Blood Pressure, Diabetes and given the current heat wave
our region is suffering from these days
Blood Pressure, Diabetes and given the current heat wave our region is suffering from these days, Heat Strokes are three of the commonest ailments to affect the Pakistan population.
Diabetes is a metabolic disorder. Diabetes can be of three types: Type 1, Type 2 or gestational.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease which occurs when the body's immune system destroys the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. A regular insulin dose must be taken to deal with this type of diabetes. The type 2 diabetes is part of a metabolic syndrome that includes obesity, elevated blood pressure, and high levels of blood fat. It is also the most common type. Gestational diabetes develops only during pregnancy, but though it disappears after delivery, the mother is left more susceptible to type 2 Diabetes in later life.
Occasional high blood pressure is common. Anxiety, exercise, or nervousness can cause a person to have a high reading. Untreated sustained high blood pressure can increase the risk of premature strokes and heart attacks. Blood pressures above 140/90 or higher, or if it remains constantly high, can prove to be dangerous and needs to be addressed at the earliest.
With summer temperatures reaching 38 degrees Celsius or even higher in most cities, heat stroke is again, a seasonal, but huge problem in Pakistan. Heat stroke can be fatal in many cases because it happens so quickly -- there is not much time to react.
It usually starts with lack of water in the body leading to lower perspiration rates and the eventual heating up of the entire body. High humidity also leads to heat strokes as it stops the sweat from evaporating. However, once the body temperature reaches 106 degrees F, it has become a serious problem. Symptoms of Heat Stroke include red, hot, dry skin, rapid heart rate, dizziness and confusion. The only solution for heat stroke is to cool the person down and consult a physician otherwise heat stroke can be fatal in less than an hour.
These are just three of the commonest diseases affecting our region, there are many more. Though there are many ideas, and opinions, on what constitutes good health, or what a meaningfully healthy lifestyle feels like or looks like. It could be said that health should be a natural condition, or at least a consistent state of well being. But what is this natural condition? There are some people who accept pain and discomfort in the body as a necessary part of living. This pain is considered to be a motivator, something for the body to fight against. They accept this condition because they observe that there are so many people with health complaints and so few people free of problems. It is even taken for granted today that dying of a degenerative disease is acceptable if the person had led a 'good life.'
Since most of the common diseases are related to eating a healthy and balanced diet, thirty years ago, people wishful of keeping fit would usually just end up taking in reduced amounts of sugar in their diet and take plenty of proteins, vitamins and minerals to fulfill their body’s requirements. One could simply read food product labels trying to find something that contained little or no sugar. Today however, it is many times worse because of all the sugar substitutes in our food products. If one bothered to read labels today, they would be advised to choose sugar before the sugar substitutes that are available aplenty these days. Processed food products have made life all that more difficult for the more health-conscious amongst us. One alternative that could be followed to ensure a long and healthy lifestyle could be to make your own food from simple organic ingredients. The question now obviously arises, is good health some sort of perfection? In homeopathy good health is said to manifest when a person's "vital force" is being expressed by perfect functioning of all parts of the body and by a sense of general well being. This holistic approach to health states that nature, of which we are an important part, has a constant tendency toward what is best for it. This vital force of nature reaches its masterpiece in the human body and the human consciousness. A famous health expert, Harvey Diamond in his part of the book “Fit for Life II: Living Health” states that humans are "constructed for health and happiness." Life on earth lived in its ultimate achievement is a constant and unshakeable zest for well being and enthusiasm, says Diamond. The secret to good health these days could be following a diet that helps clean out the harmful toxins, of which there aplenty, in our body. Crash diets or pursuing excellence as a lifestyle is not the right option either for a healthier way of life since it is just a shortcut to burn out and prematurely greying hair. Most of us unfortunately follow such a lifestyle at some time or the other in our lives, in our quest for a perfect life embellished with perfect health and happiness. But I seriously doubt if we find either.
If this 'ultimate achievement' of good health is to be truly fulfilled, our goal would be to reach old age and maturity without aches and pains, to be well-balanced and spared emotional traumas and stress-related illnesses even if we were at the ripe, but after all, not so old age of 90 years! In just two words, “highly improbable.” Pushing oneself into the gym instead of resting after a long, hard day is not the road to good health.
If, for millions of years people lived in harmony with the forces of nature and survived, why can we also not follow a more simplistic way of life, with a good, healthy diet in a sufficient amount and a normal amount of exercise? A long time ago dinosaurs disappeared suddenly. Today species of plants and animals are becoming extinct at an accelerating rate. That means that throughout history at least some of us must have maintained an instinctive natural knowledge about how to live healthily enough to allow our species to continue. What we are trying to do today remains a mute question.
The best secret that all of us could use to live healthier lives, avoiding most of the diseases prevailing in the world today, actually only include simple things like sunshine, pure water, sleeping when the sun sets, relying on wholesome foods from nature, having daily alone time in the outdoors and living physically active lives in communities of loving supportive people.