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Depression is a clinical disorder that is now unfortunately very common in people of all ages. India has the highest rate of depression in youth. Globally more than 264 million people are suffering from depression. Depression is one of the major contributors to suicide amongst the younger generation.

What makes it more concerning, is that it is diagnosed with difficulty and way too late. Lack of awareness and conceitedness makes it more difficult for the person to seek out help.

Although in recent years much effective medication like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), and therapies have been discovered to cure depression such as behavioral activation, cognitive behavioral therapy. But it is to understand that mediation for depression is not as simple as any other curative medication.

Antidepressants are used generally for mild to severe cases of depression and are not the first line of treatment. But when it comes to antidepressants many face-to-face psychological treatments are used to come to the right type of antidepressants for the patients.

The point with antidepressants is that it is a difficult and long process to find one which suits the patient most harmlessly. Most common antidepressants don’t work for 70% of people. It takes a long and painful process of hit and trial. This takes a lot of time and is a very taxing process for the patient. Some do not even find their perfect or near to perfect match. Trial and error make patients prone to side effects like anxiety, restlessness, insomnia which will not be able to find is a side effect or result of depression. This can make depression a lot worse than better.

So, away is brought to light to skip the trial and error and straight to the important part.

Yes, a finger-prick blood test can predict likely can guide the depression treatment towards effectiveness in less time.

Research published by some researchers in England suggests a premedication test to suggest the right medication.

Let’s dismantle this problem first to get a better understanding.

Depression affects bodies in different ways. This demands unique medication accordingly. A blood test can be used to come up with a way to better decide on the required antidepressants which would help the patient to recover from clinical depression without trial and error. This method could bring an end to the guessing game of antidepressant prescriptions.

US Southwestern Medical Center says that having a biological explanation can change the way depression is treated.

What are we looking for in the blood?

Blood has biomarkers in it. These act like chemical signals. People have different levels of these biomarkers. Levels of these biomarkers indicate whether the medication would work for the patient or not.

According to scientists tests of levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) will give a better understanding to doctor about the drugs to prescribe and their success rate.

This will not only help the patients who still haven’t got a working medication for them and increase the rate of cured depression patients.

A very common behavior seen in depression patients is dropping the medication course in just 3 months.

Dr. Trivedi Director of the Depression Centre of UT Southwestern Medical Center says “giving up hope and dropping medication is a very common behavior.” But a treatment plan including blood test and a biological proof will give results and patients would be more likely to continue the medication.

A relation between CRP levels and drug used is found by scientists.

  • CRP level less than 1mg/L – escitalopram works just fine.

CRP level higher –   

  • escitalopram plus bupropion works more effectively

CRP is a very general, basic, and effective way to measure inflammations in a human body hence it is an effective marker for depression.

According to Dr. Trivedi’s research one does not need a higher amount of inflammation to experience the symptoms of depression. A small range of inflammation in the body can trigger depressive symptoms, inpatient.

Many advanced types of research are to get a better idea of the role of CRPs with other antidepressants and to find more alternatives for CRPs.

Patients are hopeful that biological reasoning could be found so there are better and more chances of curing the illness. Rather than just relying on guessing treatments and questions and answer with the patients which has not proven to be much effective.

One major benefit is finding, what type of metabolizing system the patient has?

  • A better understanding of how a certain drug will react to the genes in the body. For eg. How the patient process the drug can be predicted. Is it too slow that it can cause buildup in the body or too fast that the drug leaves the body without working?

These blood tests can also help in determining how the body will react to a certain drug. It helps in avoiding harmful, ineffective drugs, and side effects.

 This does have its limitations but it’s the beginning to find a more stable and effective treatment route for depression.

With the constant research and studies, treating depression can surely become easier and quicker in the future, helping people avoid the emotional, physical and mental stress of trial and error method of f antidepressants and therapy techniques and eventually making them realise what’s actually important, a move towards a  healthy life.

We should be more responsible about health issues and specifically towards mental health as we tend to ignore it. Science have been making constant efforts to tackle this condition have made appreciable efforts towards it.

All we can do it hope for the best while managing the rest.

We are facing a global pandemic since the beginning of this year 2020 and have realized the importance of a healthy lifestyle and immunity power. You might as well be aware of the fact that this coronavirus attacks the lungs and makes it vulnerable. This brings us to the importance of healthy lungs.

Healthy Lungs play a vital role in helping our bodies function well. Lungs are our support system for breathing. As per the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 235 million people are suffering from asthma. We all know the benefits of pranayama and yoga for better functioning of the lungs.

So what more can we do to make our lungs healthier and stronger, making it immune to the virus and other diseases? What are the odds of having a few food items as an answer? We would like to break it to you that certain foods help your lungs grow stronger! These include garlic, turmeric, ginger, fish, walnut, citrus fruits, onion, and apple. There are many more on the list but for now, we will study how exactly do they help in making the lungs function better and make it healthier. Let’s go through them and find out how!

Also, Read Why Is Vitamin D So Important for Your Health?

Raw Food items that are good for healthy lungs –

Garlic –

The anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties of garlic are beneficial to people with conditions like asthma, bronchitis, and as per few recent studies, garlic has protective effects on even a lung cancer patient to an extent as it might work as a chemopreventive agent. It enhances the elimination of toxins and carcinogens, helping your lungs to function better, as it comprises flavonoids, stimulating the production of glutathione.

Turmeric –

As Indians, we know the use of turmeric as a natural antiseptic with medicinal qualities. It is also a major part of most of the food preparations. The anti-inflammatory property of Curcumin found in turmeric is really important in improving the functioning of lungs and helps in conditions such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pulmonary fibrosis, and acute lung injury because of its effectiveness in pulmonary conditions with abnormal inflammatory responses. The Curcumin compound helps in relieving the inflammation of the airways and tightness of the chest, which is associated with asthma.

Ginger –

Ginger is a very usual and important part of many food recipes that we eat and drink and it also offers many benefits to the lungs. The anti-inflammatory qualities cause bronchodilation in asthmatic patients. It is also credited for breaking down the mucus and expelling it.

Fish –

The omega 3 fatty acids, extracted from fish are beneficial for patients with chronic lung diseases like a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that decrease the inflammation of the lungs in COPD patients. Apart from fatty acid, the fish oil also protects the lungs from infections by a bacterium called Haemophilus influenza.

Walnut –

For those who are vegetarians and won’t consume omega 3 fatty acids from fish, walnut is for your rescue here. Same as in fish oil, walnuts are well loaded with omega 3 fatty acids, which turns out to be really helpful for COPD patients by controlled inflammation of the lungs.

As little as one handful daily can turn out to help fight asthma and other respiratory ailments.

Also Read, 9 Solid Foods that Enhances the Body Immune System

Water –

Water is the basic form of life. Water itself is life. And there is nothing more beneficial and effective than water. Water is one of the purest ways to detoxify your body. You must drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water to keep your body hydrated because dry lungs are more susceptible to inflammation and irritation.

Citrus Fruits –

Citrus fruits, especially orange and lemon, are an amazing source of antioxidants and Vitamin C and Vitamin C, in turn, helps in boosting the immunity and fighting against respiratory infections. The fruits that are rich in Vitamin C reduce wheezing in children and optimize lung functions and breathing in COPD patients, as per a few recent studies.

Onion –

Onion, again, is the most commonly used vegetable in every other Indian household due to its taste, micronutrients, and vitamins. Even traditionally, it has been used as an herbal remedy for cold, influenza, and bronchitis. It helps improve the lungs and its functioning with its anti-inflammatory properties.

Flaxseeds – 

Many surveys are showing that flaxseed oil can help in the reduction of lung fibrosis. They help in protecting lung tissues before and after exposure to the radiation and help in the reduction of lung inflammation.

Apple –

We all are aware of the famous adage that says, “an apple a day, keeps the doctor away”. Well, we cannot deny this, can we? This adage has been backed by several recent studies with scientific evidence. As per a few clinical studies, the risk of developing lung cancer is reduced by regular consumption of apples. Apple is also credited for the reduced risk of asthma, as per a study. It helps maintain and improve the functioning of the lungs and the entire respiratory system.

Takeaway –

These were the 8 foods that are amazing for healthy lungs. As the proverb goes, “we are what we eat”. Make sure you add these to your daily diet and ensure better and healthier lungs and respiratory system for your body. These are the basic foods that we consume every day in Indian households, but if you are going through any serious lung-related problem, make sure to visit the doctor right away to ensure the best of your health.

Stay tuned to  Dr. B. Lal Clinical Laboratory for more updates.

In a speeding 21st century life, we often stay laid back and ignorant about our health and body. Usually, to stay healthy in this busy and junk food generation, we often take multivitamins and expect a healthy life from it. But that would be too ambitious, to be honest. Your vitamin supplement from the store will never be able to substitute a healthy lifestyle and a good diet.

In this post, we will talk about 10 essential vitamins and minerals which you would definitely want to make a part of your routine to avoid diseases and lead a healthy life. Let’s take a quick look!

Vitamin A

A fat-soluble vitamin that is present naturally in many foods like salmon, green vegetables, orange, yellow vegetables like carrots, squash, etc. Vitamin A is very important for building a healthy immune system, maintaining a normal vision, and reproduction. It also deals with the proper functioning of the heart, lungs, kidneys, etc. and other important organs. Vitamin A is differentiated in two, one found in poultry, fish, and dairy products, called Preformed Vitamin A, while the other is found in fruits and other plant base veggies and is known as Provitamin A. Healthy teeth, skin and eyes can be ensured by Vitamin A.

B Vitamins

B Vitamins are responsible for increased energy production, immune system functioning, and iron absorption by the body. So next time you feel tired and lazy, you know what your body needs! Food like potatoes, bananas, lentils, whole grains, and beans are a wholesome bunch of B Vitamins. Stock it up for a tiring and lazy day!

Also, Read, Lifestyle Changes Actually Help To Control Diabetes

Vitamin C

The amazing vitamin that is responsible for the enhanced skin elasticity, and strong blood vessels. Vitamin C also comes with great antioxidant functions! Vitamin C is required for the growth and repair of almost all parts of your body. Healing your wounds and scars are also features of this amazing Vitamin. And you where it comes from, Oranges! A lot of them! Make fruits like guava, grapefruits, kiwifruits, and strawberries an important part of your daily breakfast meal and get a boost of Vitamin C all together!

Vitamin D

The sunshine nutrient, synthesized by our body from the ultraviolet rays of sunlight absorbed by the body, is mainly responsible for calcium and phosphorous, which leads to empowering the bones in our body. Vitamin D deficiency may lead to low bone density and diseases like osteoporosis, which makes bones weak and brittle, leading to injuries. So next time be extra careful while using your daily sunscreen lotion as it stops the body from creating vitamin D from sunlight. Food like eggs, fish, and mushroom is helpful supplements for the same.

Vitamin E

We all know the importance of the immune system and immunity power as we are facing a global pandemic right now and to fight it, we surely do need a stronger immune system. Vitamin E is exactly the Vitamin you are looking for! It makes the immune system stronger to fight against bacteria and viruses. The alternative feature of this vitamin is that it helps in removing wrinkles by protecting against free radicals and it also helps in maintaining healthy blood circulation. Just look at it! It’s a win-win situation!

Vitamin K

It is a group of fat-soluble vitamins that produce prothrombin, a protein, and a clotting factor responsible for blood clotting and bone metabolism. It also plays a vital role in regulating blood calcium levels. It turns out to be really helpful in making healthy bones. Make a healthy meal of spinach, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts for your full-day Vitamin K dose, helping in blood coagulation.

Folic Acid

A perfect supplement to the diet of pregnant ladies out there! With the cell-renewing and birth-defect reduction qualities of folic acid it can surely help you before and after delivery of your healthy child. The meal should include asparagus, broccoli, citrus fruits, beans, nuts, cauliflower, seeds, and corn. How better and tastier can it get, right?


Calcium is pretty famous among all the nutritional elements for its bone-powering qualities. Make sure you are consuming a decent amount of calcium in order to keep your bones strong by drinking a lot of milk and soy lattes. Our vegan friends can depend on tofu!


Iron holds the credibility of healthy muscles and blood in our bodies.  A decent meal of oysters, pumpkin seeds, and spinach can provide you with enough iron for your body!


Immunity, growth, and fertility, all are taken care of by zinc in our bodies. It also helps in cell division, cell growth, wound healing, and the carbohydrate breakdown. It also is responsible for our important senses such as smell and taste. A zinc-rich diet may include cashews, beans, oysters, and even dark chocolate! Yes, we just gave you a reason to eat it!

These were 10 important vitamins and minerals essential for a healthy life, along with tasty, yet healthy food supplements to enrich them!

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In a typical Indian scenario, women always have a laid back attitude towards their healthcare and in the rural parts, even the men aren’t much bothered about the healthcare of women in general. Many women have this reluctant behavior of keeping other members of family superior to themselves and follow the same in healthcare as well. Medical tests are often treated as a waste of money, but instead, it is a check-up to find out diseases that may turn severe if not treated in early stages. Although no disease should ever be ignored, here are a few tests that no women should miss at the right frequency.

Cholesterol Level Screening –

A cholesterol test is done to ensure the cholesterol isn’t high, which indicates fewer chances of developing heart and blood vessels related diseases like a heart attack. The cholesterol developing in the arteries can result in critical health problems. Lipid profile tests could be used to measure the risk of heart disease. In women, after menopause, the cholesterol levels can increase. Measuring LDL and HDL cholesterol in such cases can be helpful. In case of any heart disease history in the family, triglycerides must be measured to avoid any kind of risk.

Bone Density Test –

We already have been seeing the television commercial where they clearly say that 1 out of 2 women suffer low bone density after a certain age. This data marks the importance of this check-up. Osteoporosis, as medically called, is quite common in women as compared to men. As a result of this, bones become weaker and brittle.  The body continuously absorbs while at the same time replaces the bone tissue.

New bone creation is hindered and fails to keep up with old bone removal in Osteoporosis. Symptoms are not usually witnessed till they have a bone fracture. In such a condition, it cannot be cured, but treatment can surely help, the early the better. Vitamins, dietary supplements, antacid, etc. can turn helpful. It is caused because too much parathyroid hormone causes loss of calcium in urine at the expense of bone and lesser the calcium, more the loss of bone. Other hormone imbalances can also be a reason though.

Vitamin D Test –

The sunshine vitamin, or Vitamin D3, is apparently very crucial for a woman’s healthy body. According to the research, vitamin d plays an indisputable role in inherent as well as adaptive immunity. As a fact, we all know that Vitamin d is naturally developed by the body by absorbing the UV rays from the sun. In such cases, both the quality and quantity of sunlight matters. The process can although be hindered due to poor dietary intake, absorption, or poor exposure to sunlight, due to chronic kidney disease and obesity.

This is commonly seen and is riskier to women in their late 60s, dark-skinned people, and women using sunscreen lotions. Vitamin D is really vital, especially for women as it helps in the prevention of osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, hypertension, obesity, and psychiatric diseases. It plays a vital role in pregnancy. Even though it is necessary to prevent and treat some forms of cancer and other critical diseases, its primary job stays protecting the occurrence of bone loss and helps in making them strong.

Anemia and Iron Deficiency Test –

Anemia is a condition when the blood lacks enough healthy red blood cells (RBCs) or dysfunctional red blood cells, leading to a reduced oxygen flow to different organs in the body. The symptoms for this include skin pallor, shortness of breath, dizziness, and fatigue, or even fast heartbeats at times. Although both men and women suffer anemia, as per the Global Nutrition Report 2017, more than 50% of women in India in the age group of 15-49 years are anemic. Blaming only undernutrition would not be appropriate, as, in India, poor hygiene holds equal responsibility for anemia because it also prevents the absorption of food. Blood hemoglobin levels check-up is important to diagnose anemia. It will also check if low nutritional iron is the cause behind it.

Thyroid Hormones Test –

As compared to men, women have a lot more chances of developing thyroid diseases. When the thyroid stops secreting enough hormones into the blood, hypothyroidism can develop and results in slowing down the organs. This happens in women usually after pregnancy and menopause. The serious repercussions include high cholesterol and eventually, heart trouble. The opposite may happen in case of hyperthyroidism where the thyroid secretes too much of hormones and as a result, bodily functions speed up. Women nearing menopause should be extra careful in ruling out thyroid disorders.

These are the major tests that are commonly ignored by women and which are really important for better health. Apart from these, other tests like eye examination, ear examination, diabetes test, blood pressure test, etc. are a few really important tests for women.

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One of the most important Vitamins for our health, Vitamin D, is lacking in many people today. The “sunshine vitamin” as it is also called, is naturally synthesized by the body from the absorbed ultraviolet rays from the sun. It is developed in the body as a response to the sunlight. This biosynthesis process can be inadequate due to problems like poor dietary intake, absorption, or in some cases, poor exposure to sunlight.

Vitamin D is very useful for our overall health and can be stored in the body fat until it is needed, but it isn’t that easy to get enough of it into our body. Vitamin D’s main feature includes maintaining the right amount of calcium and phosphorus in our blood, which results in making the bones stronger. With a deficiency of Vitamin D, calcium and phosphorus may not be absorbed efficiently by the body and the bones won’t get enough of it, which eventually makes them weak and brittle, leading to injuries. It can be boosted through the intake of several supplements and foods.

Vitamin D is basically a prohormone, a precursor of a hormone. Vitamins in general are nutrients that the body is unable to create, but Vitamin D on the contrary can be produced by the body.

Vitamin D is important because it-

  • Helps prevent bone fracture
  • Promotes healthy bones and teeth
  • Prevents chances of osteoporosis or low bone density
  • Decreases the chances of cancer like colon cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer, etc. by influencing the expression of genes involved in cancer development
  • Decreases the risk of diabetes in young people by regulating insulin levels
  • Reduce the risk of heart disease and heart failure
  • Reduce the risk of high blood pressure
  • Supports immune, brain, and nervous system
  • Supports lung functioning and cardiovascular health.
  • Improves mood as well!

These were the benefits of Vitamin D to our body. Now let’s see the problems due to the deficiency of Vitamin D-

  • Weaker bones, prone to breaking
  • Rickets can be developed in children, which prevent their bones to grow properly and delay their growth. It may also result in causing the problem to their immune system
  • Adults, on the other hand, are prone to osteomalacia and osteoporosis, which are the key culprits for low bone density and make them weaker and brittle
  • Increased chances of cardiovascular conditions, autoimmune problems
  • Chances of neurological diseases
  • Infections
  • Complications in pregnancy

Also Read, Vitamin D Deficiency: A Global Concern

Vitamin D is really essential and should be checked eventually through the specific medical test if the symptoms are evident. Some of the symptoms are-

  • Fatigue
  • Back pain
  • Bone pain
  • Hair loss
  • Muscle pain
  • Regular sickness
  • Infection

Amount of Vitamin D needed –

As per the experts, in absence of enough exposure to sunlight, then children and adults need about 800 to 1000 units of Vitamin D every day for a healthy body. While at the same time, older people of age more than 65 years may need more than 1000 units of Vitamin D in a day because of their minimum interaction with sunlight, and due to that their bodies won’t absorb the vitamins the way it used to. Exceptions are those who are already facing a deficiency of Vitamin D. In those cases, they need much more than 1000 units a day to recover and maintain the 1000 per day record.

However, too much of anything is unhealthy and so is Vitamins. Some people may intake as much as 2000 units per day. A Vitamin D overdose can result in sickness with nausea and vomiting along with irregular heartbeats.

Sources of Vitamin D –

Although there are additional supplements for Vitamin D, still the best source for Vitamin D is sunlight. Also, too much sunlight can result in severe diseases like skin burns and even skin cancer in extreme cases while very little exposure to sunlight can affect the amount of Vitamin D in the body. Moreover, a 10 to 15 minutes exposure to direct sunlight, twice a day, is enough to maintain the Vitamin D level in the body. Exceptions would be made if you’re using a sunscreen lotion because that stops your skin from absorbing the sunlight and results in a deficiency.

Vitamin D supplements are easily available at stores and supermarkets, but few supplements are only available by prescription of doctor suggested for someone going through deficiency of Vitamin D.

Few foods that can be a good supplement of Vitamin D –

  • Cod liver oil
  • Salmon, cooked
  • Tuna fish
  • Cheese
  • Egg yolks
  • Mushrooms
  • Fortified milk, cereals, and juices

These are the outlined information about Vitamin D and how it is useful for our body. The content here is not completely relatable to every person, as we have mentioned, exceptions are always there. For better knowledge about the same, consult a doctor and get you Vitamin D checked.

Are you waiting for the result of your blood test and wondering if it will be reliable? Or are you considering getting your blood tested at some other lab? There are many clients who send us the questions related to blood test results and without a doubt, the question is important enough.

Our users are surprised many times regarding the blood test results varying between labs to labs. It doesn’t depend on the academics of different labs but it is solely dependent on the different time points, some other variations, and importantly the calibration of different equipment at labs.

Would the different blood test results make any difference? Or cause more doubts?

First things first. Yes, the result of blood tests done in the same method and conditions from different labs can be very similar but not the same.

Results of blood tests are often given in the numbers or statistics or a simple yes or no. In the case of a test done for any particular inflammation or disease, the result is yes or no.

Generally, the results are quite similar in the laboratories that use the same blood test method and the sample type but this isn’t the case always. Because the reference range differs from lab to lab.

Statistical or numerical results are not of much importance until they are interpreted. And the results are interpreted by the help of a reference point. This is where the results will start to differ.

Reference values

Reference values are a set of values that are made into consideration to a healthy person and the results are compared to the reference points to draw out the conclusion.

Reference points are fairly to be different for every other lab. Reference values are as a guide to form conclusions about the health of the person.

The reference range also depends on the people who took the test to set up the reference values. Do not forget reference values are not normal values.

Types of equipment

Every lab has different types of equipment with which they collect samples and test blood. It is bound to have a different result because the equipment affects the results. Be it from the storage container in which blood is stored or the equipment under which it is tested.


Analytical work is bound to have issues and errors. These tests if performed repeatedly in the same lab can cause a lot of difference let alone different labs. The blood test involves chemically testing blood under chemicals and pigments which reacts differently in some cases. The potency of the chemicals can cause variance in the result of the blood test result. For example, vitamin B12 is known to be a test that is not always precise.

Diet and hydration of the patient

If the tests are done on different days results can vary due to differences in hydration and glucose levels in the body. If the diet of the patient has varying vitamin K levels it can be highly affected by Coumadin, the blood thinner drug, which is used by many patients.

Over-hydration is also one of the factors which affect the result of the blood test.

Test methods

The test methods or procedures used to test the blood can also cause variation in the result of the blood test. Different procedures involve different chemicals, routine, time intervals which are bound to have different reactions in blood tests.

Some methods are just incompatible in nature. Like enzyme, LDH can be measured using either forward lactate which pyruvate the reaction or reverse pyruvate which causes lactate change.

Sample handling

A simple step that is generally not paid attention to. It is an important step because how the sample has been retrieved and handled till and during the test can cause variance in the blood test result. Samples that are not true as they were taken can cause a major difference in the result.

Systematic errors

There can be errors in techniques, poor calibration, or even imbalance between methods. Immunological techniques can be difficult to cooperate as the antibodies used by different labs is varying mainly due to labs often get their antibody agents patented and labs avoid using the same antibody.

Also Read, ESR Blood Test – The Detector of Causes of Inflammation in a Human Body


It is a whole different problem. Like urate test can be measured in two ways.

One method is by using a chemical method that involves phophotungstate or the enzymic method which involves uricase. Both of these easily interfere with Vitamin C. The interference is also different; positive in case of plasma and negative in case of an enzyme. 

Other factors which can cause variation of results can be:

Use of valid reagents.

Daily calibration error.

Inexperienced hands or human error.

Interval of sample taking and actual testing.

The most destructive pandemic of all times is still raging above us and we are all at the mercy of precautions.

But testing of immediate contacts of any positive COVID-19 patients is equally necessary. Testing also becomes very important in the case of asymptomatic people.

COVID-19 test is a long process and requires special types of equipment that does not come cheap. It also requires a great deal of labor to carry out the test. There are two types of tests involved in COVID-19 namely

Viral and Antibody

The viral test tells whether a person has a current infection and an antibody test shows if a person had a past infection. An antibody test will not be able to tell if a person has a current infection.

But the story of COVID Tests isn’t that easy. People still do not have a clear idea about the procedure of getting CORONA tested. There were many speculations about where to get tested and how much will the COVID Test cost?

Until two months back all the COVID-19 tests were done by govt. health departments.                            

On April 8, the announcement for making the test of novel Corona virus-free at approved laboratories was made. The reimbursement would be done or not would be considered later.

This announcement didn’t go easy on the private sectors of a country with the second-highest population. An amended notice which entailed free tests for people under government flagship program Ayushman Bharat was issued and the rest of the people will have to pay for the test.

Private labs were open to charge a fee that didn’t exceed a fixed mark set by the government from people who could afford it. This limit was INR 4,500. Now the most recent update on COVID-19 test cost is about INR 2500 for most cities. In some states, it is INR 2400.

Now the mechanics and statics of COVID-19 tests in India are continuously under scrutiny and debate. The test is taken several times to ensure proper recovery in patients so this amount cap is how much feasible is still discussed.

Also in cases of past traveling records, people have to get tested without any symptoms and that compromises a large group so again amount cap is under scrutiny.

The prices as said by ICMR are based on the cost of the special kit used to test COVID-19 infection. The COVID-19 test is done on two levels:

Screening test- the presence of any corona virus-related bacteria in the swab of the patient is tested.

Confirmatory test- the presence of the novel virus is tested in the patient. This test is done if screening tests are positive.

In private labs, a single sample is used to test both screening and a confirmatory test.

Now let’s look at the process of detection of the COVID-19 virus.

How do testing kits of COVID-19 detect the virus?

India like many others is using RT-PCR for the detection of coronavirus. This is Reverse Transcription polymerase chain reaction.

It’s a kind of chain reaction to amplify the DNA enough for its evaluation. There are certain methods to extract the DNA from the sample.

Reverse transcription is used to extract DNA by treating samples with chemicals.

Starting from the extraction of a single-stranded RNA from the sample and encompassing an enzyme to convert the RNA to a double-stranded DNA which is called the reverse transcription.

Now the DNA is tested in a tube with a DNA of target novel coronavirus through binding them. This is followed by a process of multiple cycles of heating and cooling to amplify the DNA.

A fluorescent detector that makes the DNA glow identifies the virus.

This process requires a few hours. With increasing rates of suspects in a humongous population, we don’t have much time to spare.

So, a time-saving version is real-time RT-PCR (qPCR). It gives advantages like automation, reliable instrumentation which makes it more preferable.

Samples for the tests are taken through nasopharyngeal swab, throat swabs, saliva, and sputum or coughed up material or material collected via a suction catheter.

Process of COVID-19 RT-PCR test:-

Samples from deep inside of your nose and throat are collected and worked upon with some chemical solutions that help in removing fats and proteins from the sample and the final result is just the RNA of the sample. This RNA sample is then sent to a laboratory where the analysis with the RT-PCR machine is carried out to detect the COVID-19.

The test is carried out twice on the patient to confirm the presence of a virus. Because in 30% of the cases, the RT-PCR test has shown false results. Although the test is can even diagnose the presence of Coronavirus in asymptomatic patients as well.

The cost of RT-PCR tests for COVID-19 is around 2,200 to 3,000 in different states.

Other tests for COVID-19

Although the RT-PCR test for identifying COVID-19 stays as the gold standard for testing the virus, the Health Ministry has also come up with a few other tests to identify the virus. The types of testing kits have gradually expanded with different testing strategies. There are other types of COVID-19 tests other than RT-PCR namely- antibody test, antigen tests, TrueNat, and CBNAAT. These tests were introduced to combat the increasing requirement of testing in the country.

Pregnancy is the most beautiful and important journey of a mother’s life. And mothers make sure to always take care and keep precautionary measures to their best ability. A mother’s health is as much important as of the baby. The mother’s health has a direct impact on the baby’s health. Keeping mother and baby both healthy and safe is a lot more challenging in these times of a global pandemic. It’s been nearly seven months and we are still struggling with COVID-19 with not many effective solutions rather than precaution. Precaution is the biggest shot against COVID-19. Even if you have a doubt, you should go for COVID test nearby.

So, let’s take a look at the impact of COVID-19 on pregnant women and what can we do more to keep them safe?

Are pregnant women at more risk than the general population?

Let’s dive into some aspects:

During pregnancy, a mother’s body goes through a lot of change at the very core of her system. And the immune system is affected largely during pregnancy. So, it does make their body weak against any foreign bacteria.

With records of all the pregnancy during COVID-19 according to the Indian Medical Council for Medical research, no definite conclusion could be drawn whether pregnant females are more susceptible to the COVID-19 virus or not. 

Newborn babies are though definitely more susceptible to COVID-19. Infants less than 12 months old have a weak immune system and can be easily attacked and overcome by the COVID-19 virus.

A Must Read, A Brief Guide on Respiratory Care

Precautions and guidelines for new and expecting mothers

Now not only mothers or expecting females should partake in all the necessary safety measures but she should always be in contact with the doctor and refer to them frequently.

  • Wash your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based sanitizer.
  • Clean other surfaces thoroughly with soap and water because infants generally have this tendency of putting their hands in mouth. So the surfaces they might get in contact with should be clean and disinfected.
  • Wear a mask if in the company.
  • Try to avoid crowded places and practice social distancing.
  • Avoid meeting anybody who exhibits symptoms of cold and flu.
  • Items used for personal use should be disinfected.
  • Mothers should make sure their hospitals are following all the necessary guidelines.
  • Mothers should monitor if any symptoms of COVID-19 shows and refer to the doctor.
  • If mothers are positively tested or suspected then breastfeeding is not recommended without consulting to doctors.

Can a mother breastfeed the neonate?

There is no proof yet that breast milk contains any sort of COVID-19 transmissions. Yet it would be advised to not breastfeed your baby if the mother is suspected.

Can a suspected or confirmed positive tested mother transmit the virus to a baby?

In many cases, positively tested mothers gave birth to perfectly healthy babies and in other cases, negative COVID-19 mothers gave birth to positive COVID-19 infants.

The transmission of the COVID-19 virus is generally via respiratory droplets. So, it is generally transmitted through primary caregivers after birth. But extent or proof of the direct vertical transmission still does not have a scientific or clinical backup.

So, the following guidelines should be followed after the birth of the child. The transmission process between mother and neonate mostly occurs during pregnancy or birth so the neonate should be isolated until tested.

  • Neonates (newborn) should be handled with proper care and hygiene.
  • Neonate of a confirmed or suspected COVID-19 mother should be isolated from the mother.
  • All newborn babies should be tested within 24 hours of birth. If shows symptoms they should be isolated from other neonates.
  • Infants under 12 months of age should be given extra precautions.
  • Premature infants are at higher risk so they should be isolated and given extra medical aid.
  • After birth mothers should cut on visitors. Too many visitors would expose the baby to a virus.
  • Those who are in direct contact with the baby should frequently check their sanitizing habits.
  • Those who are caring for a baby should wear masks.
  • Someone with any respiratory problems should stay away from the baby as well as pregnant women.
  • Mothers should breastfeed their babies within an hour of delivery. Because it is found that neonate who isn’t breastfed is more vulnerable to getting infected with the virus and other diseases than the one who gets breastfed.

If separation is carried between mother and neonate

  • Breast milk can be expressed via a bottle through the third person.
  • The use of a delicate breast pump is advised.
  • Every part of the breast pump should be thoroughly sanitized.

How many appointments would you have after going to birth?

This completely depends on the needs of your baby and your health. But plan at least 3 postnatal visits to the doctor. You may also plan face to face calls, telephone consultations, or even meetings at the clinic. Just be sure that you follow all government guidelines before stepping out of your house.

Say no to stress.

Pregnancy in itself requires a lot of care and attention and mothers often are stressed and overwhelmed. Emotions are also wayward due to hormonal changes that can also cause mood swings. During this pandemic do not be overbearing about the disease. Take proper care of yourself and the baby. Depression is generally seen in new mothers during pregnancy or postpartum. Seek help and engage in relaxing activities.

Be prepared, not scared.

Respiration is the most important activity that happens in our body 24/7. The human body can’t stay alive for more than 2 minutes if the process of respiration stops. Humans can work for days and months without eating food or drinking water, but only for a few moments without oxygen.

A normal adult takes 12 to 20 breaths per minute. The breathing rate of the human body increases during exercises as the body requires more oxygen to release energy.

Respiration is the process of intake of air containing oxygen, which is the fuel for the human body. Respiration enables the functioning of almost every part of the human body. It is a foundational process. Good breathing would help you in many ways, it helps you to have better mental clarity, helps in improving digestion, helps in reducing stress level and even it can help you have a good sleep cycle.

Without proper respiration, there can be many health issues in the human body. The health effects can be-

  • – Multiple organ failure can take place
  • – Proper digestion and congestion will not take place
  • – Cautiousness will decrease.
  • – Overall, the body will not function properly and it can even lead to a fatal death

Now you must have got a clear image of the importance of proper respiration in the human body. Let’s have a detailed guide about Respiratory Care.

Health Benefits of Deep Breathing

Deep breathing is one prime cure of many unknown problems of the human body. By breathing deeply only for a few minutes you can feel significant changes in your body and mind. Do you even know how deep breathing can be the solution to many health issues like high blood pressure, stress & anxiety, pain, etc. The benefits of deep breathing for the human body are as follows.

Reduces Stress-Deep breathing increases the number of endorphins, the “feel-good” hormone in the body which helps in decreasing stress and makes you feel happy and confident.

Reduces Pain– The endorphins not only aids to decrease stress but also relieves pain in the body.

Detoxifies Body– Proper breathing can remove up to 70% toxins of your body. Deep breathing helps in removing excessive carbon monoxide for the body easily.

Improves Immunity– Deep breathing increases the amount of oxygen in the blood which in term helps the blood to carry more nutrients and vitamins. Various immunity-boosting products are available on our website.

Increases Energy– With the increase in the amount of oxygen in the blood the functioning of body parts becomes easier. This helps in increasing energy and stamina. You can use ashwagandha tablets to boost up your stamina, you can easily buy it on Dr. B. Lal Pharmacy.

One important tip: Practice slow and gentle deep breathing. Remember to fill the air in your abdomen area. A simple way to ensure that you are doing deep breathing properly is by placing one of your hands on your stomach. So when you inhale, your stomach should rise. Try to focus on your breaths and let all the tensions out from your body.

7 Ways to take care of the respiratory system

Taking care of your respiratory system properly can eliminate the risk of many diseases. We have provided you with the seven must best steps to improve the health of your respiratory system.

– Don’t smoke and try to avoid second-hand smoke. During the time of coronavirus, you can use masks to mark protection from any dust or virus particles. Use our 6-layer mask to ensure safe breathing every time.

– Try to breathe in the fresh air and avoid pollution by using proper masks.

– Try to avoid meeting or contacting people with viral infections and flu.

  • Perform the cardio and all the exercises you can. You can practice yoga and meditation as well.
  • Keep your house and your surroundings clean to avoid any dirt particle.
  • Maintain a healthy sleep cycle.

– Try to improve your diet and eat healthily. You should include fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet. And drink a lot of water.

– Maintain perfect body weight. Try the natural snack options on our website that help you reduce body weight.

– Try to keep your immune system stronger. Include food options that help you boost your immunity.

Common Diseases Related to the Respiratory System

Common Cold- It is the most common respiratory disease caused due to the inhalation of virus particles. It mostly causes a runny nose, sneezing, cough, and fever. But it can sometimes trigger the inflammation of your respiratory tubes that cause diseases like asthma and bronchitis.

Asthma – It is a chronic lung disorder that causes inflammation of the tubes that carry air in and out of the lungs. These tubes swell up and produce a large amount of mucus. This tightening of airways causes problems in the process of respiration. The common symptoms of asthma are shortness of breath, coughing, and wheezing.

Bronchitis– This disease is caused due to inflammation of the lining of the tubes responsible for airflow known as bronchial tubes. It can be acute or chronic depending upon the symptoms. The main symptom of Bronchitis is the coughing of thick mucus. Acute bronchitis lasts for only 7-10 days.

Exercises to strengthen your Respiratory System

Anulom Vilom Pranayama

Anulom Vilom is also known as alternative nostril breathing technique. This is one of the best breathing exercises and can cure almost all your respiratory problems.

How to perform Anulom Vilom?

– Sit with your back straight and legs crossed.

– Now relax and bring your hand to your nose.

– Close your right nostril with your hand and inhale slowly from the left nostril.

– Now close the left nostril and exhale with the right nostril and once again inhale with the same nostril.

– Keep on repeating the procedure for at least 5 minutes.

Pursed lip breathing

This exercise is perfect to detoxify your body by removing all the stale air in the body. This exercise allows the airways to remain open for a longer time during exhalation.

How to perform Pursed lip breathing-

– Inhale normally through your nose for 2 seconds.

– Then shape your lips in the way you do to blow the candles.

– Breathe the air slowly out through your lips.

  • Repeat the process for 8-10 times.


Another important yogasana you can practice to improve your breath cycle. The Shavasana rejuvenates your mind and body and brings your mind to the mediative corner. A peaceful mind and a relaxed body would help in fighting against breathing problems.

Singing And Laughing

These are the two easiest breathing exercises you can perform. Laughing helps in increasing the lung capacity and also removes stale air from your lungs quite faster. While singing also increases the breathing capacity of your lungs.

With the skyrocketing numbers of Corona positives and the chaos increasing outside, it has become quite difficult to remain contained and peaceful.

There are approx. 332K death cases due to coronavirus infections around the world until May 21st, 2020. And numbers are evidence that a person suffering from any chronic disease and is in baby boomer age is more vulnerable than a normal individual with no pre-existing disease.

Still, there are people, or I say some insensible people who are still thinking that COVID 19 disease cannot affect them as they are of young blood and invulnerable. Well, nobody is so resistant or strongly immune that they can’t get infected by the Coronavirus.

But people of old age, more than 60 who are previously suffering from chronic diseases like Diabetes, BP, Heart disease are more prone to COVID 19 as their immunity is already weak. Also, the small kids and children are likely to suffer more due to COVID 19. Elderly with health issues and kids should be more careful and take extra precautions to be safe from this Pandemic.

It is time to adjust the behavior and attitude of all the elderly people or say baby boomer parents who think they are invincible because they are not!

I admit that the elderly people of 60 or above age groups are much healthier than their parents who belonged to this age group. Our parents are fit and fine, but we cannot ignore the fact that they are still old, and their immune system isn’t so strong enough to take any new virus. Many of the baby boomer parents think that they are young and not old yet so there is no need to concern about the whole pandemic thing, but as a gentle reminder we are all human and are mortal, we can get infected, sick, or die too!

Also, Read Coronavirus Symptoms and Precaution Tips

The reason behind the carelessness of some people is that they consider the baby boomer generation to be strong who have survived the other diseases. For instance, these boomers have survived the Swine Flu which had hit the population in the winter season and its fatality rate was quite low. Some of the baby boomers consider that COVID 19 would also not affect that much.

After the government advisories, the strict norms, city lockdown, country lockdown, and even curfew at some location, you can still spot elderly people going on a morning walk or running in the park in the evening. Because they feel they are doing physical activities to keep their body fit. But for god’s sake, we need to do all the exercises or physical activities within the four walls of our house. Despite all the warnings issued by the government and medical institutions for elderly people that they are more at the stake of getting coronavirus, people are showing ignorance towards their responsibility, they are not following the government’s instructions. The only responsibility that citizens have given is to stay inside their homes and follow the lockdown.

No matter whether you feel fit and healthy or you look quite fine in the boomer age group, coronavirus wouldn’t consider that. Look at the number of boomers getting tested positive. These baby boomer parents are not ready to accept the fact that they have become old and their age isn’t safe for this virus. The people belonging to the boomer’s age group are more prone to Corona Virus than a regular individual without any pre-existing disease. Boomers are not ready to change their lifestyle and accept the fact that today only precautionary measures can save them from this fatal disease, as there is no antidote of it yet.

We are seeing the protest of many people around the world. Even the country Like USA is facing this challenge, people are coming on roads to protest the lockdown, also in India, many groups are not supporting the lockdown. Though a large section belongs to the worker community that lives on daily wages, they are now facing the real challenges of life, they are running out of money, food, and essentials and this situation is really heart wrenching. Excluding this group, there is no age group that finds it difficult to stay indoors.  There are many boomers with all facilities and essentials at their homes but are still not following the government’s commands.

The Coronavirus doesn’t check your age before infecting you. Look at the example where the heir of the British throne, Prince Charles, who is of age 71 was diagnosed with COVID 19, and the other example where a 6-month old baby died of the same disease!

Some of the tips for people belonging to 60 years and above can consider:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. You can also use hand sanitizer if you do not find soap and water.
  • Stock up on household items like groceries, your regular medicines, etc. You can also contact your family doctor about future prescriptions for over-the-counter medicines that you might need during the quarantine period.
  • Do not touch your face again and again.
  • Practice social distancing as much as you can.

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