Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Seven Steps to Good Heath

This is a article I received from Dr. Waine Kong,Ph.d, J.D. Waine is a Jamacian golfing buddy of mine who served as the CEO of the Association of Black Cardiologists when he lived in Atlanta. He has retired and moved back to Jamaica. His article below is worth sharing with our readers. Waine's blogspot is on the email info below if you want more info:


1. Be spiritually active. An important study from the University of Texas tells us that people who attend church regularly, live seven to fourteen years longer than those who do not go to church. Apparently, the fellowship, good will, meditation, inspirational words and singing together increase our ability to cope. According to Dr. Malcolm Taylor: “If you have God, family and friends, you may stumble, but you will never hit the ground.”

2. Take charge of your blood pressure. Despite steady progress over the past thirty three years, uncontrolled high blood pressure is projected to increase by 60% over the next twenty years. Tell your doctor you want to keep your blood pressure as close to goal (120/80 mm Hg) as possible.

3. Control your cholesterol. Keep your HDL high (>1.0 mmol/L), and your LDL low (<3.4 mmol/l), and total cholesterol low (< 5.0 mmol/L). High cholesterol leads to plaque, which restricts the flow of blood. Diet, exercise, and statin therapy are the keys to maintaining healthy cholesterol levels.

4. Track your blood sugar and maintain ideal weight. Obesity and diabetes track each other. As the rate of obesity goes up, so does diabetes. If you are overweight, you run a high risk of developing diabetes which increases your risk of heart attacks, strokes, blindness, amputations and impotence. Why must sugar and fats accompany every expression of love and every celebration? By reducing obesity, we are taking a swing at diabetes. Three out of four diabetics will die from heart disease and stroke. If you have the following symptoms, you should consult a doctor: Fatigue, blurred vision, excessive thirst, frequent urination, unexplained weight loss and non-healing wounds and sores. These may indicate that you have diabetes.

5. Enjoy regular exercise (30 minutes per day-every day), follow a sensible diet and get a good night’s sleep! Move those muscles. Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables, reduce fats and sugars, but most of all, eat less. Every little bit you do can ether help or hurt your health a little bit. Twenty years ago, 50% of children walked to school. Don’t be a fat maker by insisting that others eat more of what they do not need and resist being a victim of a fat maker also. Let’s be more creative about demonstrating love for each other than to force feed the ones you most care about. If you don’t sleep well, get a sleep study and then follow your doctor’s advice. Sleep apnea, a significant contributor to hypertension and heart disease, is more common among those who are obese.

6. Don’t smoke. Nobody argues with this any more: not even smokers. Smoking constricts the arteries, increases carbon monoxide in the body, lowers the good cholesterol, makes a chimney of your nose and is the primary cause of lung cancer. Smoking is our most preventable cause of premature death.

7. Access better health care, get a check up and faithfully take your medication as prescribed. It is no longer acceptable for the most vulnerable among us to receive the worst care. Just because some of us are poor does not mean that we should be relegated to poor care. All members of society deserve to receive respectful health care. If you are dissatisfied with the care that you are receiving, then seek care elsewhere. More importantly, it does no good for you to be evaluated by a physician, have your condition diagnosed and medication prescribed if you do not then fill the prescription and take it as directed.

B. Waine Kong Ph.D., JD
Heart Institute of the Caribbean Foundation
23 Balmoral Avenue
Kingston 10, Jamaica
Telephone: 876-906-2105 Ext 276
Jamaica Cell: (876) 291-1506
Fax: 876-906-4413