you have to stay without eating for 16 hours and eat only for 8 hours a day. You can take a good diet in these 8 hours. Start taking your regular meals at around 8 o’clock and stop eating before sunset at around 5 o’clock. Many studies show that intermittent fasting can affect an obese person very fast if he follows it properly.

The most common intermittent fasting methods include the following:

a. ADF– Stands for alternate days fasting. This involves eating only 25-30 percent of the body’s energy needs during fasting days.
b. 16/8 method– In this you fast for 16 hours and eat food at intervals of 8 hours.
c. 5:2 diet– Fast on 2 out of every 7 days.

While taking meals, try eliminating sugar and unhealthy refined carbohydrates from your diet.

These are highly processed foods that are depleted of fibre and nutrients. They are digested very quickly and are rapidly converted into glucose. Excess glucose enters the blood and stimulates the hormone insulin, which promotes the storage of fat in adipose tissue, which becomes a major factor in increasing your weight. As far as possible replace your processed and sugar-based food with healthy full food.

Tip #5: Never ignore a good night’s sleep

Several studies have shown that getting less than 5-6 hours of sleep per night is associated with an increased incidence of obesity. Research suggests that insufficient sleep slows down the process by which the body converts calories into energy. How long someone sleeps also affects the regulation of the appetite-regulating hormones leptin and ghrelin. Leptin sends signals of fullness to the brain.

The final word

Start simple and build these as habits. It might take some time to get used to the healthy practices, but as soon as you start seeing the results and losing weight, your motivation will be you yourself. In the end, your body will act as you say.

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testosterone blood test image

Testosterone is a sex hormone that is pivotal for the development of male features. This hormone regulates the changes that happen in boys during puberty including the growth of hair, muscles, penis, and testes. The voice deepening, sex drive, and sperm production in men are also mediated by this sex hormone. Though men continue to produce testosterone, it is normal for the levels to decline slightly with advancing age after age 30 or so.

While it is chiefly a male sex hormone that is produced in the testes in men, testosterone is important to support various organs and body processes in women too. It is present in small quantities than men and is made by the ovaries in women and in the adrenal glands.

Free vs Total testosterone

The testosterone circulating in the blood gets itself attached to two proteins: albumin and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG). Some of the testosterone is unattached, called free testosterone. Free testosterone and albumin-bound testosterone are also known as bioavailable testosterone as it is easily available to be used for body processes and functions.

Testosterone test

The level of the hormone testosterone in your blood can be easily tested with a blood sample taken from a vein. A testosterone blood test is used by your doctor for diagnosing conditions caused by too much or too little testosterone in the body. The other names for this test are testosterone (total) and serum testosterone.

Book a testosterone test within the comfort of your home.

When do you need to get your testosterone levels checked?

Both men and women may need to get a testosterone test done. You may require a testosterone test to look for abnormal testosterone levels, too little or too high.

The purpose of testing may include

  • Men: To detect the cause of symptoms, such as erectile dysfunction or the male infertility
  • Women: To support the diagnosis of male-like physical features (called virilization), excessive body hair (hirsutism), female infertility, or hormonal imbalances including polycystic ovary disease (PCOD).
  • Children: To identify what may be causing delayed or early (precocious) puberty, or unclear differentiation of genitalia (not clearly male or female).
  • Transgender: To monitor testosterone levels while undergoing hormone therapy.

Men and women can have different clinical presentations when dealing with low or excess testosterone levels. Here we are taking a look at what high or low testosterone levels may cause in men and women:

Warning signs of testosterone deficiency

Specific symptoms of low testosterone in men

  • Decreased sex drive.
  • Problems with erectile function
  • Loss of body hair
  • Less beard growth.
  • Reduced lean muscle mass.
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Being overweight
  • Symptoms of depression.

In women, lack of testosterone can result in:

  • Fertility problems
  • Reduced sex drive
  • Irregular or absent periods
  • Dryness of vagina
  • Weakened bones

Symptoms of high testosterone in women are mentioned as follows:

  • Oily skin and pimples
  • Darkened skin patches
  • Enlargement of clitoris
  • Excessive male-pattern hair on the face or body
  • Hair loss on the head (baldness)
  • Irregular or no periods

A few times, excess testosterone results due to a condition known as congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH). This can cause men to have an abnormally large penis and women to have abnormal genitalia at birth.

PCOD in women and testosterone: Are they related?

PCOD is a common hormonal imbalance that affects 1 in 5 women in India. It leads to the irregularity of the menstrual cycle, acne, hair loss, excessive facial hair, coarse skin, and problems in conceiving.  Many women with PCOD are found to have an imbalance in certain hormones, increased levels of testosterone being important. Usually, testosterone values in PCOD will be less than or equal to 150 ng/dL (≤5.2 nmol/L). Testosterone values of ≥200 ng/dL (≥6.9 nmol/L) may warrant your physician to consider the cause to be an ovarian or adrenal tumor.

However, it is not the sole diagnostic criteria for PCOD. Depending on your results, you might also need one of these other tests:

  • Androstenedione (AD): To detect how well your adrenal glands or ovaries are functioning.
  • DHEAS test: To diagnose any problems in your adrenal glands.
  • Estrogen level: To detect more about infertility or menopause.
  • Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) or luteinizing hormone (LH): To evaluate fertility in women. Book LH-FSH ratio test here.
  • Prolactin test: To look for possible causes of breast discharge, missing periods, or decreased sex drive in women.

Any special preparations needed? What might affect testosterone test results?

There aren’t any special test preparations required. The sample is typically taken in the morning. As per experts, getting the test done late in the day may give your testosterone level lesser than it really is.
However, some medicines including antifungals and hormone medicines can impact your test results. These include antifungal medicines such as ketoconazole and hormone medicines.

Key takeaway

In most cases, testosterone levels can vary simply based on physiological factors like age, diet, or physical activity levels. However, it is important to discuss your testosterone test results with a doctor who can appraise if your deranged levels are just occurring as a result of the aging process or health condition.

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