While there are diseases that are genetic in nature, meaning you are predisposed to developing the condition whatever you do, most illnesses are actually causedby an underlying issue.
For instance, it’s not an exaggeration to say that stress kills. Stress doesn’t just affect you emotionally but also physiologically. When your mind and spirit are wracked by problems, your body will be the next to go.
For another example, you can take medicine for a chronicmigraine and be givenrelief, but you can bet that your migraine will come back again and again until and unless you address the cause of the headacheand not just mask the symptoms.
Diseases Caused by Stress
There’s no single metric to measure the magnitude of stress because it varies from person to person.
For instance, being under pressure to meet a deadline might be a stressor for one individual, while another person may work best when placed in the same pressure cooker.
It also depends on the personality of the individual. A laid-back person might not react as violently to stress as a perfectionist.
Among the diseases related to stress are:
- Heart diseases
- Chronic migraines
- Sleeping disorder
- High blood pressure
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Eczema and other skin problems
- Eating disorder
The good news is that stress can be addressed. It is not easy, mind you, but it certainly is not impossible. Stress is triggered by external and internal factors. How you respond to these triggers will spell the difference between success and failure.
There are plenty of resources online that can help you cope with stress. You also can hire the services of a life coach to help you cope better when faced with the usual stressors.
Diseases Caused by Obesity
In addition to being a consequence of stress, obesity itself is a cause of life-threatening diseases.
The World Health Organization defines obesity as the abnormal accumulation of fat that poses a threat to the individual’s health. Our weight category is determined by the body mass index or BMI, which can easily be computed by taking in the person’s total weight and then dividing it by the square of the height.
The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation said that the United States has the largest concentration of overweight and obese residents in the world. In fact, almost 75% of males and 60% of females have high BMI scores indicating they are either overweight (25 BMI) or obese (at least 30 BMI).
Children are also growing up obese as 3 in 10 of American boys and girls are affected. If this trend continues unabated, they are going to face serious health risks into adulthood.
Below are just some of the health dangers you may face if you are overweight or obese:
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Skin problems
- Breathing problems
- Sleep apnea
- Knee problems
- Kidney diseases
- Liver diseases
- High blood pressure
Another good rule of thumb is to measure your waist. Women whose waists are more than 30 inches and men with greater than 40 inches should immediately take heed and rethink their lifestyle choices.
Diseases Caused by Smoking
Another cause or consequence of stress and disease is smoking. In the United States alone, 480,000 people die from smoking-related diseases every year.
In fact, when you add up the number of deaths caused by alcohol and drug overdose, motor vehicle crashes, HIV, and gun violence, the total still falls short of the lives claimed by cigarettes.
There are a lot of awareness campaigns for breast cancer, but the reality is that lung cancer caused by smoking results in more fatalities each year, and it’s not even close.
For instance, a woman who smokes increases the likelihood of developing lung cancer by as much as 25%.
What makes this more tragic is that it’s a totally preventable disease. When you stop smoking, you dramatically increase your lifespan.
When you smoke, you risk developing cancer in:
You also may develop:
- Aortic Aneurysm
- Low birth weight or stillbirth
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Heart disease
Diseases Caused by Type 2 Diabetes
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases said that just losing about 5 to 7% of your weight can prevent the onset of diabetes. Just 30 minutes of sweating every day for five days will also help.
Finally, watch what you eat. It should be noted that not all fruits are healthy for you, especially if your sugar is high. Among those to avoid are watermelon, sweet mango, and pineapple. Generally, you should avoid fruits and foods that have a high glycemic index, which will boost the blood glucose in your body.
Among the food with high glycemic index are:
- White bread
- Puffed rice
- White potato
- Instant oatmeal
- White rice
In 2010, diabetes was the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. Among the diseases linked to diabetes are:
- Kidney damage
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Skin conditions
- Macular edema
- Cardiovascular diseases
Drug and alcohol abuse also cause a host of diseases that are not initially linked by physicians to substance abuse.
Taking medication for a chronic sinus infection caused by cocaine use may mask the symptoms caused but won’t address the problem itself.
In the same vein, treating depression or anxiety caused by opiates and opioids use will only be a temporary solution. To recover from the substance abuse may require an intensive detox or treatment from or at a rehab center, particularly those with dual diagnosis programs—mental illness may be an underlying issue—so you can achieve a healthier mind, body, and spirit.