According to a study by the Philippine Statistics Authority, lifestyle diseases such as coronary artery and heart disease and cancerous tumors came out as the leading causes of death among Filipinos.
As defined by Dr. Lourdes Remedios Bituin, Wellness Doctor In-charge at The Medical City Clark, lifestyle diseases are illnesses brought about by a person’s daily behavior and routine. They are also heavily influenced by a person’s environment, most commonly their occupational environment. Aside from heart disease and cancer, other lifestyle diseases include Alzheimer’s disease, depression, anxiety, type II diabetes, and stroke.
According to Dr. Bituin, lifestyle diseases have become more common due to the demands of modern living, causing people to work late hours, sleep less, and overindulge in drinking and smoking. These leave them with little to no time for one’s health.
Dr. Bituin also pointed out that people affected by lifestyle diseases have become younger: “Lately we have been encountering patients as young as 25 years old, mostly young professionals.”
Experts from The Medical City Clark shared five habits that increase people’s risks of contracting a lifestyle disease:
Minimal physical activity. A mostly sedentary lifestyle results in a build up of fat and poor circulation of the blood, leading to hypertension or plaque formation, according to Dr. Bituin. This can eventually develop into diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. People with desk jobs who work irregular hours like call center agents are prone to this since they spend most of their day sitting in front of a computer, with little to no physical activity.
Stress and fatigue. Experiencing chronic stress, constant fatigue, lack of sleep and leaving these unchecked can cause to complications like heart palpitations, high blood pressure, chest pains, and hypertension. Dr. Bituin also pointed out that some people tend to have harmful coping mechanisms for stress such as over or undereating. Aside from heart ailments, stress is also a known contributor to pulmonary diseases, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
Unhealthy eating habits. Eating too much or too little can lead to lifestyle diseases. According to Dr. Lourdes, food high in salt, fat, and sugar content are the most detrimental to one’s health, especially when combined with the lack of exercise. This can result in high blood pressure. Not drinking enough water also leads to dehydration, which in the long run can cause damage in your body’s musculoskeletal system.
Excessive drinking and smoking. For some, this habit is correlated to stress, as they tend to drink or smoke more when stressed as a part of their coping mechanism. Some just developed the habit or addiction and find it hard to stop. Dr. Bituin stated that our heart, lungs, and liver as those most affected by excessive drinking and smoking. She advised to “keep it in moderation, if unavoidable.”
Poor posture. According to Dr. Lizbeth Sto. Tomas, a Wellness Doctor of the Internal Medicine at The Medical City Clark, “poor and sudden changes in posture and long periods spent sitting down can cause symptoms such as sciatica, which is a symptom for diseases like osteoporosis, varicosity, tendonitis, and synovitis.” Excessive sitting and standing especially due to work arrangements create risks in developing osteoarthritis due to the over-expansion of the ligaments and cartilages.
While lifestyle diseases are harmful and could be fatal, there are many ways that these could be avoided. “The majority of sicknesses that you endure from today are diseases of lifestyles, not of destiny. But that’s good news, because it means they are preventable and treatable,” says Dr. Jose Ranilo Paule, Head of Family Medicine at The Medical City Clark.
To help prevent the onset of lifestyle diseases or to treat them while its early, Dr. Bituin recommends a complete full-body check-up rather than just a regular check-up at least annually.
The Medical City Clark’s Executive Check-up Program is designed to be tailor-fit for each person, identifying one’s specific health concerns while being cost-efficient by addressing a person’s overall wellness, thus minimizing health risks and expenses. Their packages can be personalized based on your age and gender; these can include evaluation and consultation ranging from physical examination to laboratory tests, as well as nutrition and diet consultations.
For a better healthcare experience for their clients, or VIPs as they call them, The Medical City Clark also provides hotel-like facilities such as lounges with unlimited Wi-Fi access for better connectivity along with a whole menu of healthy food and drinks, changing rooms, and storage areas for a comfortable stay.
Residents of Central Luzon and other nearby provinces now have easy access to this world-class service as The Medical City Clark is located at the heart of Central Luzon in Pampanga. Lifestyle diseases can only be prevented if there is significant change in lifestyle – and through the The Medical City Clark’s Executive Check-up Program, people can begin the wellness journey that will help them avoid these deadly diseases.
For more information, you may call The Medical City Clark wellness office at (045) 300 8888 or 0916-448-8046.