How to maintain good health? The 10 recommendations of the Italian Society of Internal Medicine

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The beginning of a new year often begins with the list of good intentions, which never as in this period should be polarized towards maintaining a good state of health. The teacher. Giorgio Sesti – Ordinary Professor of Internal Medicine at La Sapienza in Rome, UOC Director of Internal Medicine at Sant’Andrea University Hospital in Rome and new President of the Italian Society of Internal Medicine – presents the Decalogue of the Italian Society of Internal Medicine for a 2022 in the name of good health.

1. Pay attention to portions at the table. Often you don’t need a diet, just a little attention not to overdo the amount of food consumed at each meal (avoiding snacking between meals). You can eat anything, but in moderation. To be able to taste and enjoy all foods, without harming your health.

2. Take your measurements. Weigh yourself at least once a week and measure your waistline regularly with a tape measure. Overweight and obesity (especially “visceral” obesity, responsible for increased waist circumference) are important risk factors for diabetes, high blood pressure, fatty liver disease, cardiovascular diseases and certain cancers. So let’s save the extra pounds.

3. Good health is built at the table. Limit the consumption of saturated fats (contained in red meat, deli meats and cheeses), increase the consumption of fish and plant fibers (vegetables, legumes, fruits and whole grains) and include small amounts of valuable foods, such as oil, in food olive, nuts and seeds. Limit your consumption of salt and salty foods (sausages, cheeses, preserves). Reduce your consumption of sugar (including in drinks) and alcohol; drink more water instead.

4. Get on the right track. Performing moderate-intensity physical activity for at least 150 minutes per week (brisk walking, running, cycling, swimming) not only burns excess calories, but also improves heart performance and respiratory function, increases strength muscle, lowers blood pressure, lowers blood sugar and raises “good” cholesterol (HDL) levels.

5. Find out if you have “soft” blood. Test your fasting blood sugar to find out if you have type 2 diabetes or are at risk of developing it. Intercepting the onset of diabetes in the bud slows down its development and protects against its complications (cardiovascular, kidney and eye diseases).

6. Know the “numbers” of your pressure. Regularly check your blood pressure and, if it is high (above 140/90 mmHg), take measures: fewer calories and less salt at the table, more physical activity and monitoring by the doctor, to start therapy if necessary. They will keep the risk of heart attack or stroke at bay.

7. Don’t waste your life. Talk to your doctor about what you can do to quit. Smoking is one of the most important risk factors for respiratory, cardiovascular and cancer diseases. All types of tobacco are harmful, including filter cigarettes, cigars and pipes, regardless of how they are smoked. Also beware of “electronic” smoking.

8. Don’t forget to take your medication. If you take chronic medications (for diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease or other chronic conditions), take them as prescribed by your doctor, never stop them. If in doubt, consult your doctor, without taking the slightest risk with do-it-yourself modifications. To remind you to pick them up on time, put an “alarm clock” on your mobile.

9. Antibiotics and painkillers, only if prescribed by your doctor. Taking antibiotics won’t make you feel better if you have a viral infection (like a cold or the flu). in return, you will contribute to the global problem of antibiotic resistance. Overuse of certain anti-inflammatory/pain relievers (NSAIDs) can increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, heart failure, stomach bleeding, and kidney disease.

10. The vaccine saves your life, but don’t ask Dr. Google for advice. We can all have doubts about vaccines, especially flu and Covid-19 vaccines; However, do not look for answers on the Internet, but talk to your doctor. And still on the subject of Covid-19, don’t forget to carefully practice anti-contagion measures: physical distancing, masks, wash your hands often and often ventilate the room in which you are staying, at home or at the place. of work.

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