This essay discusses the different life style issues that affect people’s health. Many diseases and disorders result from lifestyle choices. Through life style changes, individuals can afford a life free from diseases. Physical exercise and proper relaxation have been identified as critical to avoiding stress, obesity and even other complicated conditions like cancer.
By avoiding smoking, alcohol and drug abuse, individuals avoid associated diseases and social problems. This essay covers issues to do with stress, tobacco use, alcohol consumption, drug abuse, diabetes and cancer. For each of the mentioned issues, I consider the causes and best ways of stopping or limiting related destructive behavior.
Stress happens when we are stretched or straining. Straining can happen in the psychological, physical, emotional or mental self. When one thinks a lot, it will translate into stress. The same happens when one does too much physical activity. Stress can largely be associated with unhealthy lifestyles. Unhealthy lifestyles are characterized by overdoing of some things and neglect of given aspects of self. For example, people who over eat are likely to suffer from stress induced by effects of overweight.
Stress often registers both as a feeling and a physical condition (Ratcliff 69). Some people realize they are stressed when they start to behave in certain awkward ways e.g. making simple mistakes at work.
Stress induces sleeplessness, headaches, stomachaches, general tension in the body, general fatigue, bouts of anger, nervousness, lack of appetite, overeating, mood swings, loss of enthusiasm for life and unexplained anxiety (Ratcliff 52). The signs and symptoms vary from individual to individual. In extreme cases, individuals turn to drug abuse or alcoholic tendencies when stressed.
To avoid stress, individuals have to learn to balance work and relaxation. Life is neither about work nor leisure. Everything has to be done in the right dose i.e. work hard but also relax enough. For students, stress management would require budgeting well for time. The timetables should allow for study time, physical exercise time and some time of pure relaxation.
Tobacco smoking has been practiced for a very long time. Many people smoke tobacco for pleasure. Smoking is an addiction that people take to out of influence especially from company. Tobacco has chemical properties so that when inhaled they activate the body and make the body alert (Connolly 22).
Smoking tobacco has been scientifically proved to be the cause of many breathes system related complications and cancer. Smoke particle perforate the lungs in the long run leading to lung failure or lung cancers (Connolly 37). It is also known that tobacco smoke contains carcinogens which affect body cells making them cancerous.
Widespread smoking is associated with advertisement or marketing campaigns by tobacco companies. In the advertisement, thought currently, highly restricted, smokers were depicted as the cool guys (Connolly 75). Smoking was associated with achievement or being super.
Currently, despite antismoking campaigns, smoking continues. As an individual, I can not imagine myself smoking because there is no recorded benefit that one gains from smoking. More sensitization and legislation against tobacco smoking is a sure way of stopping and limiting smoking.
Alcohol is used almost world wide. Continued use of alcoholic drinks results in addiction and development of health problems. Individuals who are addicted to alcohol have a compulsion to be drunk always. Stress, socio-economic problems or frustration is the key reason why people become alcoholics. Those who start taking alcohol at a young age are more likely to become alcohol dependent (Goodwin 18).
Alcoholism has many negative effects in the life of an individual. Continued dependence on alcohol translates into an individual draining his or her finances. Alcohol is one of the greatest expenditure for alcoholics. Alcoholics develop ill health due to the effect of alcohol on the liver (Goodwin 10).
There are also a number of cognitive problems associated with excessive consumption of alcohol. Alcoholics also develop negative social behavior e.g. withdrawing from social activity, becoming abusive and intolerant. In the extreme conditions, alcoholism makes individuals to develop suicidal behavior; when drunk, the fear of doing the unthinkable is found. Furthermore, alcoholics tend towards violence and such deviance as rape or other crimes.
Alcoholism is managed through use of medicines and therapy (Goodwin 133). It is considered that given the effects of alcohol on the body, detoxification or purification is necessary. Group therapy or counseling is necessary to help people confront and acknowledge that alcoholism is a problem they have. Group therapy is encouraging as it helps one realize there are others suffering from the same but breaking from it is possible. The best way of dealing with alcoholism is avoiding alcohol completely.
Drug abuse is use of generally associated with use of certain drugs that make an individual psychoactive or enhances performance (Abadinsky 2). There are a number of drugs that produce unhealthy reactions in the human body. They suppress the nervous system, induce over secretion of fight or flight hormones, or generally lead to over-excitement.
In the long run, such drugs either impair ones mental capacity or physical performance. Examples of such drugs include opium, cocaine, heroine etc. although the drugs, on the short term, induce a happy feeling in the user; in the long run they are addictive and affect the individual adversely.
Drug abuse often causes individuals a lot of problems. When found out, drug abuse often carries some form of criminal penalty. People who abuse drugs also have high propensity towards violence, unprotected sex, lawlessness, crime, and suicide. Drug abuse also leads to addiction or dependence that makes individuals virtually unproductive. It has been proved that some drugs when used cause physiological damage to the brain and the nervous system (Abadinsky 18). Many psychiatric problems result from drug abuse e.g. smoking of bhang.
Generally, efforts to limit or control abuse of drugs are effected through legislation and harmful effect sensitization. It is criminal to handle or use certain substances such as heroine or cocaine (Abadinsky 37). Government, non governmental organizations and even religions do a lot to sensitize community against drug abuse. As an individual, being principled and avoiding peer pressure comes in handy in avoiding the drug abuse traps.
Diabetes is a condition that results in the body not being able to regulate blood sugar. This is caused by the pancreas producing less or too much insulin (Moran and Merriman 3). Due to the insulin available being in abnormal amount, it does not work properly producing an abnormal condition in the body. This happens when one eats too many sugary food stuffs, due to bacteria attack or exposure to chemical toxins.
Although diabetes is sometimes inherited, many cases of the disease are acquired due to lifestyle related issues. Eating of sugary things contributes in a big way to occurrence of diabetes cases (Moran and Merriman 41). From very early ages, parents often find themselves trapped in appeasing their children with sweet things as cakes and sweets.
However, these sweet foods only increase blood sugar to the level where the pancreas becomes overworked or the insulin produced is not enough to facilitate breakdown of sugar. Lack of physical exercise also contributes in a big way to sugar levels going high (Moran and Merriman 73). Physical exercise uses energy which is obtained from breakdown of sugar thus leading to reduction of blood sugar levels.
To avoid diabetes, one has to regulate the amount of sugary foods he or she takes. Physical exercise is critical for proper metabolism and catabolism in the body. This helps towards breakdown or use of much blood sugar, reducing risk of overworking pancreas.
Cancer refers to a condition when body cells grow uncontrollably forming a lump called a tumor. There are different kinds of tumor that register in the body in different ways. Some cancerous cells (cells that are growing abnormally and replicating out of control) spread around the body while others are often localized. When cancerous lumps or tumors form, they affect the normal flow in the body. They normal destroy the body system within which they grow.
Cancer is believed to be hereditary i.e. it inherited through the genetic disposition in families. Old age is the second uncontrollable factor that disposes people to cancer.
In old age the immune system becomes weaker and possibility of cell mutations I higher. However, it also largely depends on exposure to certain risks in life. Carcinogens are known to increase likelihood of getting cancer as they damage DNA thus leading to cells growing uncontrollably (Anderson 29). Smoking is widely believed to be the number one contributor to carcinogens presence in the human body.
Carcinogen is also accessed through inhaling exhaust fumes. Many sexually transmitted disease causing viruses are also closely associated with cancer and they lower body immunity. Eating a poor diet puts an individual at the risk of cancer because body immunity and proper cell formation is depended on diet. Lack of exercising and obesity are associated with cancer because proper functioning of body is affected.
Cancer can be prevented through avoiding of certain destructive behaviors. Smoking and drinking alcohol only raise the risks of getting cancer. Individuals have to avoid expressing themselves to the chemicals and radiation that is also associated with cell mutation (Anderson 123). Individuals have to eat right because health largely depends on what individuals eat.
This essay considers the different destructive behaviors that people engage in. From the different issues discussed, it is clear that lifestyle choices play a critical role in ensuring health living. It is advisable that individuals eat well, avoid smoking, resist any form of drug abuse, do physical exercises and avoid exposure to harmful chemicals or radiation to avoid risk of disease or other social defects.
Abadinsky Howard. Drug Abuse: An Introduction.3rd Ed. Chicago: Nelson-Hall Publishers, 1997
Anderson, Greg. Cancer: 50 Essential Things to Do. 3rd Ed. New York: Plume, 2009.
Connolly, Sean. Tobacco. Mankato: Black Rabbit Books, 2006.
Goodwin, Donald W. Alcoholism, the Facts.3rd Ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000
Moran, Katherine, and Merriman Lisa. Diabetes: The Ultimate Teen Guide. New York:Scarecrow Press, 2004
Ratcliffe, Gail. Take Control Of Your Life: The Five Step Stress Management Plan. London: Simon & Schuster, 1995