Monday, August 31, 2015

[YOUR HEALTH] Checking chronic diseases

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Chronic or protracted diseases are diseases or infections that last for a very long time in the body of the carrier. They include cancer, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, hepatitis, ulcer, asthma, obesity, pile, brain turmoil, fibroid, tuberculosis, hypertension, stroke, arthritis, rheumatism, cardiovascular diseases, failure of an essential organ such as the liver, kidney, heart, lung, just to mention but a few.
In recent times, chronic infections have become the order of the day that if adequate and drastic measures are not taken towards curbing the menace, it could render the entire labour force of the Nigeria’s population vulnerable in no distant time.
Currently, the number of patients coping with chronic conditions seems to be growing due to improvements in treatments, but it is worthy to note that the medical morass really constitutes a severe and colossal societal nuisance among mankind.

Continue reading after the cut.....
Sometimes, the side effects of some treatments might lead to anger and frustration. These feelings may be mediated by an emotional reaction to changes in the patient’s body as well as symptoms, but may also be the direct result of the effect of the treatment on the patient’s mood. Similarly, patients, who are angry, demanding or resentful, may engender powerful feelings of rage in their physicians.
Although adherence to prescribed treatments may improve the course of a protracted disease, the physician cannot confidently promise the patient a greater success. In some diseases such as diabetes, impairment may still occur. Compliance with treatment may be poor even in patients who had undergone an organ transplant. Whichever treatment measure a patient is passing through, there is the need to acknowledge that adequate rest, constant physical exercise, or regular intake of clean water, as the case may be, could be helpful.

The worst of all is that if proper care is not taken, a protracted illness might result to a more delicate situation to include, a more severe impairment, an acute mental disorder, total paralysis, or even the death of the patient, based on the nature of the disease in question. According to the World Health Organisation, survey indicates that protracted disease like cancer caused about 8.2 million deaths or 14.6 per cent of all human deaths in 2012: this implies that in near future if a drastic approach is not taken, cancer cases alone might be responsible for over 20 per cent of deaths in the world.
Since most protracted diseases are obviously incurable, it is worth noting that the best approach required towards addressing the anomalies is by avoiding their possible causes, which are mostly behavioural risk factors. Medical analysts are of the view that chronic infections are mainly not unconnected to stress, bad weather condition, poor environment, tobacco intake, alcohol, unprotected sex, consumption of unclean water, inadequate physical exercise, unwholesome diets, untreated infection, lack of regular medical checkup, or drug abuse, as the case may be.
Against this backdrop, there is no gainsaying that we are meant to, at all times and at all cost, be extremely mindful of our lifestyle, or whatever we eat or drink. Among all, there is a pressing need for us to see our doctor whenever we notice any abnormality in our body as well as check the expiry date or validity of any drug or food we intend to take. No doubt, this is the only way we can boast a life free from any health complication. As the saying goes, ‘prevention is better than cure.’
On the other hand, all the medical experts taking care of patients living with protracted/chronic diseases ought to endeavour to inculcate hopeful mindset in them. They are expected to make the patients understand that they can live as long as they want provided they stick to the rules given to them.
And in our respective capacities, we should let anyone around us that is suffering from such illness or any related predicament to see despair as the worst sin ever. By so doing, we will live to experience a society filled with contented individuals regardless of the circumstance. Think about it.

- Fred Nwaozor/Punch

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