What is a lifestyle disease?
A lifestyle disorder or a lifestyle disease is triggered due to the day to day habits of an individual. These are non-communicable diseases, that are often caused when people seize to have physical activities, pushing them to a sedentary lifestyle or routine, coupled with unhealthy eating habits, stress etc. Most often, such lifestyle diseases leads to other life-threatening ailments.
High-calorie diets with minimal exercise due to the every changing mode of work and increased comfort are paving the way for even the younger generation falling prey to these lifestyle disorders. It is very common to see most of these lifestyle diseases, also known losely as metabolic syndromes, pop-up as person turns 30 years of age
These lifestyle ailments caused by lack of physical activity and dietary habits are collectively also called the New World Syndrome (NWS). It has spread its tentacles so far and wide that as per the World Health Organization (WHO) almost 75% of the world population is affected by one or more of these maladies such as obesity, hypertension, fatty liver, diabetes, heart disease etc.
Junk food, rich in sugar, salt, refined carbohydrates, trans fat, sugary drinks and refined starches is the main culprits leading to obesity. As per the statistics of WHO, 1.9 billion adults are overweight and the figures will be alarming if the children are also included (Refer the article). It is high time we start taking this seriously as these diseases often lead to serious ailments, shortening the life span and ruining the quality of life.
As mentioned, most of these lifestyle diseases also come under the classification of ‘Metabolic Syndromes‘
Management and Reversal of Lifestyle Diseases
Most common and rampant among these lifestyle diseases is Diabetes. High Cholesterol (dyslipidemia, hypertriglyceredimia), hypertension, PCOS, Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver (NAFLD) etc are the other types of lifestyle diseases. Thyroid disorders, uric acid, irritable bowel syndromes, inflammatory bowel syndromes, digestive issues, aciditiy and even some type of arthritis are all related to sedentary lifestyle, lack of exercises and obesity.
All being said and done, these lifestsyle diseases can be controlled or even reversed to a great extent with proper changes in our lifestyle. Having a balanced diet and with right kind of exercises will do wonders in keeping these ailments at bay. That said it is important to note that therapeutic management of lifestyle diseases through medicines is also extremely important to prevent complications – especially in the advanced stages of these diseases
It is a fashion, atleast among a few people to do pharma-bashing and thus not consult a doctor for such diseases. Therapeutic management of lifestyle diseases, if required SHOULD be done to prevent further progression of such diseases into other medical complications. That said, we would STRONGLY recommend lifestyle management as the Plan A towards managing them. Plan B, which is medicines are extremely important – especially in advanced and chronic stages of these diseases to prevent complications (for example – uncontroled diabetes, extremely high cholesterol levels, major bp variations etc)
Role of a Lifestyle Coach
A lifestyle management coach or a Lifestyle disorders reversal expert can help you reverse the ill effects of these diseases through a systematic approach which involves planning nutrition, exercises and stress management
For example – We at, NuvoVivo help our clients all across the world in achieving this balance in life with a well-balanced diet plan and exercise regimes that would go hand in hand. Majority of the people have the notion of diet as eating bland and tasteless food, abstaining from carbohydrates and avoiding their favorite food! This is completely WRONG! Eating right is also about having a healthy relationship with food. A well experienced lifestyle disorders expert can strcuture a diet that suits the lifestyle, food habits & cultural eating habits of a person, while also considering their medical requirements.
A balanced and healthy approach to food is one of the most important factors for controlling and reversal of the symptoms. Guidelines suggested by the dietician or nutritionist should be followed so that the weight loss is gradual. Losing the weight is not the criteria, whereas losing the unwanted body fat should be the main task without losing the lean muscle mass which is most important for a healthy individual. We would like to point the discussion yet again towards the word ‘Metabolic Syndrome‘! The goal should be to improve the metabolism, and weight loss is just a byproduct of improved metabolism. People often think – they lost weight and their health improved, where as the right sequence should be that they improved their health through healthy eating and exercises and weight loss, rather fat loss is just one among the many byproducts.
Crash diets, skipping a meal or eating extremely low calorie food will surely help a person lose weight. However, this will also lead to a dramatic wastage of muscle mass leading to low metabolism. Muscles are metabolically most active tissue and hence an improved muscle mass comes a long way in managing lifestyle diseases. So, a planned and systematic approach is always of utmost importance and that is where the panel of lifestyle management reversal experts at NuvoVivo comes into the picture.
Along with a well structured and nutrient balanced diet, equally important are exercises! Cardio exercises, weight training, yoga are all helpful in leading a healthy lifestyle. A mix of all these with a proper diet will bring down the issues caused by such diseases which will in turn reduce the dependence on tablets and medicines. Regular physical activity not only improves the quality of life, health and fitness, it will also help in alleviating the risk of chronic heart conditions, fatty liver, diabetes, anxiety and even depression. However, each of the above mentioned exercies needs to be done based on the physical conditions of the person. For example, cardio exercises that involves running, jumping etc are best avoided for a person who is morbidly obese. Weight training is particularly helpful in improving the quality and quantity of the lean muscle mass. However, a person with piles should be careful while picking up extremely heavy weights and doing intense core exercises.
Along with the diet and exercises, the third aspect which is important especially in today’s lifestyle habits is managing stress, planning rest and adequate sleep. This is very important to control the level of cortisol levels in our body that will facilitate a healthy change in metabolism that ultimately leads to weight loss along with a host of other benefits.
Diabetes Reversal Program
Diabetes or hyperglycaemia is caused when the pancreas fails to produce the insulin (type 1 diabetes) or when the body fails to use the insulin produced effectively (type 2 diabetes). The most important factors for this disease are obesity and overweight. In a developing country like India, 8.7% of the population within 20-70 age group is diabetic. No wonder, we are the diabetes capital of the world
Like any other lifestyle disorders, type – 2 diabetes is primarily caused due to sedentary lifestyle, poor food habits, lack of exercise. Genetics also play an important role and may make a person more predisposed to diabetes, but it can be controlled or delayed by making behavioral changes and opting for a healthy lifestyle. Proper weight management, balanced healthy diet ,regular exercises, limiting alcohol intake and controlling blood pressure is necessary for bringing diabetes under control.
Diabetes management or diabetes reversal (in early stages) has to be done with the combination of dietary interventions and exercise. Reducing carbohydrates alone, without adequate exercises is not helpful – especially in the long run. Further, walking is a great cardio vascular activity, but cannot be called as an exercises – especially if the person is physically capable of performing exercises.
Diabetes reversal programs at NuvoVivo focuses on changing the eating habits within the cultural preferences and eating habits of a person. Supplements are NOT the defenition of healthy eating habits, rather it is about following an eating pattern that is encompossing the cultural eating patterns and also the one that aims to be sustainable and flexible for long term. The fasting and postprandial blood sugar levels may be asked to be reported periodically (once in a week) to track the progress in terms of the change in blood sugar levels with the changed dietary pattern. A exercise video also shall be provided that may be either home based on gym based.
PCOD (Polycystic Ovary Disease) or PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) is one of the most common hormonal disorders faced by women in the age group of 12-45 years. Sedentary lifestyle, irregular sleeping habits, lack of proper nutrition along with very little physical activities are the main culprits and if it is not addressed on time, it will lead to issues such as acne, facial hair growth, obesity, hair loss, irregular menstrual cycle, difficulty in conceiving, hyperandrogenism etc.
PCOD is caused by the insulin resistance of the body that leads to hormonal imbalance. The insulin resistance of the body will cause an imbalance of male and female sex hormone s(testosterone and estrogen) leading to the production of immature eggs by the ovaries which eventually become cysts.
A planned diet with foods having low GI(Glycemic index) and regular exercises ranging from weight training to cardio to yoga can help reduce the unwanted body fat while retaining the lean muscle mass. With the guidance of the lifestyle disorders reversal experts at NuvoVivo, PCOS can be managed, leading to a healthy life.
Fatty liver Reversal
Fatty liver or fatty infilteration of liver is an extremely common condition even among the youth. Fat build up on the liver leads to inflammation and advanced stages of fatty liver can even lead to Cirrhosis. While excess alcohol consumption can cause liver inflammation and fatty liver, the Non alcoholic fatty liver (NAFLD) that is caused even without consuming alcohol is common among the youth.
WHO states that liver diseases are the 12th main cause of death worldwide in 2020. Fatty liver is caused when more than 5% fat is deposited in the liver hampering its functions gradually. Here is a interview discssion at NuvoVivo with gasteroenterologist about liver health
If not treated initially, the fat deposit will substantially increase compramising the liver functions and ultimately leading to complications. When the fat deposit increases, it causes inflammation and due to this liver releases more enzymes into the blood stream. Enzymes such as Bilirubin, SGOT & SGPT, ALP (Alkaline Phosphatase) , GGT (Gamma Glutamyl Transferase) and AGT are monitored while taking a Liver Function Test(LFT) and as per the reports, a Physician suggests the treatments.
A healthy diet rich in nutrients along with exercises will help in reducing the stress on liver and improving liver health. Anti oxidants present in the vegetables have anti inflammatory properties and it will substantially reduce the oxidative stress on the liver. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps in reducing the oxidative stress on the liver. At NuvoVivo, we have curated plans for the control and reversal of this condition. With a dedicated approach towards exercise and diet, we can bring the situation under control and lead a fulfilling life.
Hypertension or High Blood Pressure Management
When the pressure exerted by the blood on the arterial walls increase beyond the permissible limits, it causes high bp or hypertension. If not addressed in time, it can lead to a variety of life threatening situations such as stroke or heart attack. Obesity, insufficient rest, poor food habits, taxing work schedules and stress can all be a trigger for high blood pressure.
Like any other lifestyle disorder even this situation can be managed with proper care and understanding. Blood pressure can be monitored easily and the physician can suggest the medication for controlling it. Along with proper exercise regimes and diet control, blood pressure can be controlled and reversed. Breathing exercises and meditation will help in reliving the stress and high blood pressure
Primary Hypertension develops over the years gradually and studies have not shown any identifiable cause. Secondary hypertension can develop suddenly and there are many underlying conditions and medications that can cause this such as kidney disease, thyroid problem, sleep apnea, adrenal gland tumors, congenital blood vessel defects, certain medications etc.
Healthy body and mind is necessary for controlling this situation. With physical activities and yoga, we help the clients bring down their anxieties and assist them in having a more balanced approach towards life. Planned dietary practices with the guidance from the lifestyle management reversal experts at NuvoVivo will help the clients manage the blood pressure effectively.
Here is an interview at NuvoVivo, with a cardiologist on managing the blood pressure and required lifestyle modifications