Health Tips for Men of all Ages - International Men’s Day Special
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
Telltale Signs of Anemia. Could You Be Anemic Too?
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: A decline in the production of red blood cells or hemoglobin A rise in loss or destruction of red blood cells. 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 anysymptoms. 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: Mean cellular volume (MCV, included in CBC) Serum ferritin levels Iron studies test (low iron saturation) Transferrin or total iron-binding capacity (TIBC) 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.
Infertility in Women: Causes, Diagnosis and Prevention
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 Laparoscopy 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. Hysteroscopy 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. Prevention 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 wordInfertility 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.
9 Tips to Keep Your Dieting on Track and Make Most of It
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.
Cardiac Arrest or Heart Attack: Are They similar?
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.