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to know the risk of developing such
conditions in the future,” she says.
The Next Step
Dr. Menon tells that recently the
BRACA A gene test has been in the
news especially after Angelina Jolie
announced to the public that she had
undergone a bilateral mastectomy
followed by bilateral breast implants
following BRACA A gene detection.
Dr. Menon adds that what is perhaps
even more important is regular
follow up – probably at an increased
frequency so that any early cancer can
be detected and can be removed as
soon as possible. Basically a positive
result to this test, tells Dr. Ahmed,
gives valuable information that can be
used to: reduce the risk, take proactive
stress levels actually predispose them
to many lifestyle disorders including
hypertension, cardiac disease,
diabetes, skin disorders and endocrine
disorders. “Therefore it is advisable
that an individual should ideally
undergo preventive screening testing
at least once a year after the age of 20,”
he explains, with the first step being a
simple height and weight measurement
to calculate the Basic Metabolic Index
or BMI. He advises that any individual
with an enhanced BMI should consider
active screening of his/her health
Reasons for Testing
When Naveed Khan, an IT expert in
Dubai had his routine medical check-
up 10 years back, he never imagined
that he would be diagnosed with
pre-diabetes. “While I was feeling a
bit tired I simply chalked it down to
over-working. Also I had no time to
exercise and was eating heavy meals
late at night. Yet because I managed
to get tested in advance, I learned
that I was not only suffering from
pre-diabetes but also in the very early
stages of hypertension related to my
cholesterol levels. With the advice of
my doctor and a nutritionist, today I
am managing both of the problems
with lifestyle modification which
includes daily exercise, healthy meals
and medications,” he says.
Not alone, many of us look and feel
relatively healthy but have no idea
of what’s happening internally; a
fact that makes preventive testing so
vitally important. And from cancer
to diabetes, Dr.Palat Krishna Menon,
Director of Laboratory Services at
GMC Hospital and Research Center
in Ajman explains that once a person
has been diagnosed with a disease,
many irrevocable changes could
have happened in the body which
are difficult to reverse. “This, then,
increases the person’s requirement for
medication, hospitalization and can
compromise the overall state of health,”
he says. “However the good news is that
despite the increase in degenerative
diseases, with today’s advances in the
field of diagnostic medicine, it actually
is possible to detect diseases much
before they have manifested and as
a result, the individual that has been
diagnosed can make the required
lifestyle changes to live a healthy and
normal lifestyle.” Furthermore, Dr.
Sanjida Ahmed, Director of Research
and Development at Eastern Biotech
& Life Sciences in Dubai adds that
preventing disease and detecting
disease early, if it occurs, are important
keys to living a healthy life.
When To Begin
In today’s modern times, Dr. Menon
points out that the rate of obesity is
on the rise. “While children do not
get adequate physical activity, adults
are also under tremendous stress as
they do not exercise enough and do
not relax enough being busy all the
time,” he says, and these increased
Important Tests
As one grows older, Dr. Menon urges
that it is important that initially until
age 30, testing is done every alternate
year for basic profiles such as liver
profile, kidney profile, diabetic profile
and cardiovascular profile along with
blood pressure, height and weight
check. And with age, these tests have
to be repeated annually and results
reviewed by an appropriate medical
doctor in order that changes can be
detected early. Dr. Ahmed adds that
people having strong family history
of any genetic conditions should take
the precautionary measures earlier
than that. “If one’s family has a higher
risk for certain health problems, such
as heart disease, stroke, and cancer,
they need to screen as early as possible
Apr/May 2014