Nov 10, 2008, 4:35 AM
Prevention Is Better Than Cure
DR AZADEH Senior Lecturer at the Medical School University of the Gambia made this remarks in an interview with this paper for this week’s health column.
Dr Azadeh what is the definition of prevention is better than cure?
In our medical profession our goal is to save lives and prevent illness through science, diagnose, treatment, advice on healthy live-style and healthy nutrition. By changing the patient’s perspective, they will change the choices, and better choices will lead to a thrilling enhancement of their wellness, energy, and long- life. By educating, advising and promoting to avoid diseases, simply in explaining about the optimal function of their body. This in particular when disease was not the inevitable end- point of their lives if properly supported, their body would continue to function optimally even at an advanced age.
Health is Wealth
Health is wealth. Such is a simple sentence but its sense and meaning is so tremendous and deep. Through the years, in all societies around the world, health has become synonymous and equivalent to the value of wealth.
There is syllogism and analogy between the two different concepts. Health is as valuable as money. That is because without it, you surely would not enjoy anything in life. You would not be able to appreciate the beauty of each day and live up to acknowledge the joys that come to even the simplest encounters with family and friends.
Without health, people would not be able to work productively. Thus, there would be little chances and opportunities for earning and doing jobs. People need to work to be able to generate income. But one cannot work if he is ill and is incapable to do physical activities. Even office jobs entail good health of employees because through experiences and history, people have determined that without good physical condition, the mental state would also be affected.
How to have good health
You need to do measures to attain good and lasting health. Doing so would enable you maximize your body’s capacity and you could take as much opportunities to earn more and live better. Here are some simple, yet effective guidelines that would help you attain and maintain good health.
1.Live a good and healthy lifestyle. Most jobs today entail stationary lifestyles: people are required to sit down in front of computers the whole day. It is logical that many people nowadays do not get enough physical exercise. Thus, many tend to become obese, hypertensive and weak. Go to the gym at least twice a week and work out so that you could sweat all your fats and cholesterol accumulation all out.
2.Eat nutritious and a balanced diet. However, if you loyally and regularly eat unhealthy foods, you would get bloated. That is because it has been found that same unhealthy foods are the main culprits for obesity, hypertension, heart diseases because of their fat content. Eat more fruits and vegetables lot available in the Gambia, avoid lard and fatty foods, not too much of palm oil and prefer healthy vegetable foods.
3.Quit unhealthy vices and habits. Smoking is the top bad habit. Time and again, health regulators have always warned about the dangers of smoking. Aside from causing ling cancer, the habit is also cited for several severe medical cases like bronchitis, cough, asthma and even early onset of aging. Drinking too much alcoholic beverages is equally bad as well as substance abuse.
How Can I Prevent High Blood Pressure?
You can prevent high blood pressure by:
·Maintaining a healthy weight. Being overweight can make you two to six times more likely to develop high blood pressure than if you are at your desirable weight. Even small amounts of weight loss can make a big difference in helping to prevent and treat high blood pressure.
Getting regular exercise: People who are physically active have a lower risk of getting high blood pressure -- 20%-50% lower -- than people who are not active. You don’t have to be a marathon runner to benefit from physical activity. Even light activities, if done daily, can help lower your risk.
·Reducing salt intake: Often, when people with high blood pressure cut back on salt, their blood pressure falls. Cutting back on salt also prevents blood pressure from rising.
·Drinking too much alcohol can raise your blood pressure
·Reduce Stress: Stress can make blood pressure go up and over time may contribute to the cause of high blood pressure. There are many steps you can take to reduce your stress.
Other things, like dietary supplements, may also help prevent high blood pressure. Here’s a roundup of what’s being said about them.
·Potassium. Eating foods rich in potassium will help protect some people from developing high blood pressure. You probably can get enough potassium from your diet, so a supplement isn’t necessary. Many fruits, vegetables, dairy foods, and fish are good sources of potassium.
·Calcium. Populations with low calcium intakes have high rates of high blood pressure. However, it has not been proven that taking calcium tablets will prevent high blood pressure. But it is important to be sure to get at least the recommended amount of calcium -- 1,000 milligrams per day for adults 19 to 50 years old and 1,200 mg for those over 50 (pregnant and breastfeeding women also need more) -- from the foods you eat.
·Dairy foods like low-fat selections of milk, yogurt, and cheese are good sources of calcium. Low-fat and non-fat dairy products have even more calcium than the high-fat types.
· Magnesium. A diet low in magnesium may make your blood pressure rise. But doctors don’t recommend taking extra magnesium to help prevent high blood pressure -- the amount you get in a healthy diet is enough. Magnesium is found in whole grains, green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, and dry peas and beans.
·Fish oils. A type of fat called “omega-3 fatty acids” is found in fatty fish like mackerel and salmon. Large amounts of fish oils may help reduce high blood pressure, but their role in prevention is unclear.
·Taking fish oil pills is not recommended because high doses can cause unpleasant side effects. The pills are also high in fat and calories. Of course, most fish, if not fried or made with added fat, is low in saturated fat and calories and can be eaten often.
Garlic. There has been some evidence to suggest garlic’s effect in lowering blood pressure in addition to improving cholesterol and reducing some cancers. Further research is being conducted to fully assess garlic’s potential health benefits.
I will write about other important preventive method to avoid other serious diseases in the few more articles in the next issue
For further information you can visit any of Government hospitals, NGO and private hospital and clinics, point health section and Dr Azadeh, week days between 3-6pm on 7774469/3774469.