Lifestyle diseases, also known as non-communicable diseases (NCDs), are diseases that are commonly caused by unhealthy lifestyle choices such as poor diet, lack of exercise, smoking, and alcohol consumption.
These diseases are becoming increasingly common in Nigeria, and they pose a significant threat to public health. Unfortunately, many people in Nigeria are still at risk of developing these diseases due to their lifestyle choices. Knowing the most common lifestyle diseases in Nigeria can help individuals take steps to prevent them and live a healthier life.
In this article, we will discuss some of the most common lifestyle diseases in Nigeria.
1. Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)
Hypertension is a condition where the blood pressure in the arteries is consistently high. This condition is often caused by unhealthy lifestyle choices such as a poor diet, lack of exercise, and stress. If left untreated, hypertension can lead to more severe health complications such as heart disease and stroke.
It is one of the most prevalent lifestyle diseases in Nigeria.
To reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure, you should try your best to maintain a healthy weight, exercise regularly, eat a balanced diet with low salt and saturated fat, and avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.
Diabetes is a condition where the body cannot regulate blood sugar levels properly. This condition is often caused by a poor diet and lack of exercise. If left untreated, diabetes can lead to more severe health complications such as heart disease, kidney disease, and nerve damage.
Some crucial lifestyle changes that can help you avoid this disease involves maintaining a healthy weight, eating a balanced diet with low sugar and refined carbohydrates, and exercising regularly.
Obesity is a condition where the body has an excessive amount of body fat. A poor diet and lack of exercise often cause this condition. Obesity can lead to a number of health complications, such as heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
You can keep on a healthy weight through regular exercise and a balanced diet. This means limiting the intake of processed and high-calorie foods, and increasing the intake of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Furthermore, avoiding sugary drinks and alcohol, and getting enough sleep can also help prevent obesity.
4. Cardiovascular Diseases (CVDs)
Cardiovascular diseases are a group of diseases that affect the heart and blood vessels. A poor diet, lack of exercise, and smoking often cause these diseases. Some of the most common CVDs in Nigeria include heart disease, stroke, and hypertension.
To prevent cardiovascular disease, Nigerians should adopt healthy habits such as regular exercise, a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, and avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.
Cancer is a group of diseases that are characterized by the growth of abnormal cells in the body. Lifestyle factors such as smoking, alcohol consumption, and poor diet are major risk factors for certain types of cancer, such as lung, breast, and colon cancer.
There are certain changes a typical Nigerian can take to reduce their risk of getting cancer. This includes avoiding tobacco, processed foods and excessive alcohol consumption. In addition, maintain a healthy weight, and eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables.
6. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a group of lung diseases that make it difficult to breathe. Smoking is a major risk factor for COPD, and it is the leading cause of this disease in Nigeria.
If you want to lower your risk of getting COPD, endeavour to avoid exposure to air pollution, including secondhand smoke, and occupational dust and chemicals.
7. Liver Disease
Liver disease is a group of diseases that affect the liver. Alcohol consumption is a major risk factor for liver disease, and it is one of the leading causes of this disease in Nigeria.
If you want to minimise your risk of getting liver disease, you must avoid excessive alcohol consumption, maintain a healthy weight, and get vaccinated against hepatitis.
8. Mental health disorders
Although is not spoken of enough in Nigeria, most Nigerians suffer from mental health issues due to the lifestyle they live. Some mental health disorders include depression, anxiety, and substance abuse disorders.
Key habits you can develop to avoid mental health disorders includes seeking help and support when needed, maintaining healthy relationships/support systems, and practicing self-care.
Prevention and Management of Lifestyle Diseases in Nigeria
Prevention and management of lifestyle diseases in Nigeria require a holistic approach that involves both the individual and the healthcare system. Some of the measures that can be taken to prevent and manage lifestyle diseases in Nigeria include:
Promoting healthy lifestyles: Promoting healthy lifestyles, such as healthy eating and regular exercise, is essential in preventing lifestyle diseases in Nigeria. This can be achieved through public health campaigns, school health programs, and workplace wellness programs.
Regular medical check-ups: Regular medical check-ups can help to identify lifestyle diseases early and prevent them from progressing to more severe health complications.
Access to healthcare: Access to healthcare is essential in preventing and managing lifestyle diseases in Nigeria. This includes access to healthcare facilities, healthcare professionals, and essential medicines.
Health insurance: Health insurance is essential in providing access to healthcare for all Nigerians, regardless of their socio-economic status.
Lifestyle diseases are a growing concern in Nigeria, and they can have a significant impact on the health and well-being of individuals and communities. However, there is good news: many of these diseases can be prevented through simple lifestyle changes. And Nigerians can significantly reduce their risk of developing these diseases by making habit modifications.
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