Lifestyle disorder is a fairly new concept that has silently crept into our civilization and now poses a major threat. It is an umbrella term given to the diseases which arise due to a multitude of reasons, all of which stem from an unhealthy lifestyle. Lifestyle disorders or diseases are also called Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) as they are not contracted from person to person but arise out of one’s actions. They are chronic and cause nearly 70% of the annual global deaths. They are the result of a combination of factors including genetics, physiology, environment, and behaviors.
Some of the identifiable characteristics of lifestyle disorders are their complex etiologies (causes), multiple risk factors involved, prolonged latency periods, non-contagious origins, chronic nature, etc.
The causes of NCDs can be divided into three major categories:
Modifiable behavioral risk factors: Chances are, the more habits such as excessive use of alcohol, bad food habits, eating and smoking tobacco, physical inactivity, wrong body posture, and disturbed biological clock are involved in your life, the more is the likelihood of you developing a lifestyle disorder.
Non-modifiable behavioral risk factors: Risk factors like age, race, gender, and genetics, which cannot be controlled or modified by any medical intervention.
Metabolic risk factors: Metabolic risk factors lead to four major changes in the metabolic systems that increase the possibility of NCDs. These are obesity, increased blood pressure, increased blood glucose levels, and increased cholesterol levels in the body.
Some of the major lifestyle disorders are-
1) Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) – A group of disorders of the heart and blood vessels, CVDs are the no. 1 cause of death worldwide causing more than 17 million deaths per year. Under this category fall Arteriosclerosis, stroke, congenital heart disease, peripheral heart disease, and many more.
2) Diabetes– Diabetes is a metabolic disorder that affects the body’s ability to use food for energy and other functions. There are 4 types of diabetes: Type 1, Type 2, Gestational, and Pre-Diabetes (Impaired Glucose Tolerance). Type 2 Diabetes mellitus is the most common in the world and is caused by modifiable behavioral risk factors.
3) Cancer- It can affect different regions of the body and is characterized by rapid growth and increase of abnormal cells in a particular part which can spread to other parts of the body as well. More than 7 million people die of cancer each year and 30% of those diseases are attributed to lifestyle choices.
4) Chronic Respiratory Diseases (CRDs) – Some of the most under-diagnosed conditions in lower-income countries, CRDs are the cause of a large number of deaths and many people cannot live a normal life because of this condition. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma are the two main types of CRDs.
5) Chronic Liver Disease/Cirrhosis – Disorders of the liver are mainly caused by unhealthy lifestyle choices and excessive alcohol consumption. Characteristics of liver disease are jaundice, loss of appetite, liver enlargement, fluid accumulation, and impaired consciousness.
6) Hypertension: Hypertension or elevated blood pressure is a serious medical condition that significantly increases the risks of other conditions like heart, brain, kidney, and other diseases.Every 1 out of 4 males and 1 out of 5 females have this condition. Modifiable risk factors that can lead to a high BP are high stress levels, unhealthy food, lack of full sleep at night, sedentary life with no exercise whatsoever, and partaking in tobacco and cigarettes.
7) Obesity: Obesity is like a fertile land where all the potential disorders can plant their roots and grow and develop. It also has a huge effect psychologically. Nowadays the young generation, as well as the older people, are very conscious about their aesthetic appearance. Some of the health hazards which can very easily develop in obese people are Insulin resistance, Hypertension, Diabetes type-2, High Cholesterol, Sleep apnea and many more.
An emerging and effective way to deal with these complicated scenarios is through alternative medical or holistic treatments. Ayurveda is the leader in this avenue. This system understands the functioning of the human body as a whole and any disease is understood to be due to an imbalance of the three Doshas – Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Ayurveda therapy validates the physical, psychological, and spiritual wellness of an individual.
It takes a well-rounded approach to therapies by suggesting lifestyle changes, tackling addictions, detoxification of the whole body, as well as mental and spiritual healing. Acharya, Ratricharya, Ritucharya, Panchakarma, Abhyangam, etc. are all part of the regimen of Ayurveda. Shirodhara treatment, which involves a constant stream of herbal oils being poured on the forehead, is especially effective in relieving stress and centering the energies of the body, and focusing them on self-healing.
Naturopathy is also a time-tested form of holistic healing. There is no better healer than nature itself and this principle is what makes naturopathy so effective. To cleanse the body inside out, the practitioners use enema, hydrotherapy, mud pack, manipulative therapy, herbal massages and many more for effective detoxification.
A prevalent problem nowadays that became even more common after the Covid-19 pandemic is the ignorance of mental health. People need to focus as much on their emotional and mental states as they do on their physical health. Understanding the gravity of this condition, the best ways to take care of our mental health and prevent conditions like anxiety, depression, etc. is by taking part in yoga and meditation retreats.
Yoga and meditation are wholesome and effective methods to disengage yourself from the chaos of daily life and immerse in the healing energies of nature to find peace. Retreats are an all-round holistic experience which inculcates healthier lifestyle habits and create awareness of preventative measures which can save you from a lot of chronic disorders.
Nimba Nature Cure is a holistic healing center that gives all-around therapies for many health-related problems with their approach ranging from Ayurveda and Naturopathy to physiotherapy, yoga and meditation. We offer retreat programs where you can stay at their campus surrounded by serene greenery and take part in a variety of healing programs.