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Preventative Care

Convincing people the importance of health is an easy task when the damage has already been done.  It shouldn't be that way. Our body is a system that has no brakes, the term "rest" is used to describe the body's necessity to replenish nutrients, digest food, detox, etc. The cells and biology of the body is very much at work.  There are 2 avenues that one can take - 1: create an environment where the body is constantly fighting against the stress you place on it, whether it is the food that you ingest, the physical stress (uncontrolled, unplanned), or the psychological stress.  2: create an environment where you are helping your body to fight against natural toxins, aging of the viscera, external perturbations, etc.  

The obvious choice would be to take the 2nd route, but human beings are result-driven.  It's easier to say that a tylenol fixed the pain that was agonizing, than to say that a daily dosage of focused exercise can prevent an injury that may happen down the road.  What's funny is that, when explained to people, it is not a hard concept to understand, but it is so easy to fall back into bad habits, especially when the damage to the body is slow and progressive.  

I recently came across a patient who had suffered 2 major strokes within a span of 36 hours.  From understanding her diet, life style, and habits, it puts an explanation to what seem to be almost an impossibility.  She is only 29 years old.  Stroke has 2 forms: an ischemic stroke, and a hemhorragic stroke, both of which has a very low occurrence rate in adults below the age of 60, In fact, the statistics in the American Heart Association up until 2015 shows a 0.7% chance of a female between the ages 20-39 getting a stroke.  The patient is amongst that 0.7% population.

It is an extremely difficult condition to provide prognosis for just because the knowledge of the human brain and imaging technique in the medical world at this stage is still premature; in other words, we, as a society have no way of understanding the extent of damage done to a human brain following an accident.  The only way to understanding the extent of damage done is by observing the deficits exhibiting in a patient, and relate it to our current knowledge of cerebral functioning.  That being said, over the past few weeks, I have been observing the patient's progress, and it is astonishing.  She started with a complete hemiparalysis with aesthesia to now having nociception along with some tactile sensation on the periosteum and crude touch on her left leg.  Only time can tell how well she is able to recover now, but diligent and consistent rehabilitation will be her entire focus for the next few months.   

Preventative care is a tricky concept, the only result you acquire from the daily investment of time and energy on your body is sometimes status quo at best, but status quo is a whole lot better than a stroke, I would say.  Some may say this is considered as alternative medicine, or hokey pokey, just because it is not evidence-based.  Well there is still no evidence proving that tobacco causes cancer, there is still no evidence proving that sugar causes diabetes.  There are things in life when if you wait until the mistake is made to learn from it, it may be too late.  Don't make that mistake.  


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