Search this Site and the Web.

Happiness is key to good health

Written by Dr. Sylvester Ikhisemojie
~Punch Nigeria. Sunday, November 6, 2016.

Dr. Sylvester Ikhisemojie
When people set out in life, they have dreams of living in fantastic houses and driving around town in fast cars and around the world on epic journeys to romantic corners of the earth. Such dreams meet a spectacular shipwreck during the reality of adult life. For the few people who realise such dreams, they soon find out that the associated material possessions do not bring them either happiness or good health.

The key things which have been found to guarantee good health are relationships garnered from community associations, family connections and marital harmony. People who are unhappy and are denied good community bonds tend to be isolated individuals with steadily declining brain function and memory problems. They have a harder time trying to properly control their cholesterol levels during middle age and generally have a more difficult emotional status to control than people who are in happy relations with their neighbours and their communities. In the same way, people who are in toxic marital relationships tend to develop deep personality problems and an instinctive distrust of people around them. Family feuds belong in this category with premature aging, heart disease and chronic sadness completing the toxic combination. Add alcoholism to all these factors and you will have put together a dangerous brew that will guarantee premature death.

The clear message from the foregoing is that good social connections to family, friends and community make happier people and more satisfied individuals than those who are not as well connected. The brains of the poorly socially connected folks deteriorate earlier and faster than among people in the other group. 

Properly integrated individuals live longer and have a healthier muscle bulk and cardiovascular status than those who tend to be unhappy most of the time. This is true even if they are stupendously wealthy. The people with toxic family relationships have a poorer control of their cholesterol levels than those who do not have similar entanglements. Loneliness kills, as we discussed on this page about a year ago. People who are more disconnected from others are more likely to die prematurely than are those who engage well with people around them. You can be lonely in a crowd or in a marriage and thus be unable to mentally engage with the people around you. Close personal relationships that are warm and happy provide emotional stability to those who engage in such relationships. This helps reduce the level of anxiety and conflict than in those individuals who are aloof and distant.

A happy person has a good retentive memory. He also does things correctly and in good time, and is often swayed from engaging in risky behaviour such as alcoholism, tobacco use and undue physical aggression to make himself noticeable in a gathering. Usually urbane and liberal, such people are unfailingly able to grasp even complex issues and understand them because they have an uncluttered mind. Their beliefs are simple but fiercely guarded and proudly expressed. They have no reason to be apprehensive about anything. Long life is therefore their inheritance. When there is an opportunity, they get together with old friends. The ability to share good memories of times past, the camaraderie and the easy cheer always tend to take people back in time to a much merrier period in their growth. It is not just about eating and good music, it is a reminder that time is running out on us. Running water does not flow back, these meetings seem to make this clear to all its participants; so make every moment of it one that counts for something good and happy as well.

You can gain happiness by ensuring that you smile every so often and laugh everyday. You have probably heard the saying that laughter is the best medicine. Even in the face of adversity or serious illness, do not forget to smile because it sends out certain positive signals that say you remain confident. Allow the doctors and nurses to handle the physical ailments and trust God to heal the body. Do not do it the other way round for this often leads to unnecessary regret, tragedy and loss. This is predicated on the fact that an emotionally satisfied person has a better handle of stressful situations, an improved resistance to infection and probably better antibody responses to injury and cancer than those people who are sad and lonely. They also sleep a lot better and end up more satisfied with their station in life despite their material circumstances. Such people are more contented and are often less likely to succumb to mental illness.

Happy relationships engender a healthier and more fulfilling life that has positive consequences, both physically and mentally. Wealth, hard work or fame do not guarantee any of that. A happy relationship is really good for us. But you have to work at it by investing in those relationships that make you a good social being. It is not something that is subject to a quick fix, something that wealth might have been able to afford us. It is something we would have much preferred because we are human and we want quick results all the time. The duration of our positive social connections is not harmed by the occasional disagreement and even quarrels that might erupt among friends, but it is definitely damaged with real consequences by living for example, in an abusive marriage.

The same is true of children who are raised in an atmosphere of constant marital strife with many of them going on to become social undesirables, outcasts and hoodlums with no sense of right and wrong and very liable to behave abnormally and violently in order to express themselves. Such difficult homes can negatively influence even the unborn children still growing in their mother's womb. Marital strife increases the mother's cortisol level, a stress hormone that soon demonstrates an influence on the baby's brain. By the time the child is born, he grows into an unruly, antisocial being largely not able to acquire a useful education. He then lives a life of crime, police exposure and perhaps jail. The cycle of violence, stunted growth, poverty and ignorance becomes perpetuated.

Ask the doctor

Dear doctor, I will be 30 in December. I have small breasts and I want the size to increase. What drug can I use? Thank you sir.

You don't have to take anything. When you start having babies, your breasts will increase in size.

Dear doctor, my wife has been suffering from chronic menstrual pain for some time now. She usually experiences blood flow non-stop with pain for weeks. Please advise us on what to take to stop this unusual experience. Thank you.

First of all, you need to see a doctor for a comprehensive evaluation. A scan will most likely be required in order to visualise your various organs, especially the womb and the ovaries. The answer will almost certainly be found there. The treatment which must then follow will depend on what the various results say.

Dear doctor, I am a 19-year-old girl. I experience a shaking of the hands and fingers, although not quite often. Recently, though, the frequency of the vibration has increased to the extent that anytime I hold anything, my hands will just be shaking. Please what is the problem? Thank you.

What you probably have is a kind of craft palsy, like a writer's cramp, that was discussed on this page about three years ago. For a confirmation of that, you will need to see a physician for a comprehensive examination to determine the cause. It could also be something even more serious than that. But first, you need to see a doctor for examination so that a diagnosis can be reached.

Dear doctor, I have a deep vein on my leg which is sometimes visible, while at other times, it is not. Please sir, what should I do?

That thing you have on your leg is probably a varicose vein which is a different kind of problem but can lead to the formation of a venous thrombus. Since you live in Owerri, you can visit the Federal Medical Centre there and see the doctors in the outpatient department. They will direct you appropriately to the specialist you must see for the treatment of your condition.

Dear doctor, I just read your write-up on deep vein thrombosis and found it very interesting, so I decided to share my mother's issue with you. She used to have serious pain in her knee and waist suggesting that she has arthritis, which was confirmed by a doctor. But she reacts each time she uses the drug given to her. Please, is Urah Micellar Glucosamine okay for her to take? She is 60 years old now.

That is a most likely what ails your mother but you did not quite say what the nature of her reaction to her medication is or what she takes for the pains she must be suffering from. If she has an adverse reaction to any particular medication, that drug should be amended in terms of dosage or stopped and replaced with another medicine. Glucosamine is used by some doctors as an addition to the standard medications for this sort of problem, but it is not a substitute for pain relief.

Dear doctor, I am newly married. When is the best fertile period that my wife can get pregnant? She said it is between 10 and 15 days after her menses. Is she right? Secondly, should I avoid alcohol and take enough pap?

She has some idea but hers is rather later than the true fertile period. It is between 10 and 15 days from the day the menses begins. You should avoid alcohol because that is seen to depress sperm cell formation, especially in large volumes. However, whether you take pap or not has no bearing on your reproductive health.

Dear doctor, I need your help. My wife has not been seeing her menstruation since we got married 30 months ago. Please sir, what do we do?

You do need to have a gynaecologist examine your wife. Since you live in Akure, my advice to you is to go to the Mother and Child Hospital at Akure and see a team of gynaecologists. They will find the cause and tell you what is required to restore her health. Good luck.

Dear doctor, what are the disadvantages of the female condom? If I unknowingly have sex with a lady that uses the female condom, what can happen?

It is one of the barrier methods of contraception. The common disadvantages are that it is expensive and it can make a repetitive rustling sound during sex when it is not properly inserted into the vagina. Once a good feeling for its proper use is developed, there should be no problems with it.

Dear doctor, I am 24 years old. I have a cough and chest pain and have used many drugs but the cough still persists. What should I do? 

You do have to go to a hospital and see a doctor or doctors. There you should have a proper examination and depending on how good or bad you appear to be and on how long the cough has been, specialised tests may also be requested in order to determine what has gone wrong.

Dear doctor, I am experiencing some symptoms like frequent urination and not being able to empty my bladder in one go. What can I do? I am 48 years old.

You will have to see a urologist for examination. Perhaps, your prostate gland has begun to give you some discomfort.

Dear doctor, I was operated for a hernia 14 years ago. Now when I walk a long distance, I always feel pains in the same area that was operated. What is the cause? I am 70 years old.

A nerve might have been trapped within the scar either by a stitch or within the subsequent scar which formed. It is something which simple pain killers can take care of.

Dear doctor, I just finished reading your article in SUNDAY PUNCH of October 23, 2016. You wrote about constipation and said it causes pile. Sir, I have piles and presently, my pant is always soiled with a very foul smell. Is it that there are some hard stools in my bowel? After stooling I always push my anus back inside myself, but there is this part that doesn't go inside. Please what should I do?

You will have to see a general surgeon for their examination and treatment. That is the most useful progressive step you must take. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Leave a comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...