A lifestyle of a person is the way of living his/her life. In recent times, India has started to observe an increase in various kinds of health-related problems due to change in lifestyle regardless of their gender or age. Lifestyle disorders may occur due to different factors such as dietary patterns, habits and behavior, preferences, and more. An article by the business world states that nearly 61% of people in India die due to lifestyle or non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Lifestyle diseases are not limited to adults alone; nowadays, it is affecting kids as well.
Here is an article providing some of the profound insights on the most common lifestyle disorders, its causes and symptoms, and the preventive measures to be taken to avoid them.
What Is Lifestyle Disorder?
A lifestyle disorder is a disease connected with the way of people living. With the growth in technological advancements and lack of physical exercise, we are facing a continuous rise in lifestyle diseases, also known as non-communicable diseases (NCD). Poor lifestyle choices such as smoking, alcohol usage, bad food habits, irregular sleeping habits, etc. can lead to lifestyle disorders. It is highly essential to maintain a healthy environment in our day-to-day activities that help to prevent lifestyle disorders.
Causes of Lifestyle Diseases
It is well-known that lifestyle diseases in India are at a peak. Hence, knowing the root causes and consequences of lifestyle disorders is significant because it helps to eliminate in early-stage and achieve enhanced health.
- Dehydration – Muscles and tendons dehydration is the foremost cause of muscle strain, fatigue, and other disorders of the musculoskeletal system.
- Poor physical fitness – The primary reason for cardiovascular diseases and other lifestyle disorders is due to poor physical fitness. There is a direct relationship between reduced chronic levels of physical fitness and an increased chance of chronic diseases in India.
- Fatigue – Another major cause of a lifestyle disorder is lack of sleep. It is associated with different medical complications such as stroke, high blood pressure, obesity, and mental impairment.
- Malnutrition – The deficiency of adequate nutrition in our diet and the overconsumption of food leads to several chronic disorders.
- Stress – Uncontrolled stress at the workplace or home is the most prominent cause of lifestyle diseases. It may attack one’s health severely, thereby resulting in heart-related disorders.
Most Common Lifestyle Disorders
Lifestyle disorders are the health issues that are related to the physical and mental functioning of a human being. Here is a list of the different types of lifestyle diseases widespread in today’s society:
People fall under obese when their body mass index (BMI) is higher than 25. One experiences obesity due to a stressful lifestyle, unhygienic and unhealthy eating habits, reduced physical activity, and more. Overweight people suffer from blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, breathing issues, and diabetes. Obesity is a primary disorder that leads to other chronic diseases in a human being.
High Blood Pressure, also known as HBP and hypertension, is a long-term lifestyle disorder that results in critical health complications such as heart disease, stroke, etc. When the reading is 140/90 or higher in the BP machine, it means the blood pressure is high. Some of the common reasons for HBP are genetic factors, stress, unhealthy eating habits, and obesity.
3) Heart disease and Stroke
Cardiovascular disease (CVD), also known as heart disease, refers to the heart conditions that involve blocked blood vessels and blot clots. India ranks first with 50 million cardio patients suffering from heart health issues. It is a severe chronic disease, and the abnormalities and irregularities in blood vessel walls and heart muscles are due to the following: diabetes, smoking, and high cholesterol.
A stroke occurs when there is reduced blood flow to the brain. A blood vessel that transports oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either obstructed by bursts or a clot, thus resulting in cell death. High blood pressure without proper treatment and hereditary reasons are a cause for stroke.
4) Alzheimer’s disease
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive brain disorder that leads to problems in thinking and memory. Alzheimer’s is a primary cause of dementia among older adults that deals with cognitive functioning, behavioral abilities, and memory loss. In the United States, Alzheimer’s disease is the 6th most important cause of death. Some of the major features of Alzheimer’s disease are tangles and plaques in the brain.
5) Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases (COPD)
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a chronic lung disease that causes inflammation and obstructed airflow from the lungs. The symptoms of COPD are long-term breathing problems, chronic cough with mucus, wheezing, and more. The most common causes of COPD are tobacco smoking, genetics, and environmental factors such as pollution and gas leaks.
Asthma is a long-term inflammatory disease caused due to the swelling and narrowing of airways. It is a common chronic disorder that results in prolonged coughing, breath shortness, chest tightness, and wheezing.
7) Type II Diabetes and Cancer
Type 2 Diabetes (T2D), also known as adult-onset diabetes, is a chronic medical disorder caused due to poor lifestyle choices and unhealthy eating habits. Estimates predict that 40.9 million people in India have Type II diabetes. This disease is a non-insulin form that is most common among adults and results in frequent thirst, unusual weight loss, and recurrent urination.
Cancer is a group of malignant diseases that involves the irregular growth and spread of abnormal cells to various parts of the body. The immunity of one’s body gets reduced due to the following: prolonged cough, smoking, stress, abnormalities in weight loss, defecation, etc. Through proper vaccination, medication, and dietary recommendations, there is a possibility to overcome cancer risks.
8) Chronic Liver Disease
Cirrhosis, also known as chronic liver disease, is a long-term progressive disorder that involves the destruction of liver parenchyma. The major causes of chronic liver diseases are long-term abuse of alcohol, metabolic disorders, autoimmune inflammation, Hepatitis B & C infection, and more. This disease lasts over six years as well as results in portal hypertension and synthetic dysfunction.
Osteoporosis is a lifestyle disorder caused due to the lack of estrogen hormones in women and androgen hormones in men. It is a bone-weakening disease that is common in India, with more than 10 million cases per year. Bone density decreases, thereby affecting bone strength and structure. With porous bone, there is an increased risk of fracture. With proper dieting and regular medications, people can avoid osteoporosis.
Arteriosclerosis is the thickening and hardening of arterial blood vessel walls. There is a loss of elasticity in the walls of arteries, thus resulting in chest pain, blood circulation disorders, and heart attacks. The major causes of this disease are smoking, high blood pressure, etc.
Let’s have a look at the recent statistics on lifestyle disorders:
- According to the Meenakshi Mission Hospital and Research Centre, India has seen a 50% increase in heart disease and stroke cases.
- Statistics South Africa report (2016) on mortality and causes of death stated that Diabetes is the second common cause of natural death in the country.
- Cardiovascular diseases account for 31% of deaths globally.
- The number of adults diagnosed with heart disease in the U.S. is 30.3 million.
- The overall rise in cardiovascular diseases has increased from 2.57 crore in 1990 to 5.45 crore in 2016.
- In India, Lifestyle diseases/NCDs have taken an increase to 55% of all disease cases, up from 30% in 1990.
- According to a recent report by GOQii titled “India Fit Report 2019“, since last year, there has been an increase in lifestyle diseases among individuals under the age of 45.
Tips to Prevent Lifestyle Disorders
In recent days, the occurrence of various lifestyle diseases has become high among youth and kids. It is because of several reasons, such as busy work schedules, smoking and alcohol habits, sleep disorders, poor food practices, and so on.
Here are some simple tips and measures to prevent lifestyle diseases that can make a healthier and better you:
- Drink plenty of water every day
- Avoid soft drinks and junk foods as they might cause acidity
- Eat more green vegetables, dry fruits, and calcium-rich grains
- Eliminate the consumption of oily and fatty foods
- Practice different forms to physical activity and workouts to maintain the immune system active
- Sleep adequately to keep a refreshed mind
- Burn some calories daily and do not skip meals
- Stay away from smoking and alcohol
- Take care of your health properly
Lifestyle Disorders Increase the Demand for Health Professionals
Growing lifestyle disorders increases the demand for health professionals, especially specialists. It is a call for medical professionals to upgrade themselves with specialization programs to meet the demand in the industry and help people get rid of the ailments. Universities like Texila American University offer fellowship in MMSc programs with specializations such as Critical Care, Endocrinology, Diabetology, Family Medicine, Global Health, HIV Medicine & Infectious Disease, Preventive Cardiology, Medical Education, Telemedicine & Healthcare Management, Oncology, Leadership & Excellence in Medicine, Nuclear Medicine, Cosmetology, and Reproductive Health. By taking up a specialization course, you can serve your society based on their needs while growing in your career.