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Health and hygiene

Health and Hygiene
Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. -WHO
Human body is made up of many systems like-
 Nervous system
 Circulatory system
 Excretory system
 Digestive system
 Respiratory system
 Reproductive system
Each system is made up of organs like-
 Brain & Spinal cord
 Heart
 Kidneys
 Stomach & Intestines
 Lungs
 Liver
Each organ is made up of many tissues like-
 Connective tissue
 Muscle tissue
 Nervous tissue
 Epithelial tissue
Each tissue is made up of many cells which are the basic structural and functional unit of all living organisms. It is the smallest unit of life, often called the building block of life.
Thus human body is the highly organized cellular system which is considered to be healthy unless there is some problem manifested by the symptoms of the disease in either of the cells, tissues, organs or systems.
Disease which literally means not at ease is when the health is not in a state of well being or ill. There are many types of diseases. But in general disease can be categorized into the following types depending upon the mode of communication or cause of origin:
 Communicable disease –water borne, air borne, food borne
 Contagious disease- leprosy, skin diseases
 Genetic-hereditary diseases
 Life style related (sedentary life style)- Obesity, diabetes
 Infectious (germ theory of disease)-bacterial, viral, fungal, protozoan
After the discovery of antibiotics and synthetic antimicrobials the treatment of various diseases which killed millions of people was expedited. Medical science in conjunction with the high end technology (surgery, diagnostic tools and novel formulations) could make possible the cure and treatment of many fatal diseases which also saved the life of millions. Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology have also contributed a lion’s share in mitigation and treatment. Nevertheless the demon of disease is still killing millions across the globe and creating havoc among the population.
Proper diagnosis and treatment are essential to cure the disease. Some diseases are acute and may be cured quickly while some are chronic and may require a lengthy treatment. It is always better to prevent a disease than cure, Prevention is better than cure as the old adage holds its significance even today.
Personal hygiene is the best step towards prevention. Most of the communicable diseases can be prevented by use of protective clothing and barriers, such as nose masks, hand gloves etc. Also good cooking practices and safe drinking water can prevent food and water borne diseases. Disinfection of hands is very important to prevent communicable diseases. Avoiding direct contact with infected skin can prevent contagious diseases.
Many life style related diseases can be prevented by correcting wrong life style practices. Sound sleep, hygienic food, proper sanitization, personal cleanliness, regular exercise, spiritual refreshment is the key to good health. The eight fold yoga (ashtanga yoga has given following steps to be followed to achieve good health:
 Yama - controlling the mind
 Niyama - austerity
 Asana - posture
 Pranayama - breathing technique
 Pratyahara - restraint
 Dharana - concentration
 Dhyana - meditation
 Samadhi – super consciousness
In modern period of fast life people are more prone to hygienic and mental diseases as our culinary habits have totally changed from consuming the freshly cooked, hygienic, tasty food to fast foods and junk foods. The canned or bottled foods contain preservatives to keep the food free from contamination during transportation and shelf life. These preservatives may have side effects like some may cause haemolysis leading to unhealthy conditions upon prolonged consumption of these foods.
After the green revolution the yield of food grains, fruits and vegetables has increased many folds to cater the exploding population. Although this a healthy development for self reliance of food stuffs, the use of excess fertilizers and insecticides to achieve higher yield subsequently has led to unhealthy and more polluted food. Most of the food grains like wheat which is the staple food of majority of the population is used unwashed unlike the rice which leads to the cummulation of insecticide / pesticide residues inside the body and in the ecosystem as they are not biodegradable. Same is the case with fruits and vegetables. Additionally injections of various growth enhancers and ripening agents like auxins and gibberellins given to the plants act as toxins when such products are consumed. Milk which is considered to be a complete diet is also not in its pure form. Adulteration and traces of hormones secreted in the milk which are injected to the animals to increase the yield have made it toxic.
Thus man has given birth to many diseases instead of eradication even after the development and evolution of modern medical science. Today’s educated man has become an ostrich of the modern era. Sometimes unknowingly due to utter negligence towards the hygiene and sometimes knowingly- who cares? attitude he has generated a plethora of diseases.
"An Atheist believes that a hospital should be built instead of a church. An atheist believes that deed must be done instead of prayer said. An atheist strives for involvement in life and not escape into death. He wants disease conquered, poverty vanished, war eliminated."
-Madalyn Murray O’Hair


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