Health Sciences and Medicine Health Sciences and Medicine What are some ways that the environment affects human health? Use these components:
• Specific ways environment affects human health
• Connection between course content objectives and real life experiences.
The environment in which we live in affects our health in a number of ways. It is a fact that living in a polluted environment negatively affects our health and well being. An environment with air pollution results in respiratory diseases that may reduce our functionality and effectively shorten our lives. Water pollution may result in outbreaks of cholera, dysentery and typhoid when water is used for drinking and cooking. Other forms of pollution may include soil pollution and noise pollution which also negatively impact our health through causing diseases and chronic conditions alongside irritation and lack of peace. Climate change may result in changes in seasons, amount of rainfall received as well as physical damage to crops. In turn, this may lead to low production of food which denies mankind sufficient and proper nutrition that is required for good health. The CDC (2009b) also cites radiation as an environmental hazard. This occurs due to exposure to harmful ionizing radiation and similar toxicants in the environment which may cause genetic mutations and irritation. Living in environments fraught with natural or manmade disasters such as volcanoes and wars also places people in serious health risks.
Some real life experiences in regards to the impact of the environment’s impact on human health include the case of asthma. Here, environmental triggers such as mold, dust, hairy pets, tobacco smoke, pollen and extreme weather components such as fog and mist trigger asthma attacks. Another real life exemplification of the impacts of the environment on human health can be seen in the case of use of non-biodegradable and persistent fertilizers and pesticides in agriculture, which then bioaccumulate in the food chain and find their way back to mankind. Such compounds may cause chronic diseases and destroy lives. Heavy metals in the environment act in the same way, finding their way from polluted soils and water sources into the human body and causing serious respiratory, developmental and reproductive effects. Ionizing radiation provides another example of real life experiences of environmental impact on health. Such radiation causes genetic mutations that may permanently affect people and their offspring, for instance, after the dropping of nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Such radiation may also cause cancer in those people under exposure.
4. Which essential nutrients do you find it difficult to incorporate into your daily diet? What are some ways that you could start incorporating them?
I find it difficult to ensure my diet has the right amounts of essential vitamins. The best sources of such vitamins are vegetables and fruits. I do not consume such fruits and vegetables consistently or in any planned fashion since they usually appear in my diet by chance. This is because I have not made consuming a balanced diet a life-long habit as I had not quite realized the seriousness of balanced nutrition in determining my health. The first approach I will use to reverse this situation is through first understanding the different types of vitamins and the sources from which they can be obtained. This study places me in an opportune position to deeply understand vitamins and nutrition at large. After understanding the sources of vitamins, I will then generate a list of which sources are available to me in terms of practicality/geographical availability and budget. I will then incorporate these vitamins into my daily diet while, importantly, ensuring that I make vitamin consumption a nutritional habit.
CDC (2009). Environmental hazards and health effects. Retrieved 20 February 2012 from http://www. cdc. gov/nceh/ehhe/
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