Lifestyle diseases are described in the words – they are disease of lifestyle, but with some changes they certainly can be reversed
To change our health, we need to make consistent choices and changes so that we can reverse disease and enjoy wellness and vitality. Not only are these diseases reversible, but they are preventable too. We do not have to develop chronic diseases just because our family members have them. Certain things are inherited, but our habits are also inherited, and we have the power to change those.
The most common chronic lifestyle diseases include heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, unhealthy fat distribution, and hypertension.
With the right nutrition, exercise, stress management, sleep, and elimination or detoxification, we can help our bodies to function optimally.
Most chronic diseases are caused by the following:
- Unhealthy eating and over-eating
- Lack of exercise or activity
- Over consumption of alcohol
- Poor sleep
- Ignoring our health problems
As countries become more industrialized, the risk for chronic disease increases and some people refer to lifestyle diseases as diseases of affluence.
Even our dental health can be negatively influenced by our lifestyles.
Coronary artery disease is almost non-existent in rural African societies, however, in developed societies, chronic disease is rife, which leads to the conclusion that the primary determinants of disease are not genetic, but rather related to environmental, dietary, and lifestyle factors.
So how do we go about reversing these diseases if we have them already or if we are heading in the direction of getting them?
1. Don’t rely on medication alone
Too many of us think that medication is a miracle drug and that we can just carry on as before and that the medication will “fix” us. Medication can be a necessary part of getting us better, but without the accompanying lifestyle changes, the medication will just mask symptoms and will not improve your health. Medication should be a temporary help until your lifestyle can sustain your body better.
2. Take an honest look at your diet and eliminate the foods that are not good for you
Fast foods are not healthy for us. Not getting out of your car and opting for the drive-through is also not ideal. Make it your goal to eat foods that are as close to nature as possible at least 80% of the time. That way you will give your body the nutrients, fiber, and sustenance that will support health and help maintain a healthier fat-to-muscle ratio.
3. Get active
Exercise is vital for wellbeing. It can be any form of movement that is fun and that gets your heart rate going.
4. Address sleep issues
Too many of us don’t get enough sleep or we have poor sleep quality. Sleep apnea can cause problems with sleep quality and is usually the result of lifestyle diseases. Have your sleep assessed if you suspect a problem.
5. Reduce alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, sugar, caffeine, and inflammatory foods such as refined carbohydrates and unhealthy fats
Inflammation causes disease and we can manage inflammation in our bodies by eating a healthy, colorful diet and avoiding inflammatory foods and beverages.
6. Get tested
If you suspect a problem, or if you are unsure about your state of health, speak to a health professional. It’s better to know what you’re dealing with because then you can do something about it.
Listen to my interview with Brad Kirsten from Radio Cape Pulpit on 28 July 2022 to learn more. Listen to my next interview on Thursday at 7.45am