Updated: Jul 21, 2020
There has been a significant shift in the illness profile over the last three decades from communicable diseases to non-communicable/chronic diseases. 60-70% of all medical consultations today are for chronic or lifestyle diseases, with the most common being Heart disease, Obesity, Diabetes, Hypertension, Stroke, Polycystic Ovary Disease, Infertility, Fatty liver, some Dementias and Cancers. These diseases have been increasing because of our changing lifestyles and environment and hence, they are also called Lifestyle diseases.
The addition of processed convenience foods to our diets, sedentary/desk jobs, lack of exercise, increasing stress and decreasing sleep, environment and social pressure due to technology has impacted our health adversely.
60-70% of all medical consultations are for chronic or lifestyle diseases.
Modern or conventional medicine is excellent at treating our diseases but has failed in preventing them. Most doctors today do advise their patients regarding lifestyle modifications during routine consultations. However, there is often insufficient time and knowledge to adequately address these issues. The role of lifestyle in health is complex and a lot of people require continuous support to make the necessary lifestyle changes.
Therefore, the need of the hour is Lifestyle Medicine.
The term Lifestyle Medicine was first coined by Dr. James M. Rippe in 1999. According to Dr. Rippe “Lifestyle Medicine involves the integration of lifestyle practices into the modern practice of medicine both to lower the risk factors for chronic disease and/or, if disease is already present, serve as an adjunct in its therapy.”
Lifestyle medicine is a part of modern medicine which investigates the link between people’s lifestyles and diseases and gives specific advice as how to prevent, reverse or manage these diseases efficiently. Several professional bodies, such as the American College of Lifestyle Medicine and similar forums in many countries provide quality education and board certification in the field.
The four main pillars of lifestyle medicine are exercise, nutrition stress management and sleep management. Several studies have now shown that lifestyle modification can not only prevent the progression of chronic diseases, it can reverse many of them. Above all, making the right changes to one’s lifestyle results in improved quality of life, allowing a person to achieve optimum health and wellness.
And that is something we all want. My endeavor is to give the right and scientific information to help you do so. Watch this space…
This article is not intended to substitute for informed medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine