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Lifestyle Diseases

The world has come a long way in the last 100 years. Not just in terms of economic advancements and blurring geographies for trade, but also in the field of science, specifically medicine. As developments in business occurred, there was an implicit effect on the pace of lifestyles of the people involved. Trade interactions between countries ensured that people all over the world had ready access to products and services. The developed nations were the confident leaders, and the developing nations the blind followers. However, like every upside has a downside, this advancement, too, came at a price. In the race to join the developed nations on the top of the rankings table, the developing nations paid little heed to the differences between the countries. No one was concerned with the phrase, “ceteris paribus”, meaning “all things remaining equal”.

The direct result of ignoring those signs can be felt today. Although medicine has evolved extensively, and has eradicated most of the diseases that were prevalent in the 19th century, the next generation has been plagued with a fresh set of diseases, creatively called “lifestyle diseases”. These diseases, as the name suggests, are the result of the fast-paced lifestyle that necessarily accompanies the developments that have been brought about in the lives of individuals over the years. And people today are so wrapped up in raking in the moolah, that they are in for a rude shock when one of these diseases crops up.

Let’s illustrate how easy it is for any or all of these diseases to hit a young, dynamic individual. Take the example of Mr. X, who leaves his house at 8 every morning. He was working on a presentation last night, so couldn’t wake up in time to go to the gym. He wanted to catch the morning news, so had to skip breakfast. Puffing away on his cigarette, he ordered the driver to race against the traffic so that he could make it to his office in time for the presentation. Post the presentation, he had to take his bosses for lunch to the latest Italian joint in town, where he ordered a cheesy pasta. Once he got done with work, he caught up with a few friends for drinks at the local pub, and made it back home after midnight.

Sounds like a day in the life of a typical businessman? Now, press pause, and calculate the number of health disasters it encourages. No exercise – obesity, skipping meals – acidity, smoking – cancer, stress – blood pressure, excessive fat consumption – heart disease, excessive alcohol consumption – cirrhosis, lack of sleep – receding memory and energy. When you stop to put things in perspective, all it takes are a few lifestyle changes for life to get back on track. Essentially, eat right, exercise, give your mind and body enough rest, and avoid cigarettes and alcohol. After all, medicine has improved by leaps and bounds in the last century. Isn’t it time we did too?

Hynophobia is the fear of sleep or of being hypnotized