everything in life requires proper planning to have a such-Ccessful outcome. Your health is no exception. Most of us consider being healthy unless we have symptoms. Almost 50% of diseases may not have symptoms, to begin with. They begin to show symptoms only after the disease has advanced. Hence we should plan for 2021 in a way that we do not fall seriously ill and live life to our fullest contentment.
What is the first priority in the new year?
Unquestionably Covid-19 has taken a major toll of humanity in 2020 and we are all fanatically waiting for the magic bullet, that is the vaccine. It will take 2 years for the whole society to get vaccinated. However, even if 50% get vaccinated it would mean a lot for the herd immunity. The government has prioritised the individuals who would get it first. Hence do not panic in case you are not in that group. Your chance will come. Do not believe in rumours about the negative aspects and very minor side effects of the vaccine. Allow the vulnerable individuals to get it initial-ly Social distancing, wear-ing a mask and frequent hand washing should be continued even if vaccinated for the whole year.
Your annual checkup?
There are many tests done in the executive health check-up schemes. They however do not look at the individual needs of a person. It would be better to see your doctor first, discuss with him your pres-ent health issues, your family history your past history and then plan your evaluation. However, those above 25 years should have a routine check-up for hypertension, diabetes, anaemia, lipid profile and others as the symptoms may be. Even if the tests are normal, they serve as a baseline for future examinations. If above 35 years of cardiovascular evaluation by ECG, Stress ECG and echocardiography may be considered.
What about checkups for cancer?
These examinations are mandatory if you have a family history of cancer. Many cancers have a hereditary basis, cancer colon, cancer breast to name a few. Please inform your doctor about this relevant information. He would guide you for the appropriate tests. Cancer if diagnosed early has better prognosis as early detection and treatment would prevent its spread. Mammogram and paps smear in women is important in this aspect.
How to prevent a heart attack?
Manage your blood pressure, blood glucose and cholesterol values in a meticulous way. Elevated values are not always associated with symptoms. Take your medications regularly. If you are on blood thinners, do not stop them unless suggested by your doctor. Make sure that you keep your mind and body in a stable state. Attain a normal weight, prevent abdominal obesity and avoid salt and sugar as much as possible even if you are normal and healthy Regular walks, controlled diet, avoiding smoking and tobacco is suggested. The incidence of alcohol intake is rising in young men and women. If above 40 years a detailed annual cardiac evaluation is suggested.
What about your emotional health?
The incidence of depression, anxiety, sleep deprivation, somatoform disorders are on the rise. Proper family communication, social interaction with the right people, thanking people more often and being happy with the present and being optimistic about the future is the mantra. Spending less time watching television and cell phones would make a positive difference. Just try for a week and see the difference. Try to help the poor and needy. This will give you unmatched happiness. Regular exercises, walking for 30 minutes daily, yoga and meditation would keep your physical and spiritual health normal. If you are under the care of a psychiatrist, do not feel sorry about it. Take his medications regularly and have a proper follow-up. Most of the relapses in psychiatric disorders are due to poor follow up and stopping medications prematurely.
What should be the work pattern?
Seven hours of normal sleep, one hour of exercises including yoga and meditation is a necessity. The working pattern should take this into consideration. Having a happy outlook, having a cordial atmosphere in your work-place is your responsibility. Avoid stress at your workplace as much as possible. Having a disciplined lifestyle would guide you for your goals. Do not bring your office stress at home and vice versa.
What about procrastination and your health?
Do not miss your medications for blood pressure, diabetes and cardiovascular and mental disorders. Always have regular check-ups from your doctor as per his suggestions. Do not do self-treatment, in particular pain killers, antibiotics and sleeping pills are likely to cause side effects or dependency. Sudden variations in your weight, blood pressure and blood glucose, haemoglobin, menstrual cycle in women and temperature profile need early attention. Be in touch with your family doctor and be aware of the challenges your health is likely to face. Gear up for the same including finances and health insurance. Keep all your health records in a proper way and always carry the documents with you whenever you see him. Always inform your doctor about your past medical history and allergies if any. Have a healthy 2021!