Physician decries poor attitude of Nigerians to health issues

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By Lilian Okoro

As the rate of killer diseases continues to rise in Africa, a General Physician, Dr Chibuzo Gerald, has decried the poor attitude of Nigerians to health issues.

Accordingly, Gerald says it is necessary for Nigerians to cultivate a culture of health maintenance.

Gerald, Managing Partner, G-Spring Laboratory and Medical Services, a private health facility, made the observation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Lagos.

According to him, many people fall victim of preventable deaths and diseases due to poor attitudes to health issues and lack of health maintenance culture.

He advised Nigerians to take their health seriously by eating healthy food and going for regular medical check-ups.

The Physician cautioned against excessive intake of alcohol, cigarette and self-medication, to ensure a healthy life.

” Nigerians need to cultivate the habit of checking their blood pressure regularly to prevent stress- related ailments”.

The physician described stress as a risk factor for diseases particularly depression, hypertension and mental health problems, which, he said, could lead to suicide.

He explained that blood pressure, most times, displayed no signs or symptoms.

According to him, stress-related ailments caused by high blood pressure causative factors, such as stroke, diabetes and hypertension, show minor signs which are usually ignored until they become severe.

The medical doctor said that it was important for Nigerians to know how to prevent and manage stress to ensure their wellbeing.

“Stress is risk factor for most diseases; some of these ailments can lead to sudden death, if not detected early and properly managed.

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“They can occur almost immediately and at any time. Someone who is apparently fit may be at risk. That is why routine check-up is of utmost importance,’’ he said.

The physician described hypertension as one of the most common stress-related ailments affecting many people silently.

According to him, hypertension is a chronic medical condition in which the blood pressure in the arteries becomes elevated.

“Blood pressure measurement is consistently normal if it is 120/80, but when it repeatedly becomes 150/90, that is when there is hypertension.

“When somebody is hypertensive, there are certain food modifications that such a person has to maintain, to ensure that the pressure is not aggravated.

“Anybody diagnosed with hypertension should avoid fatty foods, sugary drinks and change his/her lifestyles.

“The person should take more of fish, chicken with the skin removed, more fruits and vegetables, avoid alcohol intake and sugary foods completely,’’ he advised.

Gerald stated that the lifestyle of an individual could affect the way the body would react to issues.

He emphasised the need for Nigerians to avoid consuming excessive salt and some foods with artificial seasonings, saying that such foods could trigger ailments.

Gerald also described salt reduction as a preventive and treatment measure for hypertension.

According to the medical practitioner, taking medication and avoiding junk foods will go a long way in eradicating chronic stress conditions.

He advised Nigerians to cultivate the habit of regular exercise and create time for relaxation, as a way of reducing stress-related ailments.

“Everyone experiences stress. However, when it is affecting your life, health and wellbeing, it is important to tackle it as soon as possible before it triggers other ailments.

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“Also, the need for regular check on blood pressure is becoming increasingly relevant, as reports of obesity, poor diet and physical inactivity in children and young people are becoming common,” he said. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Ayodeji Alabi/Vivian Ihechu

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