Festivities are often associated with a lot of activities. However we often get addicted to the events, without anticipating or planning for their consequences on our health. While the colourful season is busy and we all look forward to the sweet reunions, sumptuous meals and for some, intimacies that are above average, it is certain that myriads of diverse predictable and unpredictable temptations risky to health will arise. It is important therefore to remember that just as the holidays trigger the traditional excitement and the seasonal merriment, we all will be faced with the important question: what happens to my health when the festivities are over?
Poor sleep from the long nights of ‘catching up’, neighbourhood noise, hangovers and the likes increase the likelihood for sleeplessness in the festive seasons. What are the consequences to the human body?
Brain – Poor memory retention, toxins build-up including those associated with Alzheimer’s disease, mood changes and depressive illness.
Heart – High Blood pressure (from stress) mostly in patients already diagnosed with the condition.
Eyes – Poor visibility is a risk for unavoidable Road Traffic Accidents (RTAs).
Muscles – Fatigue and aggravation of joint problems (arthritis).
Immune system – Sleep deprivation prevents the immune system from building up its defenses. Not getting enough sleep, makes the body unable to fend off dangerous organisms.
Respiratory system – Increased respiratory infections like the common cold and flu.
There are varieties in the menu peculiar to the festive periods and surely many people will over-indulge themselves. People with diet–related health challenges in particular should pay closer attention to what they are served during festivities and holidays; for example, the obese, the hypertensive, the diabetic and the likes.
Delicacies with too much of fatty substances and calories aggravate weight gain and obesity problems over the festive periods. Too much salty and spicy menu are to be discouraged in the hypertensive likewise caffeine and alcoholic drinks. Other diet-related health concerns over the festive periods are food poisoning. This occurs from poor hand hygiene, poorly cooked meals and water pollution. Not every party food is safe. Assess hygiene before loosening your guards!
High rates of emotional re-unions, bonding and meeting new friends mixed with exuberance and excess of youthfulness increases the risk of unprotected sex. Problems of unwanted pregnancies, increased rate of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are all free-flowing during festivities.
RECURRENCE OF PREVIOUSLY CONTROLLED DISEASES
The elderly, the trips, the all engrossing events, forgetting clinic appointments are all reasons why some diseases recur during festivities. The diseases are often worse off when they recur because of the complications, for instance high blood pressure can lead to stroke.
- Find time for leisure in the busy schedule.
- Avoid hanging out late and don’t drive when stressed up or when drowsy.
- Sustain healthy diet and let junks be at barest minimum or avoided completely.
- Let hygiene dictate your feeding joints, otherwise eat indoors.
- Choose your diet with health goals in view. Reduce calories and fatty meals especially in certain diagnosed conditions of health.
- Abstinence is key for all that are not couples sexually and counsel for wards to avoid coming under undue peer pressure during festivities. Flee substance abuse, especially alcohol.
- Take your medications along for trips and stick to your regimen.
- In the case of clinic appointments, we recommend MyMedicalBank where anywhere you go, access to continuity of health and sustainable management is assured despite your distance. Take advantage of this offer.
Till next time, when you think health, think MyMedicalBank!
The author, Dr Ibukun Adebayo a Public Health specialist trained as a doctor at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife Nigeria. He currently works at Ladoke Akintola University Teaching Hospital, Osogbo, Nigeria.
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