Researchers, including one of an Indian-origin, have found that shift workers are at a significantly increased risk for sleep disorders and metabolic syndrome, which increases a person’s risk for heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.
Night-shift workers are especially prone to developing sleep disorders and metabolic syndrome. The risks increase even more for those who work irregular or rotating shifts, said the study, published in ‘The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association’.
“The strength of our economy and safety of our society depend heavily on night shift workers, it is critical we address the health issues facing people in this line of work,” said Indian-origin researcher and study lead author Kshma Kulkarni from Touro University in the US.
One study found nine per cent of night-shift nurses developed metabolic syndrome, compared to only 1.8 per cent of day shift nurses. Other studies have noted that risks gradually increase with accumulated years of shift work. According to the researchers, working nights disrupts individuals’ circadian rhythm, the body’s internal clock responsible for neural and hormonal signaling.
Once a person’s circadian rhythm is desynchronized from their sleep/wake cycle, they will likely experience disturbances in hormonal levels, including increased cortisol, ghrelin and insulin and decreased serotonin, among others, the study added. The cascade of hormonal changes is what prompts the development of metabolic disorders and causes people to develop multiple chronic conditions.
Sleep in a 7- to 8-hour block every 24 hours, ideally at the same time each day and schedule the main block of sleep as close to evening or night as possible to minimize circadian disruption, the researchers recommended. Take an additional nap for 20 to 120 minutes earlier in the day to prevent fatigue, they added.
Exposure to light promotes wakefulness in general, so researchers recommend night shift workers increase their light exposure prior to and throughout their shifts. Prior studies have shown shift workers are more likely to eat snacks higher in sugar and saturated fat while consuming less protein and vegetables, and more likely to skip meals.
“It’s true that getting enough sleep, eating right and exercising are critical to everyone’s health,” Kulkarni said. “However, the nature of shift work is so disorienting and discordant with those principles, we really need to help people in those jobs strategise ways to get what they need,” Kulkarni added. (IANS)
The body’s immune system plays a vital role in safe-guarding us from most infections, but as we age, our immune system also ages and gradually loses its ability to fight against infections. Among older people, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart and liver ailments put pressure on their weakened immune system, which makes it more difficult for them to deal with threats like the Coronavirus.
Dr Karthik Anantharaman, Director e-pharmacy, Medlife talks about the various chronic ailments that affect immunity and how one can protect themselves with the right diet, exercise and medicines. These exercise workouts can go a long way.
Diabetes is a major cause for concern among the older generation, and if not kept in control, may make them susceptible to other high-risk infections. High amounts of sugar in the body tends to release free-radicals, which can damage blood vessels, leading to atherosclerosis, a condition that restricts free blood flow in the body.
This may cause a stroke, or damage the smaller blood vessels present in the entire body – the eyes, leading to diabetic retinopathy, the kidneys – diabetic nephropathy, the nerves – diabetic neuropathy, where the patient loses all his sense of pain.
Uncontrolled blood sugar and diabetes also has a negative impact on the body’s immune system. It suppresses the immunity providing white blood cells (WBCs). When faced with an external infection, the immune system produces a protein called eantibody’, which is tested as eantibody test’, as a part of the eCOVID-19 tests’ to check whether the body has produced enough eantibodies’ to attack the virus from inside. This is done mainly because once the body produces enough antibodies to fight an infection the first time, there is little to no chance of the same infection returning again, which is the basis for any vaccine.
People who suffer from low thyroxine hormone levels are also at huge risk when dealing with infections due to reduced immune function. The thyroid gland is very important when it comes to managing several important body functions. The gland has an impact on pancreas, blood vessels, brain functions, digestive system, breathing functions, kidney, liver and the heart, thus making it important for immunity as well. Maintaining a normal level of thyroxine in the blood is extremely critical to the functioning of multiple organ systems, aside from the actual production of blood cells in the body.
Liver and Kidney
Liver and kidney-related ailments also negatively impact the immune system. In cases of liver or kidney failure, a patient can have a significantly weakened immune system due to reduced production of blood cells from bone marrow and some of the medicines used to treat liver/kidney diseases directly reduce immunity as well. Such patients need to take extreme care to keep infections at bay and not skip routine tests and medicines.
Heart patients are typically ones with high blood pressure & high cholesterol. High BP patients need to control their salt and fluid intake & their daily intake needs to be monitored the most. Heart patients also need to ensure they take their medications on time, at the exact prescribed hour because the intervals at which the medicines are taken at, inform their doctor on how the patient’s heart is performing. Based on this data, they may increase/decrease dosage or change the medicine.
Stress is a major factor in today’s lifestyle that needs to be watched out for, especially for heart patients.
Dos and Don’ts
For all the above listed ailments, a combination of healthy food, timely exercises, and combining it with medicines and tests is more than enough to ensure a healthy body, and a healthy immune system. For instance, someone with kidney complications needs to watch out for total salt intake, which has to be bare minimum, and fluid intake, which has to be in proportion with the food eaten. Someone with liver complications has to stay away from alcohol. Intake of foods rich in Vitamin B and Vitamin C, Vitamin D3 and Zinc are the most effective ways to increase the production of WBCs and antibodies. A healthy amount of sunlight also needs to be absorbed by the body to ensure a good amount of Vitamin D.
Increase in medication sales during COVID-19
Chronic ailments such as diabetes or high blood pressure don’t just disappear; they need to be monitored every single day. With the rise of COVID-19 cases day by day, people are becoming more aware, have more fear and are thus taking steps to ensure their safety, by keeping themselves equipped. They are becoming more compliant with their medication and ensuring they take it regularly and on time, which is why there is an increase in the sales of these medications. “Over the last couple for months, we have seen a sharp increase in the sales of blood pressure and diabetes medicines, more specifically, a 20% increase in blood pressure and heart medicines and a 10% increase in diabetes medicine”, says Dr Karthik.
How important is it for chronic patients to not skip/delay lab tests?
For most chronic diseases, like diabetes & high cholesterol, tests are prescribed at specific intervals. For instance, a random blood sugar test is to be done at least twice a week, fasting sugar is to be done at least 5 times a week, but that seldom happens in practicality. Hence, we recommend patients to do a fasting blood sugar test at least 2 times in a week and keep their records. For a hypertensive patient, maintaining a record of their pressure at least once a day is crucial. This kind of sequential data is very critical for a doctor to take decisions pertaining to their patients. (IANS)
Not too long ago, NASDAQ predicted that by the year 2040, as much as 95% of shopping will be facilitated by ecommerce. Similarly, Shopify Plus estimates that by the year 2021, worldwide retail ecommerce sales will reach $4.9 trillion – a number that will now be amplified as a result of the recent events. The world of e-commerce is growing fast and businesses need to catch up.
For good or for bad, the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns have left businesses little choice but to go digital. Gone are the days when goliaths like Walmart would build ecommerce apps just to indulge a handful of customers. Today, it is either go digital or go home. So, for all businesses looking for an ecommerce mobile app builder, Studio Store could be an interesting option.
Launched recently by Builder.ai with the goal of helping businesses directly impacted by COVID-19, Studio Store is a new range of pre-packaged apps – beginning with e-commerce and delivery – designed to bring businesses online faster and at a fraction of the cost of building from scratch. With Studio Store, Builder.ai is furthering its mission to democratize the software market by offering pre-built software for a fraction of the price, giving more companies than ever the opportunity to use technology to grow their business.
So, if you’ve been wondering how to build an ecommerce app, then here are the key problems Studio Store solves with features that are most noteworthy:
Most apps take 6-9 months to develop, depending on the complexity.
Unlike most ecommerce app builders, Studio Store ecommerce app by Builder.ai will serve the specific needs of businesses across e-commerce – such as flower shops, grocery stores and clothiers – and be delivered to customers in eight weeks.
Most app development journeys are complicated and take months of back and forth to just nail down basic feature sets.
The Studio Store’s e-commerce app makes selling to an ever-mobile customer effortless, and retailers can showcase their goods with a scrollable carousel and offer a wide range of secure payment methods. The app includes features that will handle the soup to nuts of most e-commerce experiences.
For most ecommerce app builders, their job ends as soon as an app is handed over to the customer, with little to no customer service after.
Studio Store by Builder.ai offers 3 months of free aftercare that keeps the app thriving and the cloud needed to run the app and scale the business.
App developers charge hefty down payments even before a project begins.
Studio Store is priced at a reasonable $500 per month and Builder.ai does not take any cut of sales or transaction fees (so you’ll only pay those charged directly by a payment gateway). Builder.ai only requires a one-month deposit at the beginning of the engagement.
With SaaS app builders, each customer gets complete ownership of their code.
The biggest drawback of SaaS applications is that the source code remains the same for all customers. In cases where new features are rolled out, they’re rolled out universally. But with Studio Store, the customer gets a copy of the code after 24 months.
All in all, if you are looking to build an ecommerce app online, then Builder.ai could be the best choice. You can check out the Studio Store for yourself by clicking here.
[Disclaimer: The article published above promotes links of commercial interests.]
The coronavirus pandemic’s life-altering effects are likely to result in lasting physical and mental health consequences for several people, warn researchers.
For the findings, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the research team studied low-income women from New Orleans in the US, who were surveyed the year prior to, and at intervals after Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005.
The women reported a range of traumatic experiences during Katrina, many of which are similar to those now occurring during the pandemic, including bereavement, lack of access to medical care and scarcity of medications.
The research showed that at one, four and 12 years after the hurricane, the exposures most strongly associated with post-traumatic stress, psychological distress, general health and physical health symptoms were those most common to the current pandemic.
The pandemic continues to cause widespread death and sickness, as well as job loss and severe economic hardship for many.
“This pandemic is likely to have profound short- and long-term consequences for physical and mental health,” said study researcher Sarah Lowe, Assistant Professor at Yale University in the US.
“These impacts are likely to be even larger than what we have seen in previous disasters like Hurricane Katrina, given the distinctive qualities of the pandemic as a disaster,” Lowe added.
The study did not include other exposures that are taking place during the pandemic, such as financial losses and unemployment, which are also likely to have additional and significant impacts on public health.
The results suggest that, in addition to promoting actions to reduce COVID-19 transmission and addressing longstanding health disparities contributing to COVID-19 morbidity and mortality, public health measures should also prevent and mitigate exposures that will have indirect effects on mental and physical health.
This includes preventing lapses in medical care and medication access. Additionally, another key exposure in the study was fear for one’s own safety and the safety of others.
As such, public health messaging should provide tips for managing anxiety and fear, in addition to promoting efforts to increase safety from COVID-19 transmission.
“Supplemental health services should be provided to those who are bereaved or are experiencing clinically significant fear and anxiety-related the pandemic,” Lowe said.
“This study represents a step toward disentangling the health consequences of disasters, while also recognising more longstanding factors that contribute to health disparities,” she wrote.
Recently, another study, published in The Lancet Psychiatry journal, revealed that people taken ill by coronavirus infections may experience psychiatric problems while hospitalised and potentially after they recover. (IANS)