Increasing Trend of Heart Attacks Amongst Youngsters
Your heart is a hard-working organ that keeps you going 24*7 365 days by pumping blood throughout the body. It is this pumping action of the heart that provides your vital body organs with oxygen, nutrients and helps eliminate carbon dioxide and waste materials. Like any other muscle in your body, the heart muscle also needs oxygen to survive.When the blood flow that supplies oxygen to the heart muscle is severely or completely cut off, it causes a heart attack. While earlier people used to believe that heart disease affects the elderly only, the sad demise of the well-known actor and model, Siddharth Shukla, has left the entire nation shocked and fueled a debate among fans on can a young (and in fact, quite physically fit) person get a heart attack too! Are heart attacks common in young people? In general, men age 45 or older and women age 55 or older are at an increased risk of getting a heart attack. However, young heart attack victims are more likely to be smokers, obese, and have chronic conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes. So all in all, it’s quite evident that an unhealthy lifestyle may be putting a lot of stress on the heart, predisposing young adults to a heart attack. Make sure to take extra care of your health and get health tests done from time to time. Book our TruHealth Youth Package here. Symptoms of heart attack At many times, heart attacks can sneak up on you without any warning signs. The process of blockade of heart vessels has no symptoms. What happens is that when blood vessels supplying the heart muscle narrow, other nearby blood vessels that serve the heart, called collateral circulation, sometimes enlarge to compensate for the reduced blood supply, hence you may not experience any early signs of heart attack. Following are the symptoms that characterize occurrence of a heart attack Chest pain or discomfort: Most heart attacks cause discomfort or pain in the center of the chest. Some people can feel uncomfortable pressure, squeezing or fullness. It can last more than a few minutes. It may get relieved on its own and then come back. Shortness of breath either in presence or absence of chest discomfort. Cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, or neck. Symptoms may vary between men and women As with men, the most common heart attack symptom in women is chest pain or discomfort. However, women can be somewhat more likely than men to have some of the other symptoms, including difficulty breathing, nausea/vomiting, and pain in back or jaw. You can have a heart attack and not even know it It is called a silent heart attack. It gives no symptoms, or mild symptoms or goes unrecognised by the sufferer. Reasons for heart attack An excess cholesterol and fat can build up in the coronary arteries, vessels that supply the heart muscle with blood flow. This can cause them to become narrow. This process is known as atherosclerosis and the build up is called plaque. When such a plaque within a coronary artery break, a blood clot can be formed around it. This blood clot can cause blockage in the blood flow through the blood vessel to the heart muscle, leading to oxygen and nutrients scarcity. As a result, a part of the heart muscle can get damaged, causing a heart attack.Keep a check on your cholesterol levels with a lipid profile test. How is a heart attack diagnosed? A heart attack can be diagnosed through certain health tests which include: Imaging tests, such as X-rays, CT scans, and echocardiograms Electrocardiography, a test that measures electrical activity in the heart Blood tests for heart attack can confirm that a (silent) heart attack has occurred. A test that measures cardiac troponin helps to know if a heart damage has occurred. How does a heart attack feel? Having a heart attack is a scary experience. But, not everyone who gets a heart attack succumbs, many people survive heart attacks and enjoy their lives. For this, it is important you know about the risk factors and stray them away. Risk factors Factors that put a youngster at high risk of a heart attack include: Smoking and alcohol High cholesterol levels High blood pressure Obesity Uncontrolled diabetes Sedentary lifestyle A family history High levels of stress Usually, a heart attack results from a combination of factors and not just any one factor. Heart attack emergency treatment at home Heart attack is a medical emergency that you cannot treat at home. However, you should know things that you can do if someone experiences a heart attack Stay in the know with these tips: Let the person sit down, rest, and be calm but quick. Loosen any tight clothing. If the person is unresponsive, call an ambulance, in parallel, begin cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or perform manual chest compressions. If the person has a known heart condition and takes any chest pain medicine, such as nitroglycerin, and help them get the medicine. If the pain does not subside within 3 minutes of taking it, reach out for medical assistance. Heart attack after COVID-19 Studies have suggested that COVID-19 can cause damage to the heart muscle and affect heart function. Several reasons have been proposed for this including the high levels of inflammation circulating in the body. The effect on the heart can be more severe in people having pre existing heart disease. Ensure taking doctor’s help if you feel any warning signs even after recovering from COVID. Book COVID monitor recovery test here. Preventing heart attack in youngsters A healthy lifestyle is the key to prevention of heart attack. Quit smoking. Smoking more than doubles the risk of getting a heart disease. Keep your vital numbers in check including blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood glucose. Lose weight if you are overweight or obese. Get regular exercise. Even brisk walking for 30 minutes can be extremely beneficial for heart health. Limit bad fats (saturated and trans fats) and sugars. Increase your intake of fresh fruits and vegetables, and whole grains. Check if you are taking too much of alcohol and limit it if the answer is a yes. A heart attack is life threatening and needs emergency medical attention. However, many people have survived heart attacks due to effective and timely treatment.All you need is to start incorporating those small changes one step at a time .
How to Know if Your Fever is Due to Dengue or COVID-19? Doctors’ Speak
Fever is a common occurring during monsoon season, and before COVID-19 era, people often got sick with fever and were suspect either a viral or a seasonal illness. However, COVID-19 pandemic has changed the outlook of individuals towards fever. It has now become a compulsion for people to know about the cause of their fever. Fever in this ongoing monsoon season has also prompted doctor to consider other tropical diseases like dengue. Dengue, like COVID-19 is a viral illness and is associated with fever as the main symptom. Owing to several similarities between the two, COVID-19 has posed a greater challenge in diagnosing dengue this monsoon. Therefore, doctors also advice patients to get investigated these days for the cause of fever, however, without panic and fear. Stay monsoon ready with our Fever test panels. Find the exact cause of your fever here. Moreover, not only it is important to distinguish between COVID-19 and dengue, but it is also crucial to identify their coexistence as coinfection with these two diseases may alter the course of illness and can lead to severe complications. Although both dengue and COVID-19 are capable of causing severe illness, the clinical management for patients who develop a severe illness with either of these two diseases is different. Therefore, it is of utmost important to contact your doctor immediately, if you have fever this season. COVID-19 and dengue are considered very similar, especially within the first 24 to 48 hours from symptom onset. Both of the illness ranges from mild to moderate with common symptom of fever. CharacteristicsCOVID-19DengueType of illnessBoth are viral illnesses.CauseIt a respiratory illness caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2It is an illness caused by any of 4 types of dengue viruses, Dengue virus 1, 2, 3, and 4.TransmissionIt can be transmitted from person to person via respiratory droplets. An infected individual can spread it while coughing, sneezing, or talking.It is transmitted to people through the bites of infected Aedes species mosquitoes (mainly Ae. aegypti or Ae. albopictus species).Likelihood of getting infectedAlthough people are getting infected with different strains of SARS-CoV-2, reports are imprecise if antibodies created from a COVID-19 infection can provide protection against getting infected again.People who cannot follow physical distancing (living in closed small areas) or living or traveling to an area with uncontrolled community spread of virus are at an increasef risk of catching the infectionAn individual can be infected with a dengue virus multiple times in his lifetime.Period of incubationThe incubation period for COVID-19 was earlier considered up to 14 days, with a median of 4-5 days from exposure to start of symptoms.The incubation period for dengue ranges between 3-10 days, usually 5-7 days. Clinical Course Illness of both dengue and COVID-19 can range from mild to severe.Signs and SymptomsFever or chillsCough Sore throat Difficulty breathingFatigueBody acheHeadacheLoss of taste or smellCongestion or runny noseNausea or vomitingDiarrhea FeverMuscle painHeadache with eye painNauseaVomitingRashDecrease in disease-fighting cells in the blood Warning signs (Consult a doctor immediately)Difficulty in breathingPersistent pain or pressure in the chestNew confusionInability to wake or stay awakePale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds, depending on skin toneStomach painVomiting (at least 3 times in 24 hours)Bleeding from the nose or gumsBlood in vomit or stoolFeeling tired, restless, or irritableSevere illnessSevere complications such as acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) can develop in 8 to 12 days. Signs and symptoms for severe illness include: Dyspnea (Shortness of breath)Deficiency of oxygen reaching tissuesShock Pneumonia leading to respiratory failureMultiorgan system failure.In people with severe illness, rapid worsening may be seen within 48 hours after 3–7 days after fever onset. Signs and symptoms for severe illness include: Shock caused by plasma leakageFluid accumulation in lungsSevere bleeding with deficiency of platelets in the bloodSevere organ injury such as liver diseaseReduced consciousnessHeart diseases.Risk Factors for Severity of diseaseAge, especially individuals older than 65 years of ageMedical conditions including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, hypertension, stroke, liver disease, obesity, chronic lung disease, chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis, or immunocompromised state such as HIV, cancer treatment, smoking, etc. Age (Small babies are more prone to illness)Dengue infection for second timeChildren and young adults are at greater risk for a second dengue infectionPatients with chronic medical conditions, including diabetes, asthma, or heart diseasePeople living or travelling in tropical areas. To summarize. Although the symptoms of COVID-19 and dengue overlap each other, the fever in dengue is usually accompanied with diarrhea, vomiting, joint pain, headache etc. On the other hand, you can experience the loss of smell and taste, difficulty in breathing, shortness of breath, sore throat, etc. when infected with COVID-19. You can check your oxygen saturation levels with the help of pulse oximeter, if the levels are reduced, it can be considered as a characteristic sign of COVID-19. However, always consult your healthcare provider to diagnose the disease accurately.
Back pain: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Prevention
Do you often find yourself taking leave from work over your back pain? Well, it is one of the most common reasons people consult a doctor and miss work. Back pain can tamper with one’s daily routine and can be highly uncomfortable. Muscles, ligaments, tendons, and bones together constitute the human back, they work in tandem to support the body and help us move around. Problems with either of these can affect your back adversely. According to WHO, approximately 80% of the population suffers from back pain at least once during their lifetime. Back pain is one of the common problems seen in people across all age groups. Back pain in women But unlike men, there are a lot of changes that happen in a woman with age right from hormonal changes to menstruation and pregnancy that take a toll on the back. Whether you’re a working woman or a housewife, it goes without saying that every woman has a massive workload and long working hours both at the office and home which affects her overall health. However, the back and the spinal cord which are the pillars of the body are the ones that are most affected.Take extra care of your health with Metropolis TruHealth Smart Women Health Package. What are the possible causes of back pain ? The most common cause of back pain is muscle strain and incorrect posture. Other causes include: Long working hours while sitting in chairs and lack of exercise Obesity · Poor posture: Often we don’t realize, but while sitting or working on computer screens, we tend to adopt a hunched back position, this results in back as well as shoulder pain later on. Muscle spasm, fractures, damaged disks (cushions between our bones in the spine) Bulging or ruptured discs: Rupturing of a disc can cause extra pressure on a nerve, and press the nerve causing your back pain. Similarly, bulging discs can also put pressure on your nerves and lead to debilitating backaches. Osteoporosis: When your bones become brittle, your spine’s vertebrae can develop small painful fractures. Arthritis: Another major cause of back pain is spinal osteoarthritis, which is due to damage in the cartilage of joints in the lower back. Eventually, the space around the spinal cord starts to get narrower, leading to what is known as spinal stenosis.This could be another type of arthritis too. Book a test here and know if it can be rheumatoid arthritis. Watch out for these symptoms ! A shooting pain anywhere on the back or a burning or stabbing sensation that sometimes runs down till your leg or the foot. If it is due to muscle strain, or posture, that pain is usually short-lived, maybe a few days or weeks. But if you suffer from back pain for more than 3 months, you should consult a doctor. Mostly the pain goes away with minor treatment, exercise, or self-care, but if the back pain is accompanied by fever, numbness in the legs, constant weakness, weight loss, or difficulty while urinating, you should seek immediate medical assistance. Diagnosis for back pain You have acute pain if the pain lasts for a few weeks, but if the pain is persistent, and lasts for more than 3 months, it is a chronic or long-term pain that needs medical supervision. Your doctor will examine and assess your back and if they suspect something, they might order one of the following tests- X-ray: An X-ray is done to check the alignment of the bones, and help detect signs of broken bones or arthritis. MRI or CT scans: Since X-rays don’t show any damages to the soft tissues, it is important to have an MRI done, to detect problems with blood vessels, muscles, nerves, and ligaments. Blood tests: Though it is a rarity to order for blood tests, it can be helpful when you want to determine whether some infection is the cause of your back pain. Bone scans: These scans are done to check if there is a bone tumor or compression fractures due to osteoporosis, basically performed to detect any sort of abnormalities in your bone tissue. EMG (electromyography): It is a nerve study that measures the electrical impulses produced by nerves and how your muscles react to them. Treatment of back pain While for acute pain, pain relief medicines, and warm water heating can be sufficient, for chronic pain conditions, the doctor suggests medications like- Over-the-counter pain relievers Topical pain relievers such as creams, ointments, sprays, or patches. Muscle relaxants Back pain can be a debilitating and life-changing condition. Hence, if you have a backache that is recurrent in nature or if your back pain fails to show any improvement even after taking sufficient rest, it is wise to consult a spine specialist. Prevention is better than cure Being a little careful and agile can go a long way in curtailing the risk of back pain. Here are a few tips you can follow, in order to ease that back pain. Calcium and vitamin D for better muscle and bone health: Include calcium and vitamin D in your diet. Let your bones, muscles, and joints heal from severe back pain.Check your calcium and vitamin D levels here.Posture: Your posture while sitting as well as while standing can immensely impact your back. While sitting, always try to have your knees and hips leveled and keep your feet flat on the floor, if you use a keyboard, have your elbows at right angles and support your back, at the same time, when sitting for long hours. While standing, your back should always be straight, and you should balance your body weight evenly on both your feet. Regular exercise: Flexibility training can help with back pain, a professional would be better able to guide you through exercises that will help build strength and keep your body weight in control as well. Other precautions include wearing comfortable shoes, using a comfortable mattress, not smoking, and keeping your body weight in check. With daily stretches, a proper diet, and maintaining correct postures, you can avoid and prevent back pain easily. Your back endures a lot of wear & tear over the course of a lifetime- Take care of it!
Weight Loss Foods: Top 6 Food Choices to Boost Metabolism and Lose Inches
Every third person in the world is struggling with obesity as per some reports. Weight gain has emerged as a major lifestyle disease in the current times. Thanks to the unhealthily delicious junk food items available just a tap over the phone, almost nil physical activity levels and sleepless nights! Excessive weight isn't about just weighing a few more kilos, it is in fact a risk factor for a plethora of health problems including hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol levels, etc. Being overweight can lead to musculoskeletal disorders also. Not just this, obesity has been identified as a factor that can increase your risk of developing severe COVID-19. Quick fact From 1975 to 2016, the prevalence of overweight or obese children and adolescents aged 5–19 years increased more than fourfold from 4% to 18% globally. Losing weight: The real struggle While most people understand the health risks associated with obesity, losing weight remains a big challenge. Do you know losing weight is one of the top new year resolutions every year?When it comes to weight loss, your diet plays a quintessential role. Many experts say weight loss is 30% exercise and 70% diet. Here we have enlisted top 6 food choices that can boost metabolism and help you lose inches: Top 6 foods that helps in weight loss High-protein foods: Foods that are high in protein such as lean meat, eggs, dairy, nuts, etc., can increase your metabolic rate for a few hours. This is because your body needs more energy to digest such food. This is called the Thermic effect of food. TEF refers to the use of calories during the digestion process. Research shows that protein-rich foods increase TEF the most. For example, they increase your metabolic rate by 15–30%, compared with 5–10% for carbs and 0–3% for fat (trusted source). The more protein you have in your body, the less you will feel hungry. Due to which you will be able to save yourself from overeating. Foods rich in iron and vitamin C: Iron-rich food is essential for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland, which helps regulate your metabolism. Research shows that eating foods that are lacking in iron can reduce the thyroid ability to produce enough hormones, which could slow down your metabolism. If you want your thyroid to function at its best, you should include foods that are rich in iron. Also, couple your iron intake with vitamin C. This helps enhance absorption of iron. Chili peppers: Chili pepper contains an element called capsaicin. These chemical increases metabolism in your body. This may help your body burn extra calories. A review of 20 research studies suggests that capsaicin supplements themselves can help your body burn about 50 extra calories per day. A research done on 200 people found that people who were consuming 2 mg of capsaicin before every meal burnt extra calories. Black coffee: The caffeine found in coffee can help in increasing our metabolic rate. Several studies have shown that people who consume at least 270 milligrams of caffeine daily, or the equivalent of about 3 cups of coffee, can burn up to an additional 100 calories per day. However, remember to consult your dietitian and do not overdo the caffeine intake as it can interfere with sleep and digestion. Quinoa: This can be rightly called as super grain when it comes to weight loss. It is packed with protein and fiber and contains approximately 220 calories per cup. Moreover, it provides various amino acids, which means it can be converted directly into muscle by the body. 6. Fruits and Nuts: Do you know anapple contains upward of 5 grams of fiber? Most fruits and nuts are rich in fibers and good fat. Hence, they are more filling compared to snacks of similar calorie amounts. You feel fuller, eat less junk throughout the day, and lose weight. What’s more? The fiber also helps keep the gut microbiome healthy and balanced. Having a healthy gut microbiome is an essential component of a good metabolism and maintaining a healthy weight. The Final and (most important) advice Besides taking care of your diet, make sure to drink enough water and keep yourself hydrated. Water helps you keep off extra calories by replacing the diet soda or fruit juice, both of which are full of sugar that can invite on the belly fat super fast. Maintain a good sleep schedule and ensure to get 7-8 hours of sound nap. Insomnia is notorious for causing weight gain issues in young adults. Make sure to get your health parameters checked from time to time as certain diseases like low thyroid levels can also cause you to gain weight. Book your health package here.
Will COVID third wave affect children more than adults? Your questions on third wave answered
As India braces for the third wave of COVID-19 in October 2021, experts have raised concerns over its impact on children. Owing to the fact that vaccines for children are still unavailable in the country and a higher number of children got affected in the second wave, parents are stressed about their kid’s safety. They are looking for information on how to protect their children and the measures they can take if their child, or a family member, has symptoms of COVID-19, or tests positive. Is the third wave going to infect more children ? In view of rising panic, an ongoing AIIMS-WHO study disapproved the above findings and suggested that it is unlikely that the third wave will hit more children in comparison to adults. Additionally, more than half of children have already been infected in the second wave, so there is a lesser chance for the SARS-CoV-2 virus to spread among this population, in a way different than the other population groups. Is there a need to worry ? The National Institute of Disaster Management has also issued a warning that there is still "cause for worry, if not panic", as children are unvaccinated and existing medical facilities are scarce. The Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP) has revealed that the likelihood of children infected with COVID-19 is similar to adults and older individuals; however, there are no reports of higher severity of this disease in children. Keep an eye: Common symptoms of COVID-19 in children The second wave has shown that majority of children infected with COVID-19 were asymptomatic to mildly symptomatic. Very few cases required hospitalizations. Various studies also showed that the proportion of children who were admitted to intensive care unit were lesser than the adults requiring intensive care. The most common symptoms of infection in children are: Cold Mild cough Fever Body pain Besides these, the majority of children infected with COVID-19 also reported pain in the abdomen, loose motions, and vomiting in the second wave. What precautions can I take to protect my child from getting a COVID-19 infection ? Currently, no medicines have been recommended for the prevention of coronavirus infection in children. Moreover, vaccines are only approved for use in adults and only those above the age of 18 are eligible to receive a shot. This criteria for vaccine holds the reason, that why more children may get infected in the third wave as the immunized adults who are safe from infection may transmit the virus to the children who are unprotected/unvaccinated. Therefore, the best way to prevent COVID-19 infection in children is by following COVID-19 appropriate behavior and keeping yourself infection-free. Masks are not recommended for children aged 5 years and under, as per the Guidelines issued by the MoHFW. For smaller children, adult supervision is necessary. Always instruct children, not to wear a mask while playing sports or doing physical activities, like running, jumping, etc, so that they do not have trouble breathing. Other precautions you must take are as follows: Disinfect all the commonly touched surfaces in the house. Follow social distancing and stay home as much as possible. Avoid taking your child to crowded places or social gatherings. Practice frequent hand washing with soap, or use a 70 percent sanitizer. Adults should get vaccinated in order to reduce the risk of transmitting it to children. Ensure that your child should be kept away from sick people. Always teach your child to cover his mouth while coughing or sneezing. Try to minimize spicy, oily, and junk food for your children. Encourage your child to eat a well-balanced diet including fruits, vegetables, legumes, pulses, and wholegrain, which will help him/her boost immunity. How can I protect my child, if a family member has COVID-19 infection ? Do not panic and isolate your family member with COVID-19 immediately, and seek a doctor’s advice. Do not let the child get in contact with the COVID-positive family member. If in case, the mother is infected and the baby needs to be with her, consult your doctor. Follow precautions, interact with them from a distance, and always wear a mask What are the measures needed to manage different COVID-19 situations in the family at home? If a mother is COVID-19 positive, but her children are negative In absence of other childcare options, mother can take care of her children, unless she is very sick or needs hospitalization. However, mother should strictly follow the best possible sanitization measures including a double mask and physical distancing. If a mother along with her children are COVID-19 positive Keep the children with their mother, unless the mother is very sick and need hospitalization. In infants, breastfeeding should be continued as much as possible. If a child is positive for COVID-19 whereas his parents are tested negative Parents should continue taking care of their children. However, they should adhere to COVID-19 protocols such as wearing proper masks, gloves, etc. COVID-19 positive children should be kept away from older individuals like grandparents. Is there a category of children who are at risk of getting a severe illness from COVID-19 ? Children with a pre-existing disease such as a heart, kidney or liver disease, or malignancies can be at a greater risk of getting a severe illness from COVID-19. Parents need to be more vigilant if the child has obesity, diabetes, asthma or chronic lung disease, sickle cell disease, or immunosuppression. If my child has a fever, is there a method to know whether it is COVID-19 or flu ? It is difficult to know whether your child is infected with COVID-19 or having a common cold/fever. You need a laboratory test to confirm the diagnosis. When should I get my child to undertake a test for COVID-19 ? Get your child tested for COVID-19, if: If your child has been in close contact with a COVID-19 positive person. If your child was in contact with a positive person, however, does not show any symptom. Watch for symptoms until 14 days after the initial contact, if your child develops symptoms within this duration, get him tested for COVID-19. Get your child tested if he is showing any of the COVID-19 symptoms, but you are unsure about the contact history. Book an RT-PCR test from home.Always seek your doctor’s advice for children who show any of the COVID-19 symptoms. What are the measures needed to be taken, if my child tests positive for COVID-19 ? Isolate your child at home. Record temperature and oxygen saturation with a pulse oximeter at home, every six hours. If the temperature is more than 1000 F, you can do tepid sponging with tap water. Administer syrup or tablet paracetamol, as advised by your doctor. Follow good hand hygiene practices like regular handwashing with soap. Strictly adhere to personal protective measures for yourself and your child. You and your child should wear a surgical mask and change it after eight hours of continuous wear. Give your child a light home-cooked diet and keep them well hydrated. You may give vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc to boost overall health and immunity. However, always take medical advice before giving any medicine. Always check for danger signs, if present, seek urgent medical advice. What are the danger signs and symptoms to watch in children with COVID-19 at home? Be watchful for the following five symptoms: 1. High fever that lasts more than three days 2. Reduced oral intake by the child 3. Child becoming lethargic 4. Increasing respiratory rate 5. Drop of oxygen saturation below 93 percent at home. Consult your doctor immediately or take him to the emergency department, if your child is showing any of the above symptoms.Do not panic and take the best care of your kids.
Could you be Addicted to the Internet, This is How it Feels and Tips to Help Yourself
Internet addiction disorder Find yourself distracted and restless to check your smartphone while being in an office meeting? Cannot sleep without moving to the next level of your current favorite online game? Well, it might be Internet Addiction Disorder. It refers to an excessive, problematic, compulsive use of the internet. It is a growing problem in today’s time, affecting adolescents and adults likewise. How does Internet addiction affect you? It might not appear as a grave concern at first but eventually the ill effects become quite prominent as they begin impacting your day-to-day life: Reduces your ability to concentrate and think deeply or creatively: The persistent pings or notifications of your smartphone can distract while you are trying to focus on important tasks, impede your work, and interfere with those quiet moments that are quintessential to creative thinking. Precipitates loneliness and depression: You may feel quite engaged and lost in yourself while being online, but the overuse ultimately results in negative feelings such as loneliness and depression. You may be trying to kill the boredom with the internet, but it can actually make you feel even worse due to feeling guilty of wasting your time on useless stuff.Also, social media predisposes users, especially teens, to compare their life and experiences unfavorably with their peers, that promotes feelings of failure, loneliness and depression. Fuels anxiety and reduces me- time: One study has found that compulsive use of smartphones tends to make people more anxious and perform poorly on assigned tasks. The heavier a person’s phone use, the less time one gets for self-care. Linger on the Internet for hours and end up having guilt? Make a healthy use of this “online” time and book yourself a comprehensive health checkup. Book here. Increases stress: You may have FOMO (fear of missing out) if you miss out on that one buzz! You may feel pressured to always be online and continually checking and responding to pings. This habit can lead to higher stress levels and even burnout in the long run. Interrupts your sleep: Overuse of smartphones is a well-known culprit to disrupt your sleep. It can impact your memory, metabolism, energy levels, and reduce your cognitive and learning skills. Can give withdrawal symptoms just like any other addiction: When you try to cut back on your smartphone use, it is not unlikely to get restless, angry or irritable, sleep deprived and anxious Change your internet use, one step at a time Unlike other substance addiction, it is impossible and impractical to completely refrain from your smartphones and internet. It has become a part and parcel of life, so the trick is to modify your internet usage step by step and cut back to more healthy levels of use. Fix times when you cannot use your smartphone: Keep your phone out of your easy reach while you need to attend an important meeting or assignment. This applies to household work as well. Schedule internet use for certain free times of day, once you’ve completed an assignment or finished a chore. Do not sleep with your smartphones or tablets: Screens of digital devices emit blue light, which can disrupt your sleep. Do not use any screen 1-2 hours before you sleep. Turn your devices off or at least leave them in another room overnight. Forego eBooks on your phone or tablet at night and read directly from a book. Have alternative ways to fill the free time: Feeling bored? Use this time to nurture a hobby or cultivate a new hobby, meditate, read a book, or chat with friends in person. Use the free time to get indulged in healthier activities. This helps resist the urge to use the internet. Remove unnecessary, social media / shopping / gaming apps from your phone: It is okay to keep some apps to serve your needs. But it is not important to have numerous apps that are just there to eat your time away. If you find yourself compulsively checking social media apps, challenge yourself and stray away from opening them for some specified time period or a day. Remember what you see of others on social media is hardly a reflection of their lives- it is merely exaggerating the happy aspects of their lives, and brushing over the disappointments. Instead, speak to an elderly or a friend about any issues you might be facing. Have a sense of self-worth. Make use of technology to beat technology: there are various apps that can automatically limit when you’re able to access your phone. Even smartphones are coming with features to avoid internet addiction. Make use of such useful features. Cull your fear of missing out: It is okay to miss out on certain breaking news, or that new gossip. Accept that you were doing more meaningful stuff at those times. Seek help from mental health experts: If you think self-help is not enough to overcome the internet addiction disorder, consult an expert. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is an important modality for treatment of smartphone and Internet addiction. Nowadays, specialists offer digital detox programs to help you disconnect from digital media and stay connected with your inner self. Group therapy can also give you a moral boost in curbing your internet and phone use.An expert can also help you learn healthier ways of coping with negative feelings including depression, stress, or anxiety, or depression.Make sure to keep a check on your Internet use habits. Have a healthy mind and body- both online and offline!
Top 7 Health Tests Every Smoker Must Get Done
People who smoke tend to lose lives more than 10 years earlier than people who don’t. Isn’t it alarming? Smokers are more susceptible to many life-threatening conditions, from cancer and lung disease to heart disease and diabetes. Your best bet? Quit smoking and improve your health. For over 5 decades, health experts have linked smoking to lung cancer. Research continues to pinpoint more ways tobacco harms your health, from cancers to chronic diseases. How well do you take care of your health? Find out with our TruHealth package. This is how smoking affects your body Tobacco use affects almost every organ in your body. Smoking tobacco introduces not only nicotine but also more than 5,000 chemicals, including several carcinogenic (cancer-causing) chemicals, into your body. The damage caused by smoking can shorten your lifespan significantly. In fact, smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable death in India today. In addition to its known cancer risks, smoking also causes many other chronic health problems that need ongoing care. Specific smoking-related problems that need treatment include: Decreased HDL (good) cholesterol and increased blood pressure (increasing risk of heart attack and stroke) Erectile dysfunction Lower oxygen to the heart and other tissues in the body (increasing risks for coronary artery disease, peripheral artery disease, and diabetes) Frequent occurrence of routine illnesses like colds, especially in children living with smokers Poor lung function (ability to get enough oxygen) leading to asthma, bronchitis, or emphysema How are health problems from smoking diagnosed? Diagnosis depends on your specific symptoms. For people who smoke, their healthcare provider will ask for details about their tobacco use, physically examine them and can ask for various lab tests and scans to assess their health. Certain tests can detect and/or measure nicotine and its primary breakdown product (metabolite) cotinine in the blood, urine, saliva, or hair. 7 Medical tests that every smoker must get done: 1.Chest X ray: This test is a must for every smoker. A chest X ray can help the pathologists measure the damage that has happened to your lungs so far. Besides, it also helps to gain information about the health of the heart. The X-ray provides a photo-like image of your lungs and heart and helps in detecting any blood vessel problems caused due to smoking such as blocked arteries and other lung cancer related diseases which are more susceptible in smoker’s lungs. 2. Spirometry: This is one of the most important tests for smokers. Spirometry is a specific kind of breathing test which should be done along with a chest X-ray. This primary test is generally done to measure how effectively your lungs function, and therefore to rule out any possibility of lung cancer, lung fibrosis, esophaegal cancer and other interstitial lung diseases. Also known as the PFT test (pulmonary function test), this simple breathing test involves the patient blowing or inhaling into a machine to determine how much air is moving in and out of your lungs. It is best to avoid taking this test if you have recently had any heart or chest surgery. 3. CT Scan: Low-dose computed tomography, or CT scan helps to detect major issues like lung cancer. Chain smokers should never miss getting a CT scan done, as it provides better diagnostic images, allowing doctors to detect problems, such as lung cancer, in earlier stages than with plain X-rays. Diagnosing lung cancer early can save lives, because surgery is often still possible in the early stages. People with stage 1 lung cancers have a 60%-70% survival rate five years after the surgery compared to survival rate of only 5%-30% in later stages. 4. High-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) test: This is a blood test that finds lower levels of C-reactive protein (CRP and measures general levels of inflammation in your body. The hs-CRP test can be particularly used to find the risk for heart disease and stroke in people who don't already have a heart disease. Studies have reported a direct association between elevated levels of CRP and cigarette smoking. In fact, as per a research paper, smokers developed heart disease at a lower hs-CRP level compared with the nonsmokers. 5. Electrocardiogram: Substances such as carbon monoxide in tobacco bind with the haemoglobin in the RBC (Red blood cells) thereby preventing blood from entering your heart. This disrupts the regular functioning of your heart and may also result in clogging blood vessels and blocking arteries. Electrocardiogram or ECG may help health professionals detect any complications in a smoker’s heart. The ECG tests the regularity and speed of your heart beat and helps in detecting any possible problems at an earlier stage. 6. Diabetes screening: Smoking makes your body more resistant to insulin leading to higher levels of blood sugar. Smokers generally have a high risk of getting type 2 diabetes which may be the underlying cause for several other problems such as heart and kidney diseases. This is the reason why a diabetes screening test is also a must. 7. Vitamin D Blood test: If you are over 40 years of age and are a smoker, then you must go for this test. As a matter of fact, most smokers generally have a low amount of Vitamin D in blood. When you quit, benefits happen almost immediately Smoking cessation is bound to improve your health at any age. Years of smoking damage can reverse with time. This is how the timeline of quitting smoking looks like: After 20 minutes, your blood pressure and heart rate drop, and the temperature of your hands and feet increases After eight hours, your blood will contain lower levels of carbon monoxide and higher levels of oxygen After 24 hours, your risk of heart attack decreases After 48 hours, your nerve endings adjust to the absence of nicotine, and you begin to regain your ability to taste and smell After one to three months, your circulation improves, and you can tolerate more exercise After about nine months, your overall energy level increases, and you cough less. Plus, sinus congestion, fatigue and shortness of breath also decrease After one year, your risk of heart disease curtails to half compared to a current smoker After 10 years, your risk of dying from lung cancer drops to almost the same rate as a lifelong nonsmoker. Plus, you decrease the risk of other forms of cancer The best way to avoid getting sick from smoking is to never start. If you do smoke, quitting as soon as possible can prevent or reverse health problems. Also, keep track of your health numbers to detect a health issue well within time.