How to Fight The Silent Killers

26 Jun 2023

Lifestyle diseases are like highly trained assassins. They turn visible only just before they turn lethal. Whether it is diabetes, hypertension, cancer, cardiovascular diseases or other common lifestyle diseases, they have this silent character that escapes attention in the initial stages.

For argument’s sake you might say that for somebody who undergoes yearly health screenings, this is not the case. That these diseases can be detected well before they turn lethal. And technically you are correct. But not really in a practical sense.

Say, your yearly screening when you are 45 detects that you have developed moderate to serious hypertension or type 2 diabetes. You are referred to a specialist, and what is the first thing you will hear? That this condition is irreversible and that you need to be on lifelong daily medication.

Of course, there will be the customary lip service about undertaking lifestyle modifications – eat less, exercise more, stress less, sleep more etc. You will be told that these too will help you, but that in no case can you skip lifelong daily pills. That in itself is lethal, to put it mildly. Why so, you may wonder.

Neither the specialist nor you are really believing that your lifestyle is going to change dramatically overnight. As Dostoevsky opined once, most humans cannot change much after 40 years of age. Hence, the reliance on this nifty shortcut of daily pills. But the problem isn’t the pills themselves.

What most of these pills do is provide temporary solutions to ease the symptoms. A pill for type 2 diabetes would either decrease the cellular insulin resistance or encourage the production of insulin. Similarly, a pill for hypertension would either encourage the body to get rid of water, or relax the blood vessels or make the heart pump with lesser force. But all these are purely temporary solutions that last only 12 to 24 hours.

Instead, what would have really helped you is going full blast on lifestyle modifications including diet, exercise, weight loss, sleep and stress reduction, as these strike at the root causes of these lifestyle diseases so much so that you may not need to rely on such daily pills at all. Of course it is easier said than done.

But the wonder of lifestyle modifications is that they are not just capable of disease management but capable of disease prevention. While there are no preventive pills for any of these diseases, there are specific lifestyle modifications that definitely fall into the realm of preventive methods.

Such lifestyle modifications are called epigenetic, as they can override even your genetic predispositions to developing certain lifestyle diseases. Epigenetic lifestyle changes achieve this without actually changing your genetic codes or DNA, but by changing a process called gene expression.

We all have some inherited genetic risks for developing specific lifestyle diseases, but these conditions would develop only if these problematic genes get expressed or triggered by faulty lifestyles like improper diets, sedentary life, poor sleep quality, too much stress and other environmental factors.

Epigenetic lifestyle changes fortify the body at a systemic or cellular level so much so that these disease-encoded genes are discouraged from getting triggered. But what qualifies certain lifestyle modifications as epigenetic? There are many factors, but two among them deserve your maximum attention.

Firstly, they should be sharply targeted at the actual genetic level risks you personally have. This calls for a detailed genetic test as well as a comprehensive metabolic assessment. Solutions like Vieroots EPLIMO does this and also enables the prescription of research-validated lifestyle modifications that are truly personalized for your risks.

Secondly, epigenetic lifestyle modifications need to be as comprehensive as possible. In other words, personalised lifestyle modifications should span diet, nutrition, supplements, exercise, yoga, meditation, breathwork, de-stressing, detoxing, effective alternatives like herbal formulations etc. for such modifications to be fully effective in keeping your disease risks at bay.

Just like how effective counterintelligence measures can mount effective surveillance measures that detect and thwart assassins much before they get close to their goal, personalised epigenetic lifestyle modification solutions like EPLIMO can foil the genetic designs and lifestyle triggers that work together to mount a threat to your life.

Yesterday, on June 16, Americans were in for a shock as ENDO 2023, the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting witnessed a study that revealed that another silent killer has been rising faster than most other lifestyle diseases. This killer has got a new name too now, MAFLD, which stands for Metabolic Associated Fatty Liver Disease.

It is none other than the disease that was earlier called Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD), and its prevalence has soared from 16% of the US population in 1988 to a staggering 37% now. In other words, more than one in three Americans now have this disease that is more silent than diabetes, hypertension or heart disease, but as lethal if left undetected and untreated.

This report holds a special warning for India too, as in 2021 itself, a major survey had found that one in three Indians had MAFLD, which if left untreated, can act as the number one causative factor for liver fibrosis, cirrhosis, liver cancer or liver failure that calls for transplantation. Fortunately, there are genetic and metabolic factors behind this silent killer that a test like EPLIMO can detect years before it actually develops, so that MAFLD can be kept at bay by epigenetic lifestyle modifications.

Daily exercise for an adequate time is one of the best ways to keep MAFLD and most lifestyle diseases at bay, and today you also have lifestyle modification communities like Limoverse that reward you financially for keeping yourself active. The HealthFi Burn2Earn program of Limoverse that was launched recently is based on NFT Sneakers and wearables like smartwatches that count your calories burnt and reward you proportionately with Limo crypto tokens into your wallets.

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