You must have heard your favorite motivational speaker emphasizing maintaining good and healthy lifestyle habits, but are you familiar with lifestyle diseases? If not, let us unwrap this topic for you!
We’ve entered into 2022 already, and few of us even have written goals with the headline on our journal “New Year, New Me”. Your goals surely are about self-development and self-growth, and they might include a few of the lifestyle changes you want to do this year. The changes might include eating mindfully, exercising and taking care of your mental health. It could be anything!
If you have set such lifestyle goals, keeping track of them and applying them in your life, the good news here is you might be on your way to lifestyle diseases prevention. But, if you are far away from a healthy lifestyle, we might be unsure if you can save yourself from non-communicable diseases (NCDs)/ Lifestyle diseases.
Did you Know?
Lifestyle diseases kill almost 41 million people each year, which equals around 71% of the deaths globally.
The death ratio due to lifestyle diseases is high, but living with such conditions can zap your energy and make everyday tasks difficult. You may have to manage the different medications which can influence what foods to eat and what foods you can’t eat. Further, such habits can also impact your mindset, mood and mental health.
In this article, we’ll explain in detail what lifestyle diseases are and their causes, different types of lifestyle diseases and how you can cure and prevent lifestyle diseases.
What are Lifestyle Diseases?
Lifestyle diseases are associated with how the individual or group of people lives. These diseases are primarily aligned with our daily habits. The habits that detach us from productive activities and take us towards a stagnant routine lead to many health issues and eventually lead to non-communicable diseases that can have life-threatening effects.
Let’s understand lifestyle diseases a bit more with the help of this example:
Suppose you are in Yoga studios and people carry smoothies and yoga mats. This lifestyle is something that is significantly impacting their wellbeing and health. However, judging from their first look, we can’t say they are naturally fit, or they love yoga, or maybe choose yoga to become more athletic.
If we reverse the same question if an individual eats alot and becomes obese, are they choosing to eat more, or are they genetically inclined towards obesity?
This is the crucial dilemma of the lifestyle diseases that are not transferable between the people but instead develop with the period of time due to personal habits and genetics.
Causes of Lifestyle Diseases
By now, you’ve got the basic idea of lifestyle diseases. But, knowing the outcomes and root cause of the lifestyle disease is essential because if we know the root cause, we can eliminate the lifestyle diseases in advance.
- Absence of Sleep
As per the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), lack of sleep has been associated with obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and depression. These are the few top diseases that come under the umbrella of lifestyle diseases. So, if a person has insomnia or is dealing with a lack of sleep due to stress, depression or any other issue, then you might be inviting the lifestyle disease at your door.
- Poor Diet and Nutrition
If you are one of those people, who skip meals, eat oily and sugary food, stress or over-eat, then you might be about to go into the trap of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs). In fact, poor nutrition doesn’t happen only after overeating, but it can also happen when somebody is eating less than the required nutrition. So to avoid the trap of lifestyle diseases, you need to ditch the junk food and integrate food like milk, meat, fruits, pulses and vegetables into your diet.
- No or Poor Physical Fitness
One of the key reasons why most people have to deal with cardiovascular diseases and other lifestyle diseases is their poor physical routine. Either they are not following any physical fitness routine or have a very low fitness routine that doesn’t count. Also, there is a direct relationship between the less chronic level of physical fitness and more chances of chronic diseases.
- Alcohol and Smoking Consumption
Who doesn’t know about the effect of smoking on the organs? When a person is directly smoking, it may lead to severe health conditions like heart diseases, cancer, lung disease, stroke, COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), etc.
Whereas, excessive alcohol consumption can also lead to the long term disease like cancer, digestive issues, heart diseases, stroke and mental issues
- Excessive Stress
If you are one of those people who face rampant stress due to household chores or maybe the workplace environment and habits, you might be attracting one of the lifestyle diseases to your body. Excessive stress is one of the significant causes of lifestyle diseases. Also, excessive stress can result in heart-related disturbances by attacking one’s health severely.
No, we are not talking about the dehydration that you face due to the water deficiency in the body. Here we are talking about the tendons and muscle dehydration, which is one of the critical reasons for fatigue, muscle strain, and other diseases of the musculoskeletal system.
- Chronic Stress
According to the Mayo Clinic, chronic stress exposes the body to stress hormones like the cortisol hormone, which negatively impacts your body’s normal health process. When your body is overexposed to stress, it may result in digestive problems, lack of sleep, weight gain, mental health issues and headaches/migraines. Therefore, we can say that stress management is quite crucial to keep yourself away from lifestyle diseases.
What Are Some of the Common Lifestyle Diseases?
By now, we’ve read the root causes of lifestyle diseases, but do you know what the significant and common lifestyle diseases are?
Here are a few of them:
According to CDC laboratory research, short sleep duration can lead to metabolic changes that might lead to obesity. Obesity happens when an individual’s BMI is more elevated than the standard BMI. It increases when individuals consume junk and processed food and high sugary and calories beverages like soft drinks. Further, obesity also happens when someone spends long hours in front of the computers and does no or little physical activities during the whole day.
- Hypertension/High Blood Pressure
It is one of the kinds of lifestyle diseases that result in severe health complications like stroke, depression, heart disease etc. For instance, if you get the reading around 180/120 or more than this in the BP machine, it means that you are hyper tensed and your blood pressure is high. Obesity, depression, stress and genetic factors, unhealthy eating and lack of physical activities can lead to hypertension in people.
- Heart Disease and Stroke
Another lifestyle disease example is Cardiovascular disease (CVD) which is also commonly known as a stroke and heart disease. It is basically a severe long-term chronic disease that creates abnormalities in the heart and blocks the heart’s blot clots and blood vessels.
Basically, a heat stroke occurs when there is less blood flow to the brain. The blood vessel’s function is to transfer the nutrients and oxygen to the brain and in the situation of stroke. The vessel is blocked by the clot or bursts resulting in cell death.
- Type II Diabetes
It is a type of diabetes that is due to the reduced insulin (hyperglycemia) that adults develop and is usually associated with uneven lifestyle choices and poor eating habits. One of the key reasons for diabetes is obesity, and type II diabetes is one of the common lifestyle diseases that happen due to poor lifestyle habits.
Cancer usually happens due to the body frailing immunity system and a stressful lifestyle. If a person has a weak immune system, it will be more prone to deadly viruses that attack the collection of the organs and allow the virus to enter the body. Also, cancer is caused due to many reasons like lifestyle choices, smoking, alcohol consumption etc.
Excessive consumption of alcohol can lead to cirrhosis. It is also considered one of the lifestyle diseases because it is pretty common for people to consume alcohol after a tiring day to chill out. So when the person is increasing their dependence on alcohol to deal with the depression and stress, he may later face the physical consequences. Also, if you are on alcohol for so long, you may also invite chronic liver disease aswell.
How Can You Prevent Lifestyle Diseases?
Now, if you want to prevent or cure any lifestyle diseases, you can take the below measures to prevent yourself from lifestyle disorders.
- Eat Healthily and Live Happily
First things first! You have to address the fact that good health is all about doing what is suitable for your body and taking charge of your health. A healthy and wholesome diet is definitely essential for your wellbeing and health. To ensure you are avoiding the lifestyle diseases, you need to:
- Swap to the whole grain or multigrain flour instead of the all-purpose flour
- You have to incorporate green veggies, calcium, fiber-rich foods and fresh fruits
- You need to eliminate the junk food or maybe even try to avoid eating the oily food
- You need to decrease your position size and eat in between the intervals of every two hours
- Drink plenty of juices and water. You have to hydrate yourself
- Go for a protein-based diet including milk, eggs, yogurt, fish, meats and legumes
- Physical Activities are Must
According to the WHO, adults should do 150-300 minutes of mild to intense exercise every, and they offer significant health benefits to their health. If you want to keep your immune system functioning properly and want to keep your immune system operational, an adult should indulge in any form of physical activity.
You can do the following activities in your daily routine to keep yourself fit:
- You can take the stairs rather than taking lift and elevators
- You can take your dog out for a walk regularly
- If you go office on a daily basis, you can walk to the bus stop
- If you have kids at home, you can also play with them
- Anyhow take a short session of walks after your meals
- Be a Sleeping Beauty!
Take 7-9 hours of sleep each night. However, if you can’t stop burning the midnight oil, try to set a constant bedtime and waketime. Be active daily and limit your caffeine and alcohol consumption. Also, Always put the digital devices away an hour before bedtime.
- Relieve Your Stress
If you face long-term stress, you might be an enemy of your immune system. Try to meditate, exercise and practice gratitude, and you should try to improve your physical and mental health.
The choice is up to you!
Whether you want to exhaust yourself with lifestyle diseases or you want to play with your grandchildren and grandchildren without getting winded by the lifestyle diseases.
“Take Charge of your Life today”