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PREVENTION OF DISEASES, (October, 2002)

How to remain Young ?
Laugh Yourself Young!
A little lighthearted laughter may be just the prescription for a healthy heart.

A recent study indicated that people with a good sense of humor and a propensity to laugh may be less likely to develop heart disease compared to people who possess antisocial, type A personalities. Meeting stressful situations with a sense of humor may be particularly relevant to heart health.

Benefit of Laughing often is , it can make you look up to 8 years younger.
Commpiled by Dr. M.Mohan Rao.

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."
-Aristotle

DISEASES SPREAD BY CONTAMINATED WATER AND/OR FOOD:
Helminthiasis(Worms), Amoebiasis(Dysentery,Diarrhoeas), Typhoid fever, Poliomyelitis, Bacterial Gastro enteritis (Food poisoning), Flatulence(Gas trouble) etc. Proper balanced nutritious diet is essential for good health. But even a well balanced and nutritious food will lead to various diseases if it is not hygienic or is contaminated. This contamination can occur in any place where mass cooking takes place - like in weddings, Hotels and parties; but can occur even at home. This group of diseases are spread by FOOD HANDLERS.

If source of water supply is not clean, drinking such water and cooking using that water is harmful. Vegetables and fruits when purchased may be contaminated at source with human and animal excreta and chemicals. The person cooking food may be a "Carrier" of some of the diseases or may actually be suffering from the disease at the time of handling food. A food handler suffering from any of the above mentioned conditions or a Carrier of such disease, if he has long finger nails and does not carefully wash and thoroughly clean his hands with soap and water after passing motion, he/she will be contaminating food items prepared or handled by him/her. But if after preparing the food item, if it is boiled or steamed/cooked well, it is safe. Food items like Salad, Chutneys, fruit juices, sugarcane juice etc. are not safe to consume unless prepared in a hygienic manner and using safe water.

Following precautions taken by ALL Members of Family at home are helpful:

  • Cut finger nails Close, once a week; whole family may do so on a Sunday.
  • Carefully wash hands and nails with soap & water after going to toilet, before taking food & before cooking. *
  • Always drink boiled, cooled, filtered water or other safe water. Carry your own water to your office, if need be.
  • Fruits and vegetables brought home must be thoroughly washed under a running tap before consumption. Soaking in water containing a teaspoon or two of vinegar before finally washing in running tap water is even better.


    * Faecal Contamination in food: "According to Water Supply & Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC), a single grain of faeces can contain 10 million viruses, one million bacteria,1000 parasite cysts and 100 eggs of worms" - Deccan Herald supplement dt. 16.08.08.

DINING OUT IN HOTELS:

  • Whenever you eat out, observe following precautions:
  • Take food in a reasonably clean hotel or eating place. Look for certificate/license from Health Authorities, expected to be displayed by all Hotels.
  • See if the wash area and toilets are clean and free from odour.
  • See if the serving table and areas are clean and free from flies and insects.
  • Observe if food handlers- bearers and cooks, are clean, wear clean uniforms and have their hairs neatly covered.
  • Ensure that dishes served to you are hot and fresh; send them back if not satisfactory.

SOME MORE GENERAL PRECAUTIONS:

  • Avoid drinking water unless safety is assured. Or drink hot beverages or well known branded and reputed water or soft drink.
  • Better to avoid eating items, if you have slightest suspicion, that are not cooked or boiled - eg. chutney, salad , sharbat etc.
  • Avoid eating and drinking items like fruit juices and "Chaat" items in unhygienic places, where contamination by flies occurs.

In our country, you have to be careful, when you eat out anywhere. If any symptoms occur, have a stool test in 2 or 3 different laboratories. Even if you take a course of treatment for any of the food and water borne diseases, and take all precautions as far as possible, have a repeat test on the slightest of suspicion and you may need some more courses of treatment. But if you are very careful, chances are you will be more healthy and free from various abdominal complaints.

 

Additional info added in June, 2011
Tips to Tame Digestive Drama - slide show:
http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/slideshow-digestion-tips?ecd=wnl_din_053011


Useful info added in March, 2013:
W H O's simple Global Message provided in Oct,2012 – 5 Keys to Safer food & Prevention of Food Borne diseases – go to:
http://www.who.int/foodsafety/consumer/5keys/en/

Added info on 7th July, 2013:
20 food Poisoning dangers – slide show:
http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/food-poisoning/ss/slideshow-food-poisoning-dangers?ecd=wnl_din_070413&ctr=wnl-din-070413_ld-stry&mb=

Dr. M.Mohan Rao,

Consultant in Gen. Surgery, Plastic Surgery & Laparascopic Surgery.
E-mail: mmr@mohanraohospital.com

 

Page updated on 07.07.2013.
 

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