Diabetes and Hypertension – two dreaded words, associated with a lifetime of medicines and health concerns. Let us consider some scenarios.
- Picture about 20 years back. A government or public sector officer in an on-site job scenario. The formal working hours are 9 to 5. The reality, a pressure cooker environment with no fixed hours, requiring him to firefight issues even at hours. The result – diagnosis of hypertension at the young age of 30.
- Jump ahead to today. The same officer, now in a cushy private sector job. Fixed working hours with time and space to attend to family life. The other side of the coin – a desk job, easy access to processed foods, limited time to work on physical wellbeing. The result – lifestyle induced diabetes.
- A 50-year-old woman. Her mother had diabetes; her father had hypertension. The result – diagnosis of both hypertension and diabetes because of age as well as genetic factors.
These stories may sound familiar to most of us. Someone or the other close to us or known to us is battling either hypertension, or diabetes, or both. Age, gender seem to have no bearing on this. Every other person is talking about prevention and control of hypertension and diabetes. Every other person is taking medication which has now become routine, part of the lifestyle. Every other person is looking for diabetes and hypertension control programs.
What are the different factors which influence our health and lead to the diagnosis of hypertension and diabetes? Can we do something to prevent them? What can we do to control them?
Factors which Lead to Hypertension and/or Diabetes
The factors which may lead to hypertension and or/diabetes may be broadly divided into three heads –
- Genetic – our genetic makeup determines who we are – what our face looks like, the colour of our eyes and hair, our body build, our height, the colour of our skin and so on. This same genetic makeup also determines our internal wiring – how our vital organs function, how the brain sends signals to the other parts of the body, how our immune system works. This genetic makeup also determines whether we are susceptible to getting diagnosed with either hypertension, or diabetes, or both. Age does not play a role here.
- Age – the ageing process brings with it many changes to the body, some of which are visible externally, all of which are determined the wear and tear to the internal organs which is a direct consequence of time gone by. Age may impact the heart’s ability to function and the body’s ability to generate insulin as well. This may lead to hypertension or diabetes which is age-induced.
- Lifestyle – in today’s fast paced, pressure cooker world, an unhealthy lifestyle is one of the most common causes of hypertension and diabetes. High stress work environments, diminishing patience levels, easy access to processed foods with high levels of salt and/or sugar, poor dietary choices for even regular meals, and limited to no time for physical and mental exercise all adversely impact the health, and hypertension and diabetes are unfortunately the most common consequence of our poor lifestyle choices. It is quite common to hear of a 25-year-old suffering from hypertension, or a 35-year-old suffering from lifestyle induced diabetes.
Gone are the days when listening to or reading the words hypertension and diabetes meant you were talking about a person who was at least 50+, if not more. Hypertension and diabetes can strike anyone – male or female, young or old, urban or rural.
Prevention and Control of Hypertension and Diabetes
The different factors mentioned above influence the level of prevention and control we can exercise over both hypertension and diabetes. Maintaining a good lifestyle – nutritionally as well as in terms of workout (physical and mental) – must start early. Leaving it for later in life is a luxury we can no longer afford. The mantra of let me slog till 40 and then look after my health is a ticking timebomb for lifestyle induced health issues.
Prevention of Hypertension and Diabetes
Eating and sleeping well and exercising regularly – these are key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. They also help the brain release the right set of endorphins which also help deal with stress related issues. Following the right plan from an early age helps control the possibility of getting diagnosed with hypertension and/or diabetes. This is true not just of younger people, but also as you grow older. Look at some of our celebrities who maintain a healthy lifestyle – they are at the prime of their health even at 60+ age.
Certain genetic factors may make it difficult to prevent hypertension and diabetes, which is where we move on to controlling them.
Control of Hypertension and Diabetes
Diagnosis of hypertension and or/diabetes is typically associated with a lifetime supply of drugs. A pill for either becomes a part of the daily diet, much the same as the rice or chapati you may be consuming every day. Yet, changes in lifestyle can greatly control the extend and severity of both these diseases – lifestyle induced or otherwise.
This means you can manage not only the symptoms associated with these diseases, but also ensure that you can lead a healthy life with the diseases, perhaps even reversing some of the severity of the disease. Who knows, with the right set of input, you may completely reverse borderline cases of hypertension and diabetes.
Diabetes and Hypertension Control Programs
Now that we have understood the impact of poor lifestyle choices in a fast-paced world on our health, and the importance of maintaining a good lifestyle to prevent and control lifestyle diseases, we move on to understanding the role of a diabetic and hypertension program, such as the one offered at Vrriksha. You may understandably ask the question, why do I need to enrol in a program for diabetes and hypertension control programs? Can I not manage this on my own?
Let me ask you a question to counter that. Why do we send our children to school? At least till say grade 3 or 4? There is nothing there that they are learning which cannot be taught at home, yet we send our children to school. Similarly, why do we go to a hairstylist for a haircut? Can we not just take the scissors in our own hands and chop off what is surplus? For those of you who are not home-schooling their children or styling their own hair, the answer to these questions is that there are many benefits to seeking such intervention.
- We are approaching experts in their field, who can provide the right structure and plan which aids the end goal we are looking at.
- Exposure to external stimuli through experts also adds to motivation factor, depending upon the specific circumstances.
The same holds true for enrolling in a diabetes and hypertension control programs. These programs provide you with access to the right set of experts – both for nutrition and exercise – who can holistically assess your case and chart a roadmap accordingly. Such programs also bring you in contact with other people in similar situations. This not only gives you access to the different kinds of problems being faced by the people, but also helps create a support system as well as motivation to do the right thing with a peer group in place.
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Vrriksha – Who are We?
Welcome to Vrriksha, where our motto is – “where care comes first”. Vrriksha is a Hindi word, which means plant or tree. We came together and started Vrriksha to ensure that natural healing as the way of life was available to all who wanted to understand how it worked and wanted to take a step back from the world of chemicals.
We genuinely believe that quality and affordable health care is not just the prerogative of a select few. A good healthcare system must be accessible to every member of the society, by going back to our roots, and while ensuring that care is topmost in priority.
For healthcare to be accessible to everyone, especially in a world where Covid fear makes one reluctant to step out, we also understand the importance of the digital medium. Our programs cover both in-clinic consultation and online consultation to ensure that you have access to the right care, at the right time, irrespective of where you are sitting. You may choose between Vrriksha Online Healthcare and Vrriksha Physiotherapy Exercise Clinic depending upon your comfort level and your location, we are there for you.
Diabetic and Hypertension Control at Vrriksha
Lifestyle diseases like hypertension and diabetes should not be able to control and consume our lives. There are things we can do to ensure better health. The first step down this path is to understand that each individual and their set of circumstances, health included, is unique. Therefore, it is important to chart a roadmap which is specific to you for the best results. What you eat, when you sleep, what kind of exercise and movements you can and should practice, all need to be customized as per your specific requirement, while keeping you part of small groups for motivation.
This is the premise which forms the basis of the diabetes and hypertension control programs at Vrriksha, highlights of which are as given below.
- Access to 3 experts – physiotherapist, dietician, and doctor. The doctor to understand the specifics of your case, the dietician to customize your diet plan based on inputs from the doctor, and the physiotherapist to devise a personalized exercise plan.
- Live exercise class thrice a week, in small groups of 3 to 5 people each. This adds to the motivation factor and learning from each other.
- Creating the right groups – age, gender, physical condition, all three together determine which set of people are best suited to be part of the same group. We take painstaking measures to ensure that each individual is assigned to the right set of exercise partners for optimum results.
- Constant feedback mechanism to assess progress and revisit and revise whatever needs to be revised. This will depend in part upon the duration of your program.
- Choice of different duration of the program – 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, or 12 months. You may choose your program duration as per your circumstances and need and extend the program when you need to.
- Affordable programs to help reach the right support to every member of the society. Quality health programs must reach all who need it.
It is time to take control of our lives and lifestyles – to work towards a healthier future, to work towards not just control but prevention of lifestyle diseases like hypertension and diabetes. Delay is a luxury we cannot afford. We wait with open arms to welcome you to our Vrriksha, to welcome you to the world of natural healing.