By Dr. Chakshu
Few instances in the last week forced me to think of few facts. Like, I have seen people spending lavishly on their dresses, shoes and jewelries. People don’t bother about the cost of home appliances and also large amounts are spent heartedly on ceremonies but when it comes to their health, any medication , suddenly they become very conscious of the cost. With the change in our life style these days, we are now more vulnerable to so many silent killers (diseases) of which either we are ignorant or don’t want to know. People just think like a pigeon who closes his eyes in front of a cat assuming that it will not hurt him. But this doesn’t happen in reality. Everybody knows what happens. I mean to say that we have changed our life style but we haven’t changed our eating habits. In olden days, people used to work very hard and so was their eating habits. But now most of the hard work is done by machines. We have many helping appliances at home and at work. So most of the people have sedentary lifestyle, which leads to a lot of health problems. People think that only cancer and AIDS are deadly and nothing else is more dangerous. But let me tell you diabetes and hypertension are more dangerous if left uncontrolled. These and many other disorders do not affect our body suddenly. They damage our body organs slowly and silently. A diabetic person for many years may be without any complaint. Same is with hypertension, heart disease, liver disease. For example; liver disease usually manifests after 50 – 80% has been destroyed. Person comes to know about his raised BP, may be after one intracranial hemorrhage or CVA (stroke).
Majority of diseases, take time from starting in the body to expression as symptoms. This period is called latent period. Latent period depends on nature of disease & body response towards that disease. Heart disease, High blood pressure, Degenerative, Cancer diseases have more latent period before being symptomatic . Once it crosses certain threshold or body resistance then the disease expresses its presence by symptoms.
It is the duty of medical practitioners to make people aware of these diseases and try to control them before complications occur. Best way is to undergo regular complete health check up at least once in a year. This helps in two ways. One is, if you have dysfunction in any of the body organs, it can be controlled and treated and the other benefit is, if your all body organs are healthy and all the blood parameters are normal, than it may be considered as a positive biofeedback that your lifestyle is good and you can lead a quality life with your parents, children and friends. Early detection avoids irreversible damage by early treatment and cost of treatment is less because disease is detected in reversible phase or before complications. If the disease is detected late or after irreversible phase, the disease will control the patient as well as doctor in addition to being expensive. In such case treatment may be needed to avoid further damage, but is not reversible. That is the great benefit of early diagnosis of disease during this latent period.
Specially complete health check is need of the hour for those people who are chronic alcoholic, smoker, intravenous drug abusers. They are at high risk of HBV, HCV, HIV infections. These persons require timely detection and appropriate treatment.
With hectic life style and a stressful life, health checkups have become kind of mandatory in today’s life. With the concept of preventive health care picking up fast, hospitals in big metropolitan cities are now providing health checkup packages at reasonable prices.
It would be worth mentioning here that such type of complete health check facility is now available in Manipur. Shija Hospitals, Langol which is an ISO 9001:2008 certified hospital has been offering “Shija Health Check”, a comprehensive health check programme. The various packages available under this programme are Shija Special Health Check, Shija Executive Health Check, Shija Basic Health Check, Shija Well Women Health Check, Shija Stroke Check and Shija Child Health Check. Each package has been carefully customized to meet the different healthcare requirements of different individuals and age groups. It offers you a comprehensive basket of customized tests, as well as consultation and advice. It would also serve as a personal medical record for future reference. Once the check is completed, if treatment is required it can begin without any delay.
So, people should now start realizing the benefits of regular complete health checks and also make other people aware of it. This can prevent so many CVAs, heart attacks and many deaths. Let me quote the old adage which says “Prevention is better than cure.” So wake up and start taking care of your health. Remember God has given us this life to live for only once.
(Author is MD (Medicine), Consultant Physician, Shija Hospitals and Research Institute Pvt. Ltd., Langol. Imphal).