Lifestyle Diseases and Ayurveda
The World is moving at a fast pace leaving little time for humans to concern about their own health.
Over the years lifestyles changed dramatically.
Most of the jobs became sedentary in nature.
Heavy mechanisation and the rise of Information technology helped to reduce physical work, but the impact on health was never before severe.
This type of sedentary lifestyle coupled with drastically changed food habits led to the emergence of the class of diseases called ‘Lifestyle diseases’ globally.
All these diseases are commonly associated with some risk factors, although preventable now became the most common household names due to the uncontrolled occurrence like an invasive species of plant in an area.
The world is now grappling with various types of lifestyle diseases ranging from Hypertension to Cancers.
Multiple treatment systems are offering various types of treatment options to lifestyle diseases.
Among these Ayurveda stands tall because Ayurveda in its base is founded upon the principles of prevention and cure.
It provides elaborate descriptions on how to have balanced and proper Ahara (diet) and Vihara (lifestyle) to prevent the occurrence of diseases and to stay Swastha (healthy with mind and body).
Major Lifestyle diseases
Major lifestyle diseases are
- Diabetes mellitus
- Mental stress
- Immunity deficiency disorders etc
What are the causes of Lifestyle Diseases?
The causes of lifestyle diseases can be termed as Risk factors.
The peculiarity of most of the risk factors is that most of them can be avoided and the diseases due to them can be prevented.
Major risk factors of lifestyle diseases are
tobacco is too dangerous as it can be the precursor of almost all the lifestyle diseases.
Even one puff of tobacco smoke contains millions of free radicals, which triggers diseases in the body, especially cancerous conditions.
Irrational use of alcohol leads to liver damage, hyperlipidaemia, overweight/ obesity, diabetes, hypertension etc.
Fast food culture has already gripped the World.
Foods prepared with artificial colours, flavours and reused oils can cause serious implications in the body like hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, overweight, obesity, hormonal imbalances, ovarian diseases like Polycystic ovarian syndrome, menstrual irregularities, cancers etc.
Irregular diet pattern leads to indigestion, lack of nutrition, over-nutrition, deficiency diseases, hormonal imbalances, anorexia, headache, stress, fatigue etc.
Skipping breakfast is a common trend nowadays and it’s dangerous for health.
Overuse of salt, sugar, spices, oils, carbonated beverages, bottled foods, red meat, chemicals like Ajinomoto or monosodium glutamate, preserved foods etc can cause any of the lifestyle diseases.
Lack of activity
Jobs demanding prolonged hours of sitting or standing without proper rest and warm-up of the body, general laziness to do exercises etc. can lead to hyperlipidaemia, hypertension, PCOS, overweight, obesity etc.
Mental stress is a lifestyle condition as well as a condition to cause lifestyle diseases.
It can be precipitated by nature of work, state of mind, family life, social life and any other external or internal factors.
It can lead to a sedentary lifestyle as well as the use of alcoholism, smoking, overuse of junk foods, carbonated beverages, caffeinated beverages and drug abuse.
These in turn lead to the occurrence of a spectrum of lifestyle diseases.
Lack of rest and sleep
Lack of sleep is the major cause of many lifestyle diseases.
Lack of exercises
Lack of exercise may be the reason for fatigue and many other diseases.
Lack of cleanliness of body, and the ambient environment.
There is a very important role for our personal hygiene in lifestyle.
Blood pressure is the pressure exerted by blood on the walls of blood vessels.
High blood pressure condition is termed as hypertension i.e. above the normal range of 120/80 mm of Hg.
Secondary hypertension due to known causes like underlying systemic conditions is the most common.
Earlier considered as a single disease, but now regarded as a heterogenous group of diseases with the common characteristic of chronic hyperglycemia. It results from multiple aetiologies.
Environmental and genetic factors also contribute to its development.
A good, orderly and healthy lifestyle is very important in psoriasis.
Weight loss and eating fruits and vegetables more is good to prevent the chronicity of the disease.
Diseases due to an impaired immune system.
It can be immunodeficiency diseases, autoimmune diseases or congenital problems.
Recurrent fever, cold, sinusitis, bronchitis, skin diseases etc are common immune disorders associated with lifestyle
Ayurvedic intervention in Lifestyle diseases
Ayurveda presents various measures to keep the body’s immune system intact and to prevent diseases.
Dinacharya or daily regimen, Ritucharya or seasonal regimen, sadvritta or right deeds, large description of various diet and their implications etc are examples.
A balanced lifestyle as proposed by Ayurveda includes the following.
- Waking up early in the morning preferably in Brahma muhurta.
- Drinking a glass of cold water.
- Passing defecation and urination urges and keeps the areas clean.
- Brushing teeth without harming the gum preferably using crushed twigs of Neem, mango tree, babool etc.
- Taking bath in water which neither too hot nor too cold.
- Do exercises up-to half the strength of the body.
- Daily abhyanga or oil massage of the head, ears, foot or whole body. Sesame oil or Dhanwantharam thaila or any oil depending upon the condition can be used.
- Eat healthy and balanced diet which includes cereals like rice, wheat, pulses like green gram, saindhavam salt etc. Use of organic honey is recommended.
- Avoid intoxicating drinks like alcohol.
- Don’t suppress natural urges. It may lead to various conditions. For example suppression of micturition urge for recurrently can lead to formation of urinary stones.
- Choose udwarthana or powder massage like procedures wisely depending on the condition to reduce body fat and regain strength and shape of body.
- Practice yoga and pranayama daily.
- Use Rasayana preparations like Chyavanaprasha. Brahmarasayana, Mandookaparni Rasaysana to boost immunity.
- Daily use of Triphala powder is beneficial to the overall rejuvenation of the body.
Ayurveda is a vast ocean of immense possibilities. Embracing an Ayurveda life style is not only beneficial individually but also for the society. ‘Live the Ayurveda way’