Jan 11, 2021

Are non-communicable diseases really non-communicable?

 During these Covid times, we are taking all forms of precautions throughout the day - frequent hand washing, using hand sanitizers, wearing masks, drinking gallons of kabasura kudineer, using vegetable washes, etc. Why? Because we know Covid-19 is transferable (or communicable) from one person to another. 

But are we giving the same attention to non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc? Not really. Why? Because we know these are non-communicable. 

What if I told you that such lifestyle diseases are communicable in a family? No, I'm not referring to genetic influence.

Let's say, there are a couple A & B - both in their late 20s, working in sedentary jobs, stressful work environments, little attention towards food and nutrition, disturbed sleep cycles, etc. One of them, say A gets a wake-up call. It could be frequent acidity, heartburn, constipation, or weight gain. When A does a health checkup, the numbers are slightly off the recommended levels.

Now, if A chooses not to wake up and continue with the same old poor lifestyle, there are high chances that A is affected by one of the lifestyle disorders. Not just that, B follows A's path, and B's health also gets impacted, with a time gap of maybe 3-4 years.

Let's say, a child C growing up in the family of A&B also has high chances of getting caught by the trap of lifestyle diseases.

Now, let's come back to the initial question - Are non-communicable diseases really non-communicable?

In my opinion, lifestyle is communicable. When A starts making lifestyle changes, B will be influenced sooner or later. The beliefs of Child C get positively influenced while growing up in an environment where lifestyle is given priority. When C grows up, she would make the right choices for her health.

Working on our lifestyle NOT ONLY improves our health and well-being but it also improves the overall well-being of our family.

Take some time to reflect on your current lifestyle and how you can take the right steps to improve the same. All you need is awareness to take that FIRST step forward.

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