Fungal smear test is clinically known as KOH test. The test is a fungal culture to detect and treat the fungal infection of the lungs and the immunosuppressive condition. Fungal infection of the lung is caused by fungi or microorganisms like yeast or mold. If the fungal infection is superficial, then a simple clinical/microscopic examination is enough to identify the infection. In order to identify the infection causing organism, and to dig deeper into the root cause of the fungal infection, the KOH test is ordered. The test reveals the presence of any fungal antigens and antibodies. The test may vary depending on whether the infection is superficial or systemic.
The KOH test of the sputum is performed on a sample of sputum which is a mixture of saliva and mucus. Sputum is what we cough up from the respiratory tract when having an infection or other disease.
Usually, the doctor advises the patient to drink plenty of water or fluids the night before the KOH test. This produces more sputum which is collected in the morning and it usually has more bacteria. This enables better testing. The KOH test is advised by the doctor and it’s recommended that you disclose any on-going medication or allergies to the doctor if any. The doctor’s advice and instructions need to be followed sincerely.
If the test result is normal, then it means there is no fungal lung infection.If the test result is positive, then it means there is fungal lung infection. The presence of fungi is established and further fungal culture may be recommended. If the immune system is healthy, then a month long medication cures the symptoms. Otherwise, prolonged antifungal medication is prescribed.
The sample sputum needs to be collected and sent to the laboratory for examination. It’s ideal that the sample sputum is collected in the morning as you wake up. Remember not to eat or drink anything before the collection of the sputum. The sputum is collected in a sterile sample cup which is provided by the doctor or the pathologist. The cup should be properly labelled and sealed before sending to the laboratory.
After brushing and rinsing your mouth in the morning, cough hard to spit sputum into the sterile sample cup. The sputum must come from deep inside the lungs. Remember to fill the cup up to the marker with the sample sputum.
All age groups
A normal KOH test result shows no Fungi. A stained slide fluoresce is observed if positive for fungus. A positive test indicates Fungal infection but it cannot identify the organism. If KOH test is positive then, specimen is inoculated into culture media.
You've probably heard that high blood pressure is a problem. Sometimes blood pressure that is too low can also cause problems.
Blood pressure is the force of your blood pushing against the walls of your arteries. Each time your heart beats, it pumps out blood into the arteries. Your blood pressure is highest when your heart beats, pumping the blood. This is called systolic pressure. When your heart is at rest, between beats, your blood pressure falls. This is the diastolic pressure. Your blood pressure reading uses these two numbers. Usually they're written one above or before the other, such as 120/80. If your blood pressure reading is 90/60 or lower, you have low blood pressure.
Some people have low blood pressure all the time. They have no symptoms and their low readings are normal for them. In other people, blood pressure drops below normal because of a medical condition or certain medicines. Some people may have symptoms of low blood pressure when standing up too quickly. Low blood pressure is a problem only if it causes dizziness, fainting or in extreme cases, shock.
Thyme herb belongs to the mint family. Apart from being a staple culinary ingredient, it is getting fast recognition for its medicinal benefits. Here are 13 topmost benefits of thyme -
1. Fights acne: When thyme is soaked in alcohol for several days, it turns tincture and attains antibacterial properties for fighting acne.
2. Lowers blood pressure: If thyme can be replaced with salt in foods, it will work effectively in lowering the heart rate.
3. Controls cough: Thyme oil mixed with ivy leaves is a wonderful natural remedy for cough, cold and even acute bronchitis.
4. Boosts immunity: Thyme comes loaded with nutrients like vitamin A, C, Manganese, Copper, Iron and fiber to help build body's immunity.
5. Helps in controlling pests: Thyme is added as a primary ingredient in many pesticides for controlling pests, virus and bacteria. Rub thyme leaves on your arms and legs and you will be safe from mosquito bites.
6. Improves mood: Thyme essential oil contains a substance called 'carvacrol'. This substance helps thyme in being used as an aromatic agent that renders many therapeutic uses.
7. Protects from cancer: Thyme extracts render protective effect on organs like colon and breast from cancer.
8. Treats yeast infection: Thyme essential oil can be applied over yeast infected areas (vagina and mouth) for quick relief.
9. Cures rheumatism: The diuretic properties of thyme oil can help in removal of toxins, which consequently improves the circulation and can cure rheumatism.
10. Strengthens cardiac muscles: Thyme has anti-spasmodic properties that make it eligible to be used for regulating the functioning of heart valves. It relieves heart from stress by smoothening veins and arteries.
11. Can help treat gas: Thyme is an effective carminative agent and can easily push gas downward for removal.
12. Uplifts low blood pressure: Thyme is a boon for those who often have plummeting blood pressure to save them from the sluggish lifestyle.
13. Kills virus: Thyme, in its various forms, holds immense antiviral potential and prevents the entry of the virus into the cell.
Healthiest butter substitute options
1. Coconut oil and coconut butter
Coconut oil may be getting a bit of a bad rap lately with new studies that have been published by the american heart association claiming it’s unhealthy to eat. In moderation, though, coconut oil is a healthy choice — perhaps the problem is people are overdoing it.
However, it’s delicious to cook with and makes a great spread on muffins or toast. Equally, it’s great in homemade recipes, such as my energy balls. Like coconut oil, coconut butter is delicious and can add just the right sweetness and toasty coconut flavor to most any dish.
2. Shea butter
Yes, you read that right. Shea butter does more than help promote healthy skin. It’s an alternative to butter and often used instead of cocoa butter. It’s edible and filled with antioxidants, essential fatty acids and vitamin e.
If you’re a label-reader, you’ve probably noticed it in the ingredients list of some dark chocolate treats. You can simply use a small amount of shea butter in place of regular butter in just about anything. Make sure to purchase pure, unrefined versions, and I suggest purchasing small amounts as it tend to go rancid quickly.
3. Cocoa butter
Cocoa butter is another alternative to butter and is considered a healthy fat. It’s used to make chocolate and is high in antioxidants, providing amazing polyphenols. According to one study, the polyphenols are so great that it may actually help lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Some of the other benefits are improved immunity and lowering inflammation within the body. Like shea butter, make sure to get 100 percent pure versions with no additives. Try using it in baking instead of regular butter.
4. Mashed avocado
Mashed avocado is one of my favorite healthy fats, and with the recent popularity of avocado toast, i’m not the only one who loves it. Avocado makes a nice spread when mashed, is delicious on eggs and adds an amazing creaminess to your smoothie, all while offering the nutritional benefits of fiber and loads of phytonutrients. Additionally, research has shown it may help reduce the growth of cancer cells and inflammation.
Hummus is one of my favorite ways to flavor just about anything and is part of a healthy mediterranean diet. It’s typically made from chickpeas, lemon juice, garlic and tahini as the main ingredients, offering tons of fiber, protein, vitamin b6 and other nutritional benefits, but it can be made from black beans, lentils and even vegetables. It’s a great topping on sauteed vegetables, eggs, mixed greens or as a snack with raw vegetables. Hummus is commonly eaten with pita triangles, but you can skip the bread and opt for celery if you’re watching your wheat and gluten intake.
6. Extra virgin olive oil
Extra virgin olive oil is a great way to add a little flavor to sourdough bread, toast or grilled meat, to name a few. While you don’t need much, it’s a great way to gain some added benefits, such as lowering inflammation, the risk of heart disease, depression and dementia.
With all of that in mind, unfortunately, not all olive oil is created equally. Just make sure you get the real thing; there is a lot of fake olive oil out there. Watch out for virgin olive oil that costs less than $10 a liter, look for a seal from the international olive oil council and check for a harvesting date on the label. Additionally, if it’s labeled light, pure or a blend, it isn’t real, pure virgin olive oil.
Applesauce is great for baking or to add a little flavor to your oatmeal or chia pudding. You get fiber, vitamin c and that perfect touch of sweetness without a lot of calories. There’s some sugar to think about, however. Read the label and be conscious of how much you use. Try spreading thinly or mix it with a little nut butter for a delicious, healthy blend.
8. Dairy-free yogurt
Dairy-free yogurt, such as coconut yogurt or almond yogurt, blended with a little cinnamon can be delicious on toast. There are many of options out there for anyone who really needs to watch dairy consumption. Dairy-free yogurt can be a great alternative and helps strengthen bones.
Regardless, watch the label. I cannot stress this enough, especially with new foods popping up everywhere trying to cash in on a trend, such as no dairy. Most of the dairy-free options still have added sugar and more. You can easily find the plain, no-sugar versions if you look for them, however. Go for those and you can create an amazingly, healthy, dairy-free chia pudding, use it on your favorite mexican dish like sour cream and more. Also, many have the probiotics that can help treat leaky gut.
9. Chicken stock, vegetable stock and bone broth
Chicken stock, vegetable stock and bone broth are great for sautéing. You won’t even miss the butter! the stock or broth can help keep foods juicy and tender while adding delicious flavor and nutrients, even helping with digestion, arthritis and cellulite while boosting the immune system.
10. Nut butters
Nut butters, such as almond butter, cashew butter and peanut butter, are great on celery sticks, bananas, toast or even a vegetable sauté for a quick and easy thai dish. Almond butter, for example, contains vitamin e, iron and magnesium.
The key here is to be conscious of just how much. Two tablespoons is a serving, which comes in at about 180 calories. Also, you need to read labels since most add tons of sugar and oils. Either grind your own or purchase those that contain nuts only. Sea salt is fine, but avoid added oils and sugars.
11. Pumpkin puree
Pumpkin puree is a great option to add to plain yogurt, breads, coffee cakes and muffins. You gain nutrients like vitamin k, potassium and fiber with just a few extra calories. Use ¾ cup of pumpkin puree for every cup of butter called for in a recipe.
12. Nutritional yeast
Nutritional yeast is often forgotten but is great for seasoning most anything if you want a cheesy flavor. It also contains nutritional benefits, such as being an immune booster and contains protein, b6 and b12, making it a vegan must-have. It’s quite the superfood, but what is nutritional yeast? it’s an inactive yeast made from sugarcane and beet molasses. It’s found in most health food stores on the shelf or in the bulk section, typically as a powder of flakes.