What is Purpura: All You Need To Know
Introduction You must have noticed bruises and rashes in parts of your body and wondered where you got hurt. Well, these may not be bruises but Purpura. It is a skin condition that indicates that something is wrong with your health and requires medical attention. Purpura can happen at any age. It is more common among older adults above 55 years of age. Purpura rashes appear brownish-black on dark skin tones and reddish-purple on fair skin tones. What is Purpura? Purpura is a condition where you can spot patches or a bruise-like appearance on your skin. It may also appear in the mucus membrane, like in your mouth or throat. Purpura a not a medical condition in itself; rather, it is treated as a sign of underlying issues. When Does Purpura Appear? When small blood vessels under your skin surface burst and start leaking blood, the blood accumulates, creating small pools underneath your skin. This causes purpura that looks like dark patches on your skin surface. Types of Purpura Purpura disease is classified into two groups based on the platelet count: Thrombocytopenic Purpura (Low platelet count) Nonthrombocytopenic Purpura (Normal platelet count) Some cases of purpura are serious but very rare. They are: Heparin-induced Thrombocytopenia (Negative reaction of Heparin) Idiopathic thrombocytopenic Purpura (Body attacks platelets) Warfarin-induced Skin Necrosis ((Side effects of Warfarin) Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation (Too much clotting of blood) You may also notice any of the following types as well, but they are not harmful: Senile Purpura (Longer exposure to the sun) Henoch-Schonlein Purpura (Prevalent among children indicating respiratory problems) Causes of Purpura Different types of purpura are caused due to different reasons. Check the following points to understand the causes of different kinds of purpura. Causes of Thrombocytopenic Purpura Certain medications that affect the normal count of platelets Drugs that create an immune system against your platelets Medications that affect normal clotting Blood transfusion Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura Rocky Mountain fever Viral infections from rubella, Epstein-Barr, or cytomegalovirus Infections in the bloodstream HIV or Hepatitis C Autoimmune diseases like Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) Causes of Nonthrombocytopenic Purpura Weak blood vessels Inflamed blood vessels Congenital diseases like Telangiectasia or Ehlers-Danlos Medicinal drugs that affect the natural blood clotting capability Certain disorders that affect the clotting of blood Scurvy Vitamin C deficiency Causes of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP) The actual cause of ITP is not known. In this condition, your body attacks the platelets, bringing them down to less than 100000. Symptoms of Purpura The symptoms of Purpura are visible on your skin. Though the symptoms disappear within a few days, you should be careful. Purpura itself is a symptom of an underlying medical condition. Purpura generally looks like Rashes that are not itchy Painless patches on the skin: small patches of 2 mm or less are called petechiae and bigger patches of 1 cm or more are called ecchymoses Reddish-purple or brownish-black patches on the skin or in the mucus membrane No blanches after pressing In some cases, irritation on the rashes You should seek medical guidance if you notice any of the above symptoms along with the following conditions: Low platelet count Poor clotting of blood Bleeding gums or nose Blood in urine or stool Swollen joints Stomach pain Diarrhoea Nausea Vomiting Kidney issues Tiredness Potential Risk Factors Even though purpura is an alarming sign of a health ailment, some other factors may also result in the formation of blood pools underneath your skin surface. Some of the potential risk factors of purpura are as follows: Bone marrow diseases and cancers Poor health of the blood vessels Deficiency in nutrients Disorders related to blood clotting Congenital illnesses that attack the connective tissues Diagnosis and Treatment Purpura is a harmless and painless condition but you should have it checked promptly. It could be an indicator of other medical conditions. When you have visited your doctor, they may ask for any of the following tests according to your medical history: Complete blood test for platelet count Skin biopsy for cancer Urine test for kidney issues Bone marrow testing for detecting problems in your bone marrow Treatment of Purpura The treatment of Purpura is carried out according to the underlying cause of the condition. Once you recover from that, your Purpura will also be cured. Generally, patients receive the following medications: NSAIDs to treat Henoch-Schönlein purpura Corticosteroids Intravenous immune globulin (IV-IgG) Rituximab (Rituxan) Romiplostim (Nplate) to treat ITP Eltrombopag (Promacta) to treat ITP If medications are not helping and your platelet count drops severely, your doctor may recommend splenectomy. It is the process of surgical removal of your spleen from your body. The spleen is a major organ that controls your platelet count. Book CBC Test Conclusion Purpura is not a medical condition on its own but indicates various other underlying health conditions. Though it can happen at any age, this symptom is more prevalent in older adults than children. As one of the leading diagnostic chains in India, Metropolis Labs has branches in almost every city in India. Book your health checkups and pathological tests with Metropolis Labs and avail of the services from the comforts of your home.
What is Luteinizing Hormone (LH): Function, Test and Levels
Introduction The pituitary gland, located at the base of the human brain, secretes a series of crucial hormones that regulate the entire human body. The luteinizing hormone(LH) is one of them. An imbalance in the LH level may lead to poor reproductive health. Abnormal LH levels can cause several reproductive conditions. Both men and women are the victims of abnormal LH levels. Though the prevalence in males is less or poorly detected, women are much more affected by it. One of the most common results of abnormal Luteinizing hormone levels is PCOS. Nearly 10% of American women have PCOS. India, too, does not lag. One out of every five Indian women is struggling with PCOS. Infertility issues are common LH problems. This blog gives you a clear outline of the luteinizing hormone, its levels and its functions. What is Luteinizing Hormone? luteinizing hormone is one of the most crucial hormones in your body. It is secreted from the pituitary gland at the human brain's base. The luteinizing hormone is a messenger that transmits signals from the brain to the reproductive organs. It stimulates different processes of the human body, including development, sexual health and reproduction. Your testes or ovaries receive signals from the brain through Luteinizing hormones and function accordingly to carry out the reproductive cycle. The pituitary gland secretes the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) to balance the level of the luteinizing hormone. Standard Range of Luteinizing Hormone Since the luteinizing hormone plays the most essential role in regulating your sex organs and overall reproductive system, a minute imbalance may incur remarkable changes in your health. Doctors detect the imbalance through LH tests. You can check the standard range of luteinizing hormones (international units, units per litre) at different stages of your life from the following points: Men Between the age group 20-70: 0.7 to 7.9 IU/L Between the age group 70 and above: 3.1 to 34 IU/L Women The follicular phase of the menstrual cycle: 1.9 to 12.5 IU/L The top of the menstrual cycle: 8.7 to 76.3 IU/L The luteal phase of the menstrual cycle: 0.5 to 16.9 IU/L During pregnancy: below 1.5 UI/L After menopause: 15.9 to 54.0 IU/L Under regular use of contraceptives: 0.7 to 5.6 IU/L Children: 0.3 to 3.9 IU/L Functions of the Luteinizing Hormone The luteinizing hormones serve a series of functions in the human body. The luteinizing hormone functions are as follows: The luteinizing hormone regulates the arrival of puberty among children. The luteinizing hormones send signals to the ovaries and testicles to release estrogen and testosterone. Luteinizing hormones trigger the ovary to release eggs, a process called ovulation. The luteinizing hormones regulate the menstrual cycle of a female. The luteinizing hormone plays a crucial role in the production of sperm in males. The production of progesterone is the result of the stimulation of the corpus luteum by the luteinizing hormones. What are the Tests to Check Your LH Level? You can check the level of the luteinizing hormone in your body with a simple blood test (LH Test). But before that, you have to submit a proper doctor's prescription to the lab officials. If the count exceeds the normal range, you have a high LH level; if it remains below the standard range, you have a low LH level. Each condition has distinct consequences. Potential Complications Due to LH Level Imbalance An imbalance in the LH level can cause various health issues. Check the potential health issues caused by different stages of the LH level. High levels of the luteinizing hormone: Men A problem in the testicles Women Primary ovarian failure Polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS (DFAB) Low levels of the luteinizing hormone: Men Disorder in the pituitary gland or hypothalamus Functional Hypothalamic Amenorrhea Women Secondary ovarian failure Symptoms of an LH Level Imbalance An imbalance in the level of the luteinizing hormone cannot be detected through visible symptoms. However, you must visit a doctor if you experience any of the following: Symptoms of an increased level of LH Men Changes in libido Women Difficulty in conceiving Irregular menstrual cycle Shorter or excessively long menstrual cycle Sudden weight gain or loss Mood swings Vaginal discharge Fatigue Hot flashes Change in libido Symptoms of deficiency of LH Men Late puberty Less growth in pubic hair Lower sex drive Erection problems Fatigue Women Late puberty Poor sex organ development Irregular menstrual cycle No pubic hair Fatigue Minimal production of breast milk Preventive Measures Doctors and scientists have yet to find preventive measures for abnormal LH hormone levels at home. It has yet to be proven which food helps control the LH level. If you have an abnormal LH level, the only solution to treat your problem is to visit a gynaecologist. Proper medication will help you to get better. However, you can exercise regularly to maintain the FSH level on point. It is better to avoid being overweight if you have an abnormal LH level. Book LH Test Conclusion In short, the luteinizing hormone is vital in regulating your ovulation cycle. A high LH level indicates that you are at the right time to get pregnant. However, you must check your luteinizing hormone levels regularly. A low LH level may trigger infertility issues along with other reproductive problems. Visit an experienced gynaecologist as soon as possible if you experience any unusual symptoms during menstruation. It would be best if you also kept close attention to other notable physical changes. Metropolis Healthcare has been maintaining its reputation as one of the best diagnostic centres in India. As one of the largest pathological chains in India, you can find a branch of Metropolis Healthcarenear your residence. Every unit is run by efficient and skilled staff and provides accurate and verified test reports within 24 hours with a doctor's certification.
Accurate and Safer Diagnosis with Metropolis PregascreenTM Reflex Testing with NIPT: A Metropolis Study
In the realm of prenatal care, ensuring the health and well-being of both mother and child is paramount. The early detection of chromosomal anomalies in fetuses plays a crucial role in providing families with accurate information and facilitating informed decision-making. The advancement of medical technology has led to the development of innovative screening approaches, offering more accurate results and reducing the need for invasive procedures. One such groundbreaking method is the Metropolis PregascreenTM reflex testing with Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT), which promises accurate and safer diagnosis. Understanding Prenatal Screening Prenatal screening has undergone significant evolution over the years, moving from basic ultrasound assessments to sophisticated genetic testing methods. Traditional approaches, such as maternal biochemical dual and quadruple markers, have been widely used to assess the risk of fetal chromosomal abnormalities. However, these methods have limitations in terms of their detection rates and potential for false positives. Enter Metropolis PregascreenTM Reflex Testing The Metropolis PregascreenTM reflex testing approach introduces a paradigm shift in prenatal screening. This innovative strategy combines traditional maternal biochemical markers with cutting-edge technology to provide more accurate and comprehensive results. The crux of this approach lies in the incorporation of NIPT, a method that evaluates cell-free fetal DNA (cfDNA) from maternal blood to detect common chromosomal abnormalities. The Metropolis Study To assess the clinical validity of the Metropolis PregascreenTM reflex testing approach, a comprehensive study was conducted. The study involved analyzing retrospective data from 51,574 Indian women who underwent maternal marker screening between January 2021 and March 2022. The goal was to determine the effectiveness of this approach in accurately identifying high-risk cases and providing a safer diagnostic path. The study yielded promising results, showcasing the potential of the Metropolis PregascreenTM reflex testing approach. Out of the total high-risk cases identified through traditional screening methods, a significant portion—34.65%—opted for NIPT. This choice reflects the growing trust in the accuracy and reliability of NIPT in identifying chromosomal anomalies. Furthermore, the study demonstrated that NIPT had the ability to reclassify a substantial percentage of high-risk cases as low risk, leading to a more accurate assessment and potentially reducing unnecessary stress for expectant parents. Advantages of Metropolis PregascreenTM Reflex Testing The Metropolis PregascreenTM reflex testing approach offers several advantages that contribute to accurate and safer diagnosis: Reduced Need for Invasive Procedures: One of the most significant benefits is the reduced reliance on invasive procedures like chorionic villus sampling and amniocentesis. NIPT provides a non-invasive option that yields accurate results without the associated risks of miscarriage. High Accuracy: The study showcased that the accuracy of NIPT, when integrated with the Metropolis PregascreenTM reflex testing approach, is comparable to karyotyping, the gold standard for chromosomal anomaly detection. Informed Decision-Making: Accurate and early diagnosis empowers expectant parents with the information they need to make informed decisions regarding their pregnancy. Safer Diagnostic Journey: By minimizing the need for invasive procedures, the approach reduces potential risks to both the mother and the fetus, leading to a safer diagnostic journey. Conclusion The Metropolis PregascreenTM reflex testing approach with NIPT heralds a new era in prenatal care. Its ability to accurately identify high-risk cases and provide a safer diagnostic path signifies a positive transformation in the way we approach prenatal screening. The study's findings underscore the significance of integrating advanced technology with traditional screening methods to achieve more accurate results, greater patient satisfaction, and ultimately, healthier outcomes for both mothers and their unborn children. As we continue to embrace the potential of innovative approaches, we move closer to a future where accurate and safer diagnoses become the norm in prenatal care. Read the Original Article here - Clinical utility of PregascreenTM reflex genetic testing for pre-natal screening in Indian population: A new diagnostic approach - IJOGR
What is Glycemic Index: Low vs High Glycemic Foods and How to Use It
Introduction Throughout the day, your blood sugar levels undergo various ups and downs based on the food you eat. The glycemic index is a scale from zero to 100 that assigns a numeric score for food, usually depending on how drastically it can cause your blood sugar to rise. Pure glucose is given a value of 100, and all other foods are compared to this before being assigned a value. A glycemic index is a beneficial tool for better blood sugar management. Using this helps you gain better awareness about what is on your plate and helps you in your weight loss journey, reduce your cholesterol levels, and lower your blood sugar levels. Find out more about the glycemic index, its effect on your health, and how best to use it daily. What is the glycemic index? The glycemic index (GI) measures how different foods affect your blood sugar. The food is usually classified as high, medium, and low and is ranked on a scale of 0 to 100. The lower the glycemic index of an item, the less it will affect your blood sugar levels. Here is how to identify which category, based on glycemic index, a specific food may fall under. Low: 55 GI rating or less Medium: 56-69 GI rating High: 70 or above GI rating When you consume food close to how they are found in nature, it will have a lower glycemic index than foods that have undergone high levels of processing. Processed foods usually have a higher glycemic index. Most packages list their glycemic index on their labels, or you can also find the glycemic index for common foodstuffs on the internet. Examples of high glycemic index foods Carbohydrates usually get broken down very quickly in the body and can cause a rapid increase in your blood glucose levels. That is why they have higher GI than other foods. Some examples of high-GI foods are Sugar and other sugary food Sugary soft drinks and aerated drinks Potatoes White rice White bread Examples of low glycemic index foods Those foods that are broken down slowly cause your blood sugar levels to rise gradually over time. Examples of these foods are Certain fruits and vegetables Wholegrains like porridge oats Pulses Changes in glycemic index The number you see as the glycemic index for different foods is usually the starting point value. These values could change before the item hits your plate. This change depends on several factors, such as: Preparation Acid, fat, and fibre can help lower the food's glycemic index. On the other hand, the longer you cook starches such as pasta, the higher their glycemic index will rise. Ripeness Some fruits, like the banana, will show a higher glycemic index as they ripen. Foods Eaten Together You can bring the overall glycemic index of the meal by combining foods with higher glycemic index and those with lower values. Other factors that affect the food's glycemic index depend on the person consuming the meal. How active you are, your age and the speed at which you digest your food are also important parameters when considering your body's reaction to carbs. If you are diagnosed with gastroparesis, a complication of diabetes, it can further delay the emptying of your stomach and result in slower absorption of food. How to use glycemic index to help control blood sugar? The glycemic index is one strategy that can help control your blood sugar levels. This is especially useful if you have diabetes or want to lose weight. A low glycemic index diet's significant benefits include lower risks of heart disease, cancer, and other conditions. Here is how you can reap the benefits of using the glycemic index while planning your meals: Compare carbs Carbohydrates are one of the primary nutrients in rice, vegetables, fruits, cereals, and dairy. Simple carbs usually comprise linked sugar molecules like sucrose, glucose, and fructose. On the other hand, starches like corn, potatoes, wheat, etc., consist of multiple glucose molecules strung together in a long chain. The glycemic index helps you understand which carbs are more likely to promote a spike in your blood sugar levels and which ones can cause a gradual increase. Choosing a healthier diet Using the glycemic index to create a healthy diet plan is easy. All you have to do is swap out foods with high glycemic index with low glycemic index foods. While researchers have created a glycemic index chart with thousands of foods, here are some common foods based on their glycemic index: Low glycemic index foods: Fruits, vegetables, beans, minimally processed grains, low-fat dairy food, nuts, and pasta. Moderate glycemic index foods: White potatoes, sweet potatoes, white rice, corn, cous cous, and wheat-based breakfast cereals. High glycemic index: Rice cakes, crackers, most packaged breakfast cereals, bagels, doughnuts, cakes, waffles, croissants, and cookies. Planning your diet Spend some time every week planning your diet and finding low glycemic index alternatives to your favourite foods using the glycemic index. You will start seeing positive changes in your health and fitness levels. Book a Blood Test Conclusion The glycemic index is a tool that helps individuals make healthy diet choices. If you are diagnosed with lifestyle diseases like diabetes, obesity or are at risk of heart disease, you can reap many benefits from switching to a low glycemic index diet. However, the benefits of a low glycemic index diet extend far beyond those with chronic illnesses. This is why along with changing your dietary habits, you also need to undergo regular medical checkups to keep track of your health and know if there are any changes in your situation. Metropolis Labs is one of India's best diagnostic labs providing its customers with convenient at-home testing and other services so that they can live a healthy lifestyle.
Exploring Hemoglobin: Levels, Erythropoiesis, and Factors
Haemoglobin is a protein molecule found in red blood cells that transports oxygen from the lungs to the body's tissues and returns carbon dioxide to the lungs. Normal haemoglobin levels differ depending on age and gender. It's critical to comprehend the typical range of haemoglobin levels at various life stages to evaluate general health and identify any possible underlying disorders. What is Haemoglobin? Haemoglobin is a protein found in your red blood cells. These red blood cells carry oxygen throughout your body, to different organs through the veins. Because of the iron present in the haemoglobin, the blood gets its bright red colour. Haemoglobin in our body is secreted because of the erythropoiesis hormone to maintain the level of red blood cells in our body. What is the process of erythropoiesis? Our body contains a hormone named erythropoietin (EPO) which increases the level of red blood cells in our body. Our kidneys secrete EPO in the body. The process of erythropoiesis involves the following steps: Our tissues are deficient in oxygen because of the low count of red blood cells. Our kidneys will then secrete EPO to fulfil the deficiency. The EPO will stimulate the bone marrow to produce more red blood cells. Once our kidney finds out the increased level of haemoglobin, it reduces the rate of EPO production. Our body will maintain the correct balance after getting a suitable amount of red blood cells. Our kidneys secrete sufficient amounts of EPO to maintain red blood cell production. Our body loses 1% of red blood cells every day. Erythropoiesis replaces the dead red blood cells in our body. Factors affecting erythropoiesis There are various factors which can affect our body to regulate red blood cells. Lungs disease Asthma Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) Cancers that impact your bone marrow or blood Leukaemia Lymphoma Myeloproliferative disorders Myeloma Other factors Deficiency in nutrition like iron, folate or B12. High attitudes. Haemoglobin Levels at Different Stages of Life Haemoglobin levels are higher in infancy due to foetal haemoglobin persisting in the bloodstream. However, as the kid develops, these levels naturally drop, reaching a steady range by early childhood. Hormonal changes and rapid growth spurts throughout adolescence might affect haemoglobin levels, causing transient variations. The haemoglobin range stabilises and remains relatively stable in adults. Haemoglobin levels may drop slightly due to age-related changes and particular health disorders. Understanding the haemoglobin range by age and gender is critical for maintaining good health and detecting potential health problems. Maintaining a person's general health and well-being depends heavily on haemoglobin. It transfers oxygen from the lungs to all the body's tissues and organs. Depending on age and gender, different haemoglobin levels fall within the normal range. Here is an overview: Infancy Haemoglobin levels in infants throughout the first few months of life are typically greater than those in older children and adults. This is mainly because foetal haemoglobin is still present in their blood. For babies, the average haemoglobin varies from 14 to 24 grams per deciliter (g/dL). It is essential for the infant's growth and development and the oxygen supply required for quick bodily processes. Childhood Children's haemoglobin levels progressively decline and stabilise as they enter early childhood and beyond. For kids between the ages of 1 and 9, the average haemoglobin range is generally between 11 and 14 g/dL. These levels guarantee the developing infant gets enough oxygen for their developing body and brain cells. Adolescence Hormonal shifts and quick growth spurts are frequent during adolescence. These variables may affect haemoglobin levels and cause small changes. During this time, it is common to observe a brief rise or fall in haemoglobin levels. Male adolescents' typical haemoglobin levels vary from 12 to 16 g/dL, and female adolescents' average levels are 11 to 15 g/dL. Adulthood As people grow older, their haemoglobin levels usually stabilize and remain constant. The normal range for men is typically 13 to 17 g/dL, whereas the range for women is 12 to 15 g/dL. The lower end of the spectrum for females is caused by physiological variations between the sexes, including monthly blood loss experienced by women. These levels guarantee the body enough oxygen to maintain daily functions, metabolism and general health. Older Adults Haemoglobin levels may modestly fall in older adults, especially for people over 65. This is frequently brought on by the body's ageing process and the existence of particular medical diseases. The typical normal range for seniors is between 11 and 15 g/dL for females and 12 to 16 g/dL for males. You should remember that these ranges could change based on a person's health and medical issues are crucial. The Importance of Monitoring Haemoglobin Levels in Each Life Stage Monitoring haemoglobin levels is essential for regular physical examinations, especially for people exhibiting weariness, breathlessness, or extreme pallor. Low haemoglobin levels indicate anaemia, defined by a shortage of red blood cells or a reduced ability to carry oxygen. On the other hand, elevated haemoglobin levels may indicate dehydration, a few lung conditions, or problems with the bone marrow. To maintain general health and well-being, you must keep your haemoglobin levels at an adequate level. A well-balanced diet full of iron, folic acid and vitamin B12 can encourage the development of healthy haemoglobin. Individuals should also prioritise getting enough sleep, managing their stress levels and engaging in regular physical activity to promote ideal haemoglobin levels. Book Haemoglobin Test Conclusion The typical range of haemoglobin levels is essential for maintaining overall health, as they range from higher levels in infancy to stable levels in adulthood, with possibly slight declines in later age. People can improve their well-being and length of life by detecting and monitoring these values and taking proactive steps to ensure that tissues and organs are adequately oxygenated. Metropolis Healthcare is a trustworthy pathology service provider that can be considered for your next haemoglobin test. They are known to deliver the most accurate test reports within time with the facility of home sample collection if needed.
Blood Vessels: Types, Functions and Anatomy
Overview of blood vessels Blood vessels are essential components of the circulatory system, responsible for transporting blood throughout the body. They form a complex network that reaches every organ and tissue, ensuring they receive vital nutrients and oxygen while removing waste products. Read this blog until the end to get a clear understanding of blood vessels' meaning. The different types of blood vessels The human body is a complex system comprising various organs and tissues that work together to ensure proper functioning. One crucial component of this intricate network is the blood vessels. These remarkable structures carry blood throughout the body, supplying oxygen and nutrients to every cell. There are different types of blood vessels, each serving a specific purpose. Arteries are thick-walled tubes that transport oxygenated blood away from the heart to various parts of the body. They have a robust structure to withstand the high pressure exerted by the pumping heart. On the other hand, veins are responsible for carrying deoxygenated blood back to the heart. Unlike arteries, veins have thinner walls and contain valves that prevent the backward flow of blood. Capillaries are tiny, hair-like vessels connecting arteries and veins. Their thin walls allow for gas exchange between cells and the bloodstream. Anatomy of blood vessels The anatomy of blood vessels is a complex and intricate system that plays a vital role in our overall health. These amazing structures are responsible for transporting oxygen, nutrients, and waste products throughout the body. Understanding their anatomy can help us appreciate just how important they are. Blood vessels consist of three main layers: the tunica intima, tunica media, and tunica adventitia. The innermost layer, the tunica intima, is composed of endothelial cells that provide a smooth surface for blood flow. The middle layer, the tunica media, contains smooth muscle fibres that regulate vessel diameter and blood pressure. The outermost layer, the tunica adventitia or externa, provides support and protection to the vessel. Arteries have thicker walls compared to veins due to their higher-pressure environment. They also have elastic fibers in their walls which allow them to withstand high pressures generated by each heartbeat. Veins have thinner walls but larger lumens as they carry deoxygenated blood back toward the heart. Capillaries are tiny microscopic vessels that connect arteries with veins at the tissue level. Their thin walls facilitate the exchange of gases and nutrients between blood and surrounding tissues.Understanding this basic anatomy can help us recognize signs or symptoms related to vascular conditions such as aneurysms or blockages in specific areas of our bodies. The function of blood vessels Blood vessels play a vital role in maintaining the proper functioning of our bodies. They serve as a complex network of tubes that transport blood throughout our system, delivering oxygen and nutrients to every cell and removing waste products. One of the main functions of blood vessels is to regulate blood flow. Arteries carry oxygen-rich blood away from the heart to various organs and tissues, while veins bring deoxygenated blood back to the heart. Capillaries, on the other hand, connect arteries and veins, allowing for the exchange of substances between cells and surrounding tissues. In addition to regulating blood flow, blood vessels also help maintain optimal blood pressure. This is achieved through their ability to dilate or constrict when needed. When we engage in physical activity or experience stress, for example, certain hormones are released that cause our arteries to narrow temporarily to increase resistance against the flow of blood. Furthermore, another important function of these remarkable structures is thermoregulation. Blood vessels near the surface of our skin can expand or contract depending on environmental conditions to release or retain heat respectively. It's clear that without properly functioning blood vessels, our bodies wouldn't be able to perform essential tasks such as providing sufficient oxygenation and nutrition to all cells must take care of our cardiovascular health by adopting a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise, a balanced diet high in fruits and vegetables, avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. Common conditions associated with blood vessels Blood vessels can also be susceptible to various conditions that affect their structure and function. Understanding these common conditions is essential for maintaining optimal vascular health. One such condition is atherosclerosis, which occurs when fatty deposits build up on the walls of blood vessels, narrowing them and restricting blood flow. This can lead to serious complications such as heart attacks and strokes. Another common condition is hypertension or high blood pressure. When the force of blood against the artery walls is consistently too high, it puts strain on the blood vessels and can eventually cause damage if left untreated. Varicose veins are another frequently encountered vascular problem. These are enlarged veins that appear swollen and twisted under the skin's surface. They often occur in the legs due to weakened valves within the veins themselves. Peripheral artery disease (PAD) affects the arteries outside of your heart and brain, typically occurring in your limbs. It causes reduced blood flow to these areas due to narrowed or blocked arteries. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) refers to a clot formation within deep veins, usually in the legs or pelvis region. If not promptly treated, DVT can lead to a pulmonary embolism—a potentially life-threatening condition where a clot travels from its original site into an artery supplying the lungs. Book Blood Test at Home Conclusion Blood vessels play a crucial role in our body's circulatory system. They come in three main types: arteries, veins and capillaries. Arteries carry oxygenated blood away from the heart to various parts of the body while veins bring deoxygenated blood back to the heart. Capillaries serve as the connection between arteries and veins, allowing for nutrient exchange. Understanding the anatomy and function of blood vessels is essential for maintaining overall health. However, certain conditions can affect these vital pathways, such as atherosclerosis, varicose veins and aneurysms. It is important to be aware of these conditions and take proactive steps to prevent them. Consult a doctor for early detection of diseases and book your blood test with Metropolis Healthcare. Our world-class testing facilities and home collection of samples make it convenient for you to get an accurate diagnosis of diseases without having to wait too much. Get in touch with us to learn about everything we can do for you.
What is Leukocytosis: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
Introduction Leukocytosis is a condition that affects the white blood cells in our bodies. While it may sound intimidating, understanding what leukocytosis is and its potential causes and symptoms can help you stay informed about your health. Whether you're a medical student or simply curious about this condition, we've got you covered. In this article, we will delve into the definition of leukocytosis, explore its various symptoms and underlying causes, discuss the diagnostic process, and shed light on the treatment options available. Definition of Leukocytosis Leukocytosis is a medical term that describes an increased number of white blood cells in the body. White blood cells play a crucial role in defending the body against infections and diseases. When there is leukocytosis, it means that there is an abnormal increase in these cells beyond the normal range. Symptoms of Leukocytosis Symptoms of Leukocytosis can vary depending on the underlying cause. In general, common signs and symptoms include fever, fatigue, weakness, and increased susceptibility to infections.Other Leukocytosis symptoms that may be seen are frequent infections or recurrent infections that take longer than usual to clear up. Some people with leukocytosis might also notice unexplained weight loss or night sweats. It is important to note that these symptoms can vary depending on the underlying cause of the condition. Specific symptoms based on underlying causes In some cases, leukocytosis may not present any noticeable symptoms and may only be detected through routine blood tests. However, when symptoms do occur, they can range from mild to severe. Some common signs and symptoms include fatigue, fever, weight loss, enlarged lymph nodes, and frequent infections. Additionally, specific symptoms may manifest based on the underlying cause of leukocytosis.For example, the increased white blood cell count is due to an infection or inflammation in the body such as pneumonia or appendicitis. In that case, patients may experience additional symptoms related to these conditions. On the other hand, if leukocytosis is caused by certain types of cancer like leukaemia or lymphoma, individuals may exhibit bone pain or unexplained bruising and bleeding. Healthcare professionals need to consider these specific symptoms when diagnosing and treating leukocytosis to address its root cause effectively. Causes of Leukocytosis Nonmalignant causes trigger an increased production of white blood cells in response to infection or inflammation in the body. Infections like pneumonia or appendicitis can lead to leukocytosis. Additionally, chronic inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis or ulcerative colitis can also cause elevated white blood cell counts.Malignant leukocytosis causes are typically associated with cancers affecting the blood or bone marrow. Conditions like leukaemia or lymphoma disrupt average white blood cell production, leading to excessive amounts in circulation. Diagnosis of Leukocytosis Diagnosis of Leukocytosis involves a thorough examination and testing to identify the underlying cause. The process typically begins with taking a detailed medical history and conducting a physical examination. During this evaluation, healthcare professionals may look for signs such as fever, enlarged lymph nodes, or abnormal findings in the spleen or liver.To confirm the diagnosis and determine the specific cause of leukocytosis, laboratory tests are performed. These can include complete blood count (CBC Test), which measures the levels of different types of white blood cells, as well as other blood tests to evaluate organ function and detect any abnormalities. Medical history and physical examination The healthcare provider will ask about your symptoms, medical history, and any recent illnesses or infections. They will also conduct a physical examination to check for signs such as enlarged lymph nodes or an enlarged spleen.During the physical exam, the healthcare provider may listen to your heart and lungs, feel your abdomen for any abnormalities, and check for signs of infection such as redness or swelling. They may also take your vital signs like blood pressure and temperature. Treatment of Leukocytosis Treatment of Leukocytosis involves addressing the underlying cause and managing any associated symptoms. For nonmalignant leukocytosis, treatment options may include medications to control inflammation or infection and lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine. In some cases, close monitoring and periodic blood tests may be necessary to ensure that the white blood cell count returns to normal.In cases of malignant leukocytosis, treatment approaches can vary depending on the specific type and stage of cancer. Options may include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapies, or stem cell transplantation. The goal is to reduce the number of abnormal white blood cells while minimizing damage to healthy cells. Treatment plans are tailored to each individual's needs and may involve a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals for optimal care. Prevention and Outlook Maintaining a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise, a balanced diet, and adequate rest can help support a strong immune system. Avoiding exposure to toxins, such as tobacco smoke and harmful chemicals, is also crucial. Additionally, practising good hygiene habits like washing hands frequently can prevent infections that may lead to leukocytosis.The outlook for individuals with leukocytosis varies depending on the cause and severity of the condition. Nonmalignant forms of leukocytosis are generally treatable and have a positive prognosis when managed properly. On the other hand, malignant leukocytosis caused by conditions like leukaemia or lymphoma requires more aggressive treatment approaches and may have a less favourable outcome. Book CBC Test Conclusion Leukocytosis is a condition characterized by an elevated white blood cell count in the body. It can be caused by various factors, including infections, inflammation, medications, and even certain types of cancer. The symptoms of leukocytosis can vary depending on the underlying cause but may include fever, fatigue, and increased susceptibility to infections. If you suspect you have leukocytosis or are experiencing any concerning symptoms, it is recommended to consult a healthcare professional for proper evaluation and diagnosis. Book a test with Metropolis Labs for accurate results from the comfort of your home. With early detection and proper care, individuals with leukocytosis can lead healthy lives and effectively manage their condition.