What Are Lifestyle Diseases? Causes and Types

In current time, we are all following a high paced life with a specific lifestyle. A lifestyle is always a base thing in every person”s life. We people follow a specific style of life to be alighened in various points to live. But what if we fall prey of many diseases which are gifted to us by our so called lifestyle?

Yes, it’s hard, it’s strange but it’s as true as other faccts related to our lives.Due to more urbanisation and lack of time many more peoples are getting many kinds of diseases. Some diseases are genetic, some are transmitted and some are directly related to our lifestyle.

Definition

Not many are familiar with the term ‘Lifestyle disease’. The simplest description of this term would be – a disease that is caused due to the health-damaging choices that we make in our day-to-day life.
In simpler way Lifestyle diseases are described as diseases linked with the way people live their lives. The main factors contributing to lifestyle diseases include bad food habits, physical inactivity, wrong body posture, disturbed biological clock and addiction for some kind of drugs etc.

Causes of Lifestyle Disease

There are majorly few causes which are related to lifestyle disease, these causes are directly highlight the way of a person”s lifestyle.
Not restricted to adults alone, lifestyle diseases have started hitting kids as well. The shift in purchasing power and the coming in of technology has changed the way our life functions now. Less physical activity, more availability of resources and no time to spare, we have become preys to some extremely uncommon diseases our grandparents had never even heard about back in the 60s and 70s.
While there are communicable diseases like malaria, cholera, polio, which can be managed with the help of proper treatment, there are lifestyle diseases which can be prevented if healthy active lifestyle is followed.

Globally, a great number of people between the ages of 30-69 years, die prematurely each year from diseases like heart attack, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Some of these diseases have emerged as more fatal than hereditary diseases or infectious ones.

Types Of Lifestyle Diseases

  • Obesity
  • Type II diabetes
  • Arteriosclerosis
  • Heart diseases
  • Hypertension/ High blood pressure
  • Cancer
  • Stroke
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Cirrhosis
  • Nephritis
  • Drug and Alcohol Addiction

Now we shall learn more about these diseases to be alerted in the case of their early sign.

Obesity- In simple words, Obesity means having too much body fat. It is different from being overweight, which means weighing too much. The weight may come from muscle, bone, fat, and/or body water. Both terms mean that a person’s weight is greater than what’s considered healthy for his or her height.
To see whether you’ve reached this stage, check your BMI. If it is higher than 25, then you are in the obese category. Unhealthy eating habits, stressful lifestyle, reduced physical activity translates to obesity. Anybody who is overweight suffers from breathing issues, blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes etc. This is also the first step to your body attracting all kinds of other lifestyle diseases.

Obese man’s waist

Type II diabetes- As mentioned in the first point, obesity is one of the primary causes of Type II diabetes. Type II diabetes is the non-insulin form which develops in adults due to poor eating habits and bad lifestyle choices. India has the largest number of diabetics with type II at 40.9 million. This number is increasing with kids entering the bandwagon.

Arteriosclerosis- Arteriosclerosis occurs when the arterial blood vessel walls thicken and lose elasticity. This usually causes blood circulation disorders, chest pain, and heart attacks. Arteriosclerosis is also linked to obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure. Atleast 30-40% of cardiovascular deaths happen in the age group of 34-64 in India.

Heart diseases- Any irregularity or abnormality which affects the heart muscle and blood vessel walls can be referred to as a heart disease. Smoking, diabetes and high cholesterol contribute to its development in the body. India ranks number one when it comes to cardio patients with 50 million suffering heart health issues.

Hypertension/High Blood Pressure-

Hypertension is another name for high blood pressure. It is called a “silent killer” too. Hypertension, occurs when your blood pressure increases to unhealthy levels. When the reading in the blood pressure machine is 140/90 or higher, your blood pressure is high. Once this happens, you will feel severe discomfort. Your blood pressure measurement takes into account how much blood is passing through your blood vessels and the amount of resistance the blood meets while the heart is pumping.It can lead to severe health complications and increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and sometimes death. Some very common reasons for high blood pressure are stress, obesity, genetic factors and unhealthy eating habits.
Keeping blood pressure under control is vital for preserving health and reducing the risk of these dangerous conditions.
Lifestyle adjustments are the standard, first-line treatment for hypertension. It is recommend that all people, including those with hypertension, engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity, aerobic exercise every week, or 75 minutes a week of high intensity exercise. People should exercise on at least 5 days of the week.

Examples of suitable activities are walking, jogging, cycling, or swimming. Avoiding stress is also much needed to keep the blood pressure at your bay, for this meditation, warm baths, yoga, and simply going on long walks are relaxation techniques that can help relieve stress.

People should avoid consuming alcohol, recreational drugs, tobacco, and junk food to cope with stress, as these can contribute to elevated blood pressure and the complications of hypertension.

Senior woman measures pressure at home

Cancer- Due to the stressful lifestyle that we lead now, our body’s immunity has decreased. This means that the white blood cells lose their power to fight the viruses that enter our body. Because of this, there may be an irregular cell growth, which can be concluded as cancer. Cancer can be caused due to many reasons like prolonged smoking (lung cancer), too much exposure to the sun (skin cancer).

Strokes- When the blood vessel carrying blood to the brain has a blockage leading to an oxygen deficiency for the area of the brain it carried blood to, the result of this is called stroke. High blood pressure, if not taken care of in time with proper treatment, can lead to a stroke. Stroke can also be caused due to hereditary reasons.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease- COPB is caused by the permanent obstruction of the airways. The increase in air pollution due to factors like gas leaks and smoking can worsen this condition. In 2014, 4.3 million were diagnosed with this disease in India.

Cirrhosis- Cirrhosis can be defined as a group of liver disorders. Liver can be severely affected by heavy alcohol consumption and chronic hepatitis. This has become a common lifestyle disease as many people consume alcohol on a daily basis to deal with stress.

Nephritis- When there is swelling in the kidneys leading to abnormal function, it is known as nephritis. There are many causes of nephritis, one of them being an allergic reaction to a medication or antibiotic. Other than this, it can also be caused due to bacterial infections, which may enter through street foods not prepared in hygienic conditions.

Drug And Alcohol Addiction-

Addiction is also a disease where an individual becomes physically and emotionally dependent on a substance, like drugs or alcohol. Although drug and alcohol use can be a choice at first, addiction has a genetic component and people can be predisposed to substance abuse. For example, alcoholism tends to run in families. A person with an alcoholic parent is more likely to develop a lifestyle disease of addiction than someone with no alcoholic parents.
In a lifestyle involving heavy drug and alcohol use, a person’s self-care and safety is often sacrificed for getting high or drunk. Different drugs affect different parts of the body. For example, alcohol is processed by the liver into non-toxic compounds that can be excreted. When a person drinks too much, the liver has to work overtime. After doing this for a long time, liver cells start to die and the person develops liver diseases, like cirrhosis, hepatitis, or fatty liver disease.

So, in this post we have learnt much more about lifestyle diseases, their causes and effects. It’s upto on us how can we deal with such conditions because these all diseases are somehow highlighting the way people live their lives. Following a good way to lead a healthy life is the top most requirement if we want to be safe from getting such diseases. We will find out how can we lead a healthy life by following good healthy habits in my next post. Till then keep reading and stay positive and happy.

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