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The heart is the most important organ of the human body which should be kept in an optimum condition to lead a healthy life and live to the fullest. Often heart health is ignored or not given much attention as heart diseases take a longer time to show symptoms.

Today cardiac issues are a common cause of death among the population of all age groups. So, it becomes essential that we be aware of the factors which affect our heart health 

Heart health is affected by many factors. Let’s see what those are:

  1. Age – Growing age affects the health of your heart. With age risk of getting heart diseases increases. 
  2. Sex- Some studies show that some heart risks are greater in men than in women. Women are more immune to heart risks due to estrogen but diabetes projects higher risks of heart diseases in women.
  3. Ethnicity- People of some particular group have higher risks of heart disease than others. South Asians have higher risks of heart diseases than East Asians.
  4. Family History- If there is a history of heart diseases in the family then other members have a higher risk of heart diseases.

Tips to prevent heart diseases

Lifestyle is a very important aspect in overall health as it is our day to day activities, how we eat, function, and way of living which affects the whole body not only health. 

So let’s look at what we can do to keep the risk of heart diseases at bay:

Blood pressure regulation

The most crucial element of heart health blood pressure. Irregular blood pressure can be the cause of strain on the heart and also result in heart stroke. If you have blood pressure issues make sure to consult a doctor.

Cholesterol control

Cholesterol can form fat globules and block the arteries which can result in a heart attack. It is one of the most common causes of a heart attack. The best way to control cholesterol is to reduce the intake of unsaturated fats in the diet and increase fibrous food and, healthy fats.

Healthy diet

A healthy diet that consists of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, protein-rich fruits is essential to maintain a healthy body and a healthy heart. Excess intake of sugar and salt should also be avoided. Omega 3 rich sources should be taken.

Maintain weight according to BMI

Excessively obese people are at the highest risk of heart diseases and stroke. Excess weight causes a strain on breathing and a restricted supply of oxygen, artery blockage, high triglyceride levels, etc. a weight near to your BMI index can help you maintain a healthy heart.

Exercising

A minimum of 30 minutes of walking every day can lower your risk of heart diseases by 30%. Any type of physical activity will keep you fit and active. 

Limit alcohol and smoking

It all comes to lifestyle. Excessive alcohol and smoking are poisonous for your heart which affects slowly and it’s too late when the damage is done. So monitoring your habits is important.  

Regular health and heart check-up

It is important to get a regular check-up of your heart health so, you know if you need to make changes in your habits or not. Dr. B. Lal Clinical Laboratory has full body and cardiac check-ups which can be taken to analyze the condition of your heart health.

In regards to recent times, we must be very well informed about the flu its symptoms, and its type so we can take better care and go for appropriate treatment.

Seasonal flu has already knocked on our doors and has affected many people. Pandemic flu and seasonal flu are very common nowadays and can show very similar symptoms which can mislead people.

Pandemic Flu (COVID-19) and Seasonal Flu-

Pandemic flu is an outbreak of a new flu virus which is different from all currently known flu viruses.

Seasonal flu or Influenza is a respiratory illness caused by flu viruses A and B that infects the respiratory tract of humans.

The occurrence of pandemic flu (COVID-19) and seasonal flu

Pandemic flu is rare. Humankind has experienced 4 kinds of pandemic flu in the last 100 years.

Every year we experience seasonal flu epidemics. Fall, winter pandemics are the most common time for the seasonal flu epidemic.

The spread of COVID-19, the pandemic flu, and seasonal flu

Spreading of both seasonal and pandemic flu happens more or less in the same way via contact, air, cough, and sneeze, etc. Although a pandemic flu infects large masses because very few have immunity against the pandemic virus. Pandemic flu spreads faster and with different infections in individuals. Also because of the completely new genetics of the pandemic flu virus and its ability to mutate a maximum number of people get infected due to a lack of immunity against a foreign virus.

Seasonal flu spread mainly from person to person through shared breathing space, droplets from sneezing and coughing.

Vaccination of the pandemic flu (COVID-19) and seasonal flu

Every year seasonal vaccination are made to provide vaccination against seasonal flu. 6 months infants and everyone older should get a flu vaccine every year. Generally, one dose of vaccine is considered enough.

Vaccination is hardly available in the early stages of pandemic flu even if the medical departments maintain some pre-pandemic flu vaccines.

Treatment of the pandemic flu (COVID-19) and seasonal flu

Medications to treat pandemic flu can range from antivirals, cough treatments, analgesics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, decongestants, and many more. Pandemic flu medications do not meet the requirement despite having emergency stocks ahead.

Who is under the most risk?

Small children, pregnant women, people above 65 years of age or with a long term medical issue are at risk of having complications under seasonal flu. One with serious medical conditions is under the same risk.

It is difficult to predict who would be at most risk of pandemic flu due to its unknown nature. Young healthy adults have been at more risk in past pandemics. A pandemic flu can be volatile and mutative so its potency to affect people can change as well. The current COVID-19 pandemic affects more people with pre-existing medical conditions.

Symptoms of the pandemic flu (COVID-19) and seasonal flu

Early symptoms of both seasonal and pandemic flu are similar which are cough, cold, body ache, fatigue, mild fever. In the case of very prominent and consistent symptoms consult a path-lab for evaluation and proper diagnosis of your condition.

Dr. B. Lal Clinical Laboratory is reliable and approved for diagnosis of pandemic flu and seasonal flu. You can anytime talk to our experts or visit us at our labs for the proper diagnosis of your disease.

In these distressing times of the COVID-19 pandemic, our lives have changed completely. New ways of life and habits have become part of the lives of people day in and day out, like regular use of sanitizer, wearing a mask like a second skin, and maintaining social distancing.

Wearing a mask is the most important preventive and safety measure of life under the COVID-19 pandemic. Mask has now become the most essential part of the daily essentials of a person. But this has given rise to a new problem altogether which needs to be addressed now before this causes a new crisis.

The safe disposal of mask

Yes, this is one of the most disturbing problems coming up now. We as a responsible citizen and we need to realize that proper knowledge of disposal and reuse of mask is crucial and should be loudly advertised.

Why should we use a mask?

Let’s see which are the common masks generally used

Cloth Mask

Most commonly used by people. They are comparatively less effective because of the lack of proper filtration layering to block germs to enter the nose and mouth. Although, it is preferred more because of its easy availability, affordability, and comfort. It is always better to use at least a cloth mask them not using one at all.

Guidelines

  • People caring for any COVID-19 patients should never use a cloth mask
  • People who work in a crowded place or travel should also avoid a cloth mask.

Layered Surgical Mask

A surgical mask is very effective and disposable. It is a polypropylene mask and can block air particles to a very large extent. It is a loose-fitting mask so the chance of particles from a nearby sneezing or coughing person entering your mouth is high.

Guidelines

  • Not be used by a person caring for COVID patients or working in a hospital or any frontline service.
  • Not be used by a person in contact with sick people.

N95 Respirator

Extremely effective and advanced mask. It is not for the regular use of general people. It is made of polypropylene material with a high filtration factor which blocks the smallest of (0.3) of particles. These masks can block out most bacteria and viruses and are of surgical grade. Although, the use of N95 respirator should be judicial.

Guidelines

  • Medical and healthcare workers should use this mask. Especially those workers who are in primary care of patients with respiratory infections, colds and coughs.
  • Someone working in the vicinity of a COVID health facility or around suspected COVID patients should use this mask.
  • Someone working in the medical sampling department or potentially contaminate the environment.

How to dispose of a mask?

One important thing people often forget is that mask is medical waste. A used mask is a house of germs and bacteria and if let exposed can transmit bacteria to its surroundings. So do not leave your used mask exposed and throw it anywhere in open. Always wash your hands after removing the mask and dispose of the mask in a closed dustbin only. Also do not reuse a used mask in any condition without washing. Do not use the same mask for a long duration of the mask.

Cloth mask can be reused only after washing it thoroughly with a disinfectant. Surgical masks should be disposed of after wrapping it in a roll and tied with its string and then put in a polythene bag immediately to dispose of in a dustbin. N95 mask should be removed only with strings and should be kept in a paper bag between use.

What is a liver function test?

Blood tests are used to measure different enzymes, proteins, and other substances that are produced by the liver. These tests are to ensure the overall health of the liver. A single blood sample is tested for various substances and enzymes to verify if the liver is in good health.

Liver tests are generally to test the following substances

• Albumin is a protein made in the liver.

• ALP (alkaline phosphate) enzyme

• ALT (alanine transaminase) enzyme

• AST (aspartate aminotransferase)

• GGT (gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase) enzyme

• Bilirubin is a waste product disposed of through the liver.

• Lactate dehydrogenase is an important enzyme found in the body cells. 

• Prothrombin is a protein required in the clotting of blood.

These blood tests are done to find the levels of these enzymes in the liver to make sure they are at a healthy level. Distorted levels of these enzymes can be a sign of liver diseases.

Why is it necessary to take a liver test?

The liver is the most important organ in the human body. It is important to get a liver test regularly to keep a check on your liver health. Following are the circumstances under which one should consider taking a liver test.

• Also if you lead a lifestyle that causes damage to your liver.

• If there is a family history of liver diseases.

• In case you consume alcohol regularly, or you react badly to alcohol.

• In case you are taking steroids or performance-enhancing medications.

• If you currently have or had an issue with gallstone.

When do I need a Liver test?

Apart from a regular health check-up, you should consider taking a liver test if you see the following symptoms.

• Jaundice- In this disease skin and eyes turns yellow.

• Nausea and vomiting

• Diarrhea

• Fatigue without reason

• Abdominal pain

• Dark colored stool

• Light-colored stool

• Bleeding in stool

• Hand tremors

• Tendency to bruise easily

What to expect in a Liver test?

A liver test starts with giving a sample of your blood. A blood sample is generally taken from your arm through a minuscule needle. Blood is collected in a vial or test tube and sent for testing.

It is a simple and fast process. 

Now day’s at-home sampling service is also available. Either you can collect your sample on your own by following the instruction or get a sampler to do it for you. You can also receive the result without contact through email.

Dr. B. Lal Labs offer at home minimum contact sampling.

What do results say?

Here results depend on what your doctor is testing you for according to your symptoms. 

Liver damage can indicate:

• Diabetes

• Hepatitis A, B, C

• Liver Cancer

COVID-19 is still raging after 11 months and testing has only been the most effective way to keep in check the rate of increase in the active cases. With time and the increasing need, different types of COVID -19 tests are developed and are used. But the number of tests has also birthed confusion in people about which tests to take?

So, what are the best COVID-19 tests?

Amongst the many types of COVID-19 tests available around, it becomes quite important to know the details of these tests. Because all these covid tests have their advantage and usage and also they differ according to the conditions in which they give the best results.

COVID-19 tests are broadly classified into two groups

Diagnostic tests and Antibody tests

1. Diagnostic tests Test to diagnose current infection in the body

Diagnostic tests are of 2 kinds—Molecular test, Antigen Test

Molecular Test

Molecular tests are used to find the current infection. Popularly known as the PCR test, nucleic acid test, molecular test, a viral test is used to find if someone is currently infected by the COVID-19 virus.

How the sample is taken– Samples are taken from nasal swabs, saliva, throat, or other fluids of the body.

How does it work? – Test looks for the genetic material in the sample which only comes from the COVID-19 virus. PCR technology is used to amplify and identify genetic material.

How accurate is the molecular test – The test is one of the most accurate but the genetic material starts accumulating in the passages after some time so a very recent infection might not be detected. A nasal swap sample is better to get an accurate result.

Chances of getting a false negative can be from 2% to a maximum of 37% and that of getting a false positive (report says positive but you actually are not infected) is close to zero.

It can take from a day up to a week for the result to come.

In a pooled testing several samples are combined and are run under a molecular test. In case of a negative result, all the individuals are negative whereas in case of a positive result all the individuals need a second test. This is a fast way to get more people tested.

Antigen tests

Antigen tests are also diagnostic tests and also are performed on a nasal, throat, or saliva swab but instead of looking for genetic material, it looks for protein fragments of the virus.

The reported rate of false-negative results is as high as 50%, which is why antigen tests are not favored by the FDA as a single test for active infection. However, the FDA recently provided emergency use authorization for a more accurate antigen test. Because antigen testing is quicker, less expensive, and requires less complex technology to perform than molecular testing, some experts recommend repeated antigen testing as a reasonable strategy. According to one test manufacturer, the false positive rate of antigen testing is near zero. So, the recent experience of Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, who apparently had a false-positive result from an antigen test, is rare.

Antigen tests have higher chances of giving a false negative which accounts for about 50%. Although this test is not favored by the FDA but is still authorized to be used under required circumstances. Because the antigen test is less expensive and gives the results faster. Also, the antigen test doesn’t require any complex technology as compared to the molecular test. That is the reason, the antigen test is done more than once to confirm the reason for illness.

Although in the antigen test, the false positive rate is near to Zero.

This antigen test gives the fastest result in a few minutes.

2. Antibody test- the test to identify any past infection

Antibody tests or serologic tests are done for the detection of any past infection.

How the sample is taken- A blood sample is taken for the result.

How does it work– The test identifies the presence of antibodies produced in the body to fight against the infection. It might not tell about a present infection but it can accurately detect whether a person had an infection in the past or not.

Accuracy of Antibody testThe test is accurate after a keratin time only because the immune system takes time to produce antibodies.

It can up to a few days for the results to come.

Takeaway

We have come a long way in identifying the newly identifies infection in such a short period. There are many tests in the market by many companies and they are almost accurate enough to identify the COVID-19 infection in the body. Although, the accuracy of any test is not 100% and it cannot even be because accuracy is affected by many factors like samples, the testing process, and the time of testing, handling of the sample.

So, in keeping the risk of false results one should either take professional guidance or monitor their condition to choose the best COVID-19 test for themselves.

Dr. B. Lal Clinical Laboratory gives complete guidance and all testing facilities for COVID-19 tests. Contact us for more information or any query related to COVID-19. Our doctors would do their best to help you.

Vitamins have undisputed importance in the human body. The levels of vitamins in the body have a major impact on how the body performs. Vitamins serve endless purposes and functions in the body which makes it necessary to keep an eye on their levels in the body. Their importance and requirement can never suffice for over intake also. Too much intake of vitamins can have their effects and consequences.

What is Vitamin B-12

Vitamin B-12 is one such important vitamin in the human body. Vitamin B-12 helps in the formation of DNA and red blood cells, proper nerve functioning, brain health, etc. Another factor that makes Vitamin B-12 important is the fact that our body does not produce it. We have to maintain its levels by external means. The human body like most vitamins does not store Vitamin B-12 in the body so we have to take in small amounts of Vitamin B-12 daily in our diet.

This brings us to another question. How much of Vitamin B-12 do we need to intake?

Levels and amounts of per day intake of Vitamin B-12 depend on age, eating habits, medical condition, and personal health.

Infants (6 months) need 0.4mcg

Babies (12- months) need 0.5mcg

Children (1-3 years) need 0.9mcg

(4-8 years) need 1.2mcg

(9-13 years) need 1.8mcg

Teenagers (14-18 years) need 2.4mcg

Adults need 2.4mcg

Pregnant and breastfeeding women need 2.6mcg and 2.8 mcg of Vitamin B-12 per day.

Now when it comes to maintaining the levels of vitamins there are only a few means by which we can monitor the levels of vitamins in the body. Deficiency symptoms are one way to conclude if you have a deficiency of any vitamin but a more concrete clinical test is required to follow up treatment.

Blood or urine tests can be used to test Vitamin B-12 levels. These tests will tell overall Vitamin B-12 level, methylmalonic acid, homocysteine, and holotranscobalamin.

Deficiency of Vitamin B-12 can lead up to

  • Weakness
  • Pale skin
  • Constipation, loss of appetite, gas
  • Vision issues
  • Nerve damage, tingling, numbness, a problem in walking, muscle weakness
  • Smooth tongue
  • Mental issues like depression, memory loss, behavioral changes
  • Temporary infertility in women

Higher levels of Vitamin B-12 are commonly seen in obese people and excessive meat-eaters. More than normal Vitamin B-12 levels are indicators of liver disease, leukemia, diabetes, etc.

When should one get a Vitamin B-12 level test?

It is important to monitor your body and look for any signs or symptoms of Vitamin B-12 deficiency like although it takes a lot of time for symptoms to show up.

  • Tingling in the hands and feet
  • A racing heart
  • Jaundiced skin with a yellow tinge to it because of the low level of red blood cells in the body due to deficiency of Vitamin B-12
  • Weakness or fatigue due to lack of RBC’s. Low levels of red blood cells lead to improper circulation of oxygen and cause fatigue.
  • Weak nerve endings and functioning. Myelin is an important substance produced in the body which surrounds and protects the nerves. Myelin needs Vitamin B-12 to form. This results in pin and needles sensation in limbs.
  • Glossitis is inflammation of the tongue which makes the tongue red, painful, and swollen. Mouth ulcers are also a symptom of deficiency of Vitamin B-12.
  • High temperature
  • Dizziness
  • Those people who follow a vegan diet should get Vitamin-B12 because of lack of dairy can cause Vitamin-B12 deficiency.
  • Those who have conditions of which interfere with Vitamin-B12 absorption.
  • During pregnancies the cell production and DN synthesis activity in women’s body increases which needs a high amount of folate. So it is advised getting tested add supplements to the diet.

Your doctor might recommend a Vitamin B-12 test in case of high levels of serum folate levels.

Purpose of the test

The symptoms which present the need to test Vitamin-B12 levels take years to shown and often are misunderstood for something else. Generally, the need for Vitamin-B12 arises if there are chances of a condition called megaloblastic anemia in the patient’s body. In this condition, the body does not absorb the Vitamin-B12.

Another purpose is to diagnose higher concentrations of Vitamin-B12 in the body. Higher doses of Vitamin-B12 can have severe skin infections and the disease called rosacea in which the patient gets pus-filled bumps and redness on the skin.

What is an active Vitamin-B12 test?

Active Vitamin-B12 test is done to test the level of B-12 which is available for the body to use.

Types of Vitamin B-12 test and the procedure

Blood Test

For a blood test you will be instructed to not eat or drink for 8 hours before the test. You have to make sure you are well hydrated also. A small area of your arm or near elbow will be cleaned by alcohol and an elastic band might be tied around your upper arm. Enough amount of blood is collected through a needle and a bandage is applied on your needle wound.

The sample is taken to the lab to test Vitamin B-12 levels, holoTC, etc.

Urine Test

You will need to send samples to the lab in the jar provided by them. Or another way is to dip the strips provided directly in the urine sample and read the result right away.

Other cases in Vitamin-B12 can be prescribed.

  • Weak bones
  • Male infertility
  • Inflammatory bowel diseases.
  • Heart diseases
  • Asthma
  • Sleep and mental disorder
  • Diabetes
  • Swollen tendons
  • Alzheimer’s diseases

Vitamin B-12 Level Test Results

Both high and low levels of Vitamin B-12 can be indicators of other health issues. This is best discussed with a doctor.

Results according to pg/mL of Vitamin B-12

Below 150 pg /mL – low

200 to 600 pg/mL – normal

800 pg/mL – high

In the case of urine test MMA under 3.8 mcg/mC is considered normal.

The biggest and most mortal pandemic the human race has ever experienced is still harrowing the humankind. We all are doing our best to stop the affliction rate but still, the active number of cases is increasing at a rapid speed. In this fight, to date, only tests have been a promising weapon. Testing helps keep the number of positives in check and from increasing by a chain reaction. Where the traditional RT-PCR diagnostic tests are expensive, takes way too much time other alternative testing methods are required.

Antibody tests or serological tests look for the presence of antibodies in the body which is produced by the immune system of the body to fight against the virus. The test is used to detect any past infection and the chances of again being infected.

Testing has been a very important tool during this whole pandemic. Testing has made the enemy visible and it has to an extent made clear what we are fighting against. Until now antibody tests were just used to pick up the presence of antibodies but now with new developments, the extent of these antibody proteins can also be measured.

How this is important?

The level of antibodies produced in the body determines whether the patient had developed immunity or not. Antibodies tests also help in trials of vaccines. Promising candidates are needed to examine if the vaccine is producing the right amount of antibodies in the patient’s body. It can be difficult for the serological test to pick an infection in the early stage. Antibodies last for a longer time in the bodies. So, it works best in the case of antibody tests.

A positive antibody result indicates that a person had an infection in past. If there are no symptoms of a present infection that means that patient has fought the virus on. Under these circumstances, it can be presumed that a person would be immune to the virus now.

FDA approved the antibody tests for COVID-19 under the dire conditions. Antibody tests can help identify a population who no longer at the risk of getting infected directly. This could allow people to return to work and necessary positions who are immune to a level from the disease. Health workers, essential workers, and officials can return to work and help the community as well as their families.

Although how long the immunity lasts is not concrete and it will depend upon many factors like lifestyle, individual health condition, individual immunity, and antibody levels. It also depends on the virus. If under any circumstances COVID-19 virus mutates and overcomes the immune human bodies has developed patient is under the risk of getting infected again.

Prolonged observation of recovered patients can help to deduce the response of immunity towards the virus.

Antibody tests can help us lift the strict lockdowns

Antibody tests are efficient and fast which will help in calculating what portion of the population was infected and the extent of that infection whether it was mild or severe. It would also help in drafting the data according to the area as the antibody test can b done in herds. It would tell which areas are under severe attack and which are not. This will help in lifting the lockdowns and restrictions in the areas accordingly.

It will also help in determining who are up to returning to normal day to day tasks or traveling overseas.

Benefits of antibody test-

  • Antibody tests reveal cases that were infected but didn’t know it. This will help in the control of the unwitting spread of the virus. The knowledge of how common the virus is still unknown.
  • The serologically immune people can volunteer back to work because it is rather likely that they would transmit the virus or get infected again. People can return to work and can have more freedom regarding the movement in the community.
  • Serologically immune patients can help in treatment and vaccine research as their blood contains plasma which has strong antibodies. Antibody therapies involve deriving convalescent plasma and hyperimmune globulin from the blood of recovered patients to provide immunity to infected people. Recovered people can even donate blood to people with severe diseases.
  • Antibody tests have clinical utility and people like front line workers, medical workers, health care workers, industry workers, police staff can get tested and return to work.
  • Large scale antibody tests can be used to assess better the extent of the spread of the virus. This algorithm can be used to curate a relative strategy to control the spread of the COVID-19 virus. It can help determine if we are heading towards herd immunity.

Antibody tests will tell us if we are moving towards herd immunity

An antibody test tells if the COVID-19 virus dissolving proteins are present in the body. The increasing number of population with higher antibodies intents that virus will no longer be able to reproduce and will lead us to back to normalcy.

How is the test performed?

The test is done on a sample of blood. The sample is tested for 14 respiratory viruses, including SARS-CoV-2. The test can take generally up to two hours to complete.

Human life relies on the process of breathing. Breathing is the basic living process on which life depends. It is important to understand the significance of the process of breathing. With breathing, we inhale air and that is circulated throughout the body so it matters, what are we breathing and how are we breathing. Yet with time and lifestyle, people have forgotten how to breathe properly.

If breathing is taken seriously and done with utter care and consciousness it can benefit the body and can increase the efficiency of everyday life and process. Breathing is a workout in itself for the body.

The right way to breathe

Before even thinking about breathing exercises we need to learn the proper way to breathe. Breathing is not an independent process it happens with other processes and also affects them.

First, it is important to evaluate your posture. It is necessary to have a straight sitting posture rather than slouchy which does not allow proper space for breathing. Straight posture will allow the air to enter, circulate, and pass out of the system without any restriction. Breathing is paid so much attention that hardly any notice is given to exhaling. Maximum people do not exhale completely leaving carbon dioxide in the lungs. Try to push all the air out of the system which will make your lungs more efficient in their job.

What are the breathing exercises?

Breathing exercises are just breathing but with added conditions to enhance the breathing experience and improve your breathing organs.

Some breathing exercises you can practice are;-

  1. Pursed Lip Breathing
  2. Diaphragmatic breathing
  3. Breath focus technique
  4. Lion’s breath
  5. Alternate nostril breathing
  6. Resonant breathing
  7. Sitali breath
  8. Humming bee breath

Benefits of breathing exercises

  • Improves immunity

Breathing exercises increase the amount of oxygen in the body and increases the release of toxins with carbon-di-oxide. Increased oxygen in the cells and tissues makes them healthier and help them perform better. Healthier and proper functioning organs improve the immune system of the body as well. Clean blood full of oxygen fights better against infectious bacteria and viruses. Improved breathing will also help in better absorption of vitamins and minerals in the body.

Also Read: How can we boost our immune system in this pandemic?

  • Clams down anxiety

Psychologists swear by deep breathing exercise to tackle anxiety attacks and also as a long term treatment practice. Deep breathing helps in bringing heart rate to normal and increase oxygen levels. This helps in giving the brain the signal to unwind. Regular deep breathing will help in balancing the hormones releasing endorphins in the body.

  • Increases sleep quality

A deep breathing exercise that entails complete exhalation of the air out provides better sleep. Breathing detoxifies the body and signals to calm down. A deep breathing exercise before bed can help even insomnia suffering people.

  • Decreases toxicity of the body

Stress, eating habits, and shallow exhalation turns the body acidic, and with deep breathing, all the toxins are released turning the body to alkaline. It detoxifies the body. Deep breathing also helps in releasing the lymph around the body and removes strain from the body.

Also Read: 5 Best Exercises to Lose Weight at Home

  • Improves digestive system

Deep breathing increases oxygen in the digestive organ and they perform better relieving from any gastrointestinal issues, constipation, indigestion, etc. proper digestion keeps the body energetic and healthy.

  • Good for cardiovascular health

Breathing exercises will help strengthen the cardiovascular muscles and improve blood pressure. Regular deep breathing also decreases the chances of stroke. Deep breathing stimulates the vagus nerve which reduces the ‘fight or flight’ response.

Also Read: Tips to prevent heart diseases

  • Improve concentration and cognitive properties

Regular breathing exercises can improve focus and concentration. It also improves memory and cognitive properties and brain functioning.

  • Gives healthy and glowing skin.

Breathing exercises increase the oxygen concentration in cells giving skin healthy and inner glow. It makes your skin healthy. Breathing exercises burn fat and help in balance hormones which results in less stress and clear skin.

  • Reduces inflammation in the body

Sheetali pranayama is one such breathing exercise which helps in cooling the body down. It triggers a powerful evaporating cooling effect which brings down inflamed agitated emotions and decreases inflammation in the digestive system which stresses the whole body.

  •  Helps sinusitis

Yogic breathing practices can help in sinusitis as the vibrations produced in this exercise dislodge all mucous and drain sinusitis from the body.

  • Makes the body and joints strong

Breathing exercises increase the oxygen level in the cells and it affects joints in a good way. It makes joints and muscles strong. It helps in reducing the strain of physical exercise and the chances of wearing the muscles down. Body’s ability to handle intense physical movement increases.

  • Strengthen lungs

Lifestyle habits have greatly affected the lungs and their lungs. Breathing exercise helps in increasing the air build up in the lungs and diaphragm. It increases the lung elasticity which gives more breathing space.

Also Read: 8 Foods That Are Good For Your Lungs

Lungs- the spongy pair of organs encased in the ribcage is a very important part of the human body and respiratory system. Lungs are the main participant of the respiration process and filtration of air. Lungs have a complex structure of criss-cross lacework of tubular branches divided into several other sub branches and have a sack ending called alveoli.

Lungs filter the air inhaled and separate oxygen from unwanted gases and components. Then this oxygen is supplied to the rest of the body and carbon-dioxide is released back into the environment through the nose.

Lungs are under work every second of our lives and are one of the first internal organs which come into contact with the outer factors of the environment and this fact makes lungs more susceptible to damage than other organs. Maintaining healthy lungs is important for humans to live life to the fullest. Weak lungs will make the normal day to day tasks into a war against the body.

Lungs Diseases

Lungs diseases have become very common in people due to the environment and deteriorating unhealthy lifestyle, either by choice or due to any social requirement. Any damage to the respiratory system can even result in the respiratory failure. So it is quite important to take care of our lungs.

Common causes of lungs diseases

  • Quality of air we breathe for a long period of time.
  • Lifestyle habits like smoking, working in factories, poor ventilation surroundings.
  • An infection in the lungs
  • Genetic disease etc.

Some of the major lungs diseases are-

  • Pneumonia
  • Asthma
  • Lung Cancer
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
  • Tuberculosis
  • Bronchitis

Symptoms of Lungs Diseases

Although every lung disease has its own symptoms. But some of the common lung disease symptoms are-

  • Persistent coughing
  • Wheezing in some cases
  • Fast breathing (gasping of air)
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Pressure in Chest
  • Bluish colour of lips or skin because of oxygen deficiency
  • Coughing out mucus or blood in some cases

Lungs Diseases Diagnosis

At times it can be difficult to identify the critical conditions of the chest and lungs at the initial stages but with the help of proper guidance of doctors and medical experts, the process of diagnosis of the lung diseases can be understood by its symptoms.  Diagnosis of lungs is done to identify the high risk factors in the patients and it will also help in observing the symptoms related to lung diseases. Generally, blood test is done to examine the level of oxygen in the patient and a pulmonary function test is conducted for examining the status of the lungs. There are some tests which are conducted in the laboratory as a part of the diagnosis process.

There are some tests that needs to done for examining the health of the lungs and these tests are as follow:

  • Allergy test
  • Chest imaging
  • Sweat chloride
  • Influenza test
  • Respiratory syncytial virus
  • Sputum cytology
  • Bronchoscopy
  • Purtussis
  • Lung biopsy
  • Mycoplasma test
  • Pleural fluid analysis
  • Immunoreactive trypsin
  • Blood culture
  • AFB testing
  • X-ray
  • Pulmonary artery catheterization
  • Thoracoscopy

Importance of timely getting the screening and diagnosis done-

The problems associated with lung and infections are increasing rapidly across the globe and it is necessary to take immediate action to control the spreading of the infection in the entire body. It can only be done with the help of the right treatment at the right time so that the infection can be controlled and lung diseases can be cured timely. Getting the diagnosis done timely will help in the examination of the lung diseases and evaluating the symptoms properly for initiating the right treatment and medication.

It is also crucial to keep a check on the activities and a response is generated by the body and it can be done with the help of regular monitoring of the blood levels and oxygen levels. It will help in ensuring the health of your lungs. If there is any abnormal response generated by the lungs then it can be examined during the process of screening and diagnosis so that necessary changes in the medication can be done.

Treatment of lung diseases

There are multiple treatments for handling different lung diseases. Depending on the symptoms of the patient and examining the lung disease, suitable treatment should be selected for specific symptoms observed in the patient.

Surgery

A lung transplant and lung volume reduction surgery can be done for treating the patient who is suffering from lung diseases. Lung transplant can be considered as an option for the patient who does not have any smoking habit. If the condition of the lungs is getting worse than lung transplant and lung volume reduction surgery can be done for reducing the problems associated with lungs diseases. The lung that is unhealthy can be replaced and either one or two of the lungs can be replaced with the help of the surgery.

Supplemental oxygen or Oxygen Therapy

Supplemental oxygen can also be considered as oxygen therapy.

It is a treatment where the damage caused to the lungs cannot be reversed but it can help in making the lungs healthy through which a strong respiratory process can be developed.

It will also help in stabilizing the blood pressure of the patient.

It helps in formulating the sleeping pattern and conditions through which oxygen levels can be maintained.

The human body cannot store the oxygen so this therapy helps in controlling the oxygen level of the patient.

It works in removing the prongs and it should be conducted while maintaining all the safety precautions.

How is it Different from Corona Virus Testing?

A year struggling with COVID-19 and still end is nowhere to be seen. It seems like we are digging the hole deeper. Cases are increasing and so is the need for testing. Testing is also a very important ammunition against the pandemic. It is not lost on anyone that COVID-19 testing has been an expensive and time-consuming method. So, other methods to test the presence of the COVID-19 virus have been continuously researched and Antigen is one such method.

What is Antigen?

The antigen is a substance that can stimulate the body to produce an immune response by activating lymphocytes which are white blood cells that are the main infection-fighting cells of the body. Antigens are of different types and can be found in the form of proteins, lipids, polysaccharides, or nucleic acids. The immune system of the body recognizes the distinctive features present on the surface of the antigens.

What is Antigen testing?

Antigen testing is a diagnostic point-of-care nasopharyngeal swab test that indicates presence or absence of COVID antigen in the body. It takes 30 min to test. The test is crafted to detect a certain protein in the virus that stimulates the immune response in the body.

How does antigen work?

COVID-19 has many known antigens like nucleocapsid phosphoprotein, a glycoprotein that has a spike-like protrusion o its surface.

Antigens produce antibodies that have Y- shaped proteins produced by B cells of the immune system. These Y- shaped proteins have antigen-binding sites that bind to the specific part of the antigen surface.

This process helps in eliminating antigens from the body by direct neutralization or by pushing them for elimination by other arms of the immune system.

What does the antigen test indicate?

Whether a person is currently infected by any pathogens virus in this case that is the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The nucleic acid-based test detects genetic materials whereas antigen testing detects proteins, glycans. These proteins are found on the surface of the SARS-CoV-2.

How will the antigen test help in detecting COVID-19?

Antigen tests are generally used to diagnose the presence of respiratory pathogens like influenza, or respiratory syncytial virus. The antigen test detects the presence of a viral antigen that implies a current infection. Rapid Antigen Test for COVID-19 is a test picks on the traces of any antigens in the body which indicates the presence of a virus in recent time.

In simple words, the Rapid Antigen test detects the presence of viral proteins that occur in the body if the body is subjected to the COVID-19 virus. It is generally tested in a sample taken from the respiratory tract. If the antigens are present in a certain quantity it will attach 

itself to specific antibodies on the paper strip in an observatory bag which generates visible signals in nearly 30 minutes.

How accurate is the antigen test?

 Accuracy of antigen tests depends on the circumstance for and in which they are used. Rapid antigen test gives the best results when conducted in the early stages of infection. In the early stage, the viral virus concentration is high and can be easily detected. Antigen tests are very specific but do have lower sensitivity than the RT-PCR test, reason that the Antigen test is mostly used in the early stages.

This accounts for highly accurate results but chances of picking false negatives. Negative results are not necessarily a confirmation of not being infected. So, a follow-up of the RT-PCR test is necessary to confirm the negative test.

  • Antigen test can be very helpful in controlling the spread as it is a very time-saving test and give results faster.
  • Antigen tests can help in the control of spread from an actively infectious person.
  • The antigen test gives results in no tie compared to the RT-PCR test which takes a minimum of 3 days to get the results.
  • The antigen test is also very cost-effective compared to the very expensive RT-PCR test. If new manufacturers enter the market with an antigen test kit it can lead to an increase in the tests per day rate due to its simple design.
  • The antigen test is very simple compared to the other genetic test.
  • Antigen testing can be very helpful due to the increasing number of cases to be tested and a shortage of resources and laboratories to be tested.

Where will the antigen test be helpful?

Although FDA has not given a complete reign over conducting antigen tests it is authorized and with further research, it can be deemed fit to carry on a large scale.

  • In high containment zone antigen tests can help detect influenza-like illness.
  • COVID hotspots areas can hugely benefit from the fast and quick antigen test to keep the new cases in check but under strict supervision.
  • Asymptomatic patients can be tested by antigen test. Patients who are already hospitalized for one or the other serious diseases like HIV+, Chemotherapy patients, transplant patients, patients of the age of more than 65.