Know your health risks

Health is not mere absence of disease. It would be better if we have an understanding of health risks, how do we monitor them, and take actions to prevent them from manifesting as a disease condition.

You may ask, “Is it possible?”, and I say, the answer is yes.

To begin with, take a look at what you have inherited from your parents and family. Typically, if one or both of your parents have heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, cancers, asthma etc, there is a possibility that you may also get it some time or other. Map out your family history, and understand what you can do to prevent or delay the disease.

Have a look at your lifestyle. There are a number of factors like smoking, drinking, eating out very frequently, eating junk food, adopting a diet high in fats particularly saturated fats, low in carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables, and high salt intake, in form of pickles, mixtures, chaat, papad… the list is long and mouth watering. You can top up the risk level, with not being able to cope up with stress in personal life, family life or professional life.

Finally the risk can be compounded by physical inactivity. If you have any or all of these risk factors, ensure rigorous changes to eliminate them, or at least bring down to minimum levels.

The good news is that it can be done. Seek professional help if required.

Next, assess your physical status. identify deficiencies before they manifest clinically. Get important tests including haemoglobin test, blood cell counts, lipid profile, renal function tests, liver function tests, and ECG and Echocardiogram. If the reports are out of reference range, consult a physician.
A medical examination will indicate if you are overweight, obese, have hypertension, or any other problem. Work on a programme to manage these risks and follow it religiously.

About Mukul Saxena 33 Articles

Col (Retd) Dr Mukul Saxena has over 30 years of cross-functional expertise in healthcare, both in public and private sectors.