Understanding the silent epidemic of Non-Communicable Diseases

While the world is hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, we also need to be aware of the lifestyle factors that keep introducing us to deadly diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer. These diseases do not spread from one person to another and hence are term as Non-Communicable Diseases and acronymized as NCDs.

Why should I care ?

As per WHO fact-sheet , NCDs kill about 41 million people annually !! And that is a big number as it accounts for 71 percent of the deaths that happen worldwide. Some amount of these deaths can be prevented by awareness campaigns. So maybe you can safeguard yourself and your family if you are aware enough !

What are the major NCDs ?

Major NCDs are said to claim about 80 percent of the lives out of the total NCD patients. And that is quite a lot of number. As depicted in the chart above, the major life claiming diseases are:

  • Cardio-vascular disorders
  • Cancers
  • Respiratory Diseases
  • Diabetes

Yes ! The last one might be a surprise but a sweet tooth may cause a lot of damage.

Also read: World No Tobacco Day: How Tobacco Hurts more than you think

How do NCDs impact our lives ?

All these diseases surely impact your health and can be life-claiming as well, but at the same time, they impact your ability to live a normal life.

  • Food restrictions: Getting diagnosed with an NCD would mean a lot of management in term of eating correct and eating the right way. That can really sadden your taste buds !
  • Fatigue: Most of the NCDs would have a fatigue that accompanies everywhere you go. This will surely make it difficult to do a lot of things as you would have done earlier.
  • Loss of productivity at work: Medication or the disease itself can make it difficult for a person to concentrate at work. Worst would be if you cannot work at all.
  • Need to undergo painful treatments: If an NCD worsens, the treatments become quite painful.

Also read: Importance of healthcare staff that helps people come out of these NCDs with a smile Breathing life into the Healthcare Ecosystem

How do we reduce the risk ?

While preventive measures may or or may not keep you safe if something is plainly in your genetics, but it can surely reduce the adverse effects or help get cured easily.

Avoid smoke: Even second hand smoke or passive smoking as it is commonly referred to, can increase the risk of smoking related disorders such as respiratory diseases and cancers. The best way is to try and avoid tobacco all-together, in all its forms.

Also read: Important things you need to know about Brain Tumors

Careful of those delicacies: While those delicacies are a delight to be relished, they do come with an inherent health risk. Too much of sweets can induce diabetes while too much of fat or oil can increase the risk of cardio vascular diseases. Once in a while is okay, but frequent consumption can surely hurt.

Keep moving: Inactivity is the cause of a lot of health issues and this is something we have opted for as a part of our sedentary lifestyles and hence it can be reversed as well. Try to keep active. Take the stairs whenever possible, have walking meetings if it works and count your minute of activity. Keeping a track is the best way to ensure we get into good habits.

A 2014 video from WHO talks about the path to reduce global deaths by NCDs. Do watch it !!

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