The Power of Prevention

HOW TO PREVENT......

Cancer Heart Disease
Stroke Lung Disease
Diabetes First Aid
High BP Oral Health

PREVENT CANCER 

There is now a clear scientific consensus that cancer is largely preventable, with appropriate diet and lifestyle management playing a key role.

The development of cancer is usually a relatively slow process which requires a substantial proportion of the lifetime of an individual. The cancers of childhood which often affect growing tissues such as the brain or bones are important exceptions to this rule and these diseases are often associated with the presence of mutations (defective genes) inherited from one or both parents. Inherited mutations are also known to be important in the development of cancers of later life but, generally speaking, tumour cells are found to contain a large number of mutations which have been acquired during life. These so-called somatic mutations occur because of exposure to environmental chemicals which damage the body's blueprint for life, DNA. Molecules which damage DNA can be generated by the body itself. For example, molecules containing oxygen often briefly acquire a special chemical structure enabling them to interact strongly with DNA. These 'free radicals' are generated during normal respiration. Antioxidant substances, in their unique natural location and natural combination with other nutrients, contained in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, Indian spices, scavenge free radicals and protect cells from excessive DNA damage. They prevent the blue print of the body from being damaged It has also been also documented that Indian unadulterated pure spices and vegetables inhibit the enzymes which are integral to procarcinogen metabolism.

 

WHAT IS A STROKE ? 

A stroke means that part of the brain is suddenly damaged. If an artery in the brain becomes blocked by a blood clot (known as thrombus) it causes a stroke. If an artery in the brain leaks then too it damages the brain and causes a stroke.

Atheroma is also known as 'atherosclerosis' or 'hardening of the arteries'. Patches of atheroma are also called 'plaques' of atheroma. Patches of atheroma are like small fatty lumps that develop within the inside lining of arteries (blood vessels).The blood clot usually forms over some atheroma.

A temporary lack of blood supply to a part of the brain is known as TIA or transient ischemic attack.

 

DIABETES IS PREVENTABLE. 

Itís real, diabetes is preventable!
You can prevent diabetes if you

Scientific evidence conclusively shows that diabetes is preventable even in people who are at a high risk for developing diabetes.

When are you at a high risk of developing diabetes ?

  1. You are overweight ; your BMI is more than 22.9.

  2. Your parents or brother sisters or grandparents have or had diabetes.

  3. If you delivered a baby whose birth weight was 3 kg or more.

  4. If you have had diabetes or even mild elevation of blood sugars during pregnancy.

  5. If you are physically inactive, that is, you exercise less than 3 times a week.

  6. If you have high blood pressure.

  7. If you have pre-diabetes.

  8. If your triglycerides and or cholesterol levels are higher than normal.

What is pre-diabetes?

Pre-diabetes is a condition where the blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be called diabetes. Pre-diabetes has been shown to have harmful effects on the body in the long run.

People with pre-diabetes are more likely to develop diabetes and are also more likely to develop heart attack or stroke.

Life style changes can actually turn back the clock and return elevated glucose levels to the normal range.

Cheers! diabetes can be prevented!

Be physically active for 150 minutes in a week

Small changes can bring big benefits!!

Lose about 5-7% of your body weight, if your BMI is more than 22.9

 

HIGH BLOOD PRESSER (BP) 

Healthy eating habits and increased physical activity alone can

Reduce the risk of developing diabetes by 58%.

Reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure by 66%.

Reduce the risk of developing heart attacks and stroke by 40-60%.

Avoiding tobacco adds 20 years to the life of a teenager.
 

One third of all the cancers can be avoided by preventing tobacco, increasing activity levels and decreasing the fat in the diet.

High blood pressure usually develops due to faulty lifestyle, obesity, sedentariness and less of fruits & vegetables and excess of refined foods, processed foods and salt.

We should aim to promote the healthy behaviours throughout the life course. This approach combines health promotion, disease prevention and disease management. We should reinforce healthy behaviours which already exist in our society & prevent changing to unhealthy behaviours. We should also help people revert back from unhealthy to healthy behaviours.

 

WHAT IS HEART DISEASE ? 

What is 'Heart disease', or 'coronary heart disease' ?

The heart muscle is living and needs food and oxygen to survive. There are arteries within the heart muscle which supply the food and oxygen to the heart muscle. These arteries are known as coronary arteries. When one or more of these arteries in the heart get narrowed, or partially blocked, then it leads to coronary artery disease. When one or more of these arteries get blocked then some part of the heart muscle does not get food and oxygen. This condition is called a heart attack.

The term, Coronary artery disease is used for problems which include: angina, heart attack, and heart failure.

(It may be confusing as there are other heart conditions such as heart valve problems, congenital heart problems, etc. However, these are not usually included when we talk about 'heart disease').

The root cause of most cases of coronary artery disease or cardiovascular disease is a build up of atheroma - a fatty deposit within the inside lining of arteries. A blockage caused by the development of complex atheromatous plaques, composed of inflamed tissues and fatty deposits on the inner surface of the artery. These plaques develop slowly over time and may cause chronic restriction of blood flow leading to pain on exertion (angina) or it may lead to as acute blockage. This most often occurs when the irregular, inflamed surface of the plaque leads to the formation of a blood clot. When this occurs a region of heart muscle is suddenly deprived of blood and gets damaged. This is what is known as a heart attack. If the damage is relatively limited the heart can recover but major damage can lead to death. Similar degeneration of arteries in the brain leads to loss of blood supply and stroke or death. Smoking and high levels of blood cholesterol, associated with high intakes of saturated fat, are both major risk factors for these plaques, coronary artery disease and strokes.

Cardiovascular Disease and stroke. The accumulation of cholesterol, as deposits, within atheromateous Atheroma and plaques may be accelerated by oxidative damage to the low density lipoproteins (LDL). Such damage can be prevented by high intakes of fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables help to protect against heart disease. Antioxidants from fruits and vegetables in their natural unique combinations with micronutrients and fibre, help to protect against heart disease. Lifestyle factors that can reduce the risk of forming atheroma and developing cardiovascular diseases include: not smoking, choosing healthy foods, regular physical activity, keeping your weight and waist size down, and avoiding tobacco and alcohol. If you have a high risk of developing a coronary artery disease /cardiovascular disease, drug treatment to reduce blood pressure and/or cholesterol may also be advised. A daily low dose of aspirin is also advised for some people at high risk.

 

LUNG DISEASES. 

Exposure to environmental pollution and poor lifestyle habits place you at a higher risk of developing respiratory infections or a weakened respiratory system. Care for your health and that of your loved ones. Take the time out to understand what types of diseases may occur and small changes that you can make to your living and working environment to lower your risk.

At the outset, you must try to avoid prolonged exposure to environmental smoke, vehicular fumes and industrial emissions as well as keep your surroundings, both within and outside the house clean. Tobacco smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals, some of which have marked irritant properties and some 60 are known or suspected to cause cancer. Smoking is responsible for 90% of all lung cancer and 75% of chronic bronchitis and emphysema and is strongly discouraged if you are to live a long and fulfilled life (WHO, Tobacco Atlas, Health Risks).

Respiratory Tract Infections

Globally, Respiratory Tract Infections (RTIs) cause 4.5 million deaths among children every year, an overwhelming majority of which occur in developing countries.

Our respiratory tract functions by inhaling air from the outside world so infections of this system are very common.

Most often, RTIs spread when a personís hands come into contact with nasal secretions from an infected person. Less often, infections spread when a person breathes air containing droplets that were coughed or sneezed out by an infected person.

RTIs affect the nose, throat, and airways and may be caused by several viral and bacterial pathogens.

 

REACTING TO AN EMERGENCY 

In the course of your life it may so happen that unfortunate incidents occur, causing some one to get physically hurt or seriously injured. These may be household burns while cooking, falling down during sports, being bitten by animals or road accidents. In these situations your prompt action can alter how quickly the injured person recovers and whether they face any complications on the road to recovery. First aid tips can guide you to make better decisions on what to do, what not to do and how to work against time to save some oneís life.

Getting Ready to Help

All you really need is common sense and whatever materials are available nearby such as clean water, rolled newspaper, strings, safety pines, clean cloth and soap.

You might also need a helpful bystander, to call for help, and to help carry the patient, if necessary. If the injury occurs in a public place, crowd management is most important. Organising people and resources is also important. You will have to keep bystanders away from the injured, so that helpers can get on with rescue operations.

If there are many who are injured, people will need to be organised into groups: one group for comforting the victims, their friends and their relatives, another group for transporting the patients, and another group for actually doing the first aid.

It is useful to know ambulance and police call numbers and call for them at the earliest.

 

LAUGH YOUR WAY TO GOOD HEALTH. 

Oral Health is a very important component of general health. The impact of oral diseases ranges between severe illness affecting different organ systems of the body to creating a considerable impact on quality of life.

Almost every one of us have experienced tooth ache and mouth ulcers sometime in our lives. Dental problems can limit our dietary and nutrient intake. Oral appearance affects our self esteem, our willingness to interact with others and influences the judgments people make about us. Good dental appearance is also considered a pre-requisite for some prestigious occupations. Oral Diseases also creates a considerable economic burden by causing reduced employment or promotion opportunities. They also cause increased absenteeism from schools leading to reduction in levels of educational attainment.

Most of the oral diseases are entirely preventable. By following certain simple oral hygiene instructions and incorporating healthy habits in day to day routine can easily help us to prevent oral diseases.

This section will familiarize you with some of these common oral ailments and some very simple ways to prevent the harm caused by them.

 

Avoiding tobacco adds 20 years to the life of a teenager. One third of all the cancers can be avoided by preventing tobacco, increasing activity levels and decreasing the fat in the diet.

 

We should aim to promote the healthy behaviours throughout the life course. This approach combines health promotion, disease prevention and disease management. We should reinforce healthy behaviours which already exist in our society & prevent changes to unhealthy behaviours. We should also help people revert back from unhealthy to healthy behaviours

Healthy eating habits and increased physical activity alone can

  • Reduce the risk of developing diabetes by 58%

  • Reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure by 66%

  • Reduce the risk of developing heart attacks and stroke by 40-60%