alexpunnen
Published in

alexpunnen

The Silent Killers- Stress, BP, Belly fat

Premature death -unsuspecting villains

Something or the other will eventually kill us all. And that’s fine. Far more people are dying prematurely in the modern era than ever has been. And every time a person close to you dies, be it a friend, a neighbour or a relative, you are carrying part of the person with you. And as you age, I believe this burden and this pain keep increasing. And this pain is really the worst when the death is premature.

I am in my middle age and death is hitting me from all sides - a heart surgeon, about fifty years, who dies of a heart attack in his own consulting room; another friend with no previous symptoms who dies of a blocked artery (cardiovascular disease) when he was so close to achieving all his dreams; another who died of undiagnosed lung disease and the many obese or unhealthy who have been hit hard by Covid before the vaccinations became available.

Everyone knows the primary causes, HeartAttack, Diabetes, Cardiovascular disease, Cancer etc; and also the second level causes like Smoking and Drinking. I am skipping the causes here; as it is common knowledge. Other than things like smoking, heavy drinking and cancer, the causes of others are very rarely obvious. Given a choice between a bag of fries and heart attack or a tub of ice cream and diabetes, it's clear what anyone would choose. However, not everyone who eats a bag of fries or a tub of ice cream suffers from a heart attack or diabetes. So the choices are not so clear.

Inactivity

There is no escaping that most people now have a sedentary lifestyle and work. Even blue-collar workers have more mechanical automation than before. Also, two years of living under Covid has severely increased the inactivity levels. The number of heart-related deaths seems to be increasing rapidly. Many people have stopped their routine walking and yearly health checks for about three years now. Along with that ordering out and the rise of binge-watching.

Inactivity could be Lethal! Get Going, at least do a full body checkup once a year and heed what the data of the tests shows you.

Stress

Everyone knows that stress is bad. Very few have an idea how bad it is. Stress kills.

The Fear of Something is usually worse than the thing itself. Anyway fear and stress can not improve anything ever. I have seen things that are real problems, become much worse and turn into real disasters due to stress. Stressful decisions are usually flawed. Stress is highly lethal and highly underestimated.

The solution here, not to be stressful, is very very hard and the solution is only found at a deeper level. Sometimes at a very deep level as it is tied to a person’s character nurture and environment. De-stressing may mean remaking oneself — not an easy task.

Remember this and repeat; there is nothing that stress does other than make things worse, and there are things much worse where stress could lead you and your family. Try to find your own effective way out of this.

Sugar, Sweet Poison

Sugar and its various forms are pretty cheap and NO surprise makes everything sweet obviously. Huge companies and industries are prospering just dishing out coloured and sweetened water/base with the cheapest produced sugars.

And since it is so cheap, available and addictive, creating a deadly combination, contributes to obesity and diabetes in a large section of the population.

And diabetes is one of the major causes of death in India; and possibly in other countries. If this is not aggressively controlled after onset, it leads to a MULTITUDE of other problems; silent heart attacks, the cardiac surgeon was diabetic and managing with insulin and died of a heart attack. It causes increased blood pressure increase which increases the amount of cholesterol deposited in your arterial walls — as well as damaging arterial walls (atherosclerosis) increasing the chances of fatality via Cardio Vascular disease.

WHO recommends you limit your daily intake to 10 per cent of your total energy needs and around 6 per cent of the American Heart Foundation. Basically all the carbohydrates you eat add up to this count; and I could suggest that for adults who eat a normal diet, even a spoon of sugar is a spoon too much

https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/sugar/added-sugars

Try cutting down on direct and indirect ingestion of sugar and simple carbohydrates (ex more wheat instead of rice, more brown rice instead of white rice etc) to see the marvellous benefits in your health.

Belly Fat

Most people are aware of obesity and its harmfulness. Many are not aware of a much wider problem staring at us, belly fat.

From the American Heart Association

“ More recent data highlight abdominal obesity, as determined by waist circumference, as a cardiovascular disease risk marker that is independent of body mass index. There have also been significant advances in imaging modalities for characterizing body composition, including visceral adiposity. Studies that quantify fat depots” https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/full/10.1161/CIR.0000000000000973

And here is a more readable explanation; but the crux of the matter is this. If you think you are not obese; if you think you are relatively fit and have belly fat; think again- you are carrying an official marker of heightened risk; something every life insurance companies now measure for policy risk assessment. No friend, you are way off; Time to move, and while you come back from the long walk; try to resist the temptation of the extra sugar in your reward treat or drink.

Blood Pressure

BP is a silent killer. It is usually unnoticed like diabetes for a long time, especially if one is not in the habit of yearly checks. And it can destroy arteries leading them more susceptible to cholesterol deposits and blocks — leading to cardiovascular disease and sudden heart attacks.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store