Hakuna Matada?


Any Disney movie fans out there?  The very popular Disney movie, The Lion King was released in 1994.  The Broadway version opened in 1997 and to dates, hundreds of millions of people have seen either/both versions.  The music was written by Sir Elton John and lyrics by Tim Rice.  The movie/show has a number of well-known tunes and one of the most memorable songs is called “Hakuna Matada”.  This phrase is from the Swahili language of East Africa and the translation:  No Troubles/No Worries”.

Away from the Hollywood screens and Broadway lights and focusing on health and weight control:  When we wake up in the morning and feeling relatively well, should we feel a calm state of “Hakuna Matada”?  The answer to this question needs to be answered individually.

Relating to health, there are a number of symptoms that can alert a person as to whether something is occurring that is potentially dangerous to that person.  A high fever, cough, shortness of breath and muscle aches could signal a bad Covid or influenza case.  Having chest tightness while shoveling snow could indicate underlying coronary artery disease.  Unexplained weight loss could signify an underlying cancer.

However, there are a number of serious medical conditions that can be brewing and becoming more severe with very few symptoms.  Some examples:  A diabetic with neuropathy may not feel the chest pain (angina) as a warning signal of an impending heart attack.  A slow growing colon cancer that is leaking blood will not manifest any symptoms until significant anemia is present and by that time, the cancer may have spread.   A breast cancer may be present without any symptoms and the mass is not noted because self-exams are not being performed.

Focusing on poor weight control, the damages to various organs and the immunes system may not manifest until something very bad occurs.

The point of this entry is NOT to turn every one of you into hypochondriacs and worry every second of every day about a potential dangerous health condition.  However, I believe it is important that “Hakuna Matada” is not felt until routine checkups and appropriate screenings take place.  Have you been in to see your doctor for a routine checkup?  Have you had any recent lab testing?  Are you up to date on mammograms, colon screening, etc?

We all worry about LOTS of things in life.  It is much easier NOT to worry about health when we go in for regular checkups and we are keeping our bodies at a healthy/happy weight.

Enjoy a very memorable scene from “Lion King”