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Exercise moderation and you will enjoy an ailment-free celebration, writes Nadia Badarudin
HARI Raya festivities are also an excuse for some to gorge on lemang, rendang and all the other goodies. Over-indulgence can result in a celebration fraught with health hazards.
COMMON POST-RAYA COMPLAINTS
People usually turn up at clinics with various post-Raya ailments until the second week of the celebration.
Senior general practitioner Dr Rohaya Ramli says upper respiratory tract infections and gastroenteritis are the most common post-Raya ailments among children and adults.
Upper respiratory tract infections, caused by virus and bacteria, include rhinitis (inflammation of the mucous membrane inside the nose), pharyngitis/tonsillitis (inflammation of the pharynx and tonsils) and laryngitis (inflammation of the larynx). Symptoms include cough, sore throat, runny nose, headache and fever.
Gastroenteritis is an infection or irritation of the digestive tract, particularly the stomach and intestine, with symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal cramps.
Gastroenteritis, also known as stomach flu, is mainly caused by virus, but bacteria and parasites can also be causal factors.
Dr Rohaya says besides food, long hours of travelling and lack of sleep during the festive season can take a toll on one’s health.
“Stress and lack of sleep weaken the immune system and cause upper respiratory tract infections, especially in children. Over-indulging in food and drinks or eating contaminated food will result in gastroenteritis.
“Gastritis and heartburn are more common in adults. It is triggered by spicy food and carbonated drinks.”
She says children are more likely to fall sick during the festive season, adding that those with asthma or allergies are likely to be affected.
“The younger they are, the more susceptible they will be as their immune systems are weaker.”
And while adults usually recover without problems, children, the elderly or those with pre-existing health conditions are prone to complications such as dehydration.
“Upper respiratory tract infections are triggers for asthmatic attacks, with a few cases where patients had to be hospitalised.
“Weather changes, the presence of animal dander and certain food can cause eczema or urticaria (itching of the skin and rashes) or rhinitis,” she says.
While protein-rich food such as beef, mutton and chicken can aggravate arthritis, too much sweet drinks and kuih or cakes can cause hyperglycaemia in adults and diabetics.
Prevention better than cure
Dr Rohaya provides some tips to help you and your family through the festive season.
1. Plan your travel with short journey breaks so you and your family will be well rested and not too stressed out.
2. Take multivitamins daily to boost your immune system.
3. Eat in moderation, don’t over-indulge.
4. If you have pre-existing illnesses, avoid food that can trigger or worsen your condition.
5. Find time to exercise.