lab tests

Deciphering Diabetes: Most-Common Lab Tests You Should Know About

lab tests

India has over 62 million cases of diabetes as of today – the highest in the world since 2000.  Combined with our genetic predisposition to diabetes and our increasingly fast-paced lifestyle, getting tested for diabetes is a must. While Type 1 diabetes shows its symptoms in a shorter span of time, the other types can have a more gradual onset of symptoms and thus can go undetected for a considerable period of time. Hence, undergoing periodical blood tests to diagnose diabetes helps with timely detection and treatment.

What is diabetes?

Your normal blood sugar level should be in between 70-100mg/dL during fasting, and should not exceed 125mg/dL after a meal. Diabetes is a condition in which the level of sugar present in your blood increases beyond the normal level. There are some early signs of diabetes that one can catch, including increased thirst and hunger, drying of the mouth, unexplained weight loss, headaches and increased urination with frequent instances of urine infection.

When should you get a blood sugar level test done?

Getting tested for diabetes is necessary when you start noticing its symptoms. Apart from these, if you had a history of gestational diabetes (diabetes that occurs during pregnancy), you are over the age of 45 or have a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or more, you must keep a check on your blood sugar level and get it tested every three years.

Common lab tests for diabetes

Diabetes can be diagnosed with a number of tests that are conducted using your blood samples. Here is a list of tests that could inform you about the level of sugar in your blood:

  1. Hb A1c Test (Glycated Haemoglobin A1c test) – This blood test informs you about the blood sugar level that your body has maintained over the previous 2 or 3 months. This result is achieved by calculating the percentage of oxygen attached to the haemoglobin molecules. An A1c level of 6.3 or less is considered to be normal and 6.5 or more indicates that you have diabetes.
  2. Fasting Blood Glucose Test – The objective of this test is to measure the amount of glucose level in your blood after fasting. (Minimum of 8 hours and a maximum of 16 hours) Fasting blood sugar level in a non-diabetic person should not ideally exceed 100mg/dL.
  3. Post Prandial Blood Glucose Test – This test is conducted to assess the change in your blood sugar level after a meal. As a standard it is conducted 2 hours after you have eaten. The normal level of post prandial blood glucose should remain less than 140mg/dL.

Complications from diabetes

Apart from the condition itself, there are a string of complications from diabetes that could cause havoc in your body and must be taken care of on an emergency basis. A few of these conditions are:

  1. Diabetic neuropathy (nerve problems caused due to diabetes)
  2. Diabetic retinopathy (eye problems caused due to diabetes)
  3. Kidney failure

Diabetes and the problems associated with it makes it important for you to keep a constant vigilance on the glucose level in your blood and take necessary steps to manage it in case they shift from the normal limit. A blood test can be extremely useful to prevent and control diabetes.

If you are experiencing any of the early signs of diabetes, catch it quickly
with a swift lab test.


Tips To Stay Healthy While You Work

workWhy is workplace safety awareness important?

Our work is what defines us. It gives us an identity, a purpose and direction in life. But did you know that common workplace problems such as the nature of your work, your work place environment and work pressure, all combined together can take a toll on your health? Take a break from your work and take a leap of good health as we apprise you of a looming health crisis.

How does work affect the health of an Employee?

  1. Number of working hours – It is important to work an optimal number of hours to keep yourself fit, at your productive best and also to prevent a burnout. Overworking for prolonged periods has been seen to interfere with sleep patterns, trigger heart attack, stroke, cause diabetes, and also accounts for mental health issues in the workplace. A research conducted by the Australian National University (ANU) suggests that the number of working hours per week should be limited to 39 hours as anything more than that places undue stress on your health.
  2. Work Environment – Where you work is as important as how much you work. If the people at your workplace are not welcoming, warm, understanding, respectful and friendly, it will affect your health adversely, especially mental health.
  3. Stress – In today’s times, work and stress have largely become synonymous. Stress can cause a number of health problems and it goes hand in hand with the crests and troughs of your work life. Stress is responsible for a string of cardiovascular diseases like heart attack, stroke, depression, loss of appetite, infertility and many more.

Big names of the corporate world have hence started taking employee health issues with immense gravity and are working towards establishing employee wellness programs that will enable the employees to work better while retaining good health.

Common Workplace Related Diseases

  1. Dermatitis
  2. Asthma
  3. Cardiovascular diseases
  4. Musculoskeletal disorders
  5. Depression

Health and safety tips for the office

  1. Eat healthy – You must ensure you eat healthy to traverse a day of hard gruelling work. Have a heavy breakfast, include more fruits and vegetables and limit the amount of junk food.
  2. Learn to manage stress – Adopt a regular post work schedule of de-stressing, be it yoga, meditation, a long walk in the park, or listening to soothing music once you get home. Mental health problems at the work are at a rise across occupations.
  3. Drink plenty of water – Stick to a minimum of 8 glasses of water to stay hydrated. Dehydration can cause you to feel drowsy and sluggish.
  4. Restrict caffeine intake – This could kick start your morning and your mundane day at work, but did you know by doing so you are putting your heart at risk? Opt for green tea instead to curb your caffeine cravings.
  5. Do not sit for prolonged periods – Change postures as much as possible. Take a break every now or then. This will help you relax and relieve the pressure on your neck and spine.
  6. You are entitled to good health – Take a note of the health and wellness benefits for the employees at your company. These are set out to ensure your well being and good health.

Your health should be your top priority. Consult a general physician to
make sure your work isn’t spilling over and giving health issues.

Your Headache Says A Lot About Your Life Problems

Headaches are a part of daily life. The constant irritation from the feeling can make it difficult to focus. Anything from stress and exertion to tension or hormones can be the cause of your headache. That’s why it is important to understand the type of headache you have.

Types of Headaches

The easiest differentiator between different types of headache is the location of the pain, nature of it and triggers that cause the onset of such discomfort. Here is a list the different types of headaches that could hinder daily life and functioning.

  1. Migraine – It is characterised by headache and nausea occurring simultaneously. Apart from these the other symptoms are throbbing pain at the back of the head, sensitivity to light and sound. Migraine triggers can be anything from light, sound, smell, hormonal conditions, emotional turmoil to improper food habits, sleep deprivation etc.
  2. Tension headaches – This is one of the top causes of headaches. Stress, emotional turmoil, anxiety and others are directly responsible for triggering this painful condition. Such headaches usually cause pain all over the head and it can be treated with mild painkillers.
  3. Headaches due to hormonal causes – This is a type of headache that affects women mostly. Associated with a woman’s menstrual cycle, it is also known as menstrual migraine.
  4. Caffeine induced headaches – Having too much coffee or quitting is both related to this form of headache. This occurs because the blood flow to the brain gets affected by caffeine consumption.


Natural remedies for headaches

Though popping a pain-killer seems like the easy way out, give natural headache remedies a try.Here are some of the best headache relief techniques that can help:

  1. Massaging lavender and peppermint essential oils.
  2. Consuming herbs like feverfew and butterbur.
  3. Staying hydrated.
  4. Indulging in a detox bath.
  5. Including more Magnesium rich food items in the daily diet.

Most headaches come and go. Some persist for a distressing amount of time.
In cases like these, consulting a doctor is the best way forward.

Maintaining work life balance

The Struggles Of Achieving Work-Life Balance

Maintaining work life balance

At times, aspects of your life and work can be at loggerheads, ultimately leading to inner turmoil. Work life imbalances trigger stress and interfere with normal sleep patterns. These abnormalities may lead to an increase in cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks, stroke and psychiatric conditions like depression, anxiety and an overall degradation of quality of life. Technology and work life balance have now become concepts that run parallel to each other, as the very aid of mankind has now bound him in cogwheels, circuits, chains and signals.

Here’s why you need to strike the perfect balance between your work and life:

  1. The lamp burns longer – Work-life balance and productivity are closely related to each other. The more you soothe the inner brawl of imbalance, the more your workability increases .
  2. A healthier you – When we stress over the inability to balance both work and home, it strains our health. Right from the immune system being compromised to grave health issues like cardiovascular health – they all slowly manifest as the tangible forms of our work-life imbalance.
  3. Stay in the present – Your attention is bound to get divided. Constantly thinking about work at home and vice versa will drastically reduce your productivity and hamper your relationships. The key is to focus on the present moment and take each moment as it comes.


Necessity of managing stress and work-life balance in the workplace

Companies can go a long way in helping their employees balance work with their personal life. Perks like flexible working hours have proved to be key in attaining such high points. Work life balance strategies for employees can include childcare services, engaging them in team building activities, maintaining a sense of consistency and structuring the organization and others.

Tips for maintaining healthy work life balance

  1. Don’t be a perfectionist.
  2. Create a list of things that you need to do and add the ones that make you happy. This will not only help you be organized but also help in managing work and home easily.
  3. Indulge in self-building activities like yoga, meditation and exercise.
  4. Avoid procrastinating. Every person gets twenty four hours in a day. It is up to us to make the most of it.

A prolonged lack of work-life balance can lead to health issues that
requires a general physician consultation.