Health is said to be wealth. Many of us don’t realize that until the day we sit in a hospital bed and realize that all our possessions are vanity and cannot save us. But nothing in life occurs in a vacuum. Every sickness or disease has a cause and we can avoid them if we take proper measures. Causes come in different ways and so it is important to know what to do at any given moment or else our body will be at a disadvantage.
Protection against infectious or disease causing agents
An infectious agent is anything which causes an infection. An infection will eventually lead to a disease if not treated. Infectious agents include bacteria, virus, fungi, parasites or prions. To be infected with any of these agents does not mean you have contracted a disease. For example, the fact that someone infected you with the HIV virus does not mean you automatically get the disease called AIDS. Some diseases such as AIDS or cancer take time to manifest.
But what exactly is a disease and how do you know if you have one or not?
Putting it simple, a disease is a state of un-ease or a state of not being at ease. Therefore when you realized that your body is not at ease then you are sick. Did you know that old-age is a disease? Most people don’t this but then looking around us we realize how much the aged in our society struggle in their day to day life. To be stressed is a disease and will kill you if you don’t clear your mind. Even being tired is a disease but one that can easily be cured with proper rest.
Below are the steps to stay away from infectious or disease causing agents:
1.0 Effective hygiene practice
Wash your hands (for at least 20 seconds) several times per day with clean water and soap or use an alcohol-based hand rub or sanitizer (at least 60 % alcohol content). Do so especially:
- After living the toilet
- Before and after eating
- After taking care of someone ill
- if you are a mother, after cleaning your child
- If you touch a farm or wild animal unprotected
2.0 Observe the following Golden Rules:
- Avoid touching your face, ears, nose or mouth with unclean hands. While this might be difficult based on our natural inbuilt replex practice and self-control will get you there.
- Keep kitchen, bathroom and toilet clean at all time
- Avoid crowded environments. You can easily be contaminated by someone who is sick. Practice social distance (at least) as much as possible
- Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze with tissue or flexed elbow. Do not use your bare hands and if you do wash them immediately. If a tissue is used, then don’t forget to throw it in the nearest trash can.
- Surfaces such as tables or chairs may be contaminated with viruses or bacteria. So always wash your hands with soap whenever you touch a surface with your bare hand especially in a public places.
- Frequently touched objects should be clean and disinfected regularly.
- Wearing mask can help reduce the spread of a disease especially when you decide to go close to sick people, if you are sick or if you find yourself in a crowded environment. Make sure your hands are clean before putting on a mask and avoid touching the mask with your hands while it’s in use. Remove mask once it becomes damp. Remove mask from behind and avoid touching the front. Whenever you touch the front of a mask make sure to wash your hands clean with soap and water.
- If possible avoid close contact with anyone sick or anyone display symptoms of a disease. Take proper majors such as putting on mask and gloves if you have to.
- If you are sick then stay home until you get well. Help others to stay protected.
- Safe sex practice if you are not married. Sexual intercourse is a route for many deadly viruses to enter your body. So avoid multiple sex partners and use condoms if you are not married.
- Cook meat and poultry products thoroughly.
3.0 Effective Vaccination
A vaccine is basically a bacteria or visrus or any other infectious agent that have been wickened or modify such that they cannot reproduce well or cannot reproduce at all and hence will not cause any harm. When the immune system encounters this weak version of the virus or bacteria, it studies it and comes up with ways or strategies to kill it. When the real virus or bacteria comes, you immune system takes it out without stress and in no time. This is because it has encoutered it before and have had enough time to study it. There are many vaccines out there for preventing several diseases including cancer vaccines. Talk to your doctor if not sure.
With these practices, we an avoid several infectious agents such as Ebola, Covid-19, HIV etc.
Protection against radiation
Radiation is a form of energy. Radiations such as X-ray and UV emitted from the sun or generated artificially in the lab causes gene mutation and this mutation adds up every time you get exposed and will eventually result to a disease such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases or skin burns. It can also weaken your body defense system. Stay safe from radiation by:
- Wearing protective clothing
- Wear sun glasses to protect your sensitive eyes
- Use an umbrella or hat on very sunny days
- Stay in shades whenever possible
- Use sunscreen to protect sensitive skin
- Avoid sunbed tanning. It causes cancer
Protection against chemicals
Exposure to chemicals will cause gene mutation. This can weaken your immune system or even results to severe diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular illnesses among others. Exposure to chemicals can also reduce your life span as it tempers with the smooth functioning of organs. For pregnant women, it can cause miscarriage, deformation of the baby or even death. Others might never be able to get pregnant again. To guard yourself, observe the following:
- Wear breathing mask if dealing with chemicals
- Wash hands after using a chemical
- Avoid tobacco smoking
- Avoid alcohol abuse
- Stay away from oral contraceptives and learn to avoid pregnancy naturally (Fertility awareness)
- Avoid too much medication for every minor ill. Let your body train itself by eliminating it. Many medications come with side effects. These side effects are basically because your body is also being attacked by these medicines. Medications have been shown to cause gene mutation resulting to cancer and cardiovascular diseases among others.
- Avoid cold drinks or soda. They are just a mixture of chemicals
There is a saying that “You are what you eat”. You eat healthy, and you will stay health. You eat rubbish then sickness will rubbish you. As a general rule remember that anything that is not natural will cause you trouble.
- No red or processed meat and avoid processed food as much as possible.
- Eat lean meat and plant based sources of protein
- Cook your own meal at home avoid buying food in the street when you have no idea under what conditions they were prepared or what exactly have been added into what you are eating.
- Cook food thoroughly especially meat and poultry products.
- Always keep your food covered
- Eat your food hot if possible
- Do not eat spoiled foodstuffs. Spoilt food contain toxins secreted by pathogens
- Do not eat raw food stuffs except fruits or vegetables and make sure they are well washed. Pathogens or toxins may be on their surfaces.
- Eat lots of fruits and vegetables
- Acidic fruits such as orange, lemon, apple, grape, pineapple and tomato should be avoided before going to bed. They could cause heart burn. But they are good for breakfast and launch. Eat banana if you need fruit before sleep.
- Do not starve yourself for too long. An empty stomach can lead to complications ranging from gastritis, cutting off part of your intestines, or cancer
- Drink a lot of water (at least 1.5 L per day)
- Do not drink alcohol on an empty stomach. Read more
- Avoid too much sugar intake or sugary drinks. This can cause diabetes, liver damage, heart diseases or obesity.
Stay physically fit and avoid stress
- Exercise regularly. It keeps your immune system strong, enhances the functioning of your organs and help keep a healthy weight. Therefore regular excise will keep you away from diseases and provide a longer life span.
- Avoid too much fat or weight loss. Get a balance weight
- Avoid stressing. Stressing will not solve any of your problem but will only make you sick.
- Do not hold urine in your bladder or excreta in your rectum for longer. If you feel as to urinate or excrete then do so immediately.
Self-examination and Frequent Check-up
When a disease or an infection is detected early, an effective treatment can easily be developed and the chances of recovering are very high. There is hardly any disease that cannot be dealt with at an early stage. However there are diseases which once established, then you might never recover from them ever again. It is therefore important that you self-examine yourself regularly and go for frequent check-up or screening. If you feel something is somehow not right and no matter how insignificant it may be, then go for check-up. Get screened against the most common cancers such as prostate cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, cervical cancer, colorectal cancer, liver cancer and stomach cancer or against sexually transmitted infections such as herpes simplex virus (HSV), human papilloma virus (HPV), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis B virus (HBV). Genetic counseling will also assess your risk of having certain diseases such as cancer.
Create awareness through social media or at your place of work by sharing this article. Let others know what is good and what is not good. Remember that most diseases are transmitted from person to person. If the people around you are not sick, then you also will likely not be sick and if no one is sick then the society will be a better place for us all.