Wednesday, 15 March 2017

All systems of medicine should advocate a common lifestyle pattern for lifestyle disorders

All systems of medicine should advocate a common lifestyle pattern for lifestyle disorders Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as hypertension, type 2 diabetes, heart diseases, behavioral problems, high cholesterol and obesity are rapidly increasing worldwide, including in India. These diseases are called lifestyle disorders as they have their roots in the lifestyle - habits and behavior - of an individual. An unhealthy lifestyle can contribute to the development of risk factors of NCDs. The epidemic of NCDs in our country is mainly attributed to modernization, urbanization, sedentary lifestyles and longevity (Press Information Bureau, 20.2.17). The WHO’s ‘Global Status Report on NCDs 2014’ has identified four main types of NCDs (cardiovascular diseases, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes), four behavioral risk factors responsible for significant proportions of these diseases (tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and harmful use of alcohol) and four major metabolic risk factors (obesity, raised blood pressure, raised blood glucose and raised blood total cholesterol levels). The INTERHEART study published in the September 3, 2004 issue of the Lancet identified nine traditional risk factors for an acute heart attack: Abnormal lipids, smoking, hypertension, diabetes, abdominal obesity, psychosocial factors, consumption of fruits, vegetables, and alcohol, and regular physical activity. As per the study, more than 90% of the global risk for acute MI is predicted by these nine traditional risk factors. All the major lifestyle disorders or NCDs share common lifestyle-related risk factors like physical inactivity, unhealthy diet, tobacco and excess alcohol intake. These risk factors are modifiable i.e. measures can be taken to prevent them. Non-modifiable risk factors are those which cannot be changed e.g. age, family history and ethnicity. Adopting a healthy lifestyle can either prevent or delay onset and progression of these diseases. Because these lifestyle diseases share modifiable risk factors, patients should be advised a common lifestyle, which will prevent all lifestyle disorders. Instead of advocating a lifestyle for individual disease, these lifestyle modifications should be such that they not only prevent heart diseases but also type 2 diabetes, hypertension, overweight and obesity, depression and cancer. Here is my Formula of 80 to live up to the age of 80. • Keep lower BP, LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol levels, resting heart rate, fasting sugar and abdominal girth levels all less than 80. • Keep kidney and lung functions more than 80%. • Walk 80 minutes a day, brisk walk 80 min a week with a speed of 80 steps (at least) per minute • Eat less and not more than 80 gm or ml of caloric food each meal. Follow a healthy diet (high fiber, low saturated fat, zero trans fat, low refined carbohydrate, low salt, high in fruits). Refined carbohydrates are white rice, white maida and white sugar. • Observe cereal fast 80 days in a year. • Do 80 cycles of pranayama (parasympathetic breathing) in a day with a speed of 4 per minute. • Spend 80 minutes with yourself every day (relaxation, meditation, helping others etc). • Do not smoke or be ready to shell out 80 K Rs. for treatment. • Do not drink alcohol; if you do, do not consume more than 80 ml per day for men (50% for women) or 80 grams per week. Ten grams of alcohol is present in 30 ml or 1 oz of 80 proof liquor. • Avoid exposure to >80 dB of noise. • Avoid exposure to PM 2.5 and PM 10 levels <80 mcg/m3. • Take vitamin D through sunlight 80 days in a year. • If you are a heart patient, consider 80 mg aspirin and 80 mg atorvastatin a day.

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