Dr. Tsubokura's Radiation Lecture Vol.126

Author: Masaharu Tsubokura M.D., PhD.

Editors: Akihiko Ozaki M.D., PhD., Yuki Senoo


251. Understanding the effect of your prescribed medications on a routine basis


First of all, I would like to express my deepest sympathy to all those who have suffered and are still suffering from the damage caused by Typhoon Hagibis (19th typhoon) that struck Japan in October 2019. Over the course of a few weeks, we have been introducing a series of articles addressing the numerous health risks following the disaster, which were learned from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear tragedy.


Another example of health risks following disasters is the discontinuation of medical treatment. There are many kinds of medicines, ranging from those you can forget to take for a short time, such as vitamins, minor painkillers, and digestive aids, to those that can result in death if you suddenly discontinue taking them, such as blood thinners (anticoagulants), anticonvulsants, steroids, blood sugar–lowering drugs (antidiabetic), and insulin injections.


Following the disaster, some medical facilities were damaged, and many people were forced to discontinue medical treatment. In some cases, even if local medical facilities were still functioning, it was difficult for some people to access health care for a variety of reasons, such as vehicle breakdown, the inability to access large hospitals in distant places or a nearby bus stop, or a lack of familial support.


Generally, as a human being, you are vulnerable to changes in your surrounding environment. It is important to understand your medications and how to manage them on a routine basis as a part of emergency preparedness. Furthermore, it is crucial to keep in close communication with your family and neighbors to keep everyone healthy.


252. Know your body’s characteristics!


First of all, I would like to express my deepest sympathy to all those who have suffered and are still suffering from the damage caused by Typhoon Hagibis (19th typhoon) that struck Japan in October 2019. Over the course of a few weeks, we have been introducing a series of articles addressing the numerous health risks following the disaster, which was learned from the experiences from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear tragedy.

For example, some people tend to experience clogged noses and ears after catching a cold, whereas others only have a prolonged cough. Furthermore, some people suffer from stomachaches after eating certain food, whereas others do not feel anything at all after eating the same thing. A similar result can be seen for headaches and dizziness induced by a lack of sleep or excessive fatigue. Although all of them are categorized as common symptoms, each individual has slightly different symptoms and weaknesses that manifest in certain conditions.


Determining whether a presenting health condition is a usual symptom as a result of a certain situation or a common symptom that is unusual on a person-by-person basis is very important for the early detection of diseases, particularly in elderly people.


Following a disaster, people and their environment endure many dramatic changes. Some people will be forced to change their place of residence, which leads to changing the local public facilities or clinics. Moreover, some of them will be forced to change their walking routine, favorite stores, and supermarkets. Such dramatic changes in life routine can cause a long-term burden to our bodies.


It is important to know your body’s characteristics and its reaction to certain conditions and share them with your doctor and your family, as well as other people around you. This is one of the ways to detect unfavorable physical changes in your body at an early stage and avoid delays in treatment.


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The Japanese version of the manuscript was originally published in Fukushima Minyu, a local newspaper in Fukushima prefecture, Japan, 10th November and 17, 2019 was reproduced for MRIC Global under the author's permission.

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