For techie Kunal Sharma (name changed), it was a regular workday after a few night shifts over the week. Little did he know that he would be rushed to hospital straight from his meeting. All of 38 years, Sharma suffered a paralytic stroke.

“I had no bad habits like drinking or smoking. I shuttled my time between work and home only. Doctors attributed the stroke to my erratic eating pattern, sleep disturbance due to night shifts and no dedicated fitness routine,” says Sharma, who is undergoing medication and cognitive behaviour therapy to reduce speech impairment.

Take the case of Manjunath Ramesh (name changed), a 37-year-old political party worker, who too suffered a stroke a year ago that led to a foot deformity. “Either I was indulging in intense work on the field or working at my desktop at the party office,” he says.

Sedentary lifestyle contributes to an increased risk of strokes

Doctors say the age for lifestyle diseases like strokes, cardiac arrests,
diabetes and hypertension has dropped from 40s to 30s now. Besides a sedentary life, the shocking reasons are excessive time spent sitting in cars on traffic-laden roads and social media overuse.

Dr Vijay Janagama, directornew initiatives at Suvitas Holistic Healthcare in Domlur, notes that one in five patients per week are at high risk of lifestyle or non-communicable diseases (NCD). He says that while NCDs primarily affect those above 60 years, recent trends show the drop in age group. In a study, 18% of all stroke patients were below 40 years of age. Around 14% and 21% people are suffering from diabetes and high blood pressure, respectively.

Explaining how Bengaluru’s heavy traffic adds to one’s sedentary lifestyle, Janagama says, “The passenger is merely sitting in the car for hours. The body begins to store fat which affects the nerves and the organs leading to lifestyle diseases.”

Dr B Ramana Rao, consulting physician and cardiologist, too observes that the age group vulnerable to paralytic strokes and cardiac arrests has dropped to 34-45 years in the past four years. Most patients are in white-collar jobs and at the top management level.

“Social media is a top culprit as one simply sits and gazes at the screen for hours. Reduce browsing to just 20 minutes a day. The moment you hit 30 years of age, exercise, meditate, eat right, cultivate a hobby like gardening and take frequent holidays,” says Rao.

A few minutes of exercising or yoga can reduce the risk of diseases

Dr Janagama, adds that NCD has been noted as a health emergency after HIV/ AIDS by the United Nations. Thus, physical well-being and emotional management are essential.

“Policy-level decision is the need of the hour. If walking for 30 minutes a day is crucial, the ecosystem should support the idea. For instance, all offices and residential zones should offer parks with jogging tracks. This mindset change must begin now to avoid further damage.”

Diabetes Food Check: Eat Apples & Avocados, Junk Most Things White

Food Matters

18 May, 2018

The life you lead and the food you eat are two important factors when it comes to diabetes. Both play a role for those who are already battling it and for those who remain vulnerable to it.

Whole foods that are not processed should always be on the menu. But also remember that some items have to be away from the dining table if you want to steer clear of diabetes.

Additionally, avoid special diets and stick to what you make at home. Just follow the basic rules like keeping a constant calorie count during meals.


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