14 Sep How you get an NCD
So, if you can not catch an NCD, how do you get them? Good question and for many NCDs the actual cause is not 100% known. But certain factors are known that can make you MORE at risk for an NCD. Some factors you can control, some you can’t.
Below are a list of some of the factors. Let’s start with the things that you do NOT have control over:
Your DNA—yeah, what mom and dad gave you, your genetics. Some NCDs are believed to have a genetic component that makes you more prone to (meaning, likely to get) certain illnesses or not.
Your gender—men are more prone to some diseases just as women are more prone to others.
Your ethnic group—some people are more prone to diseases based on their ethnicity.
BUT! Although you may have some traits above that put you more at risk for certain NCDs, you do have SO much control over what you choose to do, eat, think, worry about, etc. These are your lifestyle choices. And your lifestyle (the style in which you choose to live your life) has a HUMUNGALOID effect on your health. Your lifestyle choices will increase or decrease your risk of getting an NCD.
Are you sick of being bombarded with people constantly telling you:
Eat well! Exercise! Don’t worry! You stress too much! Go to sleep already, it’s late! Don’t do drugs! Don’t drink alcohol! Just say no! Get off your phone!
All of that great advice about your lifestyle may not mean too much to you right now since you are young and probably feel quite healthy. But what you do now will determine how healthy you are in the future. Your brain and body are still growing and totally influenced by what you eat, how much you sleep and exercise, and what you think about. So making good decisions now is not just important to your health today, but tomorrow and the next day, and the next day and so on until 80 years from now (imagine then!!)!
For example, the factors that you can control and that can prevent NCDs include:
- tobacco use
- physical inactivity
- an unhealthy diet
- harmful use of alcohol
These 4 factors alone account for 80% of the NCDs that can be prevented. Those 4 factors lead to the following changes in your body that are dangerous to you:
- raised blood pressure
- raised blood glucose
- raised cholesterol
(Both short lists copied directly from: https://www.who.int/gho/ncd/risk_factors/en/)
So, after you read the next two sub-posts on NCDs, you may want to visit (or revisit) some of the other posts that will help you to protect yourself from NCDs. Some suggestions:
All the nutrition posts: read how what you eat helps you to stay healthy.
Exercise: read how it is an incredible preventative to disease.
Smoking: Smoking increases your risk for both cancers and heart disease.
3 Tips for mental health: solid mental health lowers your risk for all NCDs.
Stress reduction: stress increases your risk for loads of physical and mental health complications, so this post decreases it!
Of the factors that you can control, which ones are you crushing? Which ones need a little improvement? What can you do today to make a small improvement?