Monthly Archives: October 2020

Determining whether you have COVID-19 is much more complicated because there are so many different symptoms, many of which are similar to those of the flu. The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are high fever, sometimes with chills, a dry cough and fatigue.

The one sign that distinguishes the two infections is that many COVID-19 victims suddenly lose their sense of smell — not because they have a stuffy nose but because they don’t register even strong odours like onions or coffee. Not all virus victims get anosmia, the formal name for loss of smell, but a vast majority of those affected by it do.

Less common symptoms include a sore throat, congestion, runny nose, vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach pain and feeling somewhat out of breath when exerting yourself. Some victims have red or itchy eyes, and some get redness or blisters on their fingers or toes — so-called COVID toes, which resemble chilblains.

More dangerous symptoms — which mean you should get immediate medical attention — include serious breathing difficulty; pain or pressure in the chest; blue lips or blue face; confusion or incoherent answers to simple questions; and collapsing or losing consciousness.

Adding to the disease’s fearsome nature is that it can cause blood clots that lead to heart damage, brain damage and lung damage. And even some cases that appear mild or asymptomatic create signs of what doctors believe may be long-lasting heart damage.

Another unusual aspect of COVID is that people sometimes develop pneumonia without realizing how sick they are. Doctors are unsure why; one theory is that the air sacs in the lungs are damaged in a way that affects the dissipation of carbon dioxide, which creates that “desperate for air” feeling.

Many doctors recommend buying a pulse oximeter, a fingertip device that measures oxygen levels in the blood. Multiple readings below 92% should trigger a call to a doctor. The earlier pneumonia is caught, the better the outcome.

Expect Potential Difficulties with Testing

COVID-19 symptoms can take as many as 14 days after the exposure to appear, but in most cases the symptoms start to appear within five to seven days after exposure. However, similar to diseases like measles, you can start spreading the virus several days before you begin to feel sick. So if you think you might have been exposed, it is very important to warn others and isolate yourself from them as soon as you can, especially if they are older or medically fragile.

It is a common practice of general medicine that when one disease is sweeping through an area and a patient has its symptoms, it is usually safe to assume that’s what the patient has and begin treating it, rather than waiting for test results. So unless both the flu and the coronavirus begin circulating heavily at the same time in your city or area, do not be surprised if your doctor does not recommend a test.

And getting tested for the coronavirus can be tricky, especially with so many test delays. The PCR type is more

accurate than 15-minute “rapid antigen tests,” but it can take hours or even days to return results, depending on whether it has to be sent away to a central lab or not.

One positive test probably means you are infected, but one negative test should not be trusted; too many things can go wrong. Two negative PCR tests taken at least 24 hours apart are a better indication of whether you are infection-free. If your insurance company pays for only one test, you might consider paying for the second one yourself for the peace of mind.

According to the World Heart Federation, cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of deaths globally. The reasons range from smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity, to pollution, and rare & neglected conditions such as Aortic Stenosis and Cardiac Amyloidosis.

By making just a few lifestyle changes, we can reduce the risk of heart disease and improve our quality of life. Although we cannot change some risk factors — such as family history, genetic factor, gender and age — there are some key heart disease prevention steps, you can take to reduce your risk.

So this Heart Day lets pledge to take good care of your heart and for that here are a few easy ways by which you can ensure that your heart stays healthy and you stay strong.

Start Your Day with a Healthy and Filling Breakfast

Breakfast is often called “the most important meal of the day”, and for a good reason. As the name suggests, breakfast breaks the overnight fasting period. It replenishes your supply of glucose to boost your energy levels and alertness, while also providing other essential nutrients required for good health. According to studies, people who skip breakfast tend to gain extra weight, and weight gain contributes to high cholesterol and high blood pressure, which can contribute to heart diseases.

Learn to Manage Stress

Stress puts a lot of strain on the heart. Try to find ways to de-stress by doing things you enjoy, like spending time with my family or a pet, jogging, and unplugging from electronics.

Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Getting enough sleep is extremely important for heart health. Aim to get six to eight hours of sleep a night and encourage people around you to do the same. It should also be a quality, uninterrupted sleep. Most people do not get enough sleep, and that has genuine cardiovascular implications. If you are having trouble sleeping, try unplugging devices an hour before bedtime, meditating, and exercising during the day.

Avoid Being Sedentary for Too Long

Studies show that sitting too long during the day harms heart health. Try to move as much as possible during the day. If your job requires you to sit at a desk most of the day, try to get up every half an hour or so and walk around for 10 minutes, or consider a standing desk.

Find What Exercise Routine Works Best for You

Any amount of activity is better than none. Trying to motivate yourself. Going to the gym or running on a treadmill could be a challenge for many, sign up for guided exercise classes instead. They can help keep you motivated. But if this doesn’t work for you, find what does. Staying active also helps decrease the risk of stroke and diabetes and can improve memory, sleep, bone health, and mood.

Take the Stairs

Taking the stairs is an excellent way to sneak in cardiovascular exercise in your daily routine. If you find it hard to devote time to work out, climb a few flights of stairs during the day, this is a great way to fit in some exercise that can help promote a healthy heart.

Spend Time with Your Loved Ones

Spending quality time with your loved ones is a significant stress reducer and can help fill you with joy. Being happy has been associated with a lower risk of heart disease. Ensure that you take out time to do this daily and your heart would thank you in the long run.

Go for a Run

Managing work and life can be stressful. Stress causes elevations of cortisol levels, a hormone that can lead to a variety of cardiovascular ailments, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and obesity. Running counters all of these, resulting in weight loss, decreased blood pressure, increased bone density, and increased joint and muscle strength. Running can also reduce stress, increase confidence, and make you more productive.

If going for a run early morning is challenging for you, find a park or gym near your workplace and go for a run when the time permits. Even if you manage to go for a run two to three times a week, it will prove to be beneficial.

Have Salad or Vegetable Juice, Daily

Busy days and hectic life routines don’t always encourage a healthy diet. Make salads or vegetable juice a part of your daily routine, and your heart will reap the benefits. If you are not a big fan of vegetables, order a chopped salad with a dressing of your liking from the nearby salad store. And if time doesn’t permit for a salad then grab a veggie juice from a nearby juice bar that you can drink quickly, to get the nutrients in without much effort.

Walk When You Can

When there is a choice between walking and travelling by a vehicle, prefer to walk. Staying physically active is essential for the heart. Remember, your heart is a muscle — you have to flex it!

COVID-19 is a virus that attacks the respiratory system and to breathe the right way is the easiest method to strengthen the body’s respiratory ability and boost your immunity as well.

It’s no wonder then that in ancient Indian wisdom, the breath is called the “prana” or the vital life force that can energise different organs. Even as pranayama and yoga practitioners have been teaching people to breathe correctly to prevent physical health and emotional disorders, with COVID-19 raging, alternative healers are now stressing on better breathing more than ever. The bare truth is that by increasing our respiratory capacity, we can increase our immunity.

Breathing is often that part of our involuntary nervous system that is overlooked. Stress, anxiety and the urgency of daily urban life makes us take shorter and shallower breaths. The best example of breathing correctly is exhibited by a resting dog, its belly swelling and falling with every deep breath. The pace of busy urban lives may have made us forget how to breathe properly, but it’s easy to get back the rhythm that benefits the body and its various systems.

Equal Breathing

A breathing pattern should ideally have an exhalation that is longer than the inhalation so that there are no remnants of air left in the lungs. But beginners should aim for an equal duration of breathing in and out. Monitor your breathing pattern and gradually move to longer intervals. Ideally, every breath should be at least few seconds long and the exhalation should be longer so that there is no stale air left in the system.

Wim Hof

Wim Hof meditation is a breathing technique that allows you to control the autonomous systems of the body and improve immunity. This can be followed in a few simple steps: Sit in a comfortable position and inhale deeply; hold this for a moment; and then exhale completely. Repeat this 15 times. Take ‘power breaths’ where you inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth in short but powerful bursts. Once you are done, meditate for a few minutes.

Alternative Nostril Breathing

As the name suggests, this process requires you to inhale from one nostril and exhale from the other, and then repeat by switching the order. “It opens up the nasal passage and allows a smoother movement of the breath or prana.

Bumble Bee

This technique requires you to copy the humming sound that a bee makes when it buzzes around. Cover your ears with your palms, close your eyes, take a deep breath. As you exhale, start humming with your lips tightly pursed together. Pull the navel in and release the air from your body. “With every breath, lengthen the span of the exhalation to increase capacity. The technique has multiple benefits in alternative healing: It increases lung capacity and the humming sound is believed to relieve anxiety.

4-7-8 Method

Inhale gently for four seconds, hold the breath for seven, and then release the breath slowly for eight seconds. It is a good exercise for the lungs to hold the breath and exhale for a longer period. With time, this can enhance lung capacity and is particularly beneficial for those who suffer from stress-related disorders.

Pursed Lips Breathing

Keep your lips pursed in this technique, inhale through the nose and gradually exhale through your pursed lips while ensuring that the duration of the exhalation is longer than that of the inhalation.

Abdominal Breathing

This method of breathing takes the breath right down to the stomach and the navel. Lie on a mat on your back, place one palm on the abdomen and the other on the chest. With eyes closed, take a deep, long breath and feel the stomach rise higher than the chest. Hold the breath for up to seven seconds and then exhale for around eight seconds. The hand on the abdomen should feel the muscles constrict as you push all the stale air out of your body.

Have you been feeling stressed out lately? As if you can’t handle work, home, family, or life in general!!! The stress is piling up and you are not sure what to do. Well here are some quick tips to help manage stress so you don’t feel so chaotic in your life:

  1. Eat and drink sensibly. Alcohol and food abuse may seem to temporarily reduce stress, but it actually adds to it. Eat & drink healthy to be healthy.
  2. Assert yourself. You do not have to meet others’ expectations or demands. It’s okay to say “No”. Remember, being assertive allows you to stand up for your rights and beliefs while respecting those of others.
  3. Exercise regularly. Choose a non-competitive exercise and set reasonable goals. Aerobic exercise help release endorphins (natural substances that help you feel better and maintain a positive attitude).
  4. Study and practice relaxation techniques. Relax every day. Choose from a variety of techniques. Combine opposites; a time for deep relaxation and a time for aerobic exercise is a sure way to protect your body from the ill-effects of stress.
  5. Start taking responsibility. Control what you can and leave behind what you cannot control.
  6. Learn to manage your time. Many people find that life is filled with too many demands and too little time. For the most part, these demands are ones we have chosen. Effective time-management skills involve asking for help when appropriate, setting priorities, pacing yourself, and taking time out for yourself.
  7. Examine your values and live by them. The more your actions reflect your beliefs, the better you will feel, no matter how busy your life is. Stick to your values when choosing your activities.
  8. Set realistic goals and expectations. It’s okay, and healthy, to realize you cannot be 100% successful at everything at once. It’s good to be successful at some tasks than failing at all tasks.

Stress is nothing more than just your state of mind, take small steps to be happy and to be more positive in life and soon it’ll become a habit.

As many as 42.5 crore people are living with diabetes globally. According to the International Diabetes Federation this number is expected to grow to a staggering 62.9 crores by 2045.

Not just the elderly, even kids as young as 6 months old are getting diagnosed with the disease. It can all be related to our lifestyle and eating habits. While strict diet control and regular exercise might help you prevent it, let’s understand more about diabetes and how you can live with it if you or any of your family members have it.

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when the pancreas is no longer able to make insulin, or when the body cannot make good use of the insulin it produces.

Types of Diabetes: –

There are three main types of diabetes – type 1, type 2 and gestational.

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  • Type 1 diabetes can develop at any age, but occurs most frequently in children and adolescents. When you have type 1 diabetes, your body produces very little or no insulin, which means that you need daily insulin injections to maintain blood glucose levels under control.
  • Type 2 diabetes is more common in adults and accounts for around 90% of all diabetes cases. When you have type 2 diabetes, your body does not make good use of the insulin that it produces. The cornerstone of type 2 diabetes treatment is healthy lifestyle, including increased physical activity and healthy diet. However, over time most people with type 2 diabetes will require oral drugs and/or insulin to keep their blood glucose levels under control.
  • Gestational diabetes (GDM) is a type of diabetes that consists of high blood glucose during pregnancy and is associated with complications to both mother and child. GDM usually disappears after pregnancy but women affected and their children are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.

Complications That Might Arise Due to Diabetes: –

People with diabetes have an increased risk of developing a number of serious health problems. Consistently high blood glucose levels can lead to serious diseases affecting the heart and blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, nerves and teeth. In addition, people with diabetes also have a higher risk of developing infections. In almost all high-income countries, diabetes is a leading cause of cardiovascular disease, blindness, kidney failure, and lower limb amputation.

Maintaining blood glucose levels, blood pressure, and cholesterol at or close to normal can help delay or prevent diabetes complications. Therefore, people with diabetes need regular monitoring.

Why Should You Test Your Blood Sugar Level?

Testing the blood sugar levels regularly helps one understand how food, physical activity, medication and other factors are affecting your blood glucose levels.

​The Right Time to Check Your Blood Sugar Levels: –

The perfect time to check the fasting glucose levels is right after your wakeup. And the right time to check postprandial (post-meal) glucose levels is two hours after you have had your meals.

A gap of two hours after a meal must be maintained to get the correct reading. This helps you choose the right foods and medication. When you test before your meal, it tells you how much medication you need and when you test two hours after eating, you know if your medicines are working fine for you.

  • When Your Medication is Changed

    When your doctor prescribes you a new medicine for diabetes, it’s important to check if it’s working fine for you. The best way to do that is to check your blood sugar levels before taking the test and an hour after you take the medication.

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  • ​Different Times When You Should Check Your Blood Sugar Levels

    If you are someone who is newly diagnosed with high blood sugar, it’s important for you to take the blood sugar test more often. Note down this data and share with the doctor, it will help him shape an appropriate treatment plan for you.

    If you take insulin, doctors will recommend you to take three or more blood sugar readings throughout the day.

  • The Right Way to Test Your Blood Sugar Levels: –

    • Wash your hands and dry them properly with the help of a clean cotton towel (food and dirt on a finger can give an inaccurate reading).
    • Do not put too little or too much blood on the test strip.
    • Try to prick the side of the fingertip.
    • Follow a consistent schedule to test your blood sugar levels.