Lifestyle Diseases: An Emerging Epidemic Which Needs Urgent Attention

What is a lifestyle?
A lifestyle is the pattern of living that we follow – how we work, what and when we eat, how and when we sleep, how much physical activity we do and whether we smoke or consume alcohol.

What is a disease?
A disease is a pathological condition that affects an organism, and is often associated with specific symptoms and signs. Long standing or chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes and obesity may not have symptoms or signs, but are known to cause serious complications if untreated in the long term.

What are Lifestyle diseases?
Diseases are of several types ie genetic, cancers etc, but the most common types of diseases are:
1. Communicable or Infectious diseases: develop due to spread of infections
2. Noncommunicable or Lifestyle diseases: Some diseases do not spread from one person to another through touch, air, food, water or sexual contacts. These diseases may develop in a person due to faulty eating and living habits. These diseases are called life style diseases.
Lifestyle diseases (also sometimes called diseases of longevity or diseases of civilization) are diseases that appear to increase in frequency as countries become more industrialized and people live longer.
Lifestyle or non-communicable diseases(NCD) are chronic (long term) in nature and cause dysfunction in the body and impair the quality of life. They may also lead to death. These diseases usually develop relatively over long periods. In the beginning there may not be any symptoms but after the disease sets in there may be a long period of impaired health. This leads to reduction in productivity and development of the country. As these are chronic conditions they are a financial burden for lifetime. Therefore, there is an increasing concern these days about lifestyle diseases that can be easily prevented but not cured.
Lifestyle disease potentially can be prevented by changes in diet, environment, and lifestyle.

Which are the common diseases occurring due to disturbed lifestyle?
Some of the most common lifestyle diseases include:
Type 2 diabetes
GERD & Hiatus Hernia
Dyspepsia(Indigestion), Constipation
Heart disease
Some types of cancers
Metabolic syndrome
Fatty Liver, NASH, Liver cirrhosis
Chronic renal failure
Chronic obstructive lung disease
Alzheimer’s disease