Lifestyle Diseases

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When God created human beings what He had in His mind was a man or a woman who would be vegetarian, eating natural, uncooked foods, like some animals , For example- an elephant or cow. Our teeth, mouth and the Gastro intestinal system are designed for a vegetarian or fruit diet. However, he fitted us with the wrong brain. He knew we require sugar, so he gave us sugarcane to get the sugar but lopsided brain decided to crush the sugarcane and get a concentrate out of it, which we take as sugar which is responsible for most of the problem related to diabetes etc. God also wanted us to have oil so he gave nuts which contained oil but once again our lopsided brain decided to processes the nuts and extract oil and consumes the concentrated oil in food and that is why we weigh about 100 kilos today.  Everything he had planned in his mind was done by us in the opposite way and in the process we pay a heavy price.

What are the lifestyle diseases which are bothering us today? It is predominantly heart disease, diabetes, obesity and hypertension. I will give you a very simple example of a lifestyle disease. I may not call it a disease-baldness. Take a pause and think of the rich, educated people who travelled around the world in their fifties and find out what percentage of them are bald, then you just try to look at less affluent people working in the fields and living in the slums without access to modern shampoos and find out what percentage of them are bald. Now the question is why and the answer is simple. They don’t have access to shampoos and modern soaps, the so called chemicals which protect your hair. God has created enough oil in your own head to protect your hair and unfortunately, every time you use these artificial soaps and detergents, it takes away the natural oil making hair dull and dry. Detergents are made by the industry to take away oil from dirty utensils and not from your scalp.

Exercising is a combination of exertion with in a comfort level. Picking the right form of exercising lets his or her body adapt to easily. With technology pushing the world of fitness training and nutrition forward, most people are now waking up to the idea of living healthy. It is advisable for basic users to start with strength training on machines, because machines offer controlled movements and you know which muscles you are targeting. Advanced users can experiment with their body weight with exercises like push ups and pull ups; these can be done only if you have low percentage of body fat. They look easy but they are difficult. The human body is basically made up to exercise, so one can use equipment or one’s own body weight to exercise. There are three components to exercise- exercises to enhance flexibility of muscles, cardiovascular exercise and strengthening exercise.

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Let us come to a more serious problem like diabetes. We are the diabetic capital of the world, maybe to some extent we are genetically more vulnerable but with good life style we can at least postpone the onset of diabetes and convert early onset of diabetes to late onset of diabetes. A significant chunk of city dwellers are diabetics and diabetes generally leads to complications like thickening of the arteries, which can cause stroke, heart attack, kidney failure or gangrene of the legs and many other problems. Look at the cardiovascular diseases, heart attack and stroke. This is perhaps the most common among the top ten causes of death. Of all these, just one cause, i.e. cardiovascular disease alone- leading to heart attack and stroke- is more prevalent than all the other causes put together.

Scientists have found that healthy eating habits can reduce health care costs, the decline of quality of life due to age related muscular degeneration and sight robbing diseases. Everyone knows that tobacco in any form is injurious to health, diabetes which is uncontrolled can lead to heart attack at an early age itself, let alone cigarettes causing heart attack. People smoke cigarettes and take tobacco even after angioplasty and surgery. This shows that there is a gross indifference towards the outcome of these life style habits. If a forty year old man wants to smoke and ruin his life it’s his choice but what about nine year old kids in eastern India chewing supari and similar tobacco products in front of their parents. In fact, quite a few parents offer supari to their children as a digestive. We are causing an epidemic of head and neck cancer all across the country, predominantly eastern India.

In order to reduce the burden on the nation from tobacco induced diseases, all we have to do is to prevent children from smoking till the age of twenty two. After the age of twenty two, very few people start smoking. Government has a right to ask every media house to mandatorily give a small percentage of their space for advertisement for healthcare and wellness.