Two of my very close friends have been hit by Hyperlipidemia in the past couple of weeks. They are both around 30 years old. Both had quite a few things in common - software jobs, no exercise, unhealthy diet and stressful and long work hours.
It is quite alarming that at such a young age, they have been diagnosed with a condition for which they will need to be continuously on the watch throughout their lives. We have all started taking our lives so much for granted that we forget the big picture. In this rat race for earning money, especially people in the IT sector have really forgotten what they are working for. It has all become so driven by peer pressure that each individual simply ends up doing what everyone around him or her is doing. No one does what he or she truly wants to do. No one does what he or she truly enjoys doing.
I really feel that the work we are doing is primarily responsible for this. It is the root cause. We become so preoccupied with it that it takes precedence over everything else. We forget that it can be ruining our lives. Because of work, we don't eat good food. Because of work, we don't exercise. And work is a huge contributor to the stress in our lives.
We must never forget that work is only a part of our life. Let us not make it our entire life.
And now a word of caution for those leading similar lives. If you do any of the following - Work at a software company - Put in long hours and work on weekends regularly - Don't exercise at all (no, sex doesn't count as exercise, don't go by what the studies say) - Eat meat at most meals - Smoke and drink regularly
then stop and think. Do you want to die of a heart attack before you turn 40? Think of the unfinished things in your life. The most ironic thing about heart disease is that unless it is genetic, it is mostly our doing. It is totally preventable. Here's how you can prevent it (most of it is common sense and what you've read hundreds of times!)
- Don't let work rule your life. Remember that it can actually kill you. Restrict the time spent at office. Don't bring work home. Change your job if it doesn't allow you this.
- Exercise regularly. Play a game. Find a partner to exercise with so that you can motivate each other.
- Restrict fried food, sweets, red meat. If you really must have this, restrict it to once in a way. Definitely not every day.
- Reduce alcohol consumption. If you must drink, restrict it to social occasions and never binge.
- Quit smoking. No relaxation here!
- Get tested regularly. Get the following tests at least once a year - Complete Blood Picture, Lipid Profile, Complete Urine Examination, Liver function tests, Fasting Blood Sugar and anything else your doctor might want to add based on your medical condition and family history. It is a small price to pay for catching early warning signs and treating effectively.
I often think about my life. I honestly did not have a choice. I did not get kidney disease because of something I did. It came out of the blue. All of a sudden. I did not have a chance to correct anything. You really are much luckier. You have a choice. Most of us think - 'this cannot happen to me'. My two friends did too. It happened to them. It can happen to you too. Don't be smug. Take corrective action. Now.