Portrait of Giuliander, affected by a number of common health conditions

Minor ailments have a major impact on our personal lives

Common health conditions, such as allergy, cough, headache and back pain can have a significant impact on our personal lives. This is especially the case for parents or caregivers who depend on their own health to be able to effectively care for others.

Giuliander, a 35-year-old full-time father from Santa Catarina, Brazil, suffers from a number of common health conditions, including back pain, which he says impacts his ability to care for his 17-month-old daughter Cora.

“The pain can start after I’ve slept in a bad position during the night, or if my daughter needed to be carried a lot the day before,” Giuliander said. “Sometimes my back hurts so much that I am physically not able to hold her in my arms anymore.”

“I find that gentle exercise, like going for a walk, can help ease my back pain,” he says. “At the moment my back pain doesn’t prevent me from doing the things I like such as going for walks or playing tennis, but it would if it got worse.”

As part of International Self-Care Day 2018, Sanofi has launched the ‘Self Care: Be Your Best’ Report, which takes an in-depth look at the global prevalence and impact of common health conditions, and the benefits of people managing their own everyday health. The report found almost half (47%) of parents said their health had an impact on their family life.

The ‘Self Care: Be Your Best’ Report found it is not uncommon for people like Giuliander to hold back from seeking advice and/or treatment for back pain. The report showed that despite more than half (55%) of adults worldwide suffering from back pain each month, one in five choose to wait for the pain to pass rather than seek treatment.

Since he became a father, Giuliander says it is hard to get enough sleep so, in addition to back pain, he also suffers from stress and sleep issues. He says the nights he does not get enough sleep result in “really bad days.”

My mood is directly affected and I don’t feel like doing anything, to be honest. When I don’t sleep well my ability to take care of Cora is affected - I do the job, but not with much joy.
Giuliander, from Santa Catarina, Brazil

The ‘Self Care: Be Your Best’ Report also found Giuliander is not alone in his struggle with sleep. Globally, two-thirds of people (65%) have suffered from sleep issues over the past year.

Dr Alex Condoleon, Head of Medical for Sanofi Consumer Healthcare, said while these health conditions may seem minor, they have a major impact on the lives of those who suffer from them.

“Giuliander is not alone in suffering from back pain, high levels of stress and sleep problems,” Dr Condoleon says. “The ‘Self Care: Be Your Best’ Report identified stress, sleep problems and back pain as the most prevalent minor health concerns with more than a quarter (26%) of adults suffering from stress problems each week, 24% suffering from sleep problems once a week and one in five suffering from back pain each week (23%).

Yet despite the huge personal impact of these conditions on people’s day to day lives, like Giuliander, 39% of people don’t seek help for their sleep issues and 64% don’t treat back pain, showing that a lot of people are struggling with how to treat these conditions.

The local pharmacist is an excellent place to seek information and advice on how to overcome these conditions. There are things you can do to ensure good health so you can be your best in all facets of your life – whether that is caring for your children or simply that you’re well enough to get the most out of life.”

The ‘Self Care: Be Your Best’ Report was commissioned by Sanofi Consumer Healthcare and conducted by IPSOS. The research was conducted via 18,090 online interviews in nine countries (United States, Mexico, Brazil, France, Italy, Germany, Russia, Australia, Japan), with people aged 18 and over. The individuals in the study were selected to represent the distribution of the national population of gender, age, individual occupation and region in each country through online panels.