10 things to watch about your health in this festive/harmattan season.

  1. ALLERGIES – It is important to be careful about your allergies because they can cause a range of symptoms that can be mild to severe. These symptoms can include things like rashes, hives, itching, swelling, difficulty breathing, and in severe cases, anaphylaxis. If you have allergies, it is important to be aware of what you are allergic to and to avoid contact with those allergens as much as possible. You might especially become exposed to allergens in your food as people tend to eat more during the festive season. Be careful about that. If you do experience an allergic reaction, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible to receive treatment. In severe cases, anaphylaxis can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Therefore, it is important to be cautious and proactive in managing your known allergies and be reasonably sensitive to trying new things.
  2. PAIN (especially abdominal) – Abdominal pain is a common symptom that can be caused by a wide range of conditions. It can be a sharp, dull, or aching pain and can be located anywhere in the abdomen. Some possible causes of abdominal pain include: indigestion or heartburn, constipation or diarrhea, gas and bloating, infections, inflammatory conditions, appendicitis, kidney/gall stones. If you are experiencing abdominal pain, it is important to speak with a healthcare professional to determine the cause and receive appropriate treatment.
  3. BLOOD PRESSURE – In the buzz of events, activities, and festivities; your blood pressure can go up or down below normal range. Checking your blood pressure is important because high blood pressure (also known as hypertension) is a common condition that can increase your risk of developing serious health problems. Some of these health problems include heart attack, stroke, and kidney disease. High blood pressure often has no symptoms, so it is important to check your blood pressure regularly to ensure that it is within a healthy range. If your blood pressure is consistently higher than normal, it is important to speak with a healthcare professional to determine the cause and receive appropriate treatment. This may include lifestyle changes, such as exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet, or medication to help lower your blood pressure.
  4. BLOOD SUGAR – Checking your blood sugar, also known as blood glucose, is important because high blood sugar levels can increase your risk of developing serious health problems. It becomes especially important in the festive season because we tend to consume more sugar from food and beverages. High blood sugar, also known as hyperglycemia, can occur in people with diabetes or in those who are at risk of developing diabetes. Some of the health problems associated with high blood sugar include heart disease, nerve damage, kidney damage, and vision problems. If your blood sugar levels are consistently higher than normal, it is important to speak with a healthcare professional to determine the cause and receive appropriate treatment. This may include lifestyle changes, such as exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet, or medication to help control your blood sugar levels.
  5. PROTECTION (IF ENGAGING IN SEX) – Protection is important to prevent unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections/diseases. STIs can have serious health consequences, including infertility and increased risk of certain cancers. Using protection during sex is important for protecting both physical and emotional well-being. It is important to be open and honest with your sexual partner about your needs and preferences and to use protection to ensure the safety and well-being of both partners.
  6. SLEEP – Sleep is an essential component of overall health and well-being. It is important to get enough sleep, as well as to establish good sleep habits, such as going to bed and waking up at the same time every day and creating a comfortable sleep environment.
  7. EXERCISE – Exercise is an important component of overall health and well-being. It can help to improve physical health by strengthening bones and muscles, improving cardiovascular health, and reducing the risk of chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Exercise can also improve mental health by improving mood and reducing the risk of mental health problems such as depression and anxiety. In addition, exercise can improve cognitive function, increase energy levels, and improve sleep. It is important to engage in regular physical activity and to find activities that you enjoy.
  8. HYDRATION – Adequate hydration is essential for maintaining normal body temperature, supporting physical and mental performance, and aiding in the digestion and absorption of food. Dehydration can cause symptoms such as thirst, fatigue, dizziness, and muscle cramps, and can lead to more serious health problems if left untreated. It is important to drink plenty of fluids, especially water (aim for 2 – 3 liters per day), throughout the day to stay hydrated. It is also important to drink more fluids in hot weather, during physical activity, and if you are experiencing diarrhea or vomiting.
  9. DIET – It’s the festive season and even though you can eat just about whatever you want, it is important to eat a balanced diet. A balanced diet is essential for maintaining overall health and well-being. It includes a variety of different types of foods from all food groups in the right proportions and provides the necessary nutrients to support good health. A balanced diet can help to ensure adequate nutrition, maintain a healthy weight, reduce the risk of chronic conditions, and improve physical and mental health. It is important to include a variety of different types of foods in your diet and to be mindful of portion sizes to ensure that you are getting all the nutrients your body needs.
  10. SKINCARE – Moisturizing the skin during harmattan is important to prevent dryness and flaking due to the dry, dusty wind and low humidity. To moisturize the skin during this time, you can use a moisturizer that is suitable for your skin type, drink plenty of water, use a humidifier, avoid hot showers, and protect the skin from the elements with protective clothing and a facial moisturizer with SPF. These steps can help to keep the skin hydrated and healthy during harmattan.

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HEALTH IS THE NEW COOL!

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