Common Illnesses in the Philippines

If you would ask commoners or passers-by about the common illnesses in the Philippines, they would most likely give you the common illness in the philippines Common Illnesses in the Philippinesfollowing answers: muscle pains, high blood pressure or hypertension, stroke, colon cancer, breast cancer, liver cancer and lung cancer, pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB), pneumonia, asthma, diabetes, kidney failure, cough, ulcers, hepatitis A and B, liver cirrhosis, influenza or flu and dengue fever.

Although these are also common illnesses worldwide , many of these are common illnesses in the Philippines attributed by Filipino’s lifestyle. What  are those ?

      • Lack of Exercise. Filipinos are hardworking people but still they lack exercise. Many Pinoys consider household chores as a form of exercise resulting them not to even a 15 minute routine exercise a day or don’t even bothering going to gym. In connection, studies shows that common household chores like sweeping the floor and dusting the furniture do not equate to real exercise. But still, many common Filipinos do chores like carrying 2 pails of water to take a bath, bending to pick up dozens of clothes strewn on the floor or sitting in an office for hours. This may be why many Filipinos experience all kinds of body aches and pains.
      • Pinoy’s love for fiesta. One symbol of being a Filipino is having close family ties that is why they  love gatherings and reunions with friends and family that entails a lot of conversations, hugs, kisses, jokes and stories told and singing through karaoke. But most of all, they love food in plenty, overflowing drinks and viands and pabaon even after a sumptuous meal. Take note. Here we’re not just talking any food but roasted food like turkey, barbequed food like pork, deep fried food like chicken, salty food like unripe mango and sweet food like cakes, ice creams and all kinds of desserts from the Filipino’s favorite tiramisu and mango float to the many forms of salad. Occasions are never complete without these many provisions for the visitors and the hosts themselves. Even in an ordinary day, Filipinos consume excess of sodium, fats and carbohydrates that accounts for the high incidence of hypertension, stroke, diabetes, kidney failure and cancer. In fact about 14 million Filipinos from 20 years old and above are hypertensive, according to a study from the Department of Science and Technology (DOLE) as mentioned in the 2013 SONA of the President.
      • Pinoy’s habit to drink and share utensils during drinking sessions. The Filipinos are said to be one of the highest alcohol consumers in Southeast Asia. They drink to socialise, escape stress and as a habit. When drinking with friends and acquaintances, many pinoys share in one glass or cup. They consider it a proof of brotherhood. Also, many Filipinos love to eat in carinderias by the street without even sanitary permits. They love street foods with sweet and spicy sauces put in one large container for all to dip their kikiams and fish balls. For these reasons, Hepatitis A, other forms of Liver Disease, Typhoid Fever and other diarrheal diseases are common illnesses in the Philippines.
      • Many Pinoys smoke tobacco. Despite the aggressive campaign of the government still millions of Filipinos still smoke. In 2012, the number is above 14 million. And we’re not just thinking about them, because these 14 million have another 14 million or more family members or household inmates as their second hand smokers. How worse can it get? Add to this the growing air pollution in many cities equals the high incidence of asthma, pneumonia and lung cancer. In addition, smoking is said to predispose a person to develop Tuberculosis.

Other Common Illnesses in the Philippines. Other illnesses not attributed to lifestyle but are also common in the Philippines are Dengue Fever, Rabies and Common Colds with the Philippines ranking 6th in the world in terms of Human Rabies cases. Dengue fever peaks during the rainy or wet season to the summer but now even prevails all year round. Rabies Cases are especially common during the summer months because children are more exposed to stray animals outside school and home as they play. While common colds are high during the rainy months because of the increases risk for cross-infection.

These are common illnesses that is basically can be corrected if we try to alter our habits that seem to be unnecessary for wellness. Nothing is wrong with eating; drinking or other stuffs but just be sure you do it in moderation. Change can happen overnight but then changing your unhealthy lifestyle certainly must start from you.

Note to readers: In this article, illness and disease are used interchangeably but medical Science makes a distinction between the two. While disease has an objective and measurable cause such as results of diagnostic tests and directly observable symptoms, illness has a subjective nature, meaning that a person is ill when he says he is but his illness doesn’t necessarily establish he/she has a specific disease.

image credit: (1)
References:

  1. http://www.livescience.com/24962-most-emotional-countries.html
  2. http://www.doh.gov.ph/content/speech-sec-enrique-t-ona-philippine-world-health-day-2013-scientific-symposium-controlling.html
  3. http://www.worldlifeexpectancy.com/country-health-profile/philippines
  4. http://www.who.int/substance_abuse/publications/global_alcohol_report
  5. http://www.ihra.net/files/2010/05/02/Presentation_23rd_M10_Labajo.pdf/
  6. http://alcoholrehab.com/international-rehab/alcohol-rehab-philippines/alcoholism-in-the-philippines/
  7. http://business.inquirer.net/112419/dont-let-rabies-spoil-your-kids-summer-vacation
  8. http://manila.coconuts.co/2014/01/08/
  9. http://anthro.palomar.edu/medical/med_1.htm
  10. http://www.prevention.com/weight-loss/weight-loss-tips/people-who-rely-chores-exercise-are-heavier#.

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