#Allin4health #health4all #minding your wellbeing #healthawareness
By Dr TW Ngwenya-Changamire
What is health? Health is defined as a complete state of physical, mental and social well-being and not just the absence of disease (WHO).
It is hard for anyone of us to achieve an overall state of health especially when one of the aforementioned areas is affected. It is important to remember that we can only strive to achieve overall health by taking control of that which we can control, for instance our lifestyle choices and our habits.
Making informed choices about our health will improve our health status. You may ask how can you achieve this? Well it is my responsibility of a health practitioner to promote health and assist the community to make better choices when it comes to their health.
All in for health intends to promote health by discussing a range of health topics that are important and relevant and that are very much prevalent in our society.
The goal is to ensure people become informed and equipped to make better decisions about their health.
The topics to be covered will range from physical ill-health to mental ill-health. When health practitioners speak of health we often refer to physical health and unfortunately, mental health does not get equal attention.
Conversations about mental health need to start. Mental health is affecting all age groups from childhood right through to adulthood.
We can only begin to tackle the rising problem of mental illness by educating people on what it is, what are the causes and how to recognize it.
Educating the community will enable you to identify those affected by mental illness so this leads to early detection and referral of such patients to appropriate practitioners.
By talking about mental health, we will also have begun to contribute towards the fight against stigma and judgement attached to mental illness.
People who suffer from mental illness will also realise that just as physical ill-health exists so does mental ill-health.
We will continue to reassure them that mental illness does not mean mental incapacitation or permanent disability. There is no reason to live in shame or defer getting treatment. Early intervention for both physical and mental ill health improves health outcomes and saves lives.
One relevant and highly prevalent condition is Diabetes. Diabetes has become one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality globally.
Diabetes is on the rise, globally 422 million people have been diagnosed with Diabetes and this means that 1 in every 11 people is Diabetic and 1 out of 2 Diabetics does not know that their Diabetic (WHO).
This is an alarming rate and it highlights the need to conduct a lot of screening services in the community.
The availability of processed and refined foods in the market combined with sedentary lifestyles has led to this increased prevalence of Diabetes.
Risk factors for developing Diabetes that cannot be changed are said to be non-modifiable risk factors. These include, advanced age, genetics and ethnicity however some risk factors are modifiable like inactivity, being overweight, poor food choices.
Modifiable means that we can alter this risk increasing activity or exercise levels, reducing weight and choosing healthier food options. 1 in 3 people are overweight globally and in SA 77% of women are overweight while 55% of men are overweight (Stats SA,2019).
This is a high prevalence of overweight and obesity.
We are living in obesogenic environments. This environment has been brought about by urbanisation where most people can now afford this energy-dense nutrient deficient food.
In such environments people have to be informed about the environment we now live in and they also need to be taught on how to prevent being overweight and obese.
Obesogenic environments are environments where there is easy access to energy-dense foods, people opt for such foods because they are affordable and they also live sedentary lifestyles.
Such choices will result in increased overweight and obese cases and these individuals have a higher risk of developing Diabetes and other cardiovascular complications and also risk of certain cancers is increased in overweight and obese individuals. Obesity is reversible.
Conducive environments to promote health and to control or prevent overweight and obesity are required to deal with this health problem.
Environmental Diabetes control can be achieved by increasing community-level health education and promotion services, screening for Diabetes and reducing access to energy-dense nutrient-deficient foods in schools e.g healthy meals in schools and introduction of sugar tax which made sugary drinks less affordable to the public.
Diabetes it is highly prevalent in our communities, incidence rates are also high and community members are not getting screened, so they present late with complications of diabetes.
Remember to follow us and be informed on health-related topics and get screened for chronic diseases.
Contact All In 4 Health for General Medical Consultation, health screening, medical check-up, health education and promotion. The Glen Marais Shopping Centre, 57 Veld Street, Glen Marais, Kempton park 1619
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