5 common lifestyle diseases in India and treatment options for them

By: Rukmini Chopra

Published On: September 15, 2018

Sedentary lifestyle today is resulting in health conditions that are not only harmful, but are also proving to be fatal. Here’s a list of them along with treatment options. Read on! 

Tell us if this scenario hits too close to home- you wake up in the morning, with the idea that you will squeeze in a workout before heading out to work. But fatigue gets the best of you and you brush aside the idea of sweating it out. Instead, you get ready and head out to office.


You spend 8-9 hours in front of the computer and come back home half dead, after beating the heavy traffic. You’re too tired to hit the gym. You take a shower, eat and sleep. Morning comes, and it’s back to square one. We're on to you, eh?

This is the life for 80% of the working class Indians. Hats off to those who manage to either go for a quick jog or a run amidst their packed schedules; it truly takes a lot of willpower to do so, given the hectic timelines we live in. 

Our sedentary lifestyles and time-bound work environments are resulting in most of us suffering from stress, anxiety, obesity, high blood pressure, depression, etc. While we tend to treat these health conditions as a part and parcel of our lifestyle, it’s high time we take them seriously, as not only are these harmful but are also proving to be fatal.


According to this report, lifestyle diseases are a major cause for deaths in India, the percentage being as high as 61%. WHO (World Health Organization), identifies smoking, drinking, poor diet and lack of exercise as primary causes for lifestyle diseases in India. Here’s a list of them along with treatment options: 


The number of obese people in India doubled from 2005 to 2015. Nearly 20.7 percent of women and 18.6 percent of men have been found to be obese between the ages 15-49. The causes include, poor diet, lack of exercise, stressful environment.

obesity-sedentary-lifestyleAlong with this, it is also the presence of obesogenic chemicals such as DDT, MSG, arsenic, bisphenol A in the environment that is found to trigger obesity. Obesity can lead to high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, breathing problems, cancer etc. 

Treating obesity

Dietary changes

This is the first step to combat obesity. You should ideally consult a dietician and opt for a low-calorie diet. If you opt for crash dieting, be aware of the risks which include- developing health problems, developing vitamin deficiencies, etc. 


Image result for exercisingAny form of physical activity be it cardio, weights, Pilates or yoga, is essential to cure obesity, as it helps in burning calories at a faster rate. You ideally need to burn 8,000 calories to lose kilogram of fat. Brisk walking is a good way to begin your physical activity. 

You can also opt for simple changes in your lifestyle to see a change in yourself- taking the stairs instead of the lift or escalator, walking to the grocery store instead of taking the car, going for a short jog or run whenever you get time. Make sure you consult your healthcare professional first, before opting for any of these forms of exercise. 

Prescription medicines

This should be the last option in cases where the first two methods are not working out. Prescription medicines should be taken by those whose BMI is above 27 and 30, and are suffering from hypertension, diabetes, sleep apnea. Be sure to consult a doctor before taking these medications. 


cancer-in-IndiaBy 2020, 1.73 million new cancer cases are likely to be recorded each year. There are nearly 5, 56, 400 cancer-related deaths every year. Smoking, alcohol, poor diet and lifestyle, are some of the major causes. Studies also show that some of the products that we use- deodorants, household cleaning products, air fresheners, shampoos, etc contain cancer-causing compounds.

Treating cancer 

Chemotherapy: This form of treatment consists of usage of drugs to kill cancer. The duration usually is 4-8 months. 

Radiation Therapy: This treatment includes using a high dosage of radiation to kill cancer cells. The duration is 5-8 weeks.

Stem cell therapy: This procedure includes removing stem cells from a donor and using the same to treat cancer patient.


Immunotherapy: This form of treatment includes using a person’s own immune system to fight cancer. 

Surgery: In this procedure, a cancerous lump or tumour is removed from the body through a surgical procedure. 

Bone marrow transplant: A way of giving a high dose of chemotherapy to a cancer patient. This treatment is used to cure blood cancers such as leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma.

Mental illnesses 

According to a report by WHO, 56 million people suffer from depression and another 38 million suffer from anxiety disorders, Alzheimer's amongst others. Causes include poverty, stress, changing diets, high intake of sugar etc. 

Treating mental illnesses

Medical attention: This includes the patient taking prescribed medicines for his/her mental illness, as suggested by a mental health professional. 

Counselling: One can enroll himself/ herself in counselling sessions which can help the person cope up with conditions such as depression, anxiety etc.


Therapy: This form of treatment includes therapy sessions, where the patient can talk about his/her condition with a therapist and be enrolled in certain mental as well as physical exercises that can help in dealing with the illness. 

Heart diseases   

Nearly 26% of deaths in India are caused due to heart ailments. Men and the urban youth is at a higher risk, followed by elderly people in rural areas. The major cause for heart ailments is the lack of exercise, followed by stress, poor eating habits, stress, depression etc. 

The treatment options depend entirely on the kind of heart disease you have. Here’s a list of treatments one can go for according to the ailment. 

Respiratory diseases

Related imageIn 2016, it was reported that nearly 22.2 million Indians suffered from chronic COPD patients and a million suffered from chronic asthma. Air pollution, allergens, are among the many major causes for the same. Many Indians suffer from asthma, due to the environmental allergens, along with bronchitis, cough, wheezing, sinusitis, etc. 

Treatment options for respiratory diseases depends on the kind of ailment one is suffering from. Click here to know the types of treatment. 

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