By Prof. Dr. G. G. Gangadharan
Woman body is complex and delicate, so to improve the health of women, sustainable programs that promote wellness and disease prevention are needed. Hence the advice for today’s youth and women is to take more care and control of their own health by promoting a healthy lifestyle. Diseases in women are due to lack of oneness with the environment. Onsets of these diseases are insidious and take time to develop and once occur they are difficult to heal. The basic factors contributing to these diseases are poor food habits, physical inactivity, wrong body posture and disturbed biological clock. Many women are predisposed to various diseases based on their occupation and the lifestyle which are preventable.
Some diseases are more prevalent in women, like the reproductive system disorders. These are related to genetic factor, and hormonal changes. If women work demands extra time like media, jobs that need travelling etc., it does not allow them to take leave even when unwell and can lead to excess stress and health hazards. Increase in work pressure may make the women eat more and the work environment may also lead them to eat more of junk food which can lead to obesity and other chronic diseases. This will also cause iron and calcium deficiencies. Lack of time and stress induces disturbed or lack of sleep. Irritation and mental disturbance are common factors that affect the hormonal changes and these hormonal disturbances affect the reproductive system and may lead to PCOS/Infertility and deranged ovulation. Long hours and working under strict deadlines cause the working women suffer from depression or general anxiety disorder, unipolar depression, predicted to be the second leading cause of global disability burden by 2020, in working women.
A survey finding reveals that 42 per cent of working women suffer from lifestyle diseases like backache, obesity, depression, diabetes, hyper-tension and heart ailments. One of the studies which stressed more on women’s work, revealed that, 77% of women neglect their routine health check –up probably because of their work pressure, social networking, travel etc. can be one of the reasons of increase in the lifestyle disease which can be prevented if detected earlier. Cardiovascular diseases are one of the major killer causes of women across the world –which has been found that, it kills more of women each year than all cancers, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS combined.
As we already know unhealthy lifestyles and the faulty diet provoke lifestyle disorders. A research paper published with evidence states that, diet and lifestyle play a major role in various diseases. Scientific studies reveal that, the NCDs can be prevented by the healthy diet and adequate physical activity. Hence a healthy lifestyle is to be adopted to overcome these diseases with proper balanced diet, physical activity and also respecting the biological clock. To adopt the healthy lifestyle we need to focus our attention on preventive health care. Advances in medical science and better living conditions can increase the life expectancy, so it is the need of public health to find alternative strategies for prevention and management of such diseases. This may be achieved through swasthavritta the regimen of personalised healthy conduct of individual which involves the lifestyle, nutrition, self-awareness and the good relationships with society and nature as explained in Ayurveda. Many of these aspects are included in our daily routine as advised by Ayurveda under Dinacharya. If we begin the day with a routine as mentioned in Ayurveda, a stress-free day is guaranteed.
AS Blogger Prof. Dr. G. G. Gangadharan is Ayurvedacharya, FAIP (USA), PhD, MoM (McGill, Canada) and Director of M. S. Ramaiah Indic Centre for Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine (MSR ICAIM).