After more than two years of living under different quarantine restrictions, the world has slowly permitted everyone to reopen and reconnect. While this is a piece of good news, many of us are still feeling anxious about the future. Whether you are worried about contracting the virus, distressed about going back to work, or fearful of that ‘revenge travel,’ it is crucial to find ways to care for your health.
Celebrating its 35th year, MediCard, the first and leading Health and Maintenance Organization (HMO) in the Philippines, recently debuted MediCard Talks to help people navigate these unchartered waters. It is a web series dedicated to helping everyone maintain their overall health and well-being, especially amid the global health crisis.
Your wellness journey amid the health crisis
Without a doubt, the health crisis has impacted our health. In the first episode of the MediCard Talks, Dr. Lissa Theresa Resurreccion, company physician and resource speaker for occupational health and health promotion services, shared five factors to achieving a wellness journey even at home.
“Lockdowns caused us to be stuck in our homes, leading to a lack of physical activities. Our homes were also not ready to be workstations. As a result, many people experience musculoskeletal disorders due to poor posture, while gadgets compromise our eyesight. In addition, the pandemic has greatly affected our mental health as we faced uncertainties and anxieties and had difficulty delineating work from responsibilities at home,” she explained.
During her talk, Dr. Resurreccion highlighted the five factors to prioritize well-being amid the health crisis. The wellness journey starts with eating a well-balanced diet, followed by regular physical exercise that promotes physical and emotional soundness. People must better have personal hygiene, regular checkups with doctors, and know how to manage stress.
And just like any other parts of the body, Dr. Resurreccion reminded everyone to take care of their mental health through her H-A-P-Y acronyms. It means first to check your feelings by asking yourself, ‘How am I?’ Then, remind yourself with ‘affirming words.’ Next is to give oneself a ‘pat on the back,’ practicing mental stillness. Lastly is to celebrate every day with a ‘yey.’
Combatting diabetic eye disease
One out of 14 Filipino adults battles diabetes in the country. Among its several health complications is eye blindness. In the second episode, Dr. Joel Perez, DPBO, Consultant, Medical Retina, MediCard Lifestyle Center, discussed the alarming effect of diabetes on eye health.
“Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes. It is the leading cause of blurred vision among working-age adults. Diabetes damages the tiny blood vessels in the retina, which are the light-sensitive tissues at the back of the eye. The longer you have diabetes, the more likely you will develop diabetic retinopathy. And if left untreated, diabetic retinopathy can cause vision loss,” Dr. Perez emphasized.
According to him, diabetic retinopathy can damage the eyes even before a patient sees changes in their vision. While there are no early warning signs, a dilated eye exam from a healthcare provider can see the complications and help a patient get treated.
As he shared his expert tips, Dr. Perez reminded everyone to attend diabetic eye screening appointments every year. He also advised that it is vital for every person with diabetes to keep blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol at safe levels, eat a healthy and balanced diet, maintain an ideal weight, and take prescribed medications.
“Diabetes is a life-long disease that needs long-term treatment. It can lead to blindness if left untreated or neglected. So, even if there are no signs and your eyes can clearly see, you must get an eye checkup with your doctor and not just change your glasses,” Dr. Perez advised.
Maintaining proper oral care and dental hygiene
Aside from taking care of the eyes, MediCard Talks delved into oral care and dental hygiene. Dr. Audrey Rufino, dental consultant and administrator of MediCard Philippines, communicated the value of oral health and shared different dental problems, such as dental caries, gum diseases, bad breath, sensitivity, receding gums, root infection, dry mouth, tooth abrasion, and teeth grinding.
“Oral health is connected to a person’s general health. It is linked to heart disease and stroke, respiratory disease, arthritis, diabetes, gastrointestinal disease, and pre-term low birth weight for babies. It also affects the everyday quality of life as it impacts a person’s ability to smile, speak, taste, and digest proper nutrition,” Dr. Rufino said.
In the end, Dr. Rufino shared the main steps to becoming a champion of oral health. That includes brushing your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes, including the tongue. She also added to remember to floss daily, rinse with mouthwash to kill harmful bacteria, change your toothbrush every three months, stay hydrated, eat healthy food, and visit a dentist regularly.
The importance of skincare
Clear, smooth, Korean-glass skin? In the fourth episode of MediCard Talks, Dr. Bootsie Alejandrino, head consultant at MediCard Skin and Body, talked about the skin’s anatomy, physiology, pathology, pharmacology, psychology, structure, functions, diseases, treatments, and causality. She also shared insightful tips for choosing the right products, treatments, and regimens suitable to every skin type.
“Skin is the most external structure of the body. It is like our armor and costume at the same time. It defines our appearance, individuality, and concept of beauty. It also shows our attitude and personality. So, we are affected by bad hair days or bad skin days. That is why we have skin regimens,” Dr. Alejandrino phrased.
To have healthy skin, one must have a healthy body. Dr. Alejandrino shared how simple healthy habits such as complete sleep, exercise, hydration, good nutrition, and avoidance of unhealthy practices can aid the body in repairing and revitalizing itself to achieve healthy skin.
Dr. Alejandrino also discussed the ways of basic skincare, from cleansing to toning, moisturizing, and sun protection. “It has to be simple, easy, convenient, practical, and useful. The most important steps for everyone include adequate cleansing and sunscreen to avoid skin aging from photodamage,” she shared.
The significance of healthy meals, snacks
Adding to the usual nutritional talks, episode five of MediCard Talks shared a cooking demo of easy-to-prepare and healthy snacks and dishes by Jerrica Suarez, RND, nutritionist and dietician at MediCard.
“Preparing your meals is beneficial. As it is cost-effective, you will also be able to track your calorie intake and be assured of the safety and quality of your food,” Suarez shared. She discussed hassle-free snacks that a person can bring to work. Her version of apple nachos and overnight oats is rich in vitamins, dense in fiber, and a good source of healthy fats. “Smart snacking is beneficial because it can curb one’s appetite and help to avoid overeating in the next meal. Furthermore, it gives significant nutrients and energy,” she explained.
A well-balanced diet is a combination of different food items. It needs to have the correct amount of carbohydrates, proteins, fruits, and vegetables. For meals, Suarez cooked tuna chickpeas wrap, Thai basil chicken, and tofu vegetable rice by using nutritious recipes and salt alternatives with herbs and spices to lessen sodium content without compromising the flavor and taste.
‘Interested in the MediCard Talks episodes? Watch it now via MediCard Philippines’ Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MediCard.PH.
MediCard is the first and leading HMO founded and managed by doctors. Over the years, it has provided the most comprehensive and innovative healthcare programs and fitness activities that help people achieve a healthier life.
To learn more about MediCard Philippines, visit its website at https://www.medicardphils.com/.