Lifestyle diseases (the way we live)

Lifestyle diseases (the way we live)

It is increasingly known that the way we live has a big part to play in our health – and our diseases!

Did you know that in higher income countries, over 80% of the top 10 causes of death[i] are due to lifestyle? ... this is a staggering statistic.

This means that the way we choose to live, largely contributes to what makes us sick

Lifestyle diseases are conditions that are the end result of everyday choices of how we care for and treat our body. Our choices accumulate over time in the effect they have on the body, in the same way that repeated rainfall and wind – over time – can cause erosion of a sandstone cliff.

Lifestyle diseases include:

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Type II diabetes
  • Lung disease
  • Cancers
  • Cirrhosis of the liver

The main contributing factors to lifestyle diseases are quite obvious:

  • Smoking
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Poor diet
  • Lack of exercise
  • Being overweight

8 out of the top 10 causes of death are caused by the way we live. And therefore, if we can see that the way that we live can create disease, then we can see that it is equally possible that there is a way to live that creates true health.

To make it really simple:

The way we live is either good for us or is bad for us.

Lifestyle is clearly a strong influencing factor in determining whether we get sick or not, so, when we get sick, does it not make sense to not only treat the condition medically, but also change the way we live?

Lifestyle is the result of choices. Everything that we do comes from a choice:

  • from getting up in the morning
  • to riding a bike
  • to eating chocolate – or not!
  • to drinking alcohol – or not!
  • to choosing when to go to sleep and how to go to sleep – or not!
  • Did you know that we can even choose how we breathe?

Our everyday choices in every way of how we live creates the thing that we call our ‘lifestyle’.

The choices that we make that impact on our health are our choices. Nobody chooses for us. We may agree with others, but it is we ourselves who make the choices of what to put into our body and how to use our body in life.

Thus, we are the ones with the power and the responsibility to amend, alter and refine those choices, to support us to return to health. Isn’t that empowering?

When we have an illness many of us may take the medications, and/or have the surgery, which is great and very needed, but we do not necessarily change anything about the way that we live. This does not make any sense when we can see how important lifestyle is in causing disease and death. If we don’t change the way that we live, isn’t the condition likely to come back/get worse despite medical treatment?

Lifestyle diseases are not random –

they are the cumulative result of choices that harm the body

We cannot eradicate illness and disease, but there is definitely a lot that we can do every day to care for ourselves and develop self-loving ways that support us to be fit and healthy, rather than harming ourselves.

A good start to making healthy choices is:

Lifestyle diseases are now the leading causes of death in Western society and are becoming an increasing global problem. The detrimental effects that unhealthy habits have on your well-being and future are not to be underestimated.

There is nothing random about a lifestyle disease – they come from the choices that we make for ourselves. Because of that, we have the ultimate power to change our lifestyles and minimise our risk of developing a lifestyle disease . . . through the choices that we make every day.


  • [i]

    World Health Organisation. Media Centre Facts Sheets: The top 10 causes of death. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs310/en/index2.html

Filed under

EmpowermentLifestyleHealingSelf-loveLifestyle diseasesHealthy livingDeath

  • By Dr Rachel Hall, Dentist

    Dentist, business owner, writer, author and presenter. Family woman, guitarist, photographer, passionate about health, wellbeing and community. Lover of Vietnamese food, fast cars, social media, café culture and people.