With the second wave of the pandemic sweeping across the nation, many of us continue to be affected by the unpleasant sickness and the after effects. It is quite likely to be anxious with the Social Media University spreading irrational, non-scientific information and nerve-wracking media coverage around COVID-19. However, it is important to note that nearly 80-85% of coronavirus cases have mild disease and can be taken care of under home isolation. Not every COVID positive person requires oxygen support or hospitalization. What you just need to pay attention to is to take extra care of yourself, monitor oxygen levels, be in touch with a doctor, and get COVID-19 monitoring tests done as and when advised.

What are COVID Monitoring Tests?

As per various research and studies, a bunch of laboratory tests including blood parameters, inflammatory markers, coagulation parameters, liver enzymes, etc., gives an insight into the severity of COVID illness and can be used by your doctor as the prognostic indicators.

In simple words, these lab tests provide an overall picture of how COVID-19 has impacted your vital organs and normal body processes, how likely you are to develop moderate or severe disease, or need hospitalization, or have you already started getting better.    
Book a COVID Monitoring Profile and get tested at home.

Who might need COVID Monitoring Tests?

  • People with mild disease in early days of sickness to get the baseline values 
  • People with mild disease who continue to have symptoms beyond day 5-7 and doctor feels that the disease might be progressing
  • People with moderate or severe disease to be started on a treatment regimen
  • COVID suspect or positive people who continue to experience oxygen levels less than 93% 
  • People with severe disease before discharge
  • Any other conditions 

Please note that COVID monitoring tests can be required for both- people under home care or hospitalized. 

What tests are included under COVID Monitoring Profile?

Routine Blood Parameters

Research suggests blood markers like complete blood count (CBC), leukocytes, platelets, eosinophils, neutrophils-lymphocytes ratio (NLR), erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) correlate with disease severity in COVID. For example, COVID positive people are likely to have decreased levels of leukocytes and platelets. Similarly, NLR levels more than 3.5 (along with some other biomarkers explained below) might indicate that the disease is not mild.

Inflammatory markers

COVID-19 can evoke a serious hyperinflammatory response and cytokine storm, a cause of major concern. Hence, it is important to track certain biomarkers that can indicate towards systemic inflammation, chiefly including C-reactive protein (CRP), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and Interleukin-6 (IL-6). Of these, CRP seems to be the most important one in guidining therapy as per some experts. In general, a CRP level of less than 26 mg/L is considered a mild disease, levels between 26-100 mg/L indicate moderate COVID and more than 100 mg/L point towards severe COVID disease.

Please note that these markers get increased in case of any acute inflammation. So, it is important to rule out other causes or any secondary infection while taking the test results into account.

Cardiac, kidney, or Liver damage markers

Besides targeting your lungs, COVID-19 can also impact the other vital organs such as heart, liver and kidneys. In some of the study models, cardiac injury is significantly and independently associated with mortality. People with moderate or severe COVID illness have also been seen to have high creatinine and blood urea levels in some studies. It is all the more important to track the heart, liver and kidney related markers for people having comorbidities like heart disease, diabetes, or kidney disease.  

Coagulation parameters

Coagulation parameters include D-dimer, ferritin, prothrombin time, etc. As per research, D-dimer level is a reliable prognostic marker and increased D-dimer levels on admission are linked to patients needing critical care support.

About D-Dimer test

D-dimer is a small piece of protein that is made when a blood clot dissolves in your body ( through a process called fibrinolysis). Blood clotting is an important process. It prevents loss of blood when you are injured. Usually, once the injury is healed, the clot is dissolved by your body. But if someone has a blood clotting disorder, blood clots can form in absence of an obvious injury or they won’t go away. These clots can travel in the blood, block important blood vessels, and even prove life-threatening. A D-dimer test looks for D-Dimer levels in blood and is most often used to find out whether you have a blood clotting disorder. An excess of D-Dimer can indicate towards the activation of coagulation and following fibrinolysis.

COVID-19 is likely to induce clot formation. The presence of comorbidities is a risk factor too. D-dimer is commonly elevated in patients with COVID-19, especially in older people and those with comorbidities. These are high-risk groups that are likely to develop severe COVID-19 disease if infected.

Rule out the possibility of any derangement in these biomarkers with a single Metropolis COVID Monitoring Profile. Book Now. Always get your test results interpreted through a healthcare provider. Stay at home, stay safe. For all lab test-related needs, visit Metropolis.

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Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, is an essential nutrient required for maintaining health and wellness. It is both a nutrient you eat and a hormone your body produces when exposed to sunlight. This fat-soluble vitamin is notably responsible for calcium absorption in the body, thus improving bone mineral density. It also regulates cellular growth and supports the immune and neuromuscular functions in the body. Some studies suggest that vitamin D can help control infections and alleviate inflammation. In addition, there are claims that vitamin D can play a role in protecting you from diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and even depression.

Are you sure you are getting enough vitamin D in your diet? Check your vitamin D levels with a simple blood test in the comfort of your home.

Since vitamin D is involved in so many bodily functions, you cannot take a deficiency of vitamin D lightly. Lack of vitamin D can cause a plethora of conditions such as rickets, osteoporosis, osteomalacia, brittle bones, a weakened immune system, inflammation, muscle fatigue, and weakness. A lack of vitamin D can even affect your nervous system.

The Recommended Dietary Allowance of vitamin D for all Indian population, in general, is 400 IU (10 mcg) daily.* Some sources mention that for adults over 70, it should be 800 IU (25 mcg). Consult a doctor to help you understand how much vitamin D you need as per your sun exposure. For people who don’t or cannot spend a lot of time outdoors, it can be difficult to get enough vitamin D and doses might be higher. If you have concerns that you are not getting enough vitamin D from direct sunlight, consuming the following vitamin D-rich foods will help increase the overall amount of vitamin D in your body.

Here are 5 food groups that are rich in vitamin D:

1. Egg Yolks

Whole eggs are the healthy and wonderfully nutritious food, which you will ever find! Although most of us avoid eating egg yolks as they have historically gotten a bad rap for raising levels of bad cholesterol in the body. Skipping egg yolks in favor of egg whites will decrease your calorie and fat intake but you will be missing out on some of the protein, key nutrients such as choline, essential for brain development, and several of the minerals in yolks, such as selenium and zinc, which play a role in boosting your immune system. And you will be missing out on vitamin D, too. One large egg has 44 IU which is 6 % of your daily value. Eating up to 3 whole eggs is considered safe for a healthy adult. So, enjoy them in moderation.

2. Fatty Fish

Not only is fish a great option for protein but it is also rich in vitamin D. If you have vitamin D deficiency, it is mostly advised to eat fish on a daily basis. Fishes such as salmon, tuna, sardines, trout, hilsa, swordfish fish, and mackerel being good sources of healthy protein and omega-3 fatty acids, will be a great addition to anyone’s diet looking to get more vitamin D. Include fish in your dinner plate three times per week.

On average, 100 grams serving of salmon provides 988 IU of vitamin D, i.e., 124% of the daily value.

3. Milk and Milk Products

Vegetarians need not worry! Being an excellent source of calcium, milk is also rich in vitamin D. Hence, including a glass of cow milk in your breakfast meal can improve the vitamin D level in your body. It will not only boost your metabolism but also will ensure that you don’t feel worn out throughout the day. Full-fat milk has the maximum vitamin D content in it. Fat-soluble vitamins are lost when the fat is removed from the full-fat milk.

One cup of milk provides about 115–130 IU of vitamin D which is 15–22% a person’s daily requirement. Health experts and nutritionists also suggest that adding milk and milk products like yogurt, cheese, buttermilk, and butter to your daily diet may prevent you from many bone diseases.

4. Mushrooms

Mushrooms, a kind of superfood that packs vitamin punch, are the only good plant source of vitamin D. They are extremely nutritional, contain an array of vitamins and minerals. But not all mushrooms have the same amount of vitamin D, it varies depending on the type and variety of the mushroom. While commercially grown mushrooms are often grown in the dark, they don’t naturally offer a high amount of vitamin D, some are exposed to UV light, providing a larger dose of the vitamin as a result. A serving has 124-1,022 IU of vitamin D per 100 grams, depending on the amount of UV light the mushrooms are exposed to. So, it is always better to pick sundried mushrooms as they have higher vitamin D content.

If you are vegetarian or vegan, specific mushrooms may be an option. These vitamin-loaded mushrooms are really tasty and can be easily incorporated into your diet.

5. Fortified Foods

Natural sources of vitamin D are limited, especially if you are vegan or don’t like fish.

Fortunately, some food products are designed to add nutrients that don’t naturally occur in the product. Manufacturers add vitamin D to many commercially available food products. These foods are then described as being fortified with vitamin D, or other nutrients. Common fortified foods with extra vitamin D and other nutrients include:

  • cow’s milk
  • soy milk
  • almond milk
  • orange juice
  • yogurt
  • various breakfast cereals.

These foods might contain 54-136 IU per serving. But fortified foods can contain added ingredients, like sugar or saturated fats that make the product less healthy. So, it is important to look for products with no added sugar.

Eating plenty of these listed vitamin D-rich foods is a great way to get enough vitamin D. However, depending on a person’s dietary preferences, consuming enough vitamin D may be difficult. Remember to not overconsume as excess vitamin D can cause the body to absorb too much calcium, leading to an increased risk of kidney stones and heart disease.

We still suggest that the easiest way of getting your daily dose of vitamin D is spending time in the sun. Aim for 15-20 minutes of mid-day sun exposure at least twice per week. However, if this is not possible, vitamin D supplements like cod liver oil, maybe a beneficial choice.

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Have you found yourself in situations where the day you need to go out for a meeting or a party, a pimple pops up out of nowhere? It’s completely normal; there is a reason behind calling it common acne because everyone goes through an acne outbreak at some or the other point in life. If the pores on your skin get blocked due to excess oil, dirt, or dead skin cells, it leads to a pimple or zit, but if this repeatedly happens, it may lead to acne. Simply put, acne is a disease while pimple is just a symptom.

What causes acne?

Also known as acne vulgaris, this skin condition shows up in different levels of severity and size. Acne occurs when the sebaceous glands aka the oil glands attached to the hair follicles are stimulated either due to hormonal changes or at puberty. The glands secrete an oily liquid called sebum which keeps your skin lubricated and carries dead skin cells through the follicles. It is a natural substance that aids in skin lubrication, and if produced in excess, the skin cells mature and are disposed to plug the follicular pore. Too much oil produced by the follicles along with the dead skin cells can clump together into a clogged pore that blocks the follicles. These plugs can either be seen as whiteheads if they are covered with a thick layer of skin or as blackheads if exposed to air. The follicles become big giving rise to a bump and if tampered with, the wall of the follicle enlarges and ruptures leading to inflammation. If the inflammation is deep, it is called a cyst, which can be painful and embarrassing. A whitehead is different from a pimple in the way that pimples are small red tender bumps on the skin which have pus in them, while whiteheads are hair follicles that get clogged with sebum or dead skin cells or bacteria, but these are bumps visible usually on the back, neck or shoulders and are less painful than pimples.

Acne and hormonal imbalance

There are several factors that trigger acne, but the common is thought to be a rise in androgen levels, which elevate at the onset of adolescence or due to undying stress levels. An increase in androgen levels causes the oil glands under the skin to grow and produce more sebum. Excessive sebum can cause the breakdown of cellular walls in the pores, causing bacteria to accumulate.

Other possible triggers

  • Greasy cosmetics
  • The pressure exerted unknowingly from helmets, tight collars, straps or suspenders etc
  • Certain medications like lithium, or contain iodides, bromides or other steroids
  • Environmental irritants, such as pollution and high humidity
  • Squeezing or picking at blemishes
  • Chronic stress
  • Foods that are high in refined carbohydrates like bread, desserts made with white flour, rice, soda, and other sweetened beverages

Tests for acne

Acne is either diagnosed by visual check-up or if you want to find out the root cause or the source of these acnes, your doctor can advise hormone test during the menstrual cycle commencement. Some of these hormonal tests are:

Dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEA-S), a test done to keep a check on the working of the adrenal glands. –Sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), SHBG is a protein that is produced by the Liver. If the SHBG levels are low in a woman’s body, it might result in side effects such as acne and hirsutism. In order to increase the SHBG levels, one must regularly do aerobics or exercise and curtail their calorie intake.

According to the research findings, low SHBG and raised DHEA-S are the hormone changes most often seen in cases of severe acne.

Lipid profile test has now become a routine test to measure the level of certain lipids in the blood. It is widely used to predict cardiovascular risk by measuring four basic parameters: total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol and triglycerides which are usually carried out in a fasting blood specimen. Plasma HDL cholesterol of acne patients is likely to decrease as the severity of acne condition increases. Acne patients have significant changes in the plasma lipids profile that should be considered in the pathogenesis as well as in the treatment of acne.

Treatment of Acne

If you have severe pain causing acne that refuses to go over some days, it is best to see a dermatologist for a cure. Below are some ways in which acne can be treated:

  • Antibiotics and antibacterial- antibiotics are usually given for a short period of time to reduce inflammation and kill the bacteria responsible for causing pimples.
  • Prescription creams such as retinoic acid or benzoyl peroxide work to lessen oil production and also act as anti-inflammatory treatments for killing the acne-causing bacteria.
  • Women who suffer from hormonal acne might be prescribed spironolactone.
  • Other treatments include chemical peel, photodynamic therapy, oral medications, cortisone injections, etc.
  • Certain over-the-counter topical medications such as adapalene, salicylic acid come in the form of gels, lotions, creams, or soaps.

The first step when tackling acne is to analyze how severe the problem is. Most mild cases can be managed with some simple recommendations and over-the-counter products. Serious cases should be handled in the doctor’s office.

Self-caring for your skin

Be gentle with your skin. Pat your face dry with a soft, cool cloth and apply a mild cleanser, once in the morning and once in the evening. Use natural skin care and grooming products to avoid creating acne by inflaming the skin.

• Avoid the temptation to pick, squeeze or pinch at your blemishes, lest they may result in scars or dark blotches.

• Refrain from touching the face frequently

• Take proper care to avoid shaving over acne blemishes or shaving off the tops of pimples. In case of more serious inflammatory acne, or if shaving in itself seems to really irritate your acne, you might want to try using a beard trimmer.

If you have acne, don’t be embarrassed. Staying hydrated, maintaining a well-balanced diet, getting enough sleep and avoiding surfaces with germs like the screen of your phone, door knob, pillowcases or violin chin rests, are ways you can keep acne-causing bacteria at bay. While many people have different notions about acne and pimples reduction, following what the doctor has suggested or general measures like those mentioned above are the safest and the quickest ways to get rid of them and have spotless and clear skin!

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As the heat rises in summer, it becomes difficult for many of us to perform routine work as efficiently as earlier. Are you also someone who feels summer means just sitting in an air-conditioned room, being a couch potato and losing the best of your spirits? Do read this further! We have covered you with the most useful health tips for summer.

A range of health problems

Hot and humid summers usually bring with it a gamut of problems such as heat stroke, exhaustion, dehydration, skin problems like prickling, etc. The more time you spend in heat, the more it can have an effect on your body. But you cannot spend our entire day in an air-conditioned room or sitting in front of a fan. So, what should you do to reduce its health effects? Here you go:

Health Tips for Surviving Summer

The thumb rule: Stay hydrated

You must have noticed that we feel thirstier on the day it is hot. Have you ever wondered why this happens? Because heat makes you sweat. Sweat is basically your body’s response to regulate internal body temperature. However, this makes you lose water and you can feel dehydrated. Also, the more sweaty you get, the more tired you feel. Why do you feel tired due to sweating? Because it depletes the electrolytes from the body and drains your energy.
Staying hydrated is very important during summers as it ensures that the body functions properly. Can you make this hydration process tastier too? Opt for lemonade, watermelon juice, orange juice, etc. In this way you will get plenty of minerals along with fluid in the body.

Follow a light diet

In summer we eat less food because it may reduce hunger. It is crucial to eat regularly because your body needs more nutrients to fight the heat and keep you healthy. But don’t overeat. Try to take a light diet. Include vegetables like cucumber, gourd, pumpkin etc. in your diet. Try to avoid consuming too much of heavy, spicy recipes like chicken gravy, eggs and other animal proteins.

Take cold-water bath

The fastest and easiest way to get relief from the heat is to take a bath with cold water. But you cannot do it every little while. Keeping an ice pack on the neck can also be an alternative to reduce the body temperature. Not only this, wiping the face and feet with a wet cloth also gives relief from heat. Do not forget to wash your face and feet with cold water before sleeping at night. This will make you feel better and be ready to fight the heat for a few hours.

Wear light, cotton clothes

Try to avoid tight clothing in summers so that air can circulate throughout the body. Go for cotton clothes mostly as they absorb sweat and keep you cool. Absolutely hide synthetic clothes in the wardrobe in summer. Also avoid wearing dark coloured clothes. Because dark colors absorb more heat and make you feel uncomfortable.

Avoid exercising too much

First and foremost, note that exercise is a must for a healthy body and mind, and we are a supporter too! But do not overexhaust yourselves. Keep your post workout snacks ready after a good session. Instead of indulging in outdoor activities in the sun, you may shift to an indoor gym.

Maintain ventilation in your homes

Keep your windows open for a while and let the home breathe. On the days when the weather is very hot, drop the curtain so that the harsh rays of the sun do not enter the room. Too many electric bulbs and lights in the room can raise the room temperature to a little extent. Turn off as many lights as you can and only use the ones you need.

Try to stay indoors

The more you stay indoors in summer, the more you will be able to protect yourself from the heat. But staying indoors all the time is also difficult. So, plan your outing keeping the weather in mind. On the day when the weather is about to warm up, postpone your outing for some time. If you like to go for a walk, try to go early in the morning or after the sunset.

For healthy skin, keep cosmetics cool

You can keep your cosmetics like lotions and moisturizers in the refrigerator. You ought to feel refreshed every time you use it. Not just creams, you can also store your lipstick or facial wipes in the fridge. Cooled rose water also gives relief from heat. You can fill it in a spray bottle and keep it in the fridge. Sprinkle it directly on your face or use it in cotton wool to wipe your face. It will give instant relief from the heat.

Get health tests done on a routine basis

Summer can pose risk of several health complications, Food and water borne infections can be easily contracted. Make sure to not miss your routine health checkups. Now book your health tests from the comfort of your home and avail trustworthy Metropolis service.  

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Holi Safety Tips Metropolis Healhcare

The spring season is already here and Holi, the festival of colors, is ready to welcome the spring with colors, happiness, gujiyas, and warmth of relationships! But natural, organic colors being demoded, it brings along the fear of toxic colors, skin allergies, hair woes, respiratory troubles, and much more for many of you.

Make this Holi health wali with our top health packages, curated especially for you. Explore here.
 
While you gear up to play the second Holi amid the pandemic, we have curated quick, most practical tips to help you stay safe during Holi 2021. Here you go:

Holi Safety Tip #1

Most of the colors being sold and used these days during Holi contain toxic agents and chemical solvents. The scented dry color (gulaal) might even have glass particles. These chemical-laden and abrasive Holi colors when applied on your skin can cause rashes, minor cuts, allergies, and discoloration. Some people might even develop severe skin reactions like blisters. While you cannot enforce everyone to use organic Holi colors, the best way to protect your skin is to cover the skin as much as you can. Wear full sleeves clothes. Also, it is extremely important to prep your skin in pre-holi times. Apply coconut oil (or mustard oil) on the face and other exposed areas. This will form a protective shield on your skin against toxic colors. If you think you are getting severe skin problems while playing Holi, connect to a doctor. Do not apply any random homemade pack as it can do more harm than good.

People having oily skin can apply sunscreen on the skin in place of oil or thick moisturizers. In addition, prefer the sun blockage when you are going out in the sun for playing Holi. Feared that your sunscreen will block the UVB light and lower vitamin D levels? Please note that practically, very few people put on enough sunscreen to block all UV rays. You can opt for the morning sun rays before 10 am to fill your vitamin D stores.

Bonus Tip for Post Holi Skin Care
Apply a paste of curd and gram flour, or raw milk and gram flour on your skin (including face) after playing Holi. This not only helps take out the colors but naturally moistens the skin and improves its texture.

Holi Safety Tip #2

The Hair Guard
Simply shampooing your hair after Holi may not suffice since by then your hair and scalp have already been exposed to the harmful chemicals. Massage your hair and scalp generously with any hair oil before playing holi to protect them against any damage. Colors can make dry hair extra dry and prone to damage and breakage. Oiling will not only nourish them from inside but also grease them that helps take out the colors much easily.

Holi Safety Tip #3

Overeating is still a sin
Just when you were very well pursuing your weight loss journey and keeping your blood sugar levels in control, the yummy gujiyas get you derailed! This is extremely important for diabetics. It might be okay to have a bit depending on your health goals, but over consuming the sweets, snacks, and other delicacies can cause your blood sugar levels to overshoot. The festivals will come and go, but your good health is going to stay with you, helping you enjoy many more festivities coming across. Remember, it is important to keep track of your fasting and post meal blood sugar values so that you know where you stand and you don’t overdo the fun.

Holi Safety Tip #4

Your eyes are precious  
It is not uncommon to splash colors in the eyes while playing holi. Ensure to close your eyes when someone is applying colors on your face. The best way to protect your eyes during holi is to wear a sunglass. In case you get colors in your eyes, do not rub and immediately wash it off with plain running water. Apply tear drops to help clear any residues in forms of tears.

Holi Safety Tip #5

Breathe it right
As stated earlier, toxic agents and chemicals in the holi colors can cause an array of allergies. The symptoms can range from mild ones limited to skin like rashes and itching to moderate and severe ones involving lungs and other organs. You can experience sneezing, coughing and difficulty breathing. Please note allergic signs like breathing issues may demand urgent medical attention as you may not be able to assess the severity of an allergic reaction yourself. If you think your symptoms are severe and are worsening over time, reach out to an expert without delay.

Holi Safety Tip #6

Remember the new normal
The COVID-19 cases have seen a surge in the current time. New variants have been identified that are more infectious and might escape the immune system. Avoid large gatherings and celebrations with unknown people. Keep sanitizing your hands from time to time. Playing holi in smaller groups while following precautions can help you keep check on spread of the pandemic. It is far from over as yet, let’s be vigilant. If you develop any symptoms such as fever, cough, loss of smell, etc., get yourself tested for COVID-19 immediately and self-isolate while the results are awaited.   

We wish you a very Happy Holi!

Let this festival of colors wash away all your health issues and bless you with healthy body and mind. 

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debunking diabetets myths Metropolis Healthcare

Diabetes is a chronic condition that leads to high blood sugar (or glucose), causing a plethora of symptoms and predisposing to various other health conditions such as high blood pressure, kidney disease, etc. While diabetes is highly prevalent among the Indian population with around 72 million people affected, there remains a huge information gap around this condition. Being aware of the authentic scientific facts helps one take the right steps towards diabetes management and delay complications. 

Here we have provided science-based information on the top 5 myths around diabetes.

Myth: Once a diabetic always a diabetic

Fact: In the early stages, diabetes can almost be reversed if diet and exercise are taken care of, especially in young people. If your blood sugar is normal with no treatment, then the diabetes is considered to have gone away. Hence, you cannot say that once a diabetic always a diabetic. But remember that even when the blood sugars are controlled, the risk for diabetes always exists. The best thing is to keep following the lifestyle measures even after you have managed to get off the medicines.
Want to manage your diabetes well? Get your HbA1c test done regularly and track your blood sugar levels. 

Myth: If you have a family history of diabetes, you will always develop it in the future.

Fact: Having a family history of diabetes has a strong correlation to developing diabetes, but other risk factors such as age, being overweight, how much physical activity you get, and how healthy your diet also play a role. Apparently, many people think that family history is the only risk factor for diabetes, but the fact is even people with no family history of diabetes can develop it, and people having family history but following a healthy lifestyle may not develop diabetes in their lifetimes.
Think you can be at risk of getting diabetes due to your family history? Follow a healthful routine and keep an eye on your blood sugar numbers.

Myth: People with diabetes need to eat special foods.

Fact: Not at all! A healthy diet plan for people with diabetes is usually the same as the principles of healthy eating for anyone. A healthy eating plan includes lots of fiber-rich, low-on-carb vegetables, less sugar, whole grains in place of refined grains, healthy fats, and an abundance of proteins. Fruits like mango and banana can be eaten too. Just that you need to be a bit vigilant of the amounts of foods you consume.

Do not blindly trust packaged foods with special “diabetes-friendly” claims. They may still impact your blood sugar levels badly, be more expensive, and/or contain sugar alcohols that can have a laxative effect. It is important to be watchful of how your food impacts your blood sugar levels. Book a post-meal sugar test and get tested at your doorsteps.

Myth: Eating too much sugar can cause diabetes.

Fact: Diabetes is a complex disease that occurs due to many underlying factors. Though consuming an excess of refined sugar along with other risk factors may increase your risk of getting diabetes, eating too much sugar isn’t a direct cause of diabetes (both type 1 and type 2 diabetes). In fact, (most of) the food we eat is converted to glucose which our body cells use as fuel for energy. A hormone called insulin unlocks our cells and lets glucose get inside. Diabetes occurs when your body fails to produce enough insulin or makes no insulin at all. This leads to an excess of blood sugar in the blood as it cannot enter the cells to be utilized.

Myth: I use a blood glucometer at home, so an HbA1c test isn’t needed.

Fact: Having a blood glucometer and tracking a constant eye at your blood sugar is no doubt an extremely important step towards better diabetes care. However, it is equally important to get your HbA1c test done. HbA1c stands for glycated hemoglobin and it helps measure the average blood sugar levels for the past 3 months.
Your glucometer will test your sugar values at a particular point in time and the type of meal you had will affect the results at large. But, HbA1c won’t be affected by a one-time binge or unhealthy meal, so it will give more reliable results that can help your doctor get better insights into your diabetes status.

You do not need to fast for a glycated hemoglobin test. Book your test right away.        

Got more questions or doubts regarding diabetes? Let us know in the comments section below and we will apprise you with the expert answers in our next article. In the meantime, believe only in health experts and do not pay attention to just words of mouth that have no sound scientific reasons.

For all your lab test-related needs, explore Metropolis.

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Cholesterol

High cholesterol is a chronic condition that is extending its claws in India gradually. Recent studies have reported that 25–30% of urban and 15–20% of rural India are affected by high cholesterol.* Cholesterol is a fat-like substance found in all body cells. However, an excess or a disbalance of cholesterol values is a major contributor to compromised heart health, heart disease, and stroke. 

Want to cut your risk of heart disease? Then, it is mandatory to get tested and keep a track of your cholesterol levels.

Cholesterol travels within the body with the help of protein molecules, the combined molecule called lipoprotein (lipo: lipid or fats, in addition to protein). Majorly, cholesterol can be of two types, based on the type of protein that transports it through the bloodstream: 

  1. Low-density lipoproteins/ LDL cholesterol: Carries cholesterol from the liver into the blood, where it can stick to the blood vessels. As this kind of cholesterol is likely to build up, people often refer to it as “bad” cholesterol.
  2. High-density lipoproteins/HDL cholesterol: Carries the cholesterol in the blood back to the liver, where it is broken down. For this reason, HDL cholesterol is called “good” cholesterol.

A health goal worth achieving for every individual is to elevate levels of good cholesterol and control the rise in bad cholesterol. Book a lipid profile test and know the values. 

Role of diet in cholesterol

The diet, especially fats, we eat has a significant role in blood cholesterol values. Hence, it is of utmost importance to pay attention not only to what types of food we are consuming but also their quantities entering the body. Let’s learn the most important dietary dos and don’ts to follow if your cholesterol levels are high:

Dos

Watch the type of fat you consume: The dietary fats can primarily be of three types. Different types of fat impact your cholesterol levels differently:

  • Saturated fats: They instruct the liver to produce more bad cholesterol, hence their intake should be limited.
  • Unsaturated fats: Certain unsaturated fats can facilitate the reabsorption of bad cholesterol through your liver. Hence, it is a healthy type of fat that can help reduce bad cholesterol.
  • Trans fats: These fats are produced by an artificial process called hydrogenation, and they might also harm your good cholesterol levels.

Fried and packaged foods often contain trans fats. In addition, refined oil, ghee, etc contain saturated fats. Add more sources of unsaturated fats to your diet. Foods like nuts, dry fruits, and seeds are rich in unsaturated fats. Choose healthful fats to lower bad cholesterol levels while maintaining good cholesterol levels.

Please note that a completely fat-free diet can also be harmful because it would impair normal nerve and brain function, and can cause inflammation.

Fibers for a healthy heart: Fiber can be of two main forms: soluble and insoluble. Many foods contain both forms. At large, the more natural and unprocessed the food, the higher is its fiber content. While insoluble fiber is pivotal for gut health, soluble fiber binds to cholesterol in the blood and helps remove it through feces. Fiber-rich foods have the added benefit of controlling blood sugar levels as well. Include more peas, broccoli, spinach, carrot, pear, oranges, strawberries in your diet. Eat plenty of vegetables. Note that there is no fiber in meat, milk products, or sugar.

Use healthy oils for cooking: Mustard oil is a healthier option as it remains stable at high temperatures usually used in Indian cooking. Olive oil is rich in healthy fats too. But limit its usage in salad and dressings, and avoid using it for cooking Indian recipes. Refined oils usually contain more saturated fats.

Consume healthy protein sources: Limit unprocessed red meat. Select lean meat (trimmed of fat, and poultry without skin). Including protein-rich foods like fish, eggs, legumes (such as beans and lentils) in your diet keep you full and helps you avoid munching on unhealthy fatty snacks.

Dont’s

Restrict takeaway foods to once a week: Fast food and readymade processed items such as pastries, bread pakodas, burgers, pizza, chips, etc are usually made of unhealthy cheese and rancid oil. Eating them too frequently can hurt your cholesterol levels drastically. Consult with your doctor about how often you can consume outside food.

Limit salt in daily food and snack: Limiting salt won’t decrease your cholesterol levels directly, but it can help maintain blood pressure levels and decrease your risk of heart diseases. Both high cholesterol and high salt intake can increase blood pressure, and predispose to heart attacks and strokes. Even if you have not been diagnosed with high blood pressure, you should eat less salt.

Along with a healthy diet, make sure to get your cholesterol tested regularly. It is important to track so that you know the measures are taking are working well for you. 

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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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what will you skin say to you blog

Just like our stomach growls to let us know that we are hungry, similarly, our skin too talks to us to let us know how healthy or unhealthy it is.  We often tend to ignore the vital signs that our skin wants to tell us. It’s just like a plant that needs constant care and nourishment to grow and remain healthy. A lot of us don’t take care of our skin the way we should, either because we are too busy or occupied in our day-to-day lives, are very lazy to listen to the damaging signs that our skin shows or we are unaware of how we can actually take care of our skin. All those dryness and roughness is our skin telling us to look after it and nourish it soon before it gets too late. We readily buy skincare products but do we actually understand how to use them? Do we really need a skincare routine?

Listen to your skin talk!!

When we follow a strict or for that matter a good skincare routine, it shows on our skin, our skin thanks us in many ways; it starts to glow, and the result? Well, we can just put aside all the hefty makeup to cover our skin as it does the trick for us automatically without having to use ten different creams and foundations to cover it up. You will be glad to show off your skin daily, but all it takes is a little effort from your side for healthy and beautiful skin. Every acne, or that fine line is a communication message our skin is trying to reach us with. While this may sound new and surprising, it is factual as our body works as an entire ecosystem. Whatever happens inside the body gets reflected outside. For example, if you lack enough red blood cells, your skin appears pale and washed out. Another example what most of you will find relatable is, if we get acne or pimples, it is our skin telling us that some hormonal imbalance or blood sugar levels have been compromised. Common hormonal imbalances that can affect skin include deranged levels of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). When we feel hot, we sweat profusely, why? It is our body’s way of telling us to cool down by secreting excess heat. Also,, it is crucial to take extra care of facial skin and dry skin areas by following a daily skin care routine at home, especially during seasonal changes.

Encrypt what your skin says

  • Acne/Hair fall/hair thinning– faulty lifestyles in today’s generation have led to increase in body fat which in turn causes insulin resistance. This can lead to raised androgens (testosterone) levels- hormones that start to act on our body thereby causing acne and hair fall.
  • Recurring boils– white spots or patches visible on the skin are warning signs that something is not right with your skin. If the bad bacteria i.e. the pathogenic bacteria start to invade, it reflects poorly on your skin. This can be due to the excsessive use of antiseptic soaps or due to staying damp/wet for a long period of time. They might kill the good bacteria and pave way for the bad ones to grow.
  • Cold sores– those blisters that pop up every now and then are a consequence of too much stress, being sick for long, harmful exposure to the sun, etc. A common cause is herpes virus and at times can be very painful too.

Go that extra mile for your skin

When you put in a little effort and energy towards making your skin better, it will reciprocate with the same love and energy. Feel more healthy from within and present yourself more beautifully and energetically. If you have to start taking care of your skin from today, start from the natural and easy ways. There’s nothing like following a skincare routine at home, especially during this COVID pandemic. Start by exercising often if not daily at the least 2-3 days a week. It is important for you to be in good health, once you start exercising, it will increase your oxygen and blood flow to help carry all the essential nutrients to all the cells in your body. It will also aid in the elimination of waste materials from the body.

The other important factor to keep your skin in check is to drink plenty of fluids. Natural drinks like coconut water can work wonders for your skin in no time. All the dryness visible in the form of white flakes on the elbow or knees is your skin telling you to drink more and more water and remain adequately hydrated.

Another easy natural remedy is the regular consumption of vitamin C; plenty of vitamin C can be found in leafy vegetables and fruits. Lemon, oranges, kiwis, broccoli, etc should be consumed to get the required dose of vitamin C for your skin. People who get up early for walking or exercising get the best sunlight, which is an excellent source of vitamin D for your body. Get that sun on your body during early morning hours as it acts as a natural source of vitamin D. While vitamin D is essential, one should be wary of the harmful UV rays that can damage your skin and body, hence always wear a good sunscreen (with adequate sun protection factor) before stepping out.

These are just some basic ways in which you can listen to your skin and take care of it. All these will do their work eventually but it must be You who should be willing to put in the hard work for yourself. You need not spend lavishly on your daily skincare routine, just understand when your skin is trying to speak to you, pay heed to the signs it displays, and work towards repairing it. 

Make sure you are in a healthy relationship with your skin, and fully committed to protecting and nourishing your skin!

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food allergy food intolerance Metropolis Healthcare

Ever had gastric discomfort after eating a particular food item and claimed it as a food allergy? Then, you just need to rethink! Discomfort due to a food item may mean you are sensitive or intolerant to that food, and not allergic. Feel perplexed what is the difference between food allergy and food intolerance? And more importantly, should you know it? Well, yes. Both these conditions are different and you must know whether you are allergic or intolerant/ sensitive to food since they have different symptoms and how you need to manage it will also vary. Did you know there is a simple test that can check food intolerance? Book a food intolerance test and know for yourself.

Food allergy Vs. Food intolerance

Food allergy means your body identifies a certain substance in a food item as an intruder and reacts by making antibodies against it. This is an immune system response. On the other hand, food intolerance is a relatively simpler condition where your body is unable to digest a certain food. It might occur due to a lack of enzymes that are needed to breakdown that food (or a particular substance in that food). Your immune system is nowhere involved in this. 

Symptoms and their significance

Food intolerance results in gut-related symptoms including bloating, stomach ache, constipation, nausea, etc. Also, the symptoms are usually dependant on the amount of food eaten. In case you are intolerant to peanuts- the more peanut you consume, the more discomfort you experience. This implies if you are intolerant to a food item you really relish, you can restrict the amount eaten and enjoy the taste with very mild or even no symptoms at all.
Food allergy causes symptoms like any other allergy which may include skin rashes, itching, swelling, etc. in addition to gut problems, and can even lead to a more severe reaction (called anaphylaxis),. This severe reaction can cause a drop in blood pressure, loss of consciousness, etc., and needs immediate medical care. If you are allergic to a food, even consuming the smallest amount of that food (or at times, even touching the food item) can give you the symptoms. So you need to completely take out the food from your diet. 

Food allergy or food intolerance: Which is more common?

Food intolerances are more common than food allergies, as per the British Allergy Foundation. Speaking of food allergy, while any food can be a trigger, some of the common triggers for a food allergy include the following:

Triggers in children:
-Eggs
-Milk
-Peanuts

Triggers in adults:
-Peanuts and tree nuts
-Fishes
-Fruit and vegetable pollen

Can food allergies go away on their own?

Many people with food allergies wonder if their condition is permanent. There is no definitive answer. While allergies to milk, eggs, wheat, and soy may disappear over time, allergies to peanuts, tree nuts, and fish can stay lifelong. It is noteworthy that children can outgrow food allergies to milk and eggs.

Can food allergies develop as an adult?

Although most food allergies appear in people when they are young, they might develop in adults as well. The most common food allergies that affect adults are shellfish, fish, and peanuts. Some adults might ignore symptoms such as vomiting or diarrhea as food poisoning. Make sure to pay close attention to symptoms and don’t miss the crucial hints. It can get people at risk if they continue to eat the food.

Tips to prevent food reactions

  • Know your triggers and avoid them: The best way to avoid getting the symptoms is to know what foods you are allergic or intolerant to. Now how do you know it? Usually, most people only know it after repeated exposure and developing symptoms. If you doubt having a food reaction, you can maintain a food diary, watch back and correlate your meals and foods with days you had got symptoms. If you are allergic to a food, completely avoid it.

  • Get yourself tested: A food intolerance test is an easy way to know if you could be intolerant to a certain food. If you know it, you can skip eating that and get rid of the discomfort.

  • A little caution while eating out: If you have to eat out, make sure to ask the staff that no item in your order has any of the substances you are sensitive to. The cutlery should be also clear of any food remnants.

  • Check product labels carefully: While getting pre-packed foods, make sure to double-check the product label. Even if it is your repeated purchase, recheck labels as the manufacturers might add new ingredients in the old formulations.

  • Keep an action plan ready: Consult your doctor on what you need to do in case you get exposed to a food substance you are allergic or intolerant to. He might prescribe medicines to take in case of any health emergency (related to food allergy, food intolerance has very less chances of needing emergency care).
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