One of the more challenging situations this pandemic had caused my family was when I needed to seek medical help and that uncertain feeling when I reached the hospital.
It happened last year, just a few days after the government recommended a lockdown in Metro Manila and nearby areas. I was anxious because I was feverish and lethargic for five days. The first thing that came to mind was I might have Covid. I felt helpless thinking about it. What would happen to my family if it was Covid? Would I recover from it?
Fortunately, the triage doctor, upon checking the tests, advised me to go home. There’s no need for hospital admission because I only had Urinary Tract Infection. UTI is manageable with prescribed antibiotics at home.
The lockdown continued for months. I was not able to visit our doctor for a scheduled checkup. I was and still am afraid to visit the clinic for fear of exposing myself to the virus. I was not aware of teleconsultation or medical consultation online until I had a recurrent UTI.
Besides anxiety, which causes restlessness and some sleepless nights, the pandemic also leads to a rising incidence of obesity. Ironically, obesity is one of the risk factors for getting Covid. Being at home for the longest time and inactivity made me gain weight. At five feet and one inch, I weigh 162 pounds. According to the weight and exercise calculator, my BMI (Body Mass Index) is 30.61. It means I’m suffering from obesity.
Moderate Fatty Liver
Our doctor, through teleconsultation, advised me to have a blood test. It turned out, I have high levels of creatinine, uric acid, SPGT, and SGOT, in my blood sample. My cholesterol and blood sugar levels are within the normal range, though. The doctor said the high SGPT could be due to Moderate Hepatic Steatosis or moderate fatty liver, as shown in my abdominal ultrasound. The weight gain sadly takes its toll on my liver.
Other factors that made me gain weight include stress eating and eating processed foods, particularly canned goods included in the relief package. It could also be the reason I have high uric acid and recurrent UTI.
The good news is that moderate fatty liver is reversible. The doctor said it needs a good amount of self-discipline to achieve. He recommends proper food intake and exercise.
Losing weight was not new to me. In fact, I have addressed the same health issue in 2012. It was a successful journey, I lost a few pounds at first, but I slowly gain those pounds back after several months.
Lifestyle modification would be different this time because of my age. Losing weight is difficult when you reach your 50s due to slow metabolism in older age.
The ideal weight for my height is between 101 and 125 pounds or 45 to 56 kilograms. It’s unrealistic to reach that number. What is workable is reducing at least 5 pounds off my weight is a good start.
A nutritionist recommends the inverted food pyramid as a gauge to lifestyle change. It means I have to eat in moderation by cutting down on salty, sweet, and oily or fatty foods. Instead of sugary beverages, drink plenty of water to burn calories and flush toxins from the body.
Also, the nutritionist recommends brisk walking every day for at least 30 minutes. I have started walking indoors, and I’m slowly getting the hang of it.
A big part of being healthy is getting enough rest and sleep every day. The nutritionist suggests seven hours of sleep every day if I intend to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
I also intend to do yoga and learn proper meditation to lessen my anxiety. We need to keep our minds and body healthy to keep ourselves safe from COVID-19.