June 19

Top 5 Life Stealers

Easiest Plan For A Shorter Life? – Obesity!

Many people think of high blood pressure and cholesterol as more “serious” issues than being overweight, since they have a direct relationship to the heart. In reality, they all can have a negative effect on heart health when allowed to get out of control. But it looks like the weight issue may be the most detrimental of those if you’re concerned with living your life to the maximum amount of time possible.

According to info on WebMD, preliminary research presented at the annual meeting of the Society of General Internal Medicine concluded that obesity is now the leading cause of preventable life-years lost in the United States. It surpasses other health issues such as high blood pressure and diabetes for top billing in decreasing one’s life expectancy. Obesity resulted in as much as 47 percent more life-years lost than tobacco use, and tobacco caused similar life-years lost as high blood pressure.

Looks like more people may want to spend less time at the dinner table and a little more time in the gym if they are hoping to experience a healthy, full, long life!

The Outcome May Still Be In Your Control…

As intimidating as some of these results may seem, there is still hope within the findings. Several of the top causes of mortality are generally viewed as preventable with proper attention to lifestyle habits, such as weight loss and healthy eating patterns, or with concurrent medical management if necessary. Starting with the condition that accounts for the greatest number of preventable life-years lost, the top 5 results were as follows:

  1. Obesity
  2. Diabetes
  3. Tobacco use
  4. High blood pressure
  5. High Cholesterol

Unfortunately, we see many patients who come into our office that are dealing with 4 or 5 of those health issues at the same time, and the hard reality to accept is, if changes aren’t made, they are likely to be accounting for an early death. The metabolic toll that those conditions or habits take on the body individually are bad enough, but when several are compounded on the body all at once, the damage and stress increase to the point of malfunction or breakdown.

On the positive side though, these are the conditions that respond favorably to natural means and lifestyle modifications, as unhealthy lifestyle habits are generally the main cause of those top 5 year stealers. When we work with patients in the office, the first thing we are always going to address is diet. The best part of that approach is that it will generally have a direct effect on 4 of those 5 conditions. Blood sugar, weight and blood pressure are easy to monitor at home, so changes can regularly be seen as progress is being made. And simple blood work is all it takes to monitor cholesterol.

Adding in regular exercise will definitely help chip away at #1 on the list, but it will also help improve the other three as well. Done safely and with the proper guidance, you can be making consistent changes to all four health risks at once with the proper program and plan of attack. All it takes is the desire to make some changes, and the willpower and effort to be able put them into practice regularly. And if you do, the ultimate benefit could be not only looking and feeling better, but quite possibly a prolonged trip on this ride we call life. We only get one go-around, so why not make it as long as possible and get as much out of it as you can?


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