Crip­pled by Life­style

Stroke is now called ‘ young stroke’. Anx­i­ety and de­pres­sion have be­come com­mon. Yet, young In­di­ans show a sur­pris­ing lack of con­cern in the way they live.

India Today - - INSIDE - By Amar­nath K. Menon

Stroke has been re­phrased ‘ young stroke’. De­pres­sion has be­come com­mon. Yet, young In­di­ans show a sur­pris­ing lack of con­cern in the way they live.

It is more in­sid­i­ous than the bat­tle of the bulge. It is in­creas­ingly be­com­ing a daunt­ing chal­lenge to stay healthy. What is go­ing wrong? Smart young In­di­ans are be­ing crip­pled by their life­style. Ro­bust youth­ful­ness keeps ail­ments and sick­ness at bay till age and de­bil­ity take over. Usu­ally, ail­ments and sick­ness set in around age 50 but pri­mar­ily most ill­nesses have a long ges­ta­tion pe­riod of 10 to 20 years and th­ese are be­gin­ning to show up in those in their 20s and 30s.

To­bacco, al­co­hol and men­tal health prob­lems to­day are the key health is­sues among youth. To­day about 150 mil­lion young peo­ple use to­bacco and the num­ber is grow­ing, es­pe­cially among young women. About 20 per cent of ado­les­cents ex­pe­ri­ence men­tal health prob­lem, most com­monly de­pres­sion or anx­i­ety. A sub­stan­tial pro­por­tion of men­tal health prob­lems in adults orig­i­nate early in life. A third of the deaths are caused by heart dis­eases at­trib­uted to stroke. Stroke, re­phrased as ‘ young stroke’, has now been ev­i­dent in the age group 20- 40 years.

Un­like in de­vel­oped so­ci­eties, an ex­traor­di­nar­ily high 71 per cent of young In­di­ans are seden­tary and 57 per cent are not in­volved in any form of ex­er­cise. They have an in­ap­pro­pri­ate high- fat, fast food diet, are over­weight, have ag­gres­sive stress­ful per­son­al­i­ties wors­ened by jo­bre­lated prob­lems and a work- life im­bal­ance that drives them fast into chronic ail­ments in­clud­ing high blood pres­sure and di­a­betes.

What is mak­ing it worse are prob­lems of the di­ges­tive sys­tem trig­gered by the fall­out of work pres­sure— poorly reg­u­lated drink­ing habits com­pounded by food habits. Un­healthy habits such as eat­ing too quickly or con­sum­ing too many pro­cessed foods can lead to sta­sis of undi­gested food and the bac­te­ria there re­lease toxic chem­i­cals and gases called en­do­tox­ins which may dam­age the mu­cosal lin­ing in the gut. This over- pro­duc­tion of en­do­tox­ins lead to symp­toms like bloat­ing, chronic fa­tigue, con­sti­pa­tion, di­ar­rhoea, joint and mus­cle pain, skin dis­or­ders and de­creased men­tal abil­ity.

An in­creas­ingly no­ticed con­di­tion is non- al­co­holic fatty

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