Health & Wellbeing


By   Dr. Wayne Andersen

The practice of medicine is slowly evolving to address the role that habit and lifestyle play in patient health, but the status quo for modern medicine is still largely reactionary. A patient comes in the door with symptoms of a condition, and we try to provide relief for those symptoms through prescriptions or through invasive medical procedures and when we do not address the core cause of a patient’s disease—which is often lifestyle related to obesity rates continue to rise—the patient inevitably returns with the same (or worse) symptoms as before. This was the cycle I saw again and again as a critical care physician.

Under this limited view of how we help people address their health problems, potentially reversible conditions become chronic, lifelong burdens. For many patients—those who are on prescriptions to treat high cholesterol, or chronic pain or even in some cases type II diabetes, for example—a change in habits and behaviors could reverse the disease and eliminate the need for medications. Please talk to your physician before making any changes, even small ones, to your lifestyle or health.

What often happens in our current medical system looks like this: Bill spends several decades eating unhealthy foods and rarely exercising. He works at a desk and has a long commute, so after a long day, he prefers to relax in front of the television. His cholesterol levels rise, his physician notices, and soon Bill has a prescription for statins to better regulate his cholesterol. Bill’s physician will likely suggest that Bill eat healthier and exercise more, but now that Bill has the statins, he may start to think he has to worry even less about his cholesterol. Believe it or not, many patients make worse decisions when they are on treatment plans like this because they feel as though the prescription will protect them from poor choices. They saw a doctor; they got a fix to the problem, so in their minds, they already found a solution when in reality they are making a treatable issue even worse.

While not all diseases are reversible or treatable through lifestyle changes, many are. Recently, physical therapists have started to make a bigger push to treat chronic pain with lifestyle changes in light of the growing problems with opioids. In terms of medical research, we have known for some time that many of the patients who use painkillers could find relief with physical therapy, but the culture around medicine and around our health in general favors the easy solution: a prescription. I am not suggesting that you throw away your prescriptions. Instead, I am suggesting that you look at your Habits of Health and work to unlock your true longevity potential.

You may find that:

  • Habits of Health can eliminate your need for a prescription by reversing a chronic condition
  • Physical therapy can alleviate pain by correcting the core issue
  • Healthier choices make other aspects of your treatment plan more effective
  • A healthier lifestyle lowers your risk for disease in general

And again, talk to your physician before making any changes to your health or lifestyle, but this is a major opportunity for you and your quality of life. The medical community is slowly coming around to this way of thinking, and you can help be a driver of that change by addressing the root of many health problems: Habits of Disease. Important Note: Always talk to your physician before making any changes to your routine, your lifestyle, or any current treatment plans.


Our bodies are hardwired to install habits. By making repetitive behaviors automatic, we free-up processing power for our brains. Instead of having to consciously decide to take each step on the trail home after a hunt, our ancestors adapted so that they could direct their attention to more urgent matters, like watching for predators in the distance.

Today, the power of habits can work for or against us, depending on whether we have Habits of Disease or Habits of Health installed. Something as simple as our posture comes down to habit. With a little bit of mindfulness, correcting your posture can actually ripple into other areas of your health, giving you an extra momentum for your workouts and even your emotional wellbeing.

Here are just a few of the benefits of proper posture:

  • Sitting up straight might reduce stress and increase confidence. The idea of “fake it till you make it” might have some truth to it. Assuming a confident posture, like a superhero pose or simply sitting up straight might actually influence your brain chemistry in a positive way.


  • Poor posture could lead to pain. According to the Mayo Clinic, leaving your body out of healthy alignment for long periods of time can strain muscles and support structures in your body, leading to aches and pains. Experiencing this sort of steady pain could discourage you from enjoying other healthy activities!


  • Variety is the spice of life, even when it comes to posture. If you’re struggling with your posture, the problem might be that you spend too much time sitting, which in itself opens you up to a host of potential problems. If you take the time to stand, and walk around more often, you help guard yourself against a number of challenges associated with long periods of sitting still.

Fully correcting poor posture can actually take quite a bit of work. It’s possible that old injuries have forced your body into poor movement habits. You might also have areas of your body that are overly tight or perhaps even excessively weak that place additional strain on your posture as your body fights to compensate. For these reasons, a complete posture overhaul actually requires a broader lifestyle change that includes a balanced workout routine and a set of consistent maintenance movements and stretches.

To get you started, though, we can start simple. Even a simple win can be a big win, so don’t discount it. Try starting with these four tips:

  1. When you’re walking or standing, think about having a book on your head (yes, like they might have made you do in grade school). This visualization forces you to align your spines, hips, and shoulders to find a better balance. If you slouch, which is bad, the book falls. So back straight, chin up, and chest slightly forward as you pull your shoulders into a straighter line.
  2. If you’re sitting, a lot of the principles for walking apply too. Picture a book on your head, square your shoulders, and straighten out that slouch. The environment around you, however, is almost just as important. Use a chair with proper ergonomic support and set your keyboard in a comfortable position.


  1. Don’t forget about all of the in-between moments as well. If you’re driving, try to maintain proper posture. If you’re sitting for a long period of time, try to stand and walk around once or twice an hour even if it’s just to take a phone call.


  1. Talk to your physician about your health history and for tips about improving your posture that is specific to you. If you are experiencing chronic back pain or neck pain, some physical therapy or corrective exercises could potentially alleviate some of that discomfort, and your physician will have the insights into your health history to help you identify those opportunities.

I hope that you are sitting up straighter by now. That’s great! Keep it up!

By Dr. Wayne Andersen

By Patrick C Ezie

Since the beginning of time and as long as man has existed, things have existed, which have the ability to kill man, not just from the adverse threats from harsh weather, starvation, flood, and wild animals which plagued the early man but from a unique kind of organism too small to be visualized by the human eyes, organisms which with the progress of scientific development, will become identified as microbes and the harmful categories of these microbes further identified and termed pathogens (a bacterium, virus, or other microorganism that can cause disease).

These organisms are present all around us and have the ubiquitous nature of sometimes surviving and thriving in the air, water, soil, and even in the human body where a continuous battle ranges daily between the body defenses and these pathogens. The result of these microscopic confrontations are a change in the normal functions of the body, disrupting the regular function of body systems thereby and creating what we have all come to know as DIS-EASE. (A disorder of structure or function in a human, animal, or plant, especially one that produces specific symptoms)

Human Beings have evolved through centuries and have throughout our lifetime on the planet learnt how to first conquer his environment as seen in the early men who lived in caves and learnt to control fire to prevent death from hypothermia (extreme cold) or hot conditions to prevent death from these adverse conditions. The early Man progressed to understand the difference between poisonous foods and nutritious plants in the environment. He also learnt that some plants had medicinal purposes through trial and error.

However, the modern man faces a different threat from a range of pathogens largely unseen, which have developed capabilities of infiltrating the body systems and causing diseases which can take a plethora of forms ultimately resulting in morbidity or mortality if the disease process is not prevented.

A lot of these scientists such as Louis’ Pasteur, whose discoveries led to the development of vaccination and pasteurization; Albert Sabin and Jonas Salk who worked towards the development of the polio virus vaccine; and Robert Koch who through his work created a postulate for the identification of diseases and the need for isolation of disease especially in infectious cases, dedicated their lives to the study and identification of how to stop these harmful pathogens from decimating the population of mankind. Their work remains the invisible barrier that protects mankind from the onslaught of pathogens.

The work of these great men and many others have laid the foundation for the international collaboration of countries across the world through the United Nations, and the World Health Organization has, over the years developed policies and guidelines which are accepted and domesticated by the member states to ensure that protocols regarding immunization (the process whereby a person is made immune or resistant to an infectious disease, typically by the administration of a vaccine) are effected to ensure the prevention of vaccine-preventable illnesses.

How does vaccination work?

The body has natural defenses which protect the body from invading organisms; these defenses are both nonspecific and specific. The Nonspecific defenses include the skin, nasal hairs, cilia in the windpipe, acid in the stomach, These processes ensure that a vast majority of invading organisms are destroyed by the body , However for those that escape this nonspecific process, the human body has in its design specific defenses which occur in different types quite similar to the way a country’s defense are stratified into Police force, Navy, Army, Airforce and of course of there are specific units, such as the counter terrorism squad, the SSS etc. In the body these specific defenses are uniquely created to attack a host of microorganisms with the weaponry at their disposal. Some of these cells can engulf the organism and digest them, some cells produce chemicals that destroy the invading organisms.

However during such battles, there are losses on both sides and if the body cells are severely damaged, the pathogen goes on to multiply, and destroy more of the body tissues, eventually resulting in the death of the Host.

During immunization, scientists isolate the pathogen causing a particular disease and weaken it significantly outside the body through artificial means. When the weakened version of the pathogen is introduced into the body through immunization it stimulates the process of the body immune cells to react and acquire a memory of that invasion, so that whenever it is exposed to a real threat, the response is fast enough to eradicate the threat.

At birth also the newborn’s immune system is still immature and hence young children and newborns are very susceptible to vaccine-preventable diseases. However some Antibodies are transferred to the child via breastfeeding to protect the child for some time, hence the role of Exclusive Breastfeeding cannot be underestimated.

The Benefits of Immunization Include:

  1. Immunization confers protection of that individual to prevailing diseases in that region: This is why there are concerted efforts to ensure that all children are immunized against illness that is vaccine-preventable which include BCG – Tuberculosis, OPV – Polio, HBV – Hepatitis, DPT -Diphtheria, pertussis, Tetanus Vaccine, and others which include measles, Cerebrospinal meningitis, typhoid fever, yellow fever, etc. which are widespread in the African region.

  2. Immunization has resulted in the drastic reduction in mortalities and morbidities such as wasted limbs in polio, gibbus (humpback in TB). Since the inception of the polio virus vaccine, the rate of polio cases have dropped exponentially that it is almost on the brink of extinction.
  3. Immunization protects the children from suffering fatal forms of the illness. A lot of illnesses if allowed to attack children for the very first time result in fatal outcomes because their immune systems are still immature to galvanize an appropriate response to the invading organisms.
  4. Immunization reduces the spread of epidemics: Epidemics results when the Herd immunity (a form of indirect protection from infectious disease that occurs when a large percentage of a population has become immuneto an infection, thereby providing a measure of protection for individuals who are not immune) to a particular illness is very low. This means that a vast majority of the population do not have the immunity to resist that particular disease as we see in Ebola, Lassa which are not yet vaccine-preventable and as a result, a lot of mortalities result whenever there is an outbreak.
  5. The cost economics of immunization are cheaper for the family, society, and government, as it costs more to treat individuals who develop the illness and even more to maintain those who survive with morbidities such as flaccid limbs, mental retardation.
  6. Immunization also ensures that the health systems can channel scarce resources to focus on more non-vaccine-preventable illness such as cancer, diabetes, Malaria.
  7. Immunization drives economic development and ensures that a vast majority of a country’s citizens are able to commit their best efforts towards the development of the country as it reduces the number of sick days in hospital by that particular illness.
  8. Immunization has led to the eradication of some diseases such as smallpox in 1967 and Rinderpest in 2011.

The role of immunization in the ensuring that children born live healthy, productive lives and grew into adulthood cannot be overemphasized. In the days of HIV, Ebola, Lassa, Dengue fever and other Hemorrhagic fevers, scientists and medical practitioner pray for a vaccine to protect the vulnerable populations most of which are largely still be under testing. It is however sad that for most of the illnesses which vaccines exist, there is still a nonchalance by a few to subject their children to the above benefits because of personal ideologies or religious idiosyncrasies. This happens because they do not understand the havoc these illnesses have caused in history, the loss of lives that occurred when vaccines did not exist, if people were better informed about those times, they would better understand immunizations as a gift to humanity.

About the Author: Patrick C Ezie is a Medical Doctor, an Associate Member of the World Medical Association (WMA), the Executive Director for Africa Junior Doctors Network, and publicity secretary of the Nigerian Medical Association. He contributes in various health journals across Africa.

Here’s how soon you can truthfully say, “don’t worry, I’m not contagious.”               

The holiday season is all about sharing: warm embraces with family and friends, heaping spreads of food, good cheer galore, and, inevitably, cold and flu bugs. But should you skip out on all the fun just because a cold or the flu has left you feeling a little under the weather? As long as you’re not sweating bullets with a fever and come armed with a pocketful of Ricola drops in case you break out in a coughing fit, it can’t do any harm to join the party, right?   Not so fast, experts say.

“In general, cold/flu symptoms may last for about a week to ten days,” Margarita Rohr, MD, clinical instructor of internal medicine at NYU Langone Health, tells Health. “And you are most contagious one day prior to the start of symptoms until five to seven days after symptoms start. In some cases, you can still be contagious for up to two weeks after onset of symptoms.”  Translation: Even though you might feel better, it doesn’t mean you are better, and even though you mean well, you’re spreading no joy by spreading your germs around. Simply put, “you should consider yourself contagious if you still feel under the weather,” Sherif Mossad, MD, an infectious disease specialist at the Cleveland Clinic, tells Health.

Though no one wants to spend the holidays on the sidelines, do your friends and co-workers a favor and take one for the team, advises Dr. Rohr: “In an ideal world, it would be best to avoid social activities for 5-7 days after the onset of symptoms. For returning to work, I usually suggest waiting until 24 hours fever-free. If you feel lousy or you’re sneezing and coughing significantly, just stay home.” And controlling your fever with acetaminophen or ibuprofen doesn’t count, either: You’re still contagious even if you’re using meds to lower your temperature, says Dr. Rohr.  If you absolutely have to show your face while you’re recuperating, at least come with good cold/flu etiquette. Pack your travel-size Kleenex (from $4;, and cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough. “Best in a disposable tissue, second best in your elbow,” says Dr. Mossad. “Don’t cough or sneeze into your hand.”

Remember to wash your hands frequently, especially after touching your eyes, nose, or mouth, and particularly before coming in for a tight hug with Aunt Jane. And steer well clear of the crudité so you don’t get cold or flu particles on the food. “When a sick person sneezes or coughs, the virus can be sent up to 6 feet away,” notes Dr. Rohr. 

And if you find yourself on the other side of the equation, warily shaking hands with a nose-runner at the office holiday fete and then realize you’re sniffling and sneezing the next morning? Rest up, but try to temper your instinct to assign blame: It actually takes 2-3 days, and sometimes up to a week, from the time of exposure to developing symptoms, Dr. Rohr explains. So you probably picked it up from someone else earlier in the week.

Source: Health

Researchers in the field of psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) study the ways in which the immune system and the nervous system communicate with each other and impact people’s mental and emotional health. Even though the field is relatively new, many studies have been designed to examine the influence of immune and nervous systems on the psychological consequences of stress. In literal terms, recent studies have related stress to be psychological.

Many have apportioned the causes of stress to the happenings or events around them, often neglecting the invisible obvious fact that stress is relatively linked to mental health in two important ways: Stress can cause mental health problems, and make existing problems worse.

People are more aware of the visible sources of stress in their life such as money, time, traffic jam, and daily job schedules but never aware of the weird stress triggers.

Professor of sociology Scott Schieman, at the University of Toronto, says “There are plenty of chronic strains and low-grade challenges that don’t necessarily overwhelm you in the moment, but almost take more of a toll in the long run”. Most of the stress we experience is usually caused by allowing little things border us. Everyone experiences stress. Sometimes it can help you focus and get the task at hand done but finding effective ways to deal with it is crucial to living well.

The following have been discovered to be the major causes of stress:-                                                                

  • Work: A person’s job can be a source of stress, especially because of the amount of time spent there each week and the pressure of performance placed on the worker. The Mayo Clinic states that an overwhelming workload or a difficult boss can increase the level of stress. If a person does not like her job, has a long commute or has altercations with her co-workers, she can experience even more stress. notes that on the Holmes-Rahe(The Holmes and Rahe stress scaleis a list of stressful life events that can contribute to illness) Life Stress Inventory, getting fired from a job is the eighth most stressful life event. Learning how to deal with work stress will make a person’s job more effective and reduce the overwhelming workload.
  • Relationships: Strained relationships can add stress to a person’s life. Divorce is the second most stressful life event on the Holmes-Rahe Life Stress Inventory, according to, followed by marriage separation. Abusive relationships can add even more stress. However, positive relationships can result in stress as well. Marriage is the seventh most stressful life event on the Holmes-Rahe list, and marriage recollection is the ninth.
  • Life Changes: Most people are afraid of changes especially negative ones because adjustments to these changes can totally distort a person’s life. Certain major changes in a patient’s life can cause a large amount of stress. The Mayo Clinic notes that both positive life changes, such as a pregnancy, and negative life changes, such as the death of a loved one, can result in stress. The death of a spouse is the most stressful life event on the Holmes-Rahe Life Stress Inventory, and the death of a close relative is the fifth. While a positive event for many people, retirement is considered the tenth most stressful event.
  • Environment: Some environmental factors can cause or add to a person’s life of stress. Mayo Clinic notes that two environmental factors, noise, and excessive light, can induce stress. These environmental stressors can be worse if they are not controllable.
  • Self-Generated stress also can be caused by a person’s inner thinking. For example, unrealistic expectations and perfectionism can make events in which a person did not realize his ideals even more stressful. Pessimism and negative self-talk also can cause stress.

The following steps can be taken to handle the most crucial sources of stress:

  • Take a break from the stressor: It may seem difficult to get away from the work project which produces the stress but when you give yourself permission to step away from it, you let yourself have time to do something else, which can help you have a new perspective or practice technique to feel less overwhelmed
  • Learn to exercise: Exercise benefits your mind just as well as your body. A 20-minutes’ walk, run, swim or dance session in the midst of a stressful time can give an immediate effect that can last for several hours.
  • Get social support: There is a popular saying that goes that a problem shared is a problem half solved, when you share your concerns or feelings with another person, it does help relieve stress. Call or friend, send an email or find some ways to connect with a trusted friend.
  • Meditation: Focus your mind on things keeps you joyful and motivated. Mindfulness can help people see new perspectives, develop self- compassion, and forgiveness. Practicing a form of mindfulness helps people release emotions that may have been causing the body physical stress.

Recognizing stress as one of the major factors that cause untimely death in various part of the world will help many adhere to strict measures on lifestyle to curb stress.

By: Shaelynn-Miller


It’s hard to know what to say or do when someone you love experiences a miscarriage – it’s a touchy subject people don’t like to bring up. But amongst the awkward tension of not knowing how to react, there are things left unsaid that shouldn’t be.

Here are seven things about miscarriage no one talks about (but should):

  1. It’s a lot more common than you think

Between 10 and 25 percent of recognized pregnancies, end in miscarriage. In fact, most healthy women have a 20 percent chance of miscarrying.

  1. Just because it’s common doesn’t make it any easier to handle

From the time a woman sees those two pink lines on a pregnancy test, she begins to dream of the little bundle of joy growing inside her and what life will be like once the child arrives. Having that stripped away so suddenly is devastating.

  1. Many women experience depression following a miscarriage

It doesn’t matter if you were two or 20 weeks along – the pain is still there. The bond between a mother and unborn child is strong, and losing that can bring emotions of anger, guilt, sadness, and depression. If you know someone who has slipped into depression following a miscarriage, reach out to them and encourage them to seek counselling if necessary.

  1. Men grieve too

Men don’t experience the same kind of grief as women, but they still grieve when their partner miscarries. Irving Leon, a psychologist who specializes in the reproductive loss, says some men worry that if they show sadness, it will only bring their wife down more.

Men typically don’t mourn on the outside, but they still battle their emotions on the inside. One study said men show less “active grief” on the outside compared to females, but they are more vulnerable to feeling despair and struggling to cope with the loss.

  1. It’s not the mother’s fault

Some women feel betrayed by their body following a miscarriage and wonder what more they could have done to prevent it. They ask what would have happened if they went to the doctor earlier or watched their diet a little closer. But there are so many causes for miscarriage, and they typically can’t be identified.

The most common reason for miscarriage in the first trimester is a chromosomal abnormality. In these cases, it isn’t the mother’s fault, and recognizing that is a great first step to overcoming the overbearing grief.

  1. You’ll likely have a healthy pregnancy after a miscarriage

You might be worried to try for another child after experiencing a miscarriage, but experts say about 85 percent of women who have suffered a miscarriage will go on to have a healthy, full-term pregnancy next time. They say it’s safe to wait for at least two to three menstrual cycles and until you and your partner are emotionally ready to start trying again. Go at your own pace, and talk to your doctor about when it’s healthy to become pregnant again.

  1. You can receive help

Don’t be afraid to speak out. Seek help from trusted family members, friends, experts and online sources. You can also read other people’s personal experiences with pregnancy loss and share yours.

To all the mothers and fathers out there who carry the heavy weight of losing a child, remember you are not alone. You can receive help from experts and loved ones. And although you will never forget your sweet unborn child, your pain can start to fade.



The World Health Organization listed cell phones as one of the possible causes of brain cancer because of its high emission of radiation. This has raised much concern as cell phones have become very important to our daily activities.

One of the sure ways to avoid the potential risk of cancer caused by cell phones is to reduce exposure to radiation. This can be done by employing the following steps:

  1. Get a low-radiation phone: Low radiation phones are safer to use because they emit less radiation. When buying a phone, EMF-Health.comrecommends that you consider the phone’s SAR (specific absorption rate), a way of measuring the radiation absorbed by the body. It’s usually listed in the phone’s instruction manual.
  2. Keep the phone away from your ear when you can: Wait for your calls to connect before bringing the phone to your ear, that way you reduce the amount of radiation absorbed by your body. And when you talk, tilt the phone away from your ear and bring it in close when you’re listening. Radiation levels are less when a cell phone is receiving signals compared to when it is transmitting.
  1. Use a headset: Radiation produced by headsets is less than that produced by cell phones. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) advises that cell phones be kept away from your head. The farther away you are from a source of radiation, the less damage it can do.
  2. Avoid making calls with poor connection: Do not continue a call if you are struggling to maintain a connection or if you are in an area where the network is poor. Instead, end the call and wait till you are able to secure a better connection because the fewer the signal bars the harder your phone has to work to connect thereby releasing more radiation.
  3. Text more often: While texting your cell phone emits less radiation because it uses less energy compared to calls says the EWG. Texting also keeps the radiation source farther away from your brain.
  4. Make sure your kids use the landline: Kids are the most vulnerable to potential radiation dangers. Children’s brains absorb twice as much cell phone radiation as adults. Instead of allowing your kid use cell phones which have become very common, protect them from the dangers of cell phone radiation by making them use the landline.