how to prevent flu naturally

Feared of that blocked nose and aching throat? Lost an important day at the office due to that bad headache and fever? Well, all these symptoms of flu that appear minor, are known to being problematic to many of you during weather changes. 


Flu is an infective illness caused by influenza viruses that infect your respiratory system- the nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs, when complicated. It can lead to mild to severe disease. And the fact is catching flu with changes in season is extremely common with most people. The best way to prevent flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year. But do you know of other natural ways to reduce the chances of falling sick to flu? How do you prevent becoming prey to the flu?

Here we are covering 8 most useful ways to prevent flu naturally.

  1. Follow a healthy, nutrient-rich eating plan: Include a variety of fruits and green leafy vegetables in your daily diet. These are superfoods- full of vitamins and antioxidants. These health elements help promote good health and reduce the risk of catching flu. If you still get the infection and have a fever, do not presume it to be flu on your own; fever can be a symptom of various infections. Get tested within the comfort of your home and rule out the more serious causes.   
  1. Amp up your vitamin C supply: Although the evidence is a bit conflicting, vitamin C intake appears to boost some aspects of the body’s defense system. Certain studies have shown that vitamin C helps prevent colds in people who are exposed to cold weather or who have undergone extreme physical activity.

Some studies show that vitamin C can help in the treatment as well due to some extent. It might reduce the duration of a cold by as much as 24 to 36 hours. It is advisable to include vitamin C-rich food like oranges, lemon, etc., in your diet. Some people can get an aggravation of symptoms when they consume vitamin C-rich fruits if they have already caught flu. In such cases, do not force-fit fruits rich in vitamin C.  

  1. Garlic for immunity: Garlic is considered to stimulate the immune system. There is some preliminary evidence available that states garlic may decrease the chances of catching a cold and flu. Ensure to avoid overcooking garlic, it works best when consumed raw. Overcooking may destroy important medicinal elements and reduce its health benefits.
  1. Sleep like a baby: Sleep is a crucial step to strengthen your immune system. However, it is usually overlooked by many of you, which increases the risk of catching the disease-causing virus.  Prioritize your sleep schedule as it is the most natural way to fend off the flu and some other pesky illnesses. If you are dealing with sleep issues, limit caffeine intake to at least 4-5 hours before nighttime. You can consider consulting an expert as well. Get 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night. 
  1. Up your zinc intake: Zinc is an essential mineral that is important for your immune system. It is involved in numerous cellular processes such as helping your body make white blood cells (WBCs). The WBCs fight germs and keep you safe from infections. Some research has shown that zinc can help alleviate symptoms of flu and cold. A possible reason for how zinc helps is that it may slow down the virus multiplication. Though the evidence is not robust, you can still give it a shot. A balanced diet with fresh fruits, vegetables should be able to make up for your zinc needs. You can choose to take zinc supplements during the flu season as well. Make sure that moderation is the key to include any health supplements in routine life. You can take a zinc supplement or a multivitamin with zinc during flu season.

  2. Sip on herbal tea: Herbal teas are rich in antioxidants and natural flavonoids and can impart some natural germ-fighting properties. In addition, sipping on herbal drinks soothes your throat and sinuses. While plentiful readymade options are available that you can relish, you can make your own herbal kadha (decoction) by adding turmeric, ginger, cloves, star anise, and cinnamon. The readymade bagged teas contain some or many of these as dried ingredients combined together.

Think you have been taking good care of your health and still lack enough immunity? Get a health test done and find out for yourself what might be hurting your health.

  1. Follow hygiene etiquettes: Sick people can transfer respiratory viruses like the influenza virus on to the surfaces through coughing and sneezing into their hands and then touching the surface. These viruses can then be transferred into your body and get you sick if you come in contact with the infected surfaces and do not maintain proper hand hygiene. Ensure to wash your hands often. Or, carry a bottle of hand sanitizer and sanitize your hands when soap and water are unavailable. Avoid touching your nose, mouth, or eyes since the flu virus can can also enter your body when your infected hands touch your face.Sneeze into a tissue or into your elbow. Throw tissues away in a dustbin promptly.
  1. Maintain some moisture in the air at your homes: Dry indoor air can allow the flu virus to live longer which makes the virus spread more easily. Use a humidifier to add humidity in your home and workplace to reduce dryness of air and reduce flu viruses in the air. 

The final word

Pay extra attention to the hygienic measures during weather changes. Getting a flu vaccine is another easy way to combat flu-causing viruses. Do not ignore your symptoms if they worsen or do not get better even after 7-8 days, reach out to an expert and get help.

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top blood tests Metropolis

Regular blood testing is an important way to keep track of your overall well-being. Getting testing regularly can help you visualize the changes your body undergoes as you age and empower you to make informed decisions about your health.

Blood tests provide a crucial picture of your overall health and well-being. These investigations aid in the early identification of an illness, which in turn, can avoid its progression into more severe stages. They can also help you in putting a tab on how well your body responds to different treatments for your diseases.

How often should you be tested?

Your doctor can usually recommend getting your routine blood testing done at least once a year. Other causes that can prompt you to take blood tests are:

  • If you desire a change in lifestyle patterns. Abnormalities in different parameters such as high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) can help you alter your diet or fitness plan
  • If you are experiencing unusual, persistent symptoms such as fatigue, abnormal weight gain or loss, or new pain
  • If you are at an increased risk of certain conditions due to family history or lifestyle habits. 
  • If you want to assess or reduce the risk of diseases or complications as regular blood tests can identify the warning signs of most of the diseases.
  • Here is the list of the top ten routine blood tests that have a pivotal role in maintaining good health and stay worry-free of the sneaking health concerns:

1. Complete blood count (Hemogram)

A routine complete blood count test measures levels of different components of every major cell in your blood, including:

  • Red blood cells (RBCs)
  • White blood cells (WBCs)
  • Platelets
  • Hemoglobin (protein in RBCs)
  • Hematocrit
  • Mean corpuscular volume

and some more blood parameter.

The abnormal levels of these lab tests can indicate:

  • Lack of enough blood cells
  • Nutritional deficiencies, such as vitamin B6 or B12
  • Tissue inflammation
  • Iron deficiency
  • Signs of an infection
  • Heart conditions.

2. Electrolytes panel

A basic electrolytes test comprises of measurement of certain mineral compounds in the blood, such as:

  • Sodium
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Chloride

Abnormality in these parameters suggests dehydration, malnutrition, or hormone imbalances, etc.

3. Liver panel

A liver panel or liver function test checks different parameters such as enzymes, proteins, and other substances produced by the liver. Some of the important values that a liver function test provides include:

  • Albumin
  • Alkaline phosphatase (ALP)
  • Alanine aminotransferase (ALT)
  • Aspartate aminotransferase (AST)
  • Bilirubin.

Raised levels of these components can indicate liver diseases such as fatty liver, hepatitis, cirrhosis, etc., while reduced ALP levels could be a diagnostic marker of bone metabolic disorders.

4. Lipid panel

This test determines the levels of different types of cholesterol and related fats in the blood. It usually includes:

  • HDL or “good” cholesterol
  • LDL or “bad” cholesterol
  • Triglycerides
  • Total cholesterol.

This panel is done to assess the risk of heart diseases, especially in older individuals. The results of this test can also influence and improve your lifestyle choices.

5. Thyroid panel

A thyroid panel, or thyroid function tests, evaluates how well your thyroid is producing and reacting to certain hormones. It includes:

  • Triiodothyronine (T3): This hormone in combination with T4 regulates your heart rate and body temperature.
  • Thyroxine (T4): Along with T3, this hormone regulates your metabolism.
  • Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH): This hormone modulates the levels of hormones your thyroid releases.

Abnormal levels of these hormones can result into numerous conditions, like low protein levels, thyroid growth disorders, and abnormal levels of sex hormones including testosterone or estrogen.

6. Diabetes panel

Diagnostic tests for diabetes include fasting plasma glucose (FPG), post-meal blood glucose, and glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) tests.

Your clinician will evaluate your test results and determine how well controlled your blood sugar is. HbA1c test evaluates the amount of glucose in the body and is mainly done to monitor the sugar control of a diabetic patient. They can also aid in analysing possible diabetes or pre-diabetic individual.

7. Test for essential nutrients

Blood tests assessing the body’s levels of certain nutrients like iron, vitamin D, vitamin B12, and magnesium are important, as these are crucial for optimal bodily functions.

Most people are deficient in these nutrients for different reasons, hence, it is imperative to evaluate these levels and supplement them when they are not adequate. Supplementation of these nutrients can prevent several disorders such as iron deficiency anemia, risk of falls, fractures, acute or chronic pain etc.

8. Inflammatory markers

Tests for inflammatory markers include C-reactive protein (CRP) and homocysteine. Raised levels of CRP is indicative of inflammation in the body and is related with an increased risk of cardiac events, artery inflammation, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), rheumatoid arthritis or depression.

Elevations in the level of homocysteine, a common amino acid suggest a spectrum of conditions such as stroke and heart disease, vitamin B6, B12 and folate status, and kidney diseases.

9. Coagulation panel

Coagulation tests include prothrombin time (PT) test and international normalized ratio (INR), these two measure the ability of your body to clot blood and the time taken for blood clotting. Clotting is a crucial process for the body and these blood tests can prevent you from bleeding out in case of an injury, surgical procedure, etc.

 In addition, outcome of these tests can diagnose any underlying conditions associated with improper clotting, such as:

  • Acute myeloid leukemia
  • Hemophilia
  • Thrombosis
  • Liver conditions
  • Vitamin K deficiency.

Takeaway

Diagnostic tests are often described with a slogan like “prevention is better than cure”. Early diagnosis of certain diseases can offer prevention against its progression into a more severe form. However, these lab tests are often not suitable to make a final diagnosis. Numerous blood tests are used initially to detect any abnormality, which is further correlated with other investigations with the help of a healthcare professional to obtain a final diagnosis.

The majority of blood tests require fasting for 8–12 hours, which can ensure that the results of the test are free from any variables including vitamins, proteins, and other nutrients, so as to make your test results as accurate as possible.

Hence, it is necessary to get routine blood tests done at least once a year. Always take your doctor’s advice to understand whether you require any other tests to ensure optimal health.

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Our liver plays a vital role in our body’s digestive system. Whatever we eat or drink, including medicines, almost all of it passes through the liver. Therefore, we need to treat our Liver right, so that it can stay healthy and do its job effectively. Amid the hectic schedule, it is quite easy for most of us to forget to pay our liver the attention that it rightly deserves.

The liver, situated under the lower ribcage on our right side, is responsible for getting rid of harmful chemicals to cleanse the body, producing liquid called bile which is required for breaking down all the fat from our food. Most importantly it stores glucose which gives us energy to carry out our daily activities. The liver is the only organ in our body that can regenerate itself; a person can donate a part of their liver to another person.  This article will provide you with insights that can help lower the risk of liver problems and eventually other vital organs as well.

Major Liver problems include infectious conditions like Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and liver damage caused due to excessive alcohol consumption, like fatty liver disease and cirrhosis. Liver failure and liver cancer are fatal diseases that can be caused due to multiple causes, with most cases associated with liver damage and scarring of the liver. All such problems can adversely affect the normal and healthy functioning of the liver, thus proper care and caution is essential when it comes to keeping the liver in good health

6 ways to keep the liver problems at bay:

  • Limit your alcohol intake

Our liver and body can usually cope up with consuming only a certain amount of alcohol.As per the guidelines, men should not go for drinking more than 2 drinks a day and women should limit themselves to just one drink a day. One “standard” drink contains roughly 14 grams of pure alcohol. For example, around 12 ounces of regular beer. But if you continue to drink more than what your liver can take, it will affect the liver cells; they will not be able to process it and this can lead to liver damage, leading to permanent scarring of the liver. If you continue with excessive drinking, it might cause liver failure too.

  • Get a Liver Function Test regularly

Liver function tests aka Liver Panel, is a simple blood test that can be taken to measure different enzymes, proteins and all other substances that our Liver produces. This simple blood test can reveal much information about your liver health and may be an early indication of liver disease. This allows you to take action in time.

  • Exercise regularly

Though this is something which is important for preventing most lifestyle diseases, we never tend to take this seriously. This helps keep our weight under control, and prevent excess fats from getting stored in our body. Regular exercise can help keep non alcoholic fatty liver disease at bay, a severe condition that can lead to cirrhosis if not taken care of. If currently you are not doing any physical workout, start by doing some daily exercises and slowly and gradually move up towards increasing it to half an hour or an hour daily.

  • Don’t go for fad diets

Following trends, a lot of people go for random diet plans, weight loss pills or protein pills, without understanding the after-effects it can have. Fad diets and pills available without prescription that promise quick weight loss or weight gain might end up harming the Liver in the long run. If in any doubt what can be the perfect diet or tablets to keep the health in check, always ask a doctor or a dietician.

One simply cannot stress over the fact enough that having a balanced diet is important for anyone. Try and avoid saturated fats, trans fats and hydrogenated fats as much as possible. Our culture these days is to simply have leftovers or packaged / processed foods, keep a check on that. High levels of cholesterol are identified as common causes leading to fatty liver disease. Therefore it is suggested to eat more fibrous food, like fruits and vegetables and dairy produce for a healthy liver functioning.

Want to check how your diet might have harmed your cholesterol levels. Book a lab test right away.

  • Be careful with medication

We often tend to self diagnose ourselves when it comes to common cold or cough, doing so we take medicines that can affect the liver badly. By not consulting a doctor or a physician, we tend to put our health at risk. Of all the organs present in our body, the liver is most vulnerable to the harmful effects of self-medication. It acts as the main organ that detoxifies whatever medicines go inside our body. Over dose of any medicine, not consulting a doctor, taking herbal supplements can all have irreversible side effects on the liver. Thereby always check with a specialist and avoid compromising your liver health.

  • Get vaccinated

Vaccinations protect yourselves against Hepatitis A, B & C. Always consult your family doctor or physician before getting these shots. Hepatitis A can be caused due to contaminated food or water and Hepatitis B can be because of sexual contact or contaminated blood and needles. Remember prevention is better than cure

The liver is wonderfully created to perform countless functions for our body. It protects and nurtures our body every day, from getting rid of toxins, giving the body the desired energy, fighting viruses and other infections to maintaining mineral and vitamin supply in our body. All of these are not possible without a healthy liver. It is a complex yet resilient organ of our body that needs to be taken care of day in and day out.

Schedule that long-pending liver health test now. Book here.





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21
common womens health issues Metropolis Labs

Although women and men share several similar chronic health problems, women have their own unique health issues, which deserve special consideration. Due to the chaos of a woman’s daily life, healthy living may take a back seat. It is vital that every woman has access to knowledge about the spectrum of women’s health conditions, not only about her reproductive system, but related to all aspects of her body. Their awareness can promote healthy lifestyle practices, which in turn are the best way to avoid disease, prolong life, and improve quality of life.

Here are six common health issues that affect millions of women each year

  • Menstruation problems

It is very common for women to have issues with periods, including heavy, scant, missed or irregular periods. Period cramps remain to be another health issue among women.
 
In general, heavy menstrual bleeding is the menstrual blood loss of more than 80 ml or periods lasting more than seven days. It has been estimated that about 9 to 14 out of 100 women get heavy periods.1 Heavy menstruation problems can interfere with daily life and even result in iron deficiency anaemia in severe cases. Talk to your doctor, if you have heavy menstrual bleeding to rule out the underlying cause.

Another problem women faces with periods is pre-menstruation syndrome (PMS), which affects 47.8% of reproductive age women worldwide.2 The common symptoms of PMS include changes in appetite, weight gain, abdominal pain, back pain, headache, swelling of the breasts, nausea, constipation, anxiety, mood swings, etc. These symptoms occur within a few days of the start of menstruation.

Besides the above mentioned issues, a rising concern of today’s woman is polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), a common metabolic and endocrine disorder of reproductive age. Women with PCOS may have infrequent menstrual periods or excess male hormone (androgen) levels. This disorder is getting prevalent in India that accounts to 3.7 to 22.5% of females.3 Women affected with PCOS are at increased risk of obesity, type II diabetes mellitus, heart disease, infertility, and acne.

Book a full body test and be assured of your health.

  • Fertility issues

Latest report revealed that the fertility rate of Indians has come down by more than 50% from 4.97 to 2.3, it will be further reduced to 2.1 during 2025 to 30, and 1.86 from 2045 to 50 and 1.78 from 2095 to 100. Currently, the infertility rate is 10 to 14% which is higher in urban areas where 1 out of 6 couples is affected.4

Various causes responsible for infertility in women are PCOS, contraception complications, abortion infections, STDs, post-partum infections, pelvic inflammatory diseases, etc. Lifestyle problems such as smoking, alcohol, consuming processed food, physical and emotional stress can also play a significant role in infertility.

The problem of infertility can be treated with the help of an expert depending on the underlying cause. There are certain hormone tests, such as FSH test, that your doctor might suggest to get a sneak peek into your condition.

  • Thyroid problems

Thyroid disease is twice as prevalent in women as in men and is common among women of child-bearing age (18-35 years).5 Women generally have hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormone levels), in which the metabolism slows down. Symptoms include weight gain, feeling sluggish and tired, etc. On the other side, high thyroid levels can also cause early onset of menopause, before 40 years or in the early 40s.

Besides, pregnancy can raise the level of thyroid hormones in the blood and almost 5% to 10% of women suffer from postpartum thyroiditis, which occurs within 1 year after giving birth.6

Get your thyroid hormones tested and stay in the know. 

  • Breast cancer

Breast cancer is the second important cause of cancer deaths among women. The latest global figures show that around half a million women die from breast cancer each year.8 Various risk factors involved are increasing age, family history, early onset of periods or menopause after 55 years, obesity, etc. Keep yourself educated regarding breast cancer self-examination.

Breast cancer is the second important cause of cancer deaths among women. The latest global figures show that around half a million women die from breast cancer each year.8 Various risk factors involved are increasing age, family history, early onset of periods or menopause after 55 years, obesity, etc. Keep yourself educated regarding breast cancer self-examination.

  • Sexual health and bladder issues

Women should be concerned about their sexual as well as bladder health as they rapidly get affected by both sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and urinary tract infections. It has been observed that the effect of a STD is more severe on women than on men. Although STDs often go untreated in women as symptoms are less noticeable or have higher chances of getting misdiagnosed with another condition, they have serious implications such as infertility in women.

Apart from sexual health, women should take care of their personal hygiene. Women have a shorter urethra, which enables the bacteria to travel a smaller distance before they reach to the bladder and start an infection. Hence, urinary tract problems, including infections and incontinence, are more common in women. It is advisable to not hesitate and talk to your healthcare professional.

  • Depression

Emerging evidence suggests that women are more prone to experience anxiety, and depression in contrast to men. According to WHO, depression is the most common mental health problem for women and suicide a leading cause of death for women under 60.7

Depression can last for more than a couple of weeks and interferes with your daily life. Hormonal fluctuations can trigger the condition, especially after pregnancy or around menopause. Other risk factors include family history, marital problems, chronic illness, stressful life event, physical or sexual abuse, etc. Although the majority of people need treatment, few measures such as exercise, spending time with people you trust can also help.

Takeaway
Taking care of your health and your body is of highest importance. Aim to keep a healthy weight, eat a balanced diet, get plenty of exercise, practice stress management, and see your doctor regularly.

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Hba1c blood test

HbA1c test: Gold standard test for diabetes

HbA1c test stands for glycated or glycosylated hemoglobin test. This test helps measure average blood sugar levels for the past 3 months. This test is essential for every person who has diabetes. Other names of this test are glycohemoglobin test, A1c test, or simply A1c.

Hemoglobin is the protein in the red blood cells that help in transportation of oxygen across the body. Sugar (or glucose) present in the blood combines with one type of hemoglobin (hemoglobin A), this combination molecule is called glycated hemoglobin. A red blood cell lives up to 120 days, or 4 months. Hence, measuring this combination molecule gives a fair estimate of your blood sugar levels in the last 2-3 months.         

Keep your diabetes in check with an HbA1c test.

Importance of HbA1c Test

Do you regularly measure your fasting and after meal blood sugar to keep a check on your diabetes? Think that is enough? Not actually! Though the fasting and post meal tracking of blood glucose is important, these tests can only check your blood sugar at a certain point of time. Their results might vary depending on what you had eaten over the last night or in the previous meal. However, the HbA1c test looks at the 3-month data and cannot be biased.

For persons having diabetes, HbA1c numbers give a fair idea of how controlled their diabetes is. As per scientific evidence, having a smaller HbA1c number means lesser risk of developing complications due to diabetes. Raised HbA1c value has also been regarded as an independent risk factor for heart disease and stroke in people with or without diabetes.    


Why is the HbA1c test done?

The HbA1c test is used for diagnosis as well as monitoring purposes. Your doctor suggests an HbA1c test to see whether your diabetes is controlled or not. Pre-diabetics, people having borderline diabetes, are also advised to get tested to check how stable their blood sugar levels are.


Frequency of getting tested
In general, people having diabetes and pre-diabetes should get their HbA1c tested every 3 months. If you are healthy but have a family history of diabetes or think your lifestyle makes you prone to develop diabetes, you should get an HbA1c test done every 6 months. You can consult a doctor on how frequently you should take a test for your health condition.


HbA1c Results
The results of the A1c test are presented as a percentage. The test result shows the amount of hemoglobin that glucose has bound to in your blood.

For diagnostic purposes, the test results may be as follows:

  • Normal/ Healthy: Below 5.7%
  • Pre-diabetes: 5.7–6.4%
  • Diabetes: 6.5% or more

There are certain factors and some medical conditions that can change the HbA1c result slightly and even lead to a higher reading. Some conditions that can cause a false A1c number include:

  • Liver disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Recent blood loss or transfusion
  • Low iron levels
  • Certain blood-related conditions

Your doctor is the best guide to analyse the results.


 HbA1c Target levels
A healthy person who does not have diabetes should target for an HbA1c score below 5.7 percent.

If a person has an HbA1c score of 6.5 percent or higher, it’s likely that he /she has diabetes. During treatment for diabetes, different people will have different targets, based on factors such as their age and medicines they are taking. In general, diabetics might be asked to keep their HbA1c result below 7 percent. Older adults having diabetes and diabetics who might also be at risk of low sugar levels (hypoglycemia), can be recommended an HbA1c number of around 8%.   

Test preparation for HbA1c

Unlike fasting or post meal blood sugar tests, no special preparation is needed for an HbA1c test. You do not need to fast. You can give a test sample at any time of the day. Also, do not miss your medicines on the day of getting tested. 


COVID-19 and HbA1c
The entire pandemic situation has made managing diabetes well more important than ever for people having diabetes. HbA1c gives you a sneak peek into how well your blood glucose has been doing over the past 2-3 months. Look for trusted labs and safe services when you have to take an HbA1c test. Have to get tested and not sure where to get it done? Book an HbA1c test online and get tested within the comfort of your home.

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Health checkup Metropolis Healthcare

A lot has been talked about the importance of regular health check-ups. However, preventive health checks and health screening is often ignored. From the need of taking leave at the workplace to not feeling any need of a health assessment, even you might have skipped your regular health screening at some point of time!    

Why do you need a health check?

  • Prevent health issues in the first place: Certain most common and serious chronic conditions including diabetes and high blood pressure might not cause any symptoms in the early stages. If you get your routine check-up done, not only will you come to know about your risk of getting diabetes or heart disease but also the current value of blood sugar and cholesterol. This helps you take preventive action to decrease your risk and stay clear of illnesses.
  • Eliminates further progression or worsening of disease: Many of the chronic conditions are progressive in nature. If you don’t do anything about them well in time, it might lead to worsening of the symptoms or cause its progression. Getting a regular body check-up helps your doctors diagnose a disease before it poses high risk and take action
  • Reduces the risk of complications in future: If you have been diagnosed with a health condition at an early stage, your treatment plan is devised on time. This helps lessen the complexity and risk involved. When it comes to disease diagnosis, the sooner the better. A regular check-up can also give clues in recovering your body from any health concerns.

Book a complete blood count test and get a sneak peek into your blood picture.

  • Saves your money: A regular health check-up can save your money in the long run. Moreover, preventive health check-ups can catch an early disease and reduce the risk of undergoing surgeries and developing complications which might need advanced medical interventions.
  • Adds healthy and quality life years: A regular check-up of your body lets you see inside of your body and be assured of how healthy you are. You can be free from worries and anxieties. A stress free and healthy routine increases your lifespan as well.

Who needs to get a regular check-up done?

Everyone!

Yes, from children to young healthy adults, from women to old-age adults, everyone needs to get their health screened regularly. That being said, people having chronic conditions require their health numbers to be tracked constantly. Follow your doctor recommendations about the frequency of getting health tests done. At large, regular check-ups with specific tests can vary depending on your age, gender, family history, and overall health status. Let us elaborate this a bit through some examples.

Do you know people in the working-age group (30-60 years) are at a high risk of lifestyle diseases? Also, men are more likely to get diabetes. Postmenopausal women are at a higher risk of getting heart disease when compared to men of same age.

In addition to these, unhealthy lifestyle changes, lack of physical activity and sleep can cause many health problems ranging from minor to severe health concerns. Getting a full-body check-up that includes tests for diabetes, cholesterol, heart disease can save your extra money in the long run.

The COVID-19 Angle

The current situation of dealing with a pandemic like COVID-19 has made it more important than ever to better care of your physical and mental health. Healthy people who don’t have any pre-existing health conditions and have strong immunity, can fight back the infection-causing virus. Ensure to get your elderly tested regularly too.


Think you have symptoms of COVID-19? Don’t delay your test any more. Book home sample collection now.  

Do you avoid health tests? It could be Iatrophobia!

Some people may have troubling symptoms but they put off doctor visits or medical tests that could help them. Such an irrational fear of doctors or health tests is called Iatrophobia. People simply refuse to get health tests done because of the horror they have to go through if something comes up. However, ignorance is never a bliss, when it comes to health.

Do you fear visiting clinics or labs to get tested? With Metropolis being your pathology specialist, regular health checks will never be an issue. Or, worried of stepping out of home to get tested? We have got you covered. Backed by the advanced laboratory technologies, highly qualified technicians and home collection service, we’re standing by your side and committed to delivering trusted health reports, each and every time.

Never hesitate to get a routine medical check-up. Get a preventive health check-up done, understand your health status, take informed decisions well in time, and secure your peace of mind.

Explore our lab services and avail great offers on health tests, now from the comfort of your home.

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1
simple stretches to relieve back pain Metropolis Healthcare

Modern technology has blessed us with plenty of benefits and conveniences, but with one major drawback: our fondness for prolonged sitting. Many of us sit for more than nine hours a day, seven days a week. Experts are now convinced that sitting for long stretches can affect our health in the long run and have linked too much sitting to several ailments such as back pain, increased stress of the upper and lower back, neck, arms and shoulders. With the work from home scenario, prolonged sitting in a hunched over position can put greater strain on the back muscles and spinal discs, the fluid-filled cushions that protect the vertebrae from rubbing against each other and act as the shock absorber for your spine. However, you can save your back from the pain by finding simple ways to incorporate health and fitness into everyday work life.

It doesn’t have to take a lot of efforts to track and take better care of your health on the job. Book a complete health check-up in no time.

Working from home and feeling that restricted movement is harming your back? Including stretching exercises into your daily routine can help relieve back pain and improve your posture and flexibility.

7 simple stretches to relieve back pain

Stretching, improving hip flexibility and core stability can help reduce the symptoms of lower back pain. To help you get started, we have put together this list of 7 simple yet effective work-friendly stretching exercises that will counter the effects of sitting all day.

  1. Bridge exercise

Rest comfortably on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Keeping your shoulders and head pressed against the floor and relaxed, tighten your abdominal and gluteal muscles. Keeping your arms by your side and your core engaged, raise your hips towards the ceiling to form a straight line from your knees to your shoulders, with your chest off the ground. Try to hold the position long enough to complete 3-4 deep breaths. Return to the starting position. Do five repetitions and gradually work up to 20. Do not try to hold your breath as you perform this exercise.

  1. Knee-to-chest stretch

Lie on your back with your heels flat on the floor. Using both hands, pull up one knee and press it to your chest while keeping the other leg bent or extended straight out along the floor. Feel the tight stretch down the back of your leg and the gluteus muscles. Tighten your abdominals and press your spine all the way down to your tailbone and avoid lifting your hips. Hold for 15-20 seconds. Return to the starting position, switch legs and repeat the same thing. Next, return to the starting position and then repeat with both legs at the same time, preferably 2-3 times. To take it a notch higher, tuck your chin into your chest and lift your head up toward your knee.

  1. Back twist

For occasions, when you’re unable to get away from your work area, doing a back twist could be a good alternative. Sit comfortably in your chair and place your right arm behind your right hip. Twist to your right and hold for 10 seconds, then repeat on the other side. Do this 4-5 times in both the directions. This is a natural stretch that you can do when your body is feeling a bit stiff and tired.

Your bones and muscles need Vitamin D for optimal functioning. Sure your body has enough of it? Book a Vitamin D test now.  

  1. Prayer Stretch or Child’s pose

Sit back on your heels while tucking legs underneath your thighs and bend forward at the waist, extending arms out over the head onto the ground, making sure your lower back muscles are stretched completely and your hips are resting on the heels. Rest your belly on your thighs. Hold for 30-60 seconds and slowly bring yourself back to the start. Breathe deeply, releasing any tension or tightness. Repeat 3-5 times to help relieve back pain and strengthen your muscles. Feeling better now? You can do this pose several times during the day, and also between each stretch.

  1. Lower-Abs lifts

Simply, sit straight up, with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Lift one leg up at a 90 degree angle, keeping the core tight. After doing 7-8 reps, switch to the other leg. And then try lifting both up at the same time. Alternatively, extend your right leg out in front of you until it’s straight and parallel with the floor. Hold the pose for 10 seconds, release, and repeat with your left leg. You can make it more challenging by positioning both your hands parallel to the floor, in a straight-back position.

  1. Spinal Twist

Keeping seated with your knees in line with one another flat on the floor, place your right hand on your left knee and twist your entire upper body to the left, looking behind your shoulder. You can place your hands on the chair handle to help deepen the stretching exercise. Take a few deep breaths, and then twist back and repeat on the other side. Hold on for 20-30 seconds and as far as you comfortably can. This stretch keeps your spine flexible, and is also beneficial to your lower back.

  1. Hip-Flexor stretching exercise

To begin with, place one foot on top of your chair, shift slightly forward onto your straight leg, bringing your back hip forward as well. Feel the stretch on your hip flexor of that back leg. Make sure your lower back is straight throughout; if not activate your core by pulling your torso back towards your spine. Remain in this pose for 10-15 seconds and then switch sides before you repeat.

When to seek Medical Care for lower back pain

While not common, certain back pain symptoms can signal a serious underlying medical condition. If your lower back pain interferes with daily life activities, it’s advisable to seek medical attention to obtain an accurate diagnosis.

Your health numbers can give a fair enough idea to your healthcare provider what might be causing your back pain. Book a full body check-up now. 

Apart from these, a diagnostic imaging scan including X-ray, CT scan, and MRI can provide more insights and may be indicated if you have acute pain, not relieved within two or three months or one that does not get better with nonsurgical treatments.

You can now save tax on the Preventive health check-ups up to Rs. 5000, under section 80D of Income Tax Act, 1961.

Ready to relieve back pain at home?

You use your lower back for several important things, from walking and running to simply getting out of bed in the morning, which makes it essential to keep it in good working order with regular stretching. While some mild discomfort and pain can be expected anytime you start a new workout, as you work your way back to better health and your muscles strengthen, that pain and discomfort should disappear.

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10 Important Health Tests for every Woman

Body mass index: This one is easy. There are numerous apps and online BMI Calculators that can calculate this for you. All you need to key in is your height and weight. A BMI on the higher side indicates obesity, which can assess the risk of serious health conditions like diabetes and heart disease.

Anaemia: Studies done by Metropolis suggest that 1 in 2 Indian Women are anemic. A largely vegetarian meal coupled with lack of awareness has led to the increasing trend in Anaemia. It is important to know you root cause of anaemia to efficiently treat it. Unusual exhaustion and dizziness indicate anemia. Read more about anaemia here.

Vitamin Deficiency: Indian women are deficient in Vitamin D and B12. To lead a healthy life, it is important for you to check the status of your vitamins and take corrective action. A deficiency in Vitamin B12 for women who are planning for a pregnancy or are pregnant could result in serious consequences. Vitamin D is extremely critical to bone health and calcium absorption. We recommend all women to get their vitamin levels checked.

Blood pressure screening: This is an extremely important and an easy screening to perform. It is generally believed that BP screening needs to begin post 40s but this is a test that needs to be done every two years starting at age 18. This health screening involves wrapping a cuff around the arm and pumping it up tightly. Ideal blood pressure for women is less than 120/80 mmHg (millimeters of mercury).

Blood glucose tests: Women should get a blood glucose test every three years starting at age 45 to test for diabetes or pre-diabetes. Before age 45, you may need to have your blood glucose levels tested if you have symptoms of diabetes or several risk factors. Your blood sample can be taken and tested at your doctor’s office or a lab. The range of normal test results can vary, but generally a test result of 100 mg/dL or higher indicates pre-diabetes or diabetes.

Cholesterol check. Women should have their cholesterol checked at least periodically post 25. If the results are normal, the AHA recommends testing once in three years. This screening is important for decreasing your risk of heart disease and is a very simple blood test. The ideal level is below 200 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter) for total cholesterol.

Pap smears and pelvic exams: Recommended to begin at 21 or even earlier if you are sexually active, this is an important test to reduce risk of cervical cancer.  Cervical cancer is the second leading cause of death in women due to cancer and this can be entirely avoided by regular screening. . Barring any problems, women age 30 and older only need a Pap smear every three years if they have had three normal tests in a row.

Mammograms and breast exams: All prevention tests start early and so is Breast Cancer. A manual exam where a doctor tests for lumps and abnormalities is recommended starting around age 20 up to until 40. A mammogram is a screening test for breast cancer and involves applying moderate compression to the breasts so that X-ray images can be captured. Mammograms are done every one or two years beginning at age 40 as recommended by the American Cancer Society

Bone density screen: Women should start getting screened for osteoporosis with a bone density test at age 65. Women with risk factors for osteoporosis, such as having a slender frame or a fractured bone, should be screened earlier. For this test, you lie on the table while a scanning machine takes X-ray images of certain bones in your body. Healthy bones show a T-score (the measurement used to describe your bone density) of -1 or higher. The frequency of this health screening varies from woman to woman based on bone density and risk factors.

Colon cancer screening:  It is ideal to begin screening at age 50 and is typically performed once in five or ten years depending on the technique used. There are multiple screening tests for Colon Cancer, one of the traditional kind is called sigmoidoscopy, a procedure in which a lighted tube along with a camera are inserted through the anus to look at the lower part of the colon. While on the other hand, a colonoscopy involves a longer tube to examine the entire colon. With normal results, a flexible sigmoidoscopy needs to be repeated every 5 to 10 years and a colonoscopy only every 10 years. The non-invasive virtual colonoscopy is another option. People with a greater risk of colon cancer may need earlier or more frequent cancer screening tests.

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