Dr Jagdish Hiremath, renowned interventional cardiologist, credited with successful use of “reversal of heart disease program” shares his expertise for the medical fraternity here.
Cardiovascular diseases are on the rise and among the “stressed” community of doctors!
Overall the incidences of smoking among doctors has gone down drastically but the prevailing situation of stress makes every doctor prone to cardiovascular disease. The preventive efforts are best started at the age of 30 and with continued efforts, one should be able to achieve good health in the long term.
Most doctors tend to be too anxious when they suffer from an illness and tend to be under prepared for preventive efforts.
The principle of preventive lifestyle for the age groups of 30 to 60 is based on common sense and obviously some hard scientific facts. The good old parameters like weight, blood pressure, sugars, cholesterol have to be targeted to be optimum. Mental stress is a factor which is not tangible, so all of us have to make special efforts to overcome that.
New parameters like Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D3 need to be corrected in order to get a good cardiovascular protection. In short, body weight, blood pressure, sugars, lipid profile, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D3 if managed well, prevent the chances of cardiovascular disease.
In order to achieve these parameters, the principles are based on good lifestyle and in some cases medicines like Aspirins and Statins. Wherever indicated anti-hypertensives and diabetic treatment would be necessary.
The ‘ABCDEFGHIJ” – ’10 point mantra’
The acronym derived for a good healthy lifestyle is ‘ABCDEFGHIJ” or the ’10 point mantra’!
A is anxiety management
Philosophically, it is known as “living in the present moment”. When you performing a surgery or are dealing with a serious patient in the ICU or dealing with a patient at your clinic as a General Practitioner, your ability to solve the problem at hand should be the top-most priority. The thought of what should happen thereafter should not affect you.Anxiety can be reduced through meditation or Yoga. It can also be greatly reduced by engaging in sports or spending time with family and friends. Role identification is also a part of anxiety management. When you are examining a patient you are a doctor, while travelling in an elevator you are a fellow passenger while driving a car you are the driver, and when you return home you are the spouse or parent. In other words, it means that one should learn to disconnect themselves every now and then to prevent stress from creeping into the rest of their day. Role identification prevents “rumination” and achieves living in the “now”.
B is Body postures
Body posture and stress are correlated. Stress causes most people to assume a slumped form (shoulders and neck curved, and head bent down) and the slumped form can cause further stress on the body. It is a vicious cycle. Bad posture usually leads to central obesity which is again connected to cardiovascular health.
C is Cigarette
Tobacco in any form is to be totally avoided. Any addiction for that matter whether it is related to alcohol or related to being a Netizen- spending too much time on social media is to be avoided.
D is Diet
Low carb, low-fat diet, and a diet rich in protein needs to be consumed by both vegetarians and non-vegetarians. List of good foods is very evident in the form of plant proteins, MUFA oils (olive and groundnut), fistful (30 g) nuts, dark-skinned fruits at least 3 servings per week. Generally eating for the body and not for the tongue is a principle to be followed even at home and during conferences!
E is Exercise
Around 150 minutes of exercise in any form is desired in one week. It is best to have five 30-minute sessions that would include aerobic activity and it is best to use a combination of aerobic exercises, weight training exercises, and Yoga. A combination of that leading up to 200 minutes per week is the ideal form of exercise.
F is Friends
Comradeship, emotional support, and general fun with friends and family helps with the endorphin release, which has a great role to play in stress management. Good family atmosphere and presence of emotionally-supportive friends are highly desirable and one has to work towards building and maintaining these relationships.
G is for Guru or God
Spiritual inclinations are a matter of personal choice. Yet, thinking beyond the ordinary, and asking questions like, “Who am I?,” or “What I am here for?” is helpful for every doctor because doctors have the ability to read, assimilate and implement the answers for such questions.
H is Humor
This is helpful in developing an easy attitude towards life, having a positive outlook most of the time, at work and at home. Having a sense of humor can work as a great stress reliever.
I is for Insurance
Most doctors have the privilege of receiving timely, hassle-free treatment at hospitals, but one should always have some money reserved for health or have an insurance cover.
J is Jealousy
Healthy competition is always welcome and so is a non-comparative attitude. This prevents unnecessary stress, strained relationships, as well as ugly situations!
This completes the acronym ABCDEFGHIJ. If followed regularly, good health is easy to achieve. A doctor may have individual preferences and could add to this acronym or edit it. But, the basic principles remain the same. When physical targets are achieved and mental health improves, a doctor’s practice (material health) can grow immensely.