Home remedies for Dandruff

Do you often see pesky white flakes on your shirt or find your scalp itchy? Do you see your washbasin/sink filled with flocks of hair? Watch out, as these can be the signs of dandruff on your head. Irrespective of age or gender, it can be found in both men and women and is not something you should take lightly.

Dandruff is a common condition that can be found in the hair all year round and is the result of a dry and itchy scalp. Often caused by the overgrowth of a fungus, Malassezia, it especially becomes evident during winter as the scalp is unable to get enough moisture and becomes dry. Malassezia feeds on the sebum i.e the oily substance secreted by the glands on the scalp. And when this fungus feeds on the sebum, it breaks into fatty acid that causes irritation on the scalp.

Confused about what is causing you an itchy scalp?

Dandruff should not be taken lightly as it denotes a microinflammation, which might be easily overlooked as there are no readily observable symptoms. Apart from dry and itchy scalp, there are a few other causes of dandruff which are:

  • Prolonged period of stress
  • Parkinson’s or illness such as eczema
  • Harsh or irregular brushing
  • Lack of nutrients such as vitamin B12
  • Unadvised or irregular use of hair care products
  • Pollution and heat

You are more likely to have dandruff if your scalp feels oily or your hair looks greasy at most times. At times you may also experience intense itching even when the scalp does not feel dry. In extreme cases, it can show up severe itching and worsened flakes over time or as large areas of redness or swelling on the scalp.

Many of you resort to using multiple antidandruff products to get rid of the problem temporarily, but do you know there are several effective and easy-to-implement home remedies that can help you save that money you spend on hair care products?

Some effective home remedies for dandruff are:

  • Coconut oil and lemon:

Coconut oil is something that everyone’s grandmother advices. Its antifungal properties can provide a great relief from itchiness and dry scalp. Combine equal amounts of coconut oil and lemon juice and massage the mixture on your scalp. Keep it for about 10-15 minutes and rinse your hair thoroughly. This will not only help you get rid of dandruff but also boost hair growth and nourishment. Make sure to preheat the oil in winter as it tends to freeze easily in colder temperatures.

  • Yogurt:

The lactic acid in yogurt helps reduce dandruff and the protein in it strengthens your hair from its roots. It is a treasure trove of friendly bacteria and helps prevent flaking of the scalp area. Apply a layer of fresh yogurt on the scalp and hair. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes and rinse with lukewarm water and dry. You can try adding black pepper to yogurt since that is also loaded with anti fungal properties.

  • Neem:

Using freshly grounded paste made of neem leaves for skin problems dates back to the ancestral times. Because of its antibacterial, anti fungal and antimicrobial properties, it is a simple cure for dandruff and itchiness.
Alternatively, you can simply boil some fresh neem leaves, let it cool and rinse your hair with that water.

  • Aloe Vera:

A panacea for all type of skin problems, Aloe Vera alleviates flakiness and skin irritation, acts as a natural coolant and makes your scalp itch free and cool. Aloe Vera has certain anti fungal properties that helps treat recurring dandruff and cleanses dead skin for regeneration of fresh cells.
Apply aloe vera gel on your scalp, leave for about half an hour and later wash your hair with a mild shampoo.

  • Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV):

ACH works as a natural hair cleanser and unclogs pores and hair follicles. Its acidic nature helps remove dead skin cells on the scalp, prevents the growth of fungus and restores the pH balance of your scalp.
Simply make a mixture using 2 tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar in a cup of cold water and rinse your hair after shampooing. Let it settle for two minutes before washing it off. To get the best results, it can be used once a week.

  • Salt:

Salt can absorb excess oil on your scalp, making it itchy and irritable. Oily scalp is also the reason for pimples on the forehead and hence it is best to treat dandruff at home as quick as possible.
Just add a pinch of salt to your usual shampoo and apply on your hair. Massage it gently in circular motions all over your scalp and exfoliate. Leave it for a minute or two and wash with lukewarm water.

  • Olive oil and Vinegar:

Olive oil acts as a natural conditioner for hair, and being lightweight, applying it on hair doesn’t weigh them down. Combined with acetic properties of vinegar, the mixture guards the scalp from fungal infection and at the same time improves blood circulation.

Mix 1 teaspoon olive oil with 2 teaspoon of vinegar. Apply the mixture evenly on hair and massage the scalp for 5 minutes. Wash it with antidandruff shampoo and apply a conditioner for best results.

Apart from these quick home remedies to treat dandruff at home, there are other certain tips that can prove beneficial in reducing flakiness and dryness of the scalp.

  • Try to avoid eating too much sugar, fats and carbs
  • Avoid using styling tools too often as any kind of artificial heat can cause irreparable damage and precipitate dandruff
  • Don’t scratch your scalp often
  • Shampoo your hair 2-3 times a week to loosen the dead skin from the scalp
  • Brush your hair often to improve blood circulation in the scalp

Following a balanced and a healthy hair care routine can help reduce dandruff to a huge extent. However if you see no relief, and the itchiness or dryness still persists, you should consult a doctor for seborrheic dermatitis, a fungal infection on your scalp.

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While working in a full-time office role, Jitin made sure to take small bursts of movement by taking stairs, taking a stroll along the office premises after lunch, and walk to his colleagues for that short discussion. But when the work from home started, his movements started to flunk. He only recognised that it is time to get back to a healthier routine when chronic back pain and digestion problems started to impact his daily routine.  

If you are also one of those people who feel that 2020 badly affected their physical and mental health, take a step back and think, are you motivated enough to make 2021 the healthiest year of your life? Echoed a “Yes” from your inside? Then do read further to know how to have a healthy and happy new year in a true sense. 

Here are 6 things you certainly need to do to get healthier than ever in 2021:

  1. Do not forget the pandemic isn’t over yet
    First things first. If 2020 was about survival, 2021 is going to be about endurance. We have to make sure that we continue keeping all the precautions needed to save yourselves from COVID-19. Stay at least 6 feet from other people who are not from your household in both indoor and outdoor spaces. Avoid crowds. Do wear masks while you are heading out for a public place. And, do not ignore COVID-19 testing if you or a loved one show symptoms of the infection. Also, wash your hands often.

  2. Redefine exercise and workout
    You certainly do not need to hit the gym for achieving your exercise goals. Just invest a little bit of time with yourself. Analyze if you really like working out indoors or outdoors. Pick up one activity you absolutely love and pair your daily dose of exercise with that. You can listen to your favorite podcast while using the treadmill at home, or you can do stretching exercises while cooking that recipe you love.

  3. Set a health goal and track it 

Setting goals hold relevance not only in professional life but also in personal day-to-day life. You must know what you are aiming for. This goal or health number need not always be a weight loss goal. The idea is to feel healthier and stronger inside out. It can be having a healthy hemoglobin count, achieving better blood sugar values, or getting your cholesterol levels on track.

  1. Give enough importance to your health
    The previous year has taught us about the importance of a healthy body and mind. Let’s embrace this learning and carry it forward this year too. Ensure to take loads of immunity-boosting foods, avoid eating junk food items, do not ignore any of the symptoms that might be causing unknown harm to your body, and very important, check with your doctor and know about how frequently you should take a complete body health test. Do not be one of those who only take a health test when something is wrong. Take control and look for health test packages that are curated to suit your age requirements in advance.

Amid the fast-paced life and sedentary routine, it has become quite common to fall prey to lifestyle-related conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol levels. Regularly seeing your doctor and getting health tests done can help detect potential health issues before they become chronic conditions and allow you take right steps well within time. You can get the right treatment quickly and avoid any complications.

  1. Prepare to fail. It is part of succeeding
    Your mental health needs attention too. Do not punish yourself if you missed sticking to a new routine- whether it’s eating less sugar or learning something new at the job. Mental health experts say the key is to accept failure as a part of the process. Acknowledge the fact that at some point you might mess up, things might not fall in the right place. Just keep patience, get back to taking steps toward your goal, and don’t beat yourself up.

  2. Get enough sleep
    Adults need at least 7 hours of sleep per night. For a healthier sleep, be consistent. Go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning, including on the weekends. What happens when you don’t get enough sleep? Sleep not only affects your productivity and emotional balance but your brain and heart health, immune system, creativity, vitality, metabolism and weight also. No other activity imparts so many benefits with so little effort! Make sure to keep your cellphones aside at least 1 hour before you hit the bed. The blue light from screens interferes with quality sleep and disrupts your sleep schedule.

The final message
No doubt 2020 had been tough for many of us, but not giving up to the hardship is what we humans are known for! Let us convert the negative experiences into positive light, and welcome 2021 with an energized spirit, where we all and our loved ones enjoy good health- both physical and mental.  

Wish you a very happy and happy new year 2021! May you be the healthiest version of yourself, this year.

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Thyroid test symptoms Metropolis Labs

Your body has several glands to perform various body functions. The thyroid is a small gland located at the front of the neck, right at the spot where a bow tie would rest. It makes two types of thyroid hormones: triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). It helps your body maintain its metabolic rate, and do numerous other things, including getting energy from food, growing, and going through sexual development.

Thyroid tests

The thyroid blood tests (also called thyroid panel) are simple lab tests that check if your thyroid is functioning right or not. In people who have already been diagnosed with thyroid problems, the tests are used to monitor and guide treatment.

Types of thyroid blood tests

  • T4 test: This test measures the levels of the hormone T4 (thyroxine) in your blood. It might be done in one or both of the following ways: Total T4, which measures the total amount of thyroxine in the blood. This includes the amount of T4 attached to blood proteins, which help the hormone move through the bloodstream; and free T4, which measures only the amount of free thyroxine that is not attached to blood proteins.
  • T3 test: This test measures the level of another major thyroid hormone. It again can be of two types: T3 totaI and free T3.
  • TSH test: A thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) test is the most significant tool, in a way, to tell how well the thyroid is working. If you have any problem related to the thyroid gland and it prevents the gland from making enough thyroid hormone, another gland, called the pituitary gland, releases more TSH into the blood. If the thyroid is making too much thyroid hormone, the pituitary releases less TSH, which means less TSH levels in the blood.
  • Thyroid antibodies test: There is one thyroid condition, called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, which is an autoimmune condition. This means the body’s own immune system attacks the thyroid gland. A test that checks for high levels of antibodies helps detect this condition. Antibodies are a sign of the immune system going awry and attacking the thyroid gland. Generally, two types of thyroid antibodies are measured: thyroglobulin antibodies (TgAb) and thyroid peroxidase antibodies (TPO).


Symptoms and Diagnosis

  • A high TSH level most often means you have low thyroid hormone levels in the blood (condition is called hypothyroidism), or an underactive thyroid. This implies that your thyroid isn’t making enough hormones. As a result of which the pituitary gland has to make and release extra TSH into your blood to stimulate the thyroid gland.
  • A low TSH level usually means you have high thyroid hormone levels in the blood (condition is called hyperthyroidism), or an overactive thyroid. This implies that your thyroid gland is making excess hormones, and that is why the pituitary gland has reduced or stopped making and releasing TSH into your blood.
  • A high T4 level may mean you have hyperthyroidism. A low level of T4 may mean you have hypothyroidism.
  • If the TSH levels are elevated, T4 levels are normal to low, and T3 levels are normal, it might indicate early hypothyroidism.

In some cases, high or low T4 levels may not mean you have thyroid problems since the levels might be affected due to factors such as pregnancy, certain medicines (oral contraceptives, corticosteroids, etc), severe illness, and other health problems. Basically, these conditions and medicines alter the number of proteins in your blood that “bind,” or attach, to T4.

Please note that your doctor is the best guide to interpret your thyroid test results and suggest the diagnosis.


Hypothyroidism
If your thyroid is underactive, it makes too little thyroid hormone, which leads to hypothyroidism. Your body’s metabolic rate goes down and it uses up energy more slowly. Symptoms include tiredness, feeling cold, constipation, dry skin, infrequent menses or absent periods in women, and slow height growth in children.

Hyperthyroidism
If your thyroid is overactive, it releases too much thyroid hormone, which leads to hyperthyroidism. Your body’s basal metabolic rate goes up and it uses up energy more quickly than it should. Symptoms include sweating, trembling, weight loss, diarrhea, irregular menses or (increased bleeding which might also occur) in women, and fast heartbeat.


Why you may need a thyroid test?

It is not uncommon to have hypothyroidism and still being unaware of the condition. It might take some time for symptoms to be noticeable. Regular thyroid screening helps get diagnosed on time and seek early treatment. It is more important to get tested if thyroid conditions run in your family. The more family members that have thyroid disease, the higher the chances the person will experience a thyroid disease.

Moreover, women of all ages are more likely than men to have low thyroid hormone levels.

If you’re 60 or older, it’s a good idea to check with your doctor to see whether your medical history suggests you might benefit from getting testing for thyroid levels.



What you can do

If you seem to have any of the symptoms of low or high thyroid levels, talk to your doctor and get tested as advised. Do not ignore any health symptoms. Getting the right treatment can help you get complete control of your thyroid-related symptoms.

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winter exercise ideas Metropolis Healthcare

Did you just get started with your daily workout routine, but finding exercising completely impossible during this chilly time of the year? Feel like pulling up the blanket and not move even an inch unless that move is within your cozy bed? Ha ha! This is certainly not new for most of us. However, what makes achievers achieve their fitness goals is a little motivation and few simple hacks to stay active in winter.

It’s important to exercise in winter 

Exercising in winter might appear difficult. But, there are enough reasons why you should not give up on your workout during chilly winter. First and foremost, exercise improves your blood circulation and helps keep the body maintain a comfortable temperature inside. There is no heat and humidity, so you can exercise even longer and gain most out of the winter workout! Even a simple walk in the sunlight helps you get a daily dose of vitamin D. Also, amid COVID-19, staying active is quintessential for keeping your immunity intact to fight infection-causing germs.

Here are 6 simple tips for staying active in winter and beat inactivity:

  1. Check the mirror and play a mind game with yourself

    As per few global surveys, people tend to gain 2.25 to 3.15 kg on an average during the winter months. Remind yourself that it is easy to hide that belly fat under sweaters and loose fitting sweatshirts, but summers will be back in some 2-3 months and that will no more be easy! Your mind will keep reminding you about this and make you move more. Remember, it’s not about the few kilos you put on, it’s about the extra load you aimed to take off! 

  2. Bring exercise indoors

    You may not feel comfortable to exercise outside during the winter months. Opt for workouts you can do indoors, and also stay active and warm. You can walk up and down the stairs for 10-15 times in one go and repeat this twice to thrice a day. Join a community dance class or work out to a video at home. If you love to dance, just move around on that groovy music track you love. The most important part of an exercise routine is to find pleasure in it and enjoy it too. If you’re having fun, you are more likely to stick with exercise.
  1. Remove layers as you heat up

    It is common to put on too many layers during winter. The mistake that most people make is to not peel them off in time. Exercising helps your body get considerably warm. Remember that it is time to discard the layers to feel comfortable as soon as you feel your body temp is at about baseline. If you get cold later after finishing up, you can put it back on.

    The intensity of exercise will affect how many layers you need. If you chose to run, you might need fewer layers than if you are a walker. The faster you move, the more body heat you produce. Keep in mind that you should always choose a workout that your body can feel comfortably with. A mild pain is common when you are just getting started. However, if you continue to feel lethargic and uncomfortable, consult your doctor. Scheduling a full body health check-up is a great way to know what might be causing the fatigue.  

  2. Don’t let a lack of time get you down

    You might have a very busy schedule, but remind yourself that exercise does not have to take long. Weave movement in your daily chores. There are many simple ways to increase your physical activity. When your favorite song comes on the radio, dance for a minute or two. While you’re brushing your teeth, walk a bit and tighten the muscles in your bottom and thighs during spitting out. Get up and stretch on your sides every 2-3 hours.

  3. Seek out a workout partner or group
     
    When you exercise with a partner or group, you are more likely to be regular with exercising due to social pressure. You will have to show up because they’re there, waiting for you, even if it is so chilly outside. Exercise partners motivate you and also build a competitive mindset that lets you never skip a workout session.

  4. Get yourself a fur friend

    When it comes to getting fit in the most enjoyable way, your best workout buddy might just be your furry friend! You might not be in the habit of morning walk, but it’s so hard to deny those cute eyes, it won’t let you wimp out if it is drizzling! They will wait by your walking sneakers, and tail wagging. Their habit can be enough to change your lazy winter nature.

These great winter workout tips don’t require you to brave the cold or the pandemic. Just make your mind that exercising in winter isn’t that tough! 

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5 effective ways to deal with hair fall in the winter

With the onset of winter, it’s not surprising to see yourself losing a lot of hair in the shower than you normally do. Just as your skin health is cyclical based on the changing seasons, as is the hair loss you’re likely to suffer during winter. Excessive hair loss in winter is largely due to the dry air outside that sucks out all the moisture from your scalp, and makes it dry. A dry scalp leads to dry hair, which in turn results in hair damage, breakage, and hair loss. A dry scalp also leads to dandruff, which makes your head feel itchy and unhealthy. This, along with arid air, can cause a significant amount of hair fall in the winter.

Even those with the healthiest of hair have their set of challenges this time of the year. If you’re wondering what you can do to make sure your hair doesn’t fall out or break in the colder months of the year, read on to discover what you can do to stop hair loss in winter!

Follow these 5 tips for effectively reducing hair fall in the winter:

1. Oil massages

There’s nothing like a good scalp massage for your hair in the winter. This helps increase blood circulation to your scalp, which helps strengthen the hair follicles from within.

Warm up 2-3 teaspoons of olive oil or almond oil and massage it slowly on the scalp to help it penetrate deep down the hair roots. For deep conditioning, you can apply the oil on the length of your hair too. Besides being extremely soothing, oil massages are a great way to provide your hair and scalp with the right vitamins needed to fight the winter winds. Regularly massaging your hair with oil is essential to maintain its strength and shine, improve blood circulation and ensure good nourishment for your hair cuticles. Keep an eye on your vitamin B levels as vitamin B12 promotes healthy hair growth.

To get rid of dandruff, take some oil and mix some amount of camphor and apply to your scalp. Camphor works as an antiseptic and helps in reducing the dryness of your scalp and preventing itchiness.

2. Look for the actual cause of hair fall

From stress to nutritional deficiencies, simple daily habits of yours can add to your winter-related hair fall. Consult a hair specialist (trichologist) to help you keep your strands lustrous and healthy. Your doctor can recommend you certain health tests to understand your health numbers and blood parameters. A complete blood picture can help your doctor rule out systemic diseases that might be causing your hair and scalp’s condition. Book blood test now.

3. Eat healthy and stay hydrated

Unhealthy diets coupled with lack of essential vitamins, minerals and other hair nutrients in your diet can result in hair loss. Vitamin A stirs up healthy production of sebum in the scalp, vitamin E stimulates blood circulation in the scalp to help hair follicles remain productive and vitamin B helps in maintaining the hair’s health. Poor diet coupled with nutritional deficiencies inhibits your body’s ability to create new hair follicles. Ensure you consume sufficient green meals and proteins as required in cold weather. Eating lean meats, curd, fish, soy or other proteins promotes hair growth and keeps a check on hair loss.

Think you are not taking enough care of your health? Book a health check up now.

Besides, water is the magic potion that we all need to stay hydrated from within in this dry winter weather. Drink plenty of water and keep your hair well hydrated. This will prevent split ends and brittle hair, nurturing shiny, radiant hair.

4. Use the right kind of hair products as per your hair type

You use a plethora of hair products including hair oils, shampoos, conditioners, and hair masks. Choosing the right hair product that suits your hair needs is a critical part of preventing hair loss. For example, if you have dry hair, opt for products that offer deep conditioning.

Moisturising with a conditioner is a key hair care routine step which is skipped way too often. It is in fact the most crucial step in winters. Conditioning works wonders on your hair’s outermost layer, the cuticle for it to look healthy and shiny. By conditioning after every wash, you ensure that the cuticle serves its purpose as the protective shield that it’s meant to be. While buying, look for a conditioner with cetyl alcohol as it is considered as a good moisturizing agent.

In addition to this, a deep conditioning hair mask is a great way to keep your hair hydrated, and prevent it from drying out and becoming dull and lifeless. Natural home-made hair packs for winter hair care give you shiny hair and can be applied once or twice a week.

To start with hair care at home, take a mashed banana and egg and mix well to form a paste. Add a few drops of lemon along with a Vitamin E capsule and blend well using a blender. Apply this paste from roots to tips of your hair and wait for 30 minutes before washing it off with a mild shampoo.

You can even use a natural aloe vera gel and add a few drops of lemon juice along with one tablespoon of olive or coconut oil. Apply this mixture well from root to the hair tips. Wait for 30 minutes. Use a mild shampoo and cold (preferably) or lukewarm water to rinse your hair.

5. Avoid taking hot shower

Avoid taking prolonged hot showers or head wash in hot water. Too much heat can damage your hair. Instead, opt for lukewarm water while taking a head bath.

Also, try limiting the use of curling irons or blow dryers. The less you’ll deal with these heat styling tools, the better off your hair will be. If you style your hair too often, use a hair protection spray before experimenting.

All set to control hair fall in winter?

Make these tips a regular routine for your winter hair care and make great hair with great care! This winter, bid adieu to all your hair woes and leave all those bad hair days behind.

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Caring for your Elderly loved one at Home

Aging is a normal physiological process. However, body organs also age with the advancing age, and their functioning keep declining. Old age is also a sensitive phase. Elderly people need care and comfort to lead a stress free and healthy life. Caring for the elderly at home is a responsibility that needs you to know about elderly care solutions and take informed decisions.   

Elderly care amid COVID-19

The WHO has informed us about old age and COVID-19. The risk of getting severe COVID-19 and getting hospitalized increases with increasing age. For example, people in their 50s are at higher risk for severe illness than people in their 40s. Similarly, people in their 60s or 70s are, in general, at higher risk for severe illness than people in their 50s. Elderly aging 85 or older are at the greatest risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

Worried about your elderly loved one being sick and think it could be COVID-19? Get COVID-19 test done from the comfort of your home and stay assured.

Health conditions and medications

Many of the elderly people have multiple health conditions. For managing elderly health, ensure that all their medicine prescriptions are filled as needed and refilled in advance. If your elderly loved one is on a number of medicines and find it difficult to identify and take them on scheduled time, simplify their medication taking process by keeping a pill box organizer with compartments labeled with the days of the week along with doses.

Continuous check on health

Around 80% of older adults have at least one chronic disease, and 77% have at least two. Chronic illnesses require regular and timely health check ups to ensure there is no worsening or disease progression.

Make sure to get their health assessed regularly. Now get your loved ones tested from the comfort of your home. Explore here.

A fall-proof home for elderly

Assess your home and do some simple fixes to help them stay safe, and prevent falls and decrease risk of injuries. Most importantly, install handrails and grab bars at the toilet and shower. Place non-skid mats in the shower or any other potential slippery areas of the house. Plug in a few auto-sensor night lights in the home so they are able to see if they wake up at night. Ensure all the cables and wires are safely tucked away to prevent any accidental fall.

Hire help

Older people might need someone to help them with their routine activities such as showering or house cleaning. Some may need medical assistance as well. Do arrange for some help if required, for times you might not be available at home to provide care.

Aging and liver disease

Aging has been shown to increase risk of acute liver injury. Older adults also find it difficult to cope with various liver diseases including fatty liver, alcoholic liver disease, hepatitis C, and liver transplantation. Symptoms of liver dysfunction can include yellowish skin and eyes (jaundice), abdominal pain and swelling, and swelling in the legs and ankles.

Are you a caregiver for an elderly and think their liver health can be compromised? Book a liver function test now.

Encourage physical activity in elderly

Keeping physically active and exercise can go a long way to help your elderly stay fit and fine. Exercising helps increase stamina, improve organ functionality, and prevent worsening of lifestyle-related health issues. While planning their physical activity, do consider their bone and joint conditions. Many of the elderly people might find it difficult to move due to joint pain and stiffness. Talk to an expert doctor to find out which type of activity can fit best in their lifestyle.

Healthy eating for seniors

Older people might have sensitive guts and a delicate digestive system. Make sure to include enough green vegetables and fruits in their diet. In case they are facing problems of bloating, acidity, and gas, taking a low-carb diet can be of great help. Your elderly must include dairy products like milk, paneer, and curd to get enough calcium. If they find milk difficult to digest, you can opt for soy milk. Avoid high-salt food as they are rich in sodium and interfere with their heart health.

Risk of heart disease is directly linked to levels of cholesterol and triglycerides. A lipid panel helps check the level of these lipids in the blood. Keep an eye on heart health with a lipid profile test. 

Restrict the elderly people from venturing into public places

Amid COVID-19 pandemic, consider their level of risk before deciding to let them go out and ensure they are taking steps to protect themselves. Avoid places where taking protective measures may be difficult, such as places where social distancing can’t be maintained. Remember, the more people they interact with, the more closely they interact with them, and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of getting and spreading COVID-19. In case visiting a public setting is unavoidable, ensure safety by wearing an N95 mask, washing hands often or using hand sanitiser and maintaining a 6-feet distance from people. As a caregiver, you should take steps to prevent them from catching coronavirus infection in the first place. Remember, they are at an increased risk of severe COVID-19 illness.

The final word Apart from these, a very important part of elderly care is to spend enough time with them and keep connecting regularly. Never let your loved one feel alone or aloof. A regular talk from you can motivate them for self-care, stay happy, and boost their mental health. 

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What working from home does to your health Metropolis Healthcare

Coronavirus has changed our personal and professional lives dramatically. One very significant change that the pandemic has brought is working from home. While many of you could have only dreamt of a work from home role before 2020, this has become the new professional norm of the new normal.  

While it’s difficult to replicate the social, collaborative environment of a physical office, working from home offers various unique benefits. By working at home, you have eliminated the commute to work. Daily commuting amid the traffic eats up a lot of your precious time. It can also be a major expense. And, think about the current air quality! Working from home is definitely saving you from being exposed to the toxic air pollutants.

Challenges of working from home

Amid these perks of working from home, a harsh ground reality exists where many people are facing unique challenges of working from home, everyday. According to a global survey by Barco, a visualization and collaboration solution provider, work from home became less enjoyable for 77 per cent Indian respondents as lockdown extended, with 49 per cent missing office social life. These work from home challenges have started affecting emotional and physical wellness.

Health effects and best practices for working from home


As the COVID-19 cases in India have begun to surge once again, it is important for all of us to follow social distancing and work from home. However, you must ensure to be aware about how work from home affects your health and best practices to maintain wellness.   

  • Neck and back pain:

The most troublesome health effect that many people have faced is a consistent shoulder, neck, and back pain with work from home. Poor posture or sitting all day in a chair with inadequate back support while you are hunched over your laptop causes stiffening of your muscles and joint, especially in the upper body. Back pain is considered to be the second most common cause of missing work.

What you should do?
Adjust your working chair so your feet rest on the floor and your knees are level with your hips. If your chair doesn’t offer a proper back support, put a pillow or cushion between the curve of your back and the back of your chair. 

  • Deranged lipid levels and weight gain

Working from home has reduced your physical activity drastically. You don’t rush to get the metro or local anymore, don’t get out of your chair for meetings, don’t walk down the stairs to the cafeteria for lunch! Reduced movement leads to increase in bad cholesterol levels and decrease in good cholesterol levels. You also tend to burn less calories. These factors together contribute to unhealthy lipid levels, weight gain, and increased risk of getting diabetes and heart disease. Ensure to get your lipid levels checked on a time to time basis.

What you should do?
The best thing is to take some time out for physical activity. Go for a walk, practice some yoga asanas, or simply, put your earphones on and move around to some groovy music track. However, if it is not possible to have a dedicated time for working out, then make sure to get out of your working area to sip water, have meals, or walk while you are attending phone calls.     

  • Mental health problems

Can working from home cause anxiety and depression? Yes, unfortunately! With the increase in work pressure, no distinguishable mental or physical limit between work and life, and almost zero social connections among colleagues, it is very common to feel anxious, left out and even depressed.
  

What you should do?
It is understandable that virtual catch ups cannot be as fulfilling as the physical ones. However, just remind yourself that we all need to protect ourselves and our loved ones from COVID-19. Arrange and look for new ways to connect and enjoy over virtual catch ups. More important than ever, is to take care of your mental well-being. Set your clock to help you realize when you need to switch from work to life. Also, don’t miss out on your tea and coffee breaks in between work. The short breaks are still useful to increase productivity. Remember, the idea is to not let yourself burn out. Short meditation bouts can also help to relieve stress and anxiety.  

  • Fatigue

Can working from home make you tired? Yes, definitely. The mental pressure that you handle all across the day, does consume calories and gets you tired. Also, with no physical activity, you tend to get more lethargic and fatigued. Over time, you miss out on self-care and get careless about your health. 

What you should do?
Ensure to get up and stretch on your sides, at least 10 reps, every 1-2 hours between work. Join your kid for that park visit in the evening. You can take your calls while walking. Have a clock-out time to avoid overworking yourself. Also, make it a point to schedule a routine health check-up to keep aware of how your body is coping with work from home.

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  • Problems with digestive system

An inactive lifestyle, increased stress, no fixed time for meals, and overconsumption of caffeinated beverages- all lead to an unhealthy gut. It is very common to face acidity, heartburn, and constipation.

What you should do?
First and foremost, time your meals. Don’t make it a habit to skip your breakfast or have lunch at 4 PM. Include fibers in your diet and cut down on processed food and tea/ coffee. Adding probiotics in your daily diet is a good choice as they help good bacteria in your gut to grow and take care of your digestion.
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  • Computer vision syndrome

Prolonged working on laptops, computers, and tablets cause eye discomfort and vision problems. Computer vision syndrome doesn’t refer to any single eye problem, it indicates a whole set of issues, also named as digital eye strain.

What you should do?
Blink your eyes every 20-30 seconds while working on a digital screen. This is a simple way to lubricate your eyes and prevent strain. In addition, make sure your laptop or computer is in level with your eyes. This ensures your eyes do not face an additional stress during long working hours.

The final word
Your health is your real wealth. Remember, working from home might harm your body and mind over time. Follow the above-suggested simple health practices and do not compromise on your wellness while working from home.


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