The components of wellness program[1](Part 2)

“Do not abuse alcohol or drugs, and do not use tobacco in any form”[1]

The worst side effect of drinking too much alcohol is the development of liver cirrhosis. In this medical condition, there is extensive generation of fibers and scarring in your liver such that at certain point the flow of blood through it is partially or totally obstructed. When this takes place, the pressure of blood in the other blood vessels increases, leading to bleeding in the esophagus which could ultimately cause death.

Use of addictingdrugs could also cause a lot of undesirable effects on your health. Some of these adverse effects are feeling of drunkenness, talkativeness, blackouts, violent withdrawal symptoms, and even death due to overdose.The ten most commonly prescribed addicting drugs are the following: (1) Xanax (alprazolam), (2) Klonopin (clonazepam),(3)Valium (diazepam), (4) OxyContin (oxycodone), (5) Percocet (oxycodone), (6) Demerol (pethidine),(7) Darvocet (propoxyphene + acetaminophen), (8) Codein, (9) Adderal (amphetamine), and (10) Ritalin (methylphenidate)[2].Whenever a medical doctor prescribes you with a drug, try to know its nature, specifically its side effects.

The use of tobacco—in whatever form—is also discouraged because it has been scientifically established that it causes bronchogenic carcinoma in the lungs.

“Have regular medical and dental examinations”[1]

Annual medical examination is very important for you [Consult Powertec (127-133)]. It is meant to find out what are your ongoing and future medical problems; therefore, management could be started at the soonest time possible. By the same token, you need to have annual dental examination because a lot of medical problems arose from dental diseases. You may have kidney infection because you have been having dental problem!

“Work to develop an optimistic attitude and a sense of humor”[1]

Before starting on a project, have an optimistic frame of mind. You must believe that it will succeed because you know that you have planned for it, and have thought it out, so well. At the same time, practice the art of having a sense of humor because it could be your tool to fight out pressure in your daily life. Have laughter in your midst! Surely, you will be relaxed and refreshed to start doing again your work. Always remember what others say that laughter is the best medicine!

“Take minor upsets in stride”[1]

Whenever you are in a group—working in a corporate setting, for example—there is a great possibility that you will be upset by someone! Surely, your day is destroyed! However, the best approach to this situation is to take it in stride. You may try to explain your side, and point out what is wrong with what he did to you. But if the exchanges of justifications and excuses seem to have no end, it is better that you leave it as it is and end the discussion. Anger is at times cannot be avoided, but if done most of the time, it could increase your blood pressure. You may even die from it!

“Seek support from friends or family, or professional help, to deal with more serious stress”[1]

There are situations when the stress being generated is beyond your capability to solve.Do not hesitate to seek help from your friends and family members. They may have good ideas how to solve your problem. However, if they cannot help because your problem is so serious, then seek the assistance of a professional, such as a medical doctor or a psychologist. As soon as possible, solve your problem because if it is delayed, your condition might   deteriorate further.

References:

  1. Glover, Bob, Shepherd, Jack, and Glover, Shelly-lynn Florence. The Runner’s Handbook. New York: Penguin Books USA Inc., 1996.

Krucik GT, Krans B. The most addictive prescription drugs on the market. http://www.healthline.com/health/addiction/addictive-prescription-drugs#Overview1.

The components of wellness program[1](Part 1)

“Take frequent time outs—vacations, exercise breaks, regular family activities—to help overcome stress”[1]

Too much preoccupation with your work will generate boredom and lack of self-fulfillment in your life. At the end, stress is in your midst, and you will lose the energy and enthusiasm to work. To renew your zest in doing what you have been doing—and thus reducing stress—you need to break your routine, and look at new horizons, very much different from what you have been seeing day in and day out. These new horizons could be in the form of vacations, participation in sports, joining parties with friends and regular family members.

“Eat a balanced diet low in calories, fat, sugar, salt, and cholesterol but high in fiber and complex carbohydrates”[1]

It was emphasized in previous articles of Powertec that your diet should be low in calories so that you will not gain weight. In addition, it was also stressed that your diet should be low in fat, especially the saturated fat, so that you will avoid contracting diseases related to the heart and the blood vessels. Regarding intake of too much simple sugar, it should be avoided so that if you are prone to having diabetes mellitus, you will avoid having it, or—at the very least—you will delay its full development. Restriction of salt intake is encouraged so that you will not develop hypertension, and the same reason applies to restricting the intake of cholesterol-rich foods.

“Start each day with a healthy breakfast”[1]

When you take your breakfast, you are actually breaking your fasting because from the time you took your dinner up to the time you take it—your breakfast, the time difference is around twelve hours. Therefore, if you miss it, you will be depriving your body with the much needed nutrients, which were not supplied to it in the last twelve hours. Take your breakfast before you hit the road!

“Eat regular meals”[1]

You have three regular meals, and you need to take them on time. There are occasions, though, when you are so busy that you do not have the time to prepare or buy your meal(s). Your tendency will be to replace your breakfast or lunch with crackers or some drinks or some fast foods. Of course, you will feel full after eating or drinking them. However, it is not balanced. It may not contain the three food groups and the right number of calories that you need. Regular meals imply that they are balanced!

“Maintain a healthful weight”[1]

When you meet the phrase “healthful weight”, it is referring to the so-called ideal body weight (IBW). Your IBW depends on the following: (1) height, (2) sex, and (3) degree of daily activity. The higher you are, the greater will be your IBW. If you are male, your IBW is greater; and the more active you are in your daily chores, yourIBWneeds to be higher [Consult Powertec (20) on how to compute for yourIBW].

Your IBW is so important because it serves as an indexof predicting what diseases you will have if not corrected at the soonest time possible. If you actual weight is greater than your IBW, then you are prone to have hypertension, heart diseases, diabetes mellitus, joint and bone problems, and possible bone fractures.

“Sleep seven to eight hours a night”[1]

The positive role of adequate and solid sleep is undeniable. Surely, you have experienced lack of sleep, and you know very well the consequences! The following day, you cannot concentrate on your work because you feel drowsy! Until and after you have gotten the right number of hours of sleep, you will not be effective. Thus, do not miss your sleeping time!

Reference:

  1. Glover, Bob, Shepherd, Jack, and Glover, Shelly-lynn Florence. The Runner’s Handbook. New York: Penguin Books USA Inc., 1996.

 

 

The seven poor health habits

Physical inactivity[1]
Scientific literatures have reported the beneficial effects of regular physical exercises on health. Aside from strengthening muscles and bones, they protect the heart from the so-called myocardial infarction (heart attack) because through physical exercises, the small blood vessels supplying the heart with blood are assured of being open most of the time, in addition to the development and opening of others, medically known as the collateral coronary arteries.
Smoking[1]
Again, scientific literatures are laden with findings that cigarette smoking is bad for your health. Aside from definitely causing cancer of the lungs, they induce the blood vessels to become inelastic and non-extensiblecontributing to, and causing, the development of hypertension. Based on most health statistics of different countries, hypertension as a cause of death ranks as one of the top ten.
Drinking too much alcohol[1]
Too much intake of alcohol will lead to the development of the so-called liver cirrhosis. In this disease, formation of fibers and scarring take place in your liver, making it ineffective to do itsvarious functions for your body, such as eliminating some waste products and forming new and useful substances. Damage of the liver is so critical because when it fails, other organs will subsequently fail.
Being overweight[1]
If your weight is more than your so-called ideal body weight, you will soon develop hypertension; and since hypertension has a lot of complications, you will soon have more medical problems than you have thought and imagined. Aside from diseases in the heart and blood vessels, if you are overweight, you will also have problems pertaining to your knees and other joints, aside from the fact that you will be prone to having bone fractures.
Eating between meals[1]
If you take light snacks in between meals, then that is okay and tolerable. However, if you take a lot of foods prior to, and after, your regular meals, then that spells a lot of difference because intake of large amount of foods could cause sudden rise of your sugar, cholesterol, or triglycerides in your blood depending on what type of foods you took in. Scientific literatures suggest that taking in small quantities of foods—even if more frequently than usual—is more healthy thantaking big amounts of foods even if taken at a lesser frequency.
Skipping breakfast[1]
When you take your dinner at 7:00 o’clock in the evening and take your breakfast the following day at 7:00 o’clock in the morning, the time difference in between the two meals is 12 hours. If you take your lunch at 12:00 noon, the time difference is only 5 hours. And if you take your dinner again at 7:00 o’clock in the evening, the time difference is only 7 hours.Among your regular meals, breakfast has the longest time difference from the previous meal. Thus, it is called breakfast because when you take it, you are actually breaking your fasting! This is the reason why breakfast is so important because you need to replenish a lot of substances consumed by your body in the last 12 hours.
Sleeping too little or too much[1]
Most scientific references recommend that you sleep at least 7 hours every night. If you sleep less than 7 hours, you feel drowsy and your concentration in doing your work is below the optimal level. If you sleep more than 7 hours, you will feel lousy and you are not efficient in doing your work. What is more alarming is that when you lack sleep for several days, your heart will suffer. You will have irregularity in the beating of your heart.It will lose its normal rhythm until you get the right number of hours of sleep!
Reference:
1. Glover, Bob, Shepherd, Jack, and Glover, Shelly-lynn Florence. The Runner’s Handbook. New York: Penguin Books USA Inc., 1996.

Medical implications of diabetes mellitus combined with lipid abnormalities (Part 2)

Complications of diabetes

Hypertension

When your blood sugar is very much elevated, this will promote the deposition of fatty substances along the internal lining of your different blood vessels—medically known as endothelium. With the deposition, the endothelium is thickened, and, to some extent, it becomes inelastic. With this development, the blood pressure rises.

Lipid abnormalities

Lipid abnormalities refer to the elevations—over normal values—of the blood concentrations of either cholesterol, triglycerides, or low-density lipoprotein, or combinations of them. The more elevations there are, the worse will be the outcome in the years to come.

Complications of lipid abnormalities

Coronary heart disease

With persistent elevations of the lipids, the small vessels supplying the heart with blood—otherwise known as the coronary arteries—are little by little deposited with fatty substances leading ultimately to their partial obstruction or, worse, total obstruction. When your coronary arteries are partially blocked, you will start to experience chest pain which is precipitated or provoked by physical exertions, such as lifting heavy objects, going up the stairs, running, or being excited on something. The worst part, however, is when the obstruction is total or complete wherein a certain area in the muscle of your heart is completely deprived of blood supply. When this happens, you will have heart attack, or medically known as myocardial infarction, and you may die from it.

Hypertension

With increased levels of lipids in your blood, the deposition of fatty substances, known as plaques, in your endothelium is hastened. This deposition does not only narrow the opening of your blood vessels; it further injures your endothelium making it more inelastic. This will surely lead to the development of hypertension.

Commonalities of diabetes and lipid abnormalitiesin terms of complications

Based on the discussion in the preceding sections, you will find out that there are commonalities of diabetes and lipid abnormalities in terms of complications. Both of them could cause hypertensionand coronary heart disease. Therefore, the occurrences of these life-threatening diseases would be very likely—almost 100 percent—if you have both diabetes and lipid abnormalities. Life-threatening as they are, the situation is made worse whenhypertension starts in your systems, because it could also start new, and exacerbateexisting, complications, such as damage of the kidneys, heart, and the eyes. Since these organs have been very much damaged previously by diabetes, then their destruction is very much faster than when only one—diabetes or lipid abnormalities only—exists. Thus, the combination of diabetes and lipid abnormalities is extremely dangerous!

Management of this life-threatening situation

The most appropriate time to start managing this medical situation is when the two problems have been noticed for the first time, as revealed by blood chemistry examinations. Once it has been established that diabetes co-exists with lipid abnormalities, you need to consult your medical doctor at once and without delay, even if you have not been experiencing any discomfort or complaints lately. You need to start your medications at the soonest time possible. If your problems are discovered when you are still young, your taking of the most appropriate medications will greatly delay the onset of the various complications. However, when they are discovered when you are relatively older, say 60 or 70 years old, the different complications have already set in, and you will surely need an array of medications! You will surely need medications for diabetes and   lipid abnormalities—and most probably hypertension. You will surely spend so much for your medications.

Thus, the moment you find that you have both diabetes and lipid abnormalities, consult your medical doctor immediately and take your medications as religiously as possible. This is the only way you can avoid having the complications soonest and avoid taking a number of medications, reducing significantly your expenses.

(Last of a series of 2)

Medical implications of diabetes mellitus combined with lipid abnormalities (Part 1)

Diabetes Mellitus

Diabetes mellitus is a medical problem wherein your fasting blood sugar (FBS) is above and over the normal range. The normal range of FBS is 70-100 mg/dl. Hence, if your FBS is greater than the said range, you are suffering from diabetes. If you discover that you are a diabetic, waste no time! Visit your medical doctor for consultation and follow faithfully and religiously all the instructions that he will give you. Specifically, take all the medications that he will prescribe to you, follow the diet that he will tell you, and do the physical exercises that he wants you to pursue.

Complications of diabetes

If your elevated fasting blood sugar is not treated for a number of years, you will reap the complications of diabetes. Since it is a systemic disease, it adversely affects several of your important organs, such as your eyes, nerves, heart, blood vessels, and kidneys. Consequently, you might go blind, your skin becomes insensitive to touch, you may experience chest pain due to heart problem, and your blood pressure rises.

Coronary heart disease

One adverse effect of having elevated blood sugar for so many years is the development of coronary heart disease wherein the small blood vessels which supply the heart with blood—otherwise known as coronary arteries—are gradually being clogged by fatty deposits. When the clogging becomes total—that is, the opening of one or more of yourcoronary arteries is completely blocked—you might suffer from heart attack!

Glomerulonephropathy

The other complication of diabetes is the destruction of your kidneys medically known as diabetic glomerulonephropathy, wherein their ability to filter the blood is gone. They cannot remove the waste products of metabolism in your body, such as the blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and blood creatinine, so their concentrations in the blood are elevated and beyond the normal values. If your BUN and blood creatinineare very much higher than the normal range, then your kidneys are compromised. You may need dialysis!

 

Retinopathy

In your eyes, at the back area of your eyeball, there is a structure called retina. It is very sensitive to the light that is entering your eyes, and it transmits the light to the brain for interpretation, in terms of color, intensity, temperature, and other characteristics. If your blood sugar has been elevated for a decade or more, without taking proper medications, the retina will be destroyed, and you might go blind!

Neuropathy

The nerves responsible for the sensations coming from the skin are not spared from the complications of diabetes. They are damaged when the small blood vessels—medically known as the vasa nervorum—are blocked as a result of lingering diabetes. When these small blood vessels are blocked, preventing the flow of blood, the nerves reaching and supplying your skin are damaged, resulting in the loss of sensation. Thus, diabetic patients, after so many years of harboring the disease, could not feel from their skin. Their skin is numb and deprived of the much needed sensations.

Cardiomyopathy

Aside from causing coronary heart disease wherein the small blood vessels—known as coronary arteries—are blocked and occluded, diabetes also damages the heart at the cellular lever. This means that the smallest parts of the muscles of the heart are damaged, resulting to what is known as cardiomyopathy. Consequently, all the muscles could not do their proper function, and the heart fails—known as heart failure. You should remember thatcardiomyopathy is different from coronary heart disease; however, both of them—at the end—will disable the heart.

(To be continued)

What are the components of your annual medical examination? (Part 7)

Other examinations
Stool examination
Stool examination refers to the laboratory analysis of the material that you move out when you do your bowel movement. The examination is done in two ways: (1) grossly, or (2) microscopically. In gross examination, the stool is observed and analyzed without using any instrument. In the microscopic examination, the analysis is done with the aid of the microscope.The results of the examination—be it grossly or microscopically—would give you an idea of the medical condition of your gastrointestinal tract, andthe following are significant findings if the laboratory technician and examiner could see them in your stool:
Eggs of parasites
If the stool examination would report that there are eggs of worms, then you are infected with them. The most common eggs that are seen in the stool come from the roundworms, specifically the parasite with scientific name Ascarislumbricoides. Roundworm infestation is very common among children who reside in the slums, eating without observing proper sanitation in their foods and dining wares. However, they couldalsobe seen among adults. If your stool examination would reveal the presence of eggs of parasites, then you must consult a medical doctor because you need to take medication(s).
Blood
The presence of blood in your stool could also mean a lot of things. The first that should come to your mind is the presence of any ulceration in your gastrointestinal tract. If the blood can be seen grossly, then the ulceration could be big and quite serious. If seen microscopically, then it is small.
Blood in the stool could also mean a bleeding cancer. Therefore, the moment your stool examination reveals the presence of blood, you need to bear that in mind, and, yearly, you need to have stool examination to find out if the bleeding is worsening or not. If worsening, you need to see your medical doctor because it is possible that you have been having cancer in the gastrointestinal tract—be it in the stomach or in the intestine.

Fats and undigested materials
If fats are present in your stool, then it is possible that you are not capable of digesting them. You have what is medically known as fat intolerance , and you may need to take some enzymes to help you digest your fats. In addition, some undigested materials could be seen in your stool. This again will indicate that you cannot digest some groups of foods; therefore, you need to see your medical doctor for further test(s) and/or for your medication(s).
White blood cells
Normally, the white blood cells are not found in your stool. However, if they are present, it means that you have ongoing infection in your gastrointestinal tract. Again, you need to see your medical doctor without delay so that you could take the right medication(s), preventing the worsening and spread of the infection.
Some words of caution: it does not mean, however, that if your stool examination does not reportpresence of white blood cells, that you do not have infection in your gastrointestinal tract! If there are other indications that an infection is present in your gastrointestinal tract, your medical doctor will proceed to treat it as a form of infection, even if white blood cells are not present in your stool.
Parting words on “annual medical examination (AME)”
The importance of AME cannot be underestimated. It is needed to serve as basis of preventive measures. Without it, your medical doctor is not properly guided on what preventive measures he could implement for you. Do it without delay!
(Last of a series of 7)

What are the components of your annual medical examination? (Part 6)

Other examinations

Endoscopy

Endoscopy is a medical procedure wherein an instrument—called an endoscope–is inserted in your anal opening, and its end is pushed upward in the hollow space of your intestines. For your additional information, your intestines are divided into: (1) the small intestines, and (2) the large intestines. Your large intestines, in turn, are divided into the following (Refer to Figure 1 below): (1) ascending colon, (2) the transverse colon, (3) the descending colon, and the (4) rectum. When endoscopy is done, the most that it can reach are the parts of the large intestines. Therefore, it is very feasible in looking at the medical condition of the rectum, descending colon, transverse colon, and the ascending colon. This procedure is resorted to when you experience difficulty in moving your bowel, when your abdomen is gradually enlarging and you are losing weight, and when you noticesignificant amount of bloodbeing admixed in your stools!

Ultrasonography

Ultrasonographyutilizes sound to derive a picture of internal organs and structures. For instance, if the result of your urinalysis reveals that there are plenty of red blood cells, then ultrasonography may be resorted to find out the cause of your bleeding in the urinary tract. There are two possible causes of bleeding in your urinary tract: (1) you have stone which has been injuring the lining of your urinary tract, or (2) you have bleeding cancer in your kidney or urinary bladder. If ultrasonography is done, then—by and large—the exact cause of the bleeding can be determined.Ultrasonography can also be used to determine medical problem(s) in the liver or gastrointestinal tract.

Other tests

Alpha- fetoprotein

If ever you had ultrasonographyof the liver and if there was a new growth in it, the determination of the alpha-fetoprotein will be resorted to. If this substance in the blood is very much higher than the normal values, then it is possible that you have been suffering from cancer of the liver medically known as hepatocellular carcinoma. If you are suffering from this liver disease, aside from the positive results from ultrasonography and blood test for alpha-fetoprotein, your medical doctor may find out during the physical examination that your liver is enlarged and your eyes are colored greenish. With all of these findings, very likely, you have hepatocellular carcinoma. To definitely confirm that you have it, your medical doctor may request for biopsy of your liver, wherein a needle is pushed into your liver and sample tissue will be taken from it. The sample tissue will then be examined under the microscope, and it will be known in due time whether or not you have hepatocellular carcinoma.

Prostate-specific antigen

The prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is a blood test which is required from men 50 years old and over. It is an indicator of whether or not you have been harboring prostate cancer. Thus, if the level of your PSA is higher than the normal ranges, you need to have the test more often—yearly, at the very least—and you need to have aurologist (medical doctor for this kind of problem) who will follow you up. Ideally, before you submit yourself for this test, a urologist has seen you and has examined your prostateby doing the digital rectal examination, wherein he inserted his finger into your anal opening and was able to touch your prostate, feeling its consistency and its size. If your medical doctor appreciated hard prostate and your PSAvalue is high, then most probably you have prostate cancer.

(To be continued)

What are the components of your annual medical examination? (Part 5)

Laboratory examinations

Blood chemistry analysis

Alanine aminotransferase

Alanine aminotransferase (ALT)is one of the enzymesthat is measured and monitored to find out if you have medical problem(s) in your liver. This enzyme is highly specific for the liver; therefore, if it is elevated, or higher than the normal values, you really have a disorder in your liver. It was formerly known as the serum glutamic-pyruvic transaminase (SGPT).

Blood urea nitrogen and creatinine

Theblood urea nitrogen (BUN) and creatinineare the indices for evaluating the medical condition of the kidneys. If the blood levels ofBUN and creatinine are over the normal values, then it is possible that you are beginning to have problem in your kidneys, or you have been having problem with your kidneys for a long time, if the levels are considerably high. There are two most common causes of kidney problems. These are: (1) diabetes mellitus (DM), and (2) hypertension. Thus, if you have been suffering from DM, even if you have been taking the right medications, you still need to have periodic measurement of both your blood BUN and creatinine.If you have hypertension, take the necessary medication(s), without waiting for the rise in your blood BUN and creatinine.

Chest x-ray

X-ray of the chest is very important part of the annual medical examination (AME), especially if it is your first time to undergo AME. If the results of your first chestx-rayare normal, and if you are over 50 years old, then you can afford to have it every 5 years. However, if there are positive findings that need to be followed up—to find out if it(they) is(are) worsening or not—then you need to have it every year or every two years depending on the nature of the medical finding(s) and on the advice of your medical doctor.

The most important findings that you need to pay attention to in the chest x-ray are the following: (1) any new growth which could be cancerous in nature, (2) any infectious disease, such as tuberculosis or pneumonia, and (3) any abnormality of the heart, such as enlargement. If new growth is found, then further tests need to be done, such as getting a sample of it then examined under the microscope.

Electrocardiogram

The electrocardiogram(ECG) is a tracing on a paper which is produced by the instrument called electrocardiograph. By interpreting the tracings on the paper, the reader could say if you have heart enlargement, if certain part(s) of your heart is(are) not well supplied with blood (myocardial ischemia), if you have problem with the electrical current of your heart, if your heart rate is slow or fast, and if your heart rate is irregular—among other things. Among the medical problems mentioned, the detection of myocardial ischemia is the most helpful and lifesaving because if it was not previously established, it could lead to death if proper management is not immediately done.

Gastroscopy

Gastroscopy is the process of inserting an instrument, called the gastroscope, through your mouth and reaching the inside of yourstomach. Through the gastroscope, the medical observercould now inspect the inner lining of your stomach, and he could find out if you are suffering from stomach ulcer or any new growth. If the new growth is suspicious looking, the medical observer could bite a piece from it using the gastroscope,   and the sample will be submitted to the laboratory for examination. With the aid of themicroscope, your new growth could be classified as either benign or malignant. If benign, then there is no problem; however, if malignant, then you may either undergo surgery or chemotherapy or both. In addition, if you have a bleeding ulcer, using the gastroscope, the medical observer could inject a medication in and around the site to stop the bleeding.

 

(To be continued)

What are the components of your annual medical examination? (Part 4)

Laboratory examinations

Blood chemistry analysis

Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol

TheLDL cholesterolis one of the lipids that needs to be determined when you submit yourself for blood chemistry examination. This type of cholesterol is also known as the bad cholesterol because if its high level in the blood is not checked, it will be deposited in the different organs of the body, such as in the small and large blood vessels, and it will lead to hypertension and diseases of the heart. Hence, there is an urgent need to periodically measure its level in the blood, and if it is elevated—that is, higher than the normal values, you need to take medication(s) that will lower it.

High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol

The HDL cholesterol is also known as the good cholesterol because it is responsible for the so-called reverse cholesterol transport, wherein it carries back and returns all the cholesterol from the different parts of the body   to the liver for use and elimination. If cholesterol is not returned to the liver, it will be deposited in different parts of the body leading to the development of diseases of the blood vessels and the heart.

If the level of your HDL cholesterol is low, and your LDL cholesterol is low or normal, then there is no problem. Problem arises when your HDL cholesterol is low, and your LDL cholesterol is high! In this instance, you need to lower your LDL cholesterol by taking synthetic medication(s), and, as much as possible, increase your HDL cholesterol by having periodic physical exercises.

Blood uric acid

In one of the biochemical reactions taking place in your body, uric acid is produced as one of the products. If the enzymes responsible for eliminating uric acid from your body is adequate,the said substance will be adequately removed from your systems. However, if you lack the necessary enzymes, you will retain much of the uric acid, and this will be deposited in your joints causing excruciating pain every time you move your legs and hands. If the level of your uric acid in the blood is high and very much above the normal ranges, and if you have been experiencing pain in your joints, you medical doctor will prescribe you with the necessary medication(s). However, if theuric acid level in your blood is high, but you do not experience pain in your joints, then your medical doctor may still refrain from prescribing you with the necessary medication to eliminate your excess uric acid.

In extreme situation wherein some deformities have been formed in your joints resulting from the deposition of too much uric acid, then it can be said that you have been suffering from gout. In addition, elevation of uric acid in the blood for so many years will lead to the destruction of your kidneys. Hence, periodic measurement of your blood uric acid is a must.

Aspartate aminotransferase

Aspartate aminotransferase (AST)is one of the enzymes that needs to be measured every now and then. It is used to find out if you have a medical problem either in your heart or in your liver. However, if the increase of AST is very substantial, it could mean a problem in the heart which could be fatal. Thus, if you have been experiencing chest pain, and if your AST is substantially elevated, then see a medical doctor immediately because, very likely, you must be suffering from a heart attack!In some instances, however, elevation of AST—especially if minimal or moderate in amount—could mean a problem in the liver or in some skeletal muscles.

(To be continued)

What are the components of your annual medical examination? (Part 3)

Laboratory examinations

Urinalysis

Other important findings in the urinalysis that you need to pay attention to are the presence of protein and/or sugar. If sugar is present in your urine, then it is highly possible that you have been suffering from diabetes mellitus (DM); if protein, on the other hand, is present, then you may have problem in your kidney(s), which could be inflammatory in nature. Thus, although it is cheap, your medical doctor could derive valuable information from itregarding your health, and he could start managing your medical problem at the earliest possible time.

Blood chemistry analysis

Fasting blood sugar

Fasting blood sugar is also known as the FBS. This test will let you know whether you have been suffering from DM or not. If your urinalysis reveals that you have sugar in your urine, then it is a must that you have FBS test so that you could confirm if you really have DM. More often than not, if you have sugar in your urine, you will have, at the same time, elevation of your FBS, signifying that you have been suffering from DM.

If your FBS is slightly over the normal values, your medical doctor may not start you at once with synthetic drugs. Instead, he will advise you on the right diet.Frequently, these are the initial and practical changes that you need to effect in your diet: (1) reduce your intake of rice, (2) refrain from adding sugar in your coffee, (3) avoid ice cream, chocolates, and candies, and (4) stop taking soft drinks. In addition, you need to have regular physical exercises.

Blood cholesterol

High level of cholesterol in your blood has been linked with the development of atherosclerosis and arteriolosclerosis (deposition of fatty plaques in the big and small blood vessels, respectively). When this happens over several years, the opening of your big blood vessels become narrow and their walls become inelastic, leading to the development of hypertension, or elevation and rise of your blood pressure. Thus, to prevent hypertension from taking place, the moment you find out that your blood cholesterol level is above the normal values, you need to consult your medical doctor, and take the medicine(s) that he will prescribe for you. Take it(them) daily so that hypertension will not set in.

If the deposition of fatty plaques takes place in the smaller blood vessels, such as those that nourish the heart muscle, then it is possible that you will have significant reduction in the amount of blood that goes to your heart, otherwise and medically known as myocardial ischemia, and you could be a victim of heart attack! Depending on the extent and amount of heart muscle that is deprived with blood, you may survive or die from it!

Blood triglycerides

Blood triglycerides are forms of fat (lipid) substances. They could be considered as “cousins” or “close relatives” of   blood cholesterol. Being “close relatives”, elevation of triglyceride level in the blood will also lead to the development of hypertension and diseases of the heart. In short, the adverse effects of elevated triglyceride level in the blood is the same as in cholesterolelevation; and when the two substances are simultaneously elevated, the development of diseases in the heart and blood vessels will develop faster than when only one is elevated. Thus, elevation of both the cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood is a bad sign! You need to consult your medical doctor soonest so that he could   prescribe you with the necessary medication(s) and advise you on the right diet and physical exercises.

 

(To be continued)