A plant-based diet entails ingesting components derived from plants as your main food sources. According to studies, people who frequently eat a lot of wholesome plant-based meals are less likely to suffer from chronic conditions like cancer, type II diabetes, heart disease, or inflammation. Unsaturated fatty acids, vitamins (like folic acid), minerals (like potassium), fiber, and protein are just a few of the nutrients that are abundant in plants and good for the body’s health. Additionally, consuming a plant-based diet is frequently directly linked to a lower risk of obesity and the emergence of many chronic diseases.
But not all plant-based diets are the same, and some practices related to them might be more detrimental than beneficial. Everything you need to know about following a wholesome plant-based diet is covered in this article.
Q: What is a plant-based diet?
A: A plant-based diet, expressed simply, consists mostly of fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and whole grains (such cooked oats and brown rice), with a small amount of lean meats and low-fat dairy products.
Q: What constitutes an unhealthy plant-based diet?
A: Overly processed foods are the main culprit because they frequently contain extra salt and sugar during processing. As a result, these foods are distinguished by their high calorie content, added sugar, salt, and fat, low nutritional value, and use of low-cost industrial additives in their processing.
However, we cannot generalize, and not all food processing is detrimental. If we want to know whether a food is a healthy plant-based food, we need to look at food labels more carefully to see what ingredients are added to the food during processing. For instance, frozen and canned veggies are a good addition to the organism’s diet.
Here are some typical harmful plant-based diets for your reference.
- Commercially produced breads, pastries, cakes and cookies.
- Carbonated beverages.
- Prepackaged snacks.
- Flavored dairy beverages.
- Breakfast cereals.
- Energy bars.
- Ready-to-eat sauces, soups, pasta pots and desserts.
Q: What is the difference between a plant-based diet and the vegetarian diet we usually refer to?
A: A vegan diet entails total abstinence from all foods derived from animals, including honey and other non-directly animal-derived goods. The main distinction between a plant-based diet and a vegetarian diet is that the former does not demand that you fully give up meat, which is also full of healthy nutrients like protein, vitamin B, iron, and zinc.
However, there are high and low levels of meat. For example, red meat frequently includes high quantities of saturated fatty acids, while processed meats, like as burgers and hot dogs, contain high levels of sodium.
Consumption of red meat and processed meats, such as burgers and hot dogs, is often directly associated to an individual’s higher risk of cancer, heart disease, and mortality, compared to consumption of white meat, such as chicken and fish, will often lessen the chance of death.
A balanced plant-based diet therefore calls for a small amount of lean meat and low-fat dairy products in addition to a large variety of unprocessed fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes.
Q: How does a plant-based diet help us stay young?
A: A plant-based diet has long been known to be healthy. First off, a plant-based diet has a high proportion of fiber, so you can get enough of that. You can also get enough protein from the diet as a whole and enough antioxidants if you stick to a plant-based diet. From these angles, it can aid in maintaining a healthy metabolism and helping girls retain a nice body shape, so indirectly reducing the aging process.
Q: What particular groups of people ought to try plant-based diets?
A: A variety of demographics are suitable for experimenting with plant-based diets.
- People who should reduce their weight;
- People who may get diabetes;
- People with a cardiovascular disease risk factor.
Q: For people who are new to plant-based diets, how can they start to get used to them gradually?
A: In fact, as long as the intake of fruits and vegetables is progressively increased, switching to a plant-based diet is fairly simple. You can then decide whether to stick with a plant-based diet or switch to a vegetarian one.
Q: Are there any recommendations for choosing food?
A: All healthy dietary choices are similar to food choices. Naturally, choosing safe ingredients is the first step toward a plant-based diet. The second step is attempting to select foods that are unprocessed and as natural as possible. Potato fries and chips, for instance, are hardly plant-based, but they are healthier and adhere to the principles of the complete diet more so than choosing cooked organic/natural potatoes with skin.
If you need professional advice on a diet plan, feel free to ask professional diet experts on MyCLNQ APP. https://tinyurl.com/MyCLNQapp
Bumps and lumps in the body certainly come off as unnatural and may cause one to worry about what they entail. Could it be caused by something concerning, such as cancer, or just a minor health issue?
To better understand what these lumps could mean and when one should and should not worry, it is essential first to know what to look for in a lump and understand what they are.
Are all lumps and bumps worrying?
Fortunately, most lumps are harmless and should not cause concern. Many medical or skin conditions can give rise to these lumps on the skin’s surface or below it.
Characteristics of a harmless lump
Lumps that are not a sign of a serious health issue usually possess the following distinct characteristics:
- Mobile, which means they move and change form when touched
- Found on the uppermost or fat layer of the skin
- Grow in size and becomes painful with activity but diminishes with rest
Lumps from physical activity
Athletes of all kinds experience the occasional lump resulting from constant training and exercise, competitions, and other physical activity.
If your lump is connected to these same reasons or a specific trauma, it is recommended to follow the RICE method, which stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation.
Should the lump improve over time, it is a reassuring sign that it is benign. Otherwise, it is best to seek help as soon as possible, preferably with means that allows you to consult a virtual doctor in Singapore so you can get advice immediately.
A common condition that can cause lumps is cysts, sac-like pockets of membranous tissue that can appear anywhere on the body containing fluid, air, or other substances.
The usual cysts include ganglion cysts, rounded lumps housing a jelly-like fluid that typically appears on tendons and joints and Baker’s cysts, which bulge behind the knee.
When you should see a doctor
In rare cases, unexplained lumps and swellings could signify more serious health issues like cancer. Cancerous bumps generally appear spontaneously, are large in size, hard, and painless when touched while growing steadily over time.
These lumps that can be felt externally typically appear in the testicles, neck, breast, arms, and legs.
Adult soft tissue sarcoma
Adult soft tissue sarcoma is a rare type of cancerous bump that can form virtually anywhere on the body but generally develops in the arms, legs, chest, or region behind the abdomen named retroperitoneum. It is a disease wherein malignant cells form in the body’s soft tissues, and in its early stages, it rarely ever causes symptoms because they are still deep inside the tissue.
Soft tissue sarcoma can become rather large before they cause symptoms due to being embedded deep in the body. They commonly feel like bumps or masses and may be painful. If they develop in the abdomen, they may induce nausea, pain, and a sensation of being full.
Aside from adult soft tissue sarcoma, other conditions can cause swelling and new lumps to appear as well. While they may not warrant immediate care, they still need to be monitored and may require you to book an online medical consultation for a doctor’s opinion.
These conditions are:
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Rheumatoid arthritis
For the most part, lumps are nothing severe and pose no issue to your well-being. Nonetheless, it is important not to discount the small per cent wherein it could be due to a more severe case.
Get regular health screenings and consult a doctor about checkups via the MyCLNQ app today to stay on top of your health.
As the leading app for telemedicine in Singapore, MyCLNQ provides a one-stop service for all your medical needs, that ranges from private ambulance services to virtual ART tests in Singapore. Download the app to have easy access to our medical services today.
If you’ve been following the news these past few weeks, you’d know that another disease is now creating fear among many people worldwide. This disease is called “monkeypox,” and more than 30,000 cases have already been reported worldwide. Because of this, the World Health Organization (WHO) has recently declared monkeypox a global health emergency.
Since the monkeypox outbreak raised the alarm across the globe, numerous people have been curious to discover what this virus is, how it spreads, and the effective ways to prevent its transmission. While plenty of information about monkeypox is readily available, many still fall victim to misinformation. This is mainly because several myths about monkeypox are spreading rapidly online.
To ensure that what you know about this disease is factual, here are 5 of the most widespread and harmful monkeypox myths that should be debunked.
Myth #1: Monkeypox is a new virus
Because most people have only heard about monkeypox recently, there’s a common misconception that it’s a new virus, like COVID-19. However, monkeypox was first discovered in the research monkeys as early as the 1950s. Its first human case was reported in 1970 in Congo, Africa.
Since then, the monkeypox virus has been thoroughly studied, and medical literature has all the details about its spread and prevention.
Myth #2: Monkeypox is spread through air
The myth that monkeypox is airborne has been the source of panic for many people. However, according to medical experts, monkeypox is not airborne but transmitted through direct, personal contact with an infected and infectious person. This includes shaking hands, consuming with the same utensils, kissing, and having intimate contact.
Moreover, since the virus is believed to live on surfaces for weeks or months, a person can also potentially catch monkeypox from touching objects an infected person uses, such as a toilet seat, clothes, and bed linens.
Myth #3: Only gay and bisexual men are affected by monkeypox
This is perhaps the most common and discriminatory myth about monkeypox that you’ll read online. Many believe that monkeypox is a disease affecting only the LGBTQ+ community, specifically gay and bisexual men. However, the truth is that anyone can contract monkeypox.
Although the people with the highest risk of catching monkeypox right now are those men who engage in sexual intercourse with men and have several sex partners, this doesn’t mean that the disease is exclusively a gay sickness. As the WHO experts clarified, anybody can get monkeypox through close contact with an infected and infectious person.
Myth #4: Rash is the only symptom of monkeypox
The most common monkeypox symptom you’ll likely hear about is a rash. While the virus certainly causes painful skin lesions, a rash isn’t the sole symptom that can manifest if you have monkeypox.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has mentioned that the usual signs of this disease include the following:
- Sore throat
- Muscle aches and back pain
- Extreme tiredness or fatigue
- Stuffy nose or cough
- Swollen lymph nodes
- A blister- or rashes that look like pimples on or around the anus, genitals, chest, hands, feet, mouth, or face that may be painful and itchy.
According to medical experts, the early symptoms of monkeypox are often similar to that of a common cold. However, once a rash develops, this disease can be transmitted most easily by mere skin-to-skin contact.
Hence, if you notice a rash developing on any of the body parts mentioned earlier, it’s highly advised that you book an online medical consultation immediately.
Myth #5: There is no treatment for monkeypox
Although there’s still no targeted treatment or cure for monkeypox, it can nonetheless be treated with antiviral medications like TPOXX, which is the one used for treating smallpox.
However, these medications aren’t always readily available, so it’s best to contact your virtual doctor in Singapore or the local health department to learn about available treatments.
Furthermore, most cases of monkeypox show that this virus is self-limiting since most of its infections self-resolve in about two to four weeks.
If diagnosed early on, you can easily manage the symptoms of monkeypox at home with oatmeal baths and over-the-counter pain relief medications, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. While monkeypox sores can be uncomfortable and painful, severe illness is rare.
Misinformation is ultimately the primary source of panic for many people worldwide. While there is an abundance of factual information about monkeypox, many people still fall for the monkeypox myths that are being carelessly spread online.
Knowing these common myths and the truths behind them can provide stronger protection against this disease to yourself and your family members.
If you suspect you’re at risk of getting the monkeypox virus, do not hesitate to seek the professional advice of a virtual doctor in Singapore immediately. Through the reliable telemedicine app called MyCLNQ, you can now quickly and conveniently see a doctor online for your symptoms and potential health risks.
Considered a highly trusted telehealth app in Singapore, MyCLNQ will provide you with all the medical-related services you need anytime.
Gallstones and kidney stones are two health complications that share a few similarities, primarily because they are caused by the solidification of compounds in two key body organs, leading to the blockage in the flow of fluids.
This issue can cause much pain and must immediately be treated if patients notice their telltale symptoms. Below, we share the critical differences between gallstones and kidney stones and how you can discern them.
Understanding the differences between the two
It is essential to first know about the specific organs affected by these two issues. The gall bladder is part of the digestive system, while the kidneys are an organ in the urinary system.
The purpose of the former is to store bile created by the liver, which facilitates the body’s digestion and absorption of fats. The latter focuses on filtering blood and produces the byproduct of urine.
Kidney stones are solid masses from the buildup of tiny crystals from minerals such as calcium, uric acid, and oxalate, which tend to form in the kidneys.
Meanwhile, gallstones are dense, pebble-like deposits of pigment or cholesterol that form inside the gallbladder. These stones can range from something as small as a single grain of sand to as large as the size of a golf ball.
Know your risk
The risk factors associated with gallstones are generally:
- A sedentary lifestyle
- Being overweight or obese
- High-fat and high-cholesterol diets
- Existing gallbladder diseases
- Family history of gallstones
- Rapid weight loss
In contrast, there are no single definite causes for kidney stones, but there are several factors that could increase the risk of developing them. Kidney stones are formed when the urine has more crystal-forming substances than fluids it can dilute.
Moreover, if the urine also lacks enough substances that prevent these crystals from sticking together, it creates an ideal environment for kidney stones.
Recognise the symptoms
Many people who have gallstones rarely experience symptoms until the stones begin to block their biliary tract, which may lead to:
- Back pain
- Pain in the upper right abdomen
This lack of early symptoms is also true for kidney stones. However, once they become large enough, they can stretch and irritate the ureter and block urine flow, resulting in sharp, cramping pain at the back and side near the kidney region. This intense pain can also be accompanied by:
- Blood in the urine
How to prevent gallstones and kidney stones
Your diet plays a significant role in preventing the formation of these stones. As such, following a healthy and balanced lifestyle is the best way to avoid these complications. Your weight is another risk factor. If you are unsure if you need to lose some pounds, your body will typically provide subtle signs you need to exercise more.
Another excellent and easy habit to adopt for specifically preventing kidney stones is drinking plenty of water daily. For gallstone prevention, avoiding intense weight loss programs like severe calorie restriction is best, which could lead to quick and sudden weight loss.
Lastly, observing a healthy fibre intake in your diet also helps further reduce your risk. To know more prevention measures specific to your case, seek out a medical professional for an online medical consultation.
Gallstones and kidney stones can be found in everyone’s system. However, when they grow too large, they will cause the symptoms mentioned above possibly worsen. If you experience the main symptoms of these health complications, reach out to a virtual doctor in Singapore as soon as possible.
If you need to know what treatment is best for gallstones or kidney stones, consult with a doctor via the MyCLNQ app. As the leading app for telehealth in Singapore, MyCLNQ offers you quick access to all the medical support and prescribed medicine you need while staying at home.
Enjoying a night of relaxation outside with your very best friend. Oh! What ought to be a wonderful relaxing time is being ruined by the mosquitoes! But you might wonder, “Why am I the only one who gets bitten?” You may noticed that you are always the chosen one when mosquitoes start seeking for targets. So why is that the case? What can we do to keep mosquitoes away?
This article will outline the key characteristics that most significantly influence the attractiveness of different groups of individuals to mosquitoes:
1.Rapid metabolism, increased carbon dioxide exhalation
Mosquitoes rely heavily on the carbon dioxide released to locate their prey. Therefore, people with a quick metabolism and larger lung capacity are more likely to attract mosquitoes. Additionally, when we have performed physical labor or have just breathed strongly after exercise, we will release large amounts of carbon dioxide, which also increases the likelihood of being bitten by mosquitoes.
2.Lactic acid concentrations
According to research, lactic acid is another molecule that draws mosquitoes. After exercise, the body often creates a lot of lactic acid. As a result, the best recommendation is to wash your hands and body with soap as soon as possible after exercise, as soap is an alkaline cleaner that quickly neutralizes the lactic acid created by the body.
Millions of skin microbes reside on our bodies, which is unquestionably beneficial for the health of our skin. However, they can have an impact on your attractiveness to mosquitoes. One could assume that individuals with higher levels of skin bacteria must be more alluring to mosquitoes. But it’s actually the other way around! According to studies, people with greater microbial variety are less appealing to mosquitoes and are therefore more likely to have fewer bites. So if you want to avoid getting bitten by insects, you might want to avoid or reduce your use of antibacterial soap。
Mosquitoes have dark preferences; they prefer damp, gloomy conditions, thus people who wear dark-colored clothing are more attractive to mosquitoes and become the primary targets of their assaults. Wearing white or light-colored clothing will therefore lessen your attraction to mosquitoes when you are outside.
5.High body temperature
One of the main ways that mosquitoes identify their prey is through the compounds that the human body releases into the perspiration. Furthermore, mosquitoes have a set of internal temperature sensors that help them more easily recognize hot and damp items. Additionally, alcohol consumers and those with elevated hormone levels are well-liked by mosquitoes.
How can I stay away from mosquito stings?
Itching, redness, and even allergic reactions to the skin can result from mosquito bites. Furthermore, mosquitoes are dreadful disease carriers and can spread a variety of epidemic diseases, including Zika, lymphatic filariasis, yellow fever, epidemic BSE, and dengue, and malaria. According to statistics, mosquitoes may spread at least 80 different diseases. Therefore, precautions should be taken to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes:
- Bathe frequently to get rid of sweat and cut down on body odor.
- Don’t be afraid to experiment with lighter hues, such light blue and green. Orange and yellow also appear to keep mosquitoes away.
- Apply repellent to the skin to ward off mosquitoes, such as mosquito repellent or natural repellents like citronella, lemongrass, and mint.
- If you can, limit your beer consumption.
At the beginning of 2022, many people worldwide became alarmed about a subvariant of the highly contagious COVID-19 omicron variant called BA.2, which is often referred to as the “stealth omicron.” This omicron variant appears to be taking over in some countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, and Denmark.
With the lifting of the mask requirements and social distancing in many Asian countries like Singapore, many people have already been trying to live the “new normal.” However, there are still several reasons to remain cautious, one of which is the looming threat of stealth omicron. To learn more about this highly transmissible COVID-19 subvariant, here is some essential information about the stealth omicron.
1. It is more contagious but less severe
The BA.2 omicron variant is a modified version of the BA.1 variant. This original omicron lineage still accounts for about 98% of COVID-19 cases worldwide.
However, in Denmark, the BA.2 or stealth omicron strain is reported to have already become the dominant subvariant of COVID-19 since the second week of January. According to many experts, there are indications that stealth omicron is 30% to 60% more contagious, especially for the unvaccinated.
However, fortunately, there are also reports indicating that the BA.2 variant isn’t more virulent when it comes to causing more severe disease. In an investigation conducted by the UK Health Security Agency last January, it was reported that there’s currently no sufficient evidence to say that the stealth omicron causes more severe illnesses.
2. Its most common symptom is sore throat
Compared to the other variants of COVID-19, stealth omicron has been reported to cause more cases of sore throat and pharyngitis. Hence, the most common symptom of this omicron variant is a sore throat. Some of the other symptoms experienced by patients are pretty similar to the different strains of COVID-19, such as respiratory symptoms and febrile illness.
In some cases, patients with stealth omicron can also experience gastrointestinal symptoms, such as loss of taste or smell and diarrhoea. However, these cases become somewhat fewer with the newer variants.
Suppose you are experiencing these symptoms, along with body aches, headache, vomiting or nausea, and nasal congestion. In that case, you should book an online medical consultation right away, as you may have gotten the BA.2 variant.
3. Vaccines and booster shots still work
Current data indicates that the available COVID-19 vaccines, such as Pfizer, Moderna, and Janssen, protect against the BA.1 and BA.2 variants of omicron. No data suggests that these vaccines don’t work against the current circulation COVID-19 variants. Hence, medical experts recommend that everyone get their primary series of vaccines and booster shots accordingly.
Getting a second booster is highly advised, especially for those over 50 years old or with a compromised immune system. If you fall under any of these classifications, you’re eligible for another mRNA booster to boost your protection against severe illness from COVID-19. While stealth omicron is more infectious than original omicron, existing vaccines can protect you from this highly contagious variant.
There’s a cause for concern regarding the BA.2 variant of omicron, mainly because it’s so contagious. However, considering it’s less severe than the other COVID-19 variants, there is relatively less reason for you to worry about critical illness and death. To ensure you’re protected from stealth omicron and the other strains of COVID-19, don’t hesitate to get your vaccines and booster shots now.
If you’re currently experiencing the common symptoms of COVID-19, you should take a tele-ART test in Singapore immediately. For a reliable, MOH-approved COVID tests conducted remotely, MyCLNQ is the best telemedicine app you can count on!
In just a few clicks in the app, you can already access a virtual ART test in Singapore and other medical services you may need, such as online medical consultations and private ambulances, at the convenience of your home.
Your liver is one of the essential organs in your body. It does numerous functions to keep your body healthy. The liver’s main job is to filter the blood that comes from your digestive tract before distributing it to the rest of your body. It removes all the toxins from your blood supply and manages your blood sugar levels, ensuring it stays at a healthy level.
However, just like the other parts of your body, your liver can also be susceptible to damage. This happens when you work your liver too much by drinking heavily and following an unhealthy diet.
This leads to the liver developing health issues. Liver failure is a severe medical condition that can lead to major conditions like liver cancer.
If you’ve been experiencing some symptoms of liver failure, it’s highly advised that you book an online medical consultation immediately. Below are some common warning signs that indicate your liver might need medical attention.
1. Water retention (oedema)
This is the most common sign of liver disease that manifests in about 50% of patients with cirrhosis, a condition in which the healthy tissue in your liver is replaced with scar tissue that prevents your liver from working correctly. Water retention or oedema occurs when there’s a buildup of excess fluid within your body.
Ascites is the fluid buildup that mainly happens in your abdomen. The fluid that’s accumulated here can cause your gut to experience distension or your legs to swell.
If you experience constant swelling in your abdomen and lower legs, bloating, indigestion, and vomiting, you should consider consulting a virtual doctor in Singapore to check if you have ascites.
2. Yellow eyes or skin (jaundice)
Jaundice is another common warning sign of a damaged liver. Jaundice is the condition in which your skin, mucous membranes, and the whites of your eyes turn yellowish because of a high level of bilirubin, a dark yellow bile that’s primarily created when your body breaks down haemoglobin.
A healthy liver can dispose of bilirubin without a problem. On the other hand, when your liver is damaged and unhealthy, it can allow bilirubin to build up in your blood and cause your skin and eyes to become yellow.
In most cases, jaundice is considered a severe symptom of liver failure. You must immediately consult a doctor once this sign appears.
3. Abdominal or liver pain
Having a liver disease can make you experience constant abdominal pain or discomfort, which is usually related to swelling from water retention and enlargement of your spleen and liver due to cirrhosis.
The pain typically feels like a dull throbbing ache or a stabbing sensation in the right upper side of your abdomen.
If you always feel pain in the right upper quadrant of your abdomen, just below your ribs, it’s a signal that there might be something wrong with your liver that needs to be addressed immediately.
This chronic pain can indicate severe medical conditions, such as Reye’s syndrome, hemochromatosis, and liver cancer.
Your liver’s inability to filter toxins can cause them to travel to your brain. This can result in a condition called “hepatic encephalopathy,” where the symptoms include confusion, memory problems, lethargy, and even coma. Hepatic encephalopathy is a nervous system disorder brought on by the severe liver disease.
Because hepatic encephalopathy is usually associated with advanced-stage liver disease, confusion is most likely not the first symptom you experience when your liver is damaged.
Instead, experiencing confusion can mean that your liver problem is already at a critical level. In such a case, immediate medical treatment is necessary.
Your liver has some of the most critical jobs in your body. It supports many body functions, including metabolism, digestion, immunity, vitamin storage, detoxification, and many others.
For this reason, you need to take good care of your liver by eating healthily and avoiding alcohol as much as possible. Knowing the warning signs of liver disease is crucial to maintaining and restoring your precious liver’s health and proper function.
If you suspect you’re at risk of liver disease, you should immediately book an online medical consultation in Singapore for a proper diagnosis.
Fortunately, medical consultations are now made more accessible and quicker with the help of MyCLNQ, the most reliable app for telehealth in Singapore. You can already book a digital appointment with a professional and trusted doctor in just a few clicks. Download our app today to access the medical conveniences today.
Feeling constipated is something that occurs in everyone at least once. It is usually indicated by fewer trips to the bathroom to move one’s bowels.
Many believe that a lack of daily bowel movement equals constipation, but this is not the case.
Officially speaking, constipation only applies when patients experience two or fewer bowel movements within a week.
However, other symptoms can classify it as constipation. Below, we delve into the other symptoms of constipation and share a few simple ways to get relief from it.
What is constipation?
Constipation disrupts a person’s regular bowel movement, which generally makes it more infrequent while also making it more difficult to pass stools.
Besides this, patients may also be constipated if they experience some of the following symptoms as well:
- A blocking feeling in their gut
- A feeling that they have not fully emptied their bowels
- Severe pain when passing stool
- Blood in the stool
- Rectal pain from straining
If you experience any of these symptoms lasting for more than several weeks or longer, you may need to see a doctor for some constipation remedy. You can book an online medical consultation if you are too unwell to leave the house.
With our MyCLINQ app, you can book the appointment with just a few clicks. From there, you can discuss your symptoms with a certified medical professional and be prescribed the medication you need for your condition.
How to treat constipation at home
Resolving constipation generally begins with your diet and the lifestyle you lead. With a few simple changes, you can speed up the rate at which your stool moves through your digestive system and out of it.
Add more fibre to your diet
Increasing fibre intake is one of the most common effective ways of treating constipation. Doing so increases the weight of the stool and thus speeds up its passage through your intestines.
However, note that a sudden increase in fibre intake may trigger gas and uncomfortable bloating.
Hence, take it slow and gradually consume more and more fibre for a few weeks instead of eating lots of it in just several days. Some fibre-rich and healthy foods you can eat more of are vegetables, fresh fruits, and whole-grain products.
Drink more water
Dehydration from not drinking enough fluids daily is a common cause of chronic constipation. If you are not drinking between eight to ten glasses of water, adopt the habit as soon as right now.
If you already do, adding two to four extra glasses can help ease constipation. Lastly, do not focus on simply avoiding dehydrating; ensure that you are drinking the right kind of liquids and avoiding caffeinated or alcoholic beverages.
Allow more physical activities
Constipation may be a sign you need to exercise more. Physical activity increases muscle activity in the intestines and helps things move along faster and easier.
As such, take time to get some exercise on most days per week, even if it is just something simple and low intensity like walking.
Constipation is a relatively minor issue, but if left untreated, it may interfere with your daily life and potentially result in more severe complications like haemorrhoids and other related diseases.
If the tips mentioned above are not enough, it is recommended to see a virtual doctor in Singapore with the MyCLNQ app. As Singapore’s accredited app for telehealth, MyCLNQ provides all the everyday medical services you need in just a few clicks, such as doctor consultation, medicinal e-commerce, and private ambulance services in Singapore.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic continues to persist even today, tests continue to be the best way to identify if one has the virus or not. When your doctor advises that you should get tested, or if you want to undergo testing yourself, you will generally have two options: Antigen Rapid Test (ART) and Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Test.
Despite achieving the same goal, determining the presence of the COVID-19 virus, they each have their differences and use cases. Below, we look at how they differ and which is better for specific situations.
Antigen Rapid Test (ART)
What is ART?
As its name suggests, ART is a quick COVID-19 test that produces results within 15-30 minutes. It works by detecting viral proteins in the secretions lining the mucosal surface.
ART tests are generally conducted by your doctor at events as a point-of-care test (POCT) or self-administered via ART self-test kits.
The testing process
An ART test involves extracting a specimen sample from the anterior nasal space of both nostrils via a swab stick provided in the kit. Afterwards, these samples are inserted into an extraction tube with a buffer solution that drips them onto a test cassette.
After the cassette is incubated for 15 minutes, the results can be determined.
How it differs from PCR
Due to its quick turnaround time, ART is the best pre-event testing (PET) option, allowing people to get their results within half an hour after getting swabbed and continuing with their day.
Another key difference is the comfort of the swabbing process. Although both ART and PCR can take samples from the nasal space, the former will be more comfortable on average since the insertion depth is only 2cm compared to the latter’s 2.5cm, a slight yet noticeable difference for those that have undergone both.
ART tests are significantly cheaper than PCR tests when it comes to cost. This is because only trained healthcare professionals can do PCR tests, and the specimens must be sent to a laboratory for testing.
Although ART tests are highly accurate, they may fail to identify an infection if the virus levels are too low to detect properly. As such, in certain circumstances, a PCR test may be necessary.
Use of test
Because its results turn up rather quickly, the ART test is great for personal routine checks and screening for pre-event testing. If you are under the Home Recovery Programme, it’s better to use this test regularly.
Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)
What is PCR?
The PCR test detects a COVID infection by amplifying the virus’s genetic code. Currently, the PCR test is touted as the gold standard among COVID-19 tests, making it the best benchmark for comparison with other tests.
The PCR test is also used for patients experiencing acute respiratory infection (ARI) symptoms as a final confirmation when ART tests return a positive.
The testing process
Taking a swab sample from the mucosal surfaces can be done via the back of the nose, the back of the throat, and the middle turbinate. The former two is an NP (nasopharyngeal) swab, the latter an (OPMT) oropharyngeal-middle turbinate swab.
When conducting an NP swab, a trained healthcare professional will use a swab stick to reach the back of the nose or nasopharynx through both nostrils to collect the secretions.
For the OPMT swab, individuals will be required to open their mouth wide to collect secretions from the back of their throat and middle turbinate of their nose. Once done, the samples will be sent to a laboratory for testing, with results following in about 24 hours.
How it differs from ART
Compared to the ART test, the PCR test is the more sensitive and most accurate method to detect the virus even before symptoms show.
However, due to this increased potency, it is more costly than ART, and the results will take some time to arrive, as mentioned previously.
Due to its effectiveness, false-positive results may occur even after the person ceases to be infectious for several weeks. They are continually shedding the virus through their mucosa, which gets picked up on by the virus. In other words, it cannot differentiate between old and acute infections.
Use of test
The PCR test is best used for symptomatic individuals, Stay-Home Notice (SHN) exit swabs, Quarantine Order (QO) entry and exit swabs, and rostered routine testing.
It’s essential to follow the doctor’s orders, especially if they suggest taking a COVID test to guarantee our safety and those around us. It is recommended to take the initiative and self-test using ART kits for routine checks and detect possible infections quickly.
If you need a MOH-approved COVID-19 test done remotely, the MyCLNQ app offers a simple and convenient way to achieve this. In just a few clicks in the app, you can get access to virtual ART tests and any other medical services you need, such as online medical consultations and private ambulances in Singapore, without stepping outside the house.
Migraines are not just simple headaches. They are more painful and are often debilitating. Although different for everyone, this health issue generally occurs in stages, from days or hours before the headache. It can last until after the attack.
Its symptoms include throbbing or pulsing pain in the head, typically on one side, along with dizziness, confusion, nausea, and sensitivity to light and sounds. Migraines are classified into types, episodic and chronic, both of which we shall delve into below.
Characteristics for both migraines
As mentioned before, migraines typically come with a throbbing or pulsing sensation that occurs only on one side of the head. Your doctor may diagnose you with migraines if you also experience the following symptoms, along with the obvious headache:
- Being sensitive to light, sound or smell
- Having visual issues (e.g. tunnel vision)
- Your legs and arms feel heavy
- Having problems speaking clearly
- Visual hallucinations (seeing black dots, wavy lines, light flashes, things that are not there)
It is important to note that a single test does not determine migraines. To diagnose your migraine, your doctor will rely on the symptoms you have experienced, some of which are mentioned above.
Some of the most common triggers for episodic migraines include menstruation in women, weather changes, and stress.
What are the differences?
Episodic and chronic migraines essentially classify the frequency in which you experience the symptoms of a migraine.
Episodic migraines generally linger for hours, spanning several weeks to months between episodes. The migraine is considered episodic when it occurs from 0 to 14 days per month.
On the other hand, chronic migraines last longer and can occur much more frequently, usually 15 or more days a month and for at least 3 consecutive months. People with this health issue experience more headaches each month than those who only have episodic migraines.
According to a study, people with chronic migraines experience headaches lasting 24.1 hours and 65.1 hours on average with and without treatment. In comparison, episodic headaches only last an average of 12.8 hours and 38.8 hours under the same conditions.
However, most migraine occurrences rarely ever develop into chronic migraines.
Treatment options for migraines
There are plenty of migraine reliefs at home you can try, which includes applying lavender oil, adding magnesium to diet, or applying stress management techniques.
However, if they do not suffice, your doctor may recommend some over-the-counter medicine if you have episodic migraines, which you can deliver to your home via telemedicine services. The prescriptions will largely depend on the severity and frequency of your symptoms.
Certain medicines like antidepressants, antiseizure drugs, cardiovascular drugs, and pain relievers may aid in reducing the length, severity, and frequency of your headaches.
The same goes when treating the symptoms of chronic migraines. Preventing its symptoms is also possible with the aid of preventive medication.
Migraines are severe headaches that can impede normal functioning in day-to-day activities whenever they strike. Knowing what type of migraine you are experiencing helps you and your doctor determine the best treatment plan for your symptoms.
To get started with your treatment, book an online medical consultation today with the MyCLNQ app. As the best app for telehealth in Singapore, MyCLNQ lets you access all the medical services you need anywhere and anytime, such as doctor consultations, medicine e-commerce and delivery, and even private ambulance services in Singapore.