COVID-19 Health Check: Other Test to Check Health Condition
Vikrant (name changed), a 42-year-old working professional, got tested positive for COVID-19 a few days back. He had a very mild illness, with symptoms such as mild sore throat, headache, and moderate fever that would come down with medicine. He was quite at an ease with the virus until the last two days when he developed a high fever, severe throat, and even difficulty in breathing. He called his doctor and visited the clinic in person as advised. Thankfully, after being under continuous observation for 3 days, he has come back home and got along with the quarantine time again.“But, isn’t COVID-19 only causing a mild illness in almost 80% of people,” enquired Vikrant to his doctor, “I thought a severe COVID-19 illness is only for elderly people,” he further added. There are many people like Vikrant who are unintentionally ignoring the unpredictable nature of coronavirus infection. If you or a loved one has tested positive for COVID-19, it is important for you to understand that not all people experience the symptoms in the same way. In fact, the duration and severity of the infection might vary from person to person. So, while it is common for most people to have mild COVID-19 illness, you must monitor your health status closely and be vigilant of any worsening of the symptoms. COVID Monitoring Profile for COVID-19 positive people There are a few tests that help track your health condition, check that the infection might not turn into a severe infection, keep an eye on if you need to see a doctor immediately. We at Metropolis have curated an exclusive monitoring package that helps you avoid the hassle of booking different tests and get all the required tests done at one time.Your doctor might advise you to take these tests during the first few days of the illness, in between the illness if you experience any worsening of the symptoms, and even after recovery to keep a continuous watch on your health. COVID monitoring tests are required whether you are admitted to hospital or under home care. Major tests included in the package and their clinical importance Ferritin and Prothrombin time:The increased numbers of both these tests point towards an issue in blood coagulation, an abnormality that is significant in view of severe COVID-19infection. IL-6 and CRP (C-reactive protein): Elevated IL-6 and CRP levels indicate severe inflammation in the body. SGPT, LDH, Creatinine, Albumin, Troponin, etc.: These parameters check for tissue damage for vital body organs including liver, kidney, and heart. Apart from these specific tests, the Complete blood count (CBC) test is also included to give a complete picture of your blood and check if there is any significant rise or fall in the critical blood-related numbers. As per the experts and Research Reduced white blood cell count (lymphopenia), increase in neutrophils (neutrophilia), elevated levels of liver enzymes ALT and AST, elevated LDH, CRP, and ferritin levels have been associated with greater disease severity and hospitalization in COVID-19 patients In a meta-analysis including nine studies, IL-6 levels were more than three times higher in people with complicated COVID-19 compared with those with the non-complicated disease. Also, the increased IL-6 levels were associated with mortality risk. A raised serum C-reactive protein (CRP) level had been observed in most people with COVID-19. In fact, people presenting with severe pneumonia had high CRP levels. As per studies, CRP levels can be used in the early diagnosis of pneumonia. Elevated ALT, AST, and creatinine seen in severe cases suggests that COVID-19 carries an increased risk of impaired liver and kidney function As compared to non-ICU people, lymphopenia (reduced levels of white blood cells) was more common in ICU patients. C-reactive protein (CRP), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), high-sensitivity troponin (hs-Tn), N-terminal pro–B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP), and D-dimer helps improve the prognosis in patients who are hospitalized with COVID-19. The Takeaway The COVID monitoring profile checks the levels of biological biomarkers in your body that assess the severity of the COVID-19 infection. A continuous check on these numbers helps your doctor devise the best treatment plan for you and see whether you need in-hospital care or can be managed at home. Health tracking helps improve prognosis and minimize the mortality risk in people with severe disease. So, make sure to get your health parameters measured as your immune system fights off the virus.
Is losing weight fast healthy? Know the facts here.
It is natural and alluring for an individual to lose excess weight in the shortest time possible. However, rapid weight loss has been associated with multiple adverse effects and its beneficial effects are incomparable in contrast to slow weight loss. Evidence suggests that greater reduction of waist circumference, hip circumference, and fat mass are seen in persons who shed their weight slowly whereas the person who reduces weight rapidly shows a significant reduction of water content and lean tissue of the body. The main concern with losing weight rapidly is that it takes extraordinary efforts in diet and exercise that could be unhealthy and cannot be maintained as permanent lifestyle changes. The usual recommendation of healthy weight loss suggests a weight loss of one to two pounds a week. One pound or 0.45 kilogram of body fat might contain around 3,500 calories.1 So to lose one pound a week, you roughly need to burn 500 more calories than you eat each day. Planning to start your weight loss journey? The first step should be to get your health analysis done to know what might be causing you to put on weight. Book here. Although this approach has a slow pace, it is more likely to help an individual to maintain weight loss for the long term. Healthy weight loss does not just include a diet or weight loss program, it is about lifestyle modifications consisting of long-term changes in daily eating and exercise habits. Here are few health risks related to rapid weight loss: Nutritional deficiencies Extreme calorie restriction can cause nutritional deficiencies as it can be hard to get adequate essential nutrients like iron, folate, and vitamin B12 on a low-calorie diet. This malnutrition can have several consequences including anemia, hair loss, brittle nail, decreased energy, fatigue, weakened immune system which in turn, increases the risk of infections, etc. Nutritional deficiencies can be avoided by consuming a diet rich in whole, unprocessed foods that contain fewer calories and are also quite filling, which may ultimately help you lose weight. Following a strict diet to lose weight? Keep an eye on your iron and vitamin B12 numbers. Loss of muscle mass Losing weight does not necessarily mean losing fat. It has been reported that calorie-restrictive diets may cause the body to break down the muscle for energy and fuel instead of adipose tissues. This has been validated by a study that included two groups; one had 25 people who were administered a very low-calorie diet of 500 calories per day for 5 weeks and another group consisted of 22 people who were fed a low-calorie diet of 1,250 calories per day for 12 weeks. The results of this study concluded that both groups had lost comparable amounts of weight, but, the people who were put on a very low-calorie diet lost six times the muscle mass than those on the low-calorie diet.2 Additionally, loss of muscle mass also results in lowering of metabolism as muscle is more metabolically active in contrast to fat. Lowering of metabolism Rapid loss of weight caused due to extreme caloric restriction may slow down your metabolism. Your metabolism measures the number of calories you burn each day and a slower metabolism results in the burning of fewer calories per day. There is substantial evidence suggesting that losing weight fast achieved by eating fewer calories may cause you to burn up to 23% fewer calories per day.3 The two underlying causes responsible for the lowering of metabolism are a very low-calorie diet leading to loss of muscle, and a fall in hormones that regulates metabolism, such as thyroid hormone. Moreover, in conditions where your body goes into starvation mode, the metabolism gets slow down to help you conserve energy and your body will try to conserve more fat. This drop in metabolism even can last long after you finish calorie restriction. Onset of dehydration The weight loss seems to be faster in the first two weeks due to significant loss of water weight. This is more common in individuals on low-carb or no-carb diets. This is also considered to be one of the chief reasons that cause remarkable quick weight loss in some popular diet patterns. Nevertheless, rapid water loss can result in dehydration and other side effects such as constipation, headache, muscle cramps, and low energy. Psychological effects Researches revealed that losing weight very quickly can also cause psychological consequences. Mental health may suffer if an individual does not accept his new body shape and weight. Moreover, leptin, a hormone regulating hunger and satiety becomes imbalanced in a person who is on a low-calorie diet. Usually, when leptin levels are normal, it signals your brain when your body has adequate fat, and you are full. However, in imbalanced concentrations, leptin can lead to obsession with the food, which can make you hungry, resulting in binge eating, which can ultimately add more fat. Apart from these, other quick weight loss in an unhealthy way can give you electrolyte imbalances, headaches, irritability, fatigue, constipation, and even hair loss. Try to avoid being drawn to the false appeal of advertisements promising fast weight loss, seeking professional help from an expert doctor and dietician can help you lose weight efficiently and safely.