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Diet-related Diseases and therapy

Diet-related diseases - 10 diseases as a result of eating habits.

You want to learn more about nutrition-related diseases? Then you've come to the right place! Our eating habits are often the cause of many serious complaints. Unfortunately, many people eat a very one-sided or unhealthy diet because they know too little about the importance and effects of their own diet.

The leading Causes of mortality in industrialized countries are, above all, cardiovascular diseases and cancer. An unhealthy lifestyle provides the breeding ground for these diseases to spread, so that ultimately the wrong diet, among other things, becomes a risk of disease.

An appropriate one, wholefood diet can have a preventive as well as a therapeutic effect on diseases and thus make a major contribution to the Improvement of the attitude to life and life expectancy.

In this article we discuss 10 disease patterns as a result of improper nutrition, as well as their Causes, consequences and treatment options.

In advance you will find here a short Table of contents about the contribution:

  1. Overweight and obesity
  2. Diabetes
  3. Hypertension
  4. Atherosclerosis
  5. Cancer
  6. Osteoporosis
  7. Gout
  8. Diarrhea
  9. Constipation
  10. Metabolic syndrome

Notice: This article is not a substitute for medical advice, but only provides general information about diet-related diseases. Please see your doctor if you feel unwell or want to prevent health problems with medical care.

1. overweight and obesity

Two-thirds of men and just over half of all women in Germany are overweight. Just under a quarter of adults are severely overweight, i.e. obese. This not only has serious health consequences for individuals, but also places a burden of as much as 29 billion euros on the healthcare system.

Nutritional development of obesity

In most cases, obesity is caused by a combination of improper diet, lack of activity and exercise, as well as diseases of the thyroid gland. Eating habits are primarily shaped by infancy and childhood, the social environment and psychological factors. Poor nutrition then becomes a general risk of disease, as obesity often leads to other nutrition-related diseases.

Diagnosis of overweight and obesity

For this, above all the Body Mass Index (BMI) is used. This corresponds to the formula "kg/m²". If the result is above 25, it is called overweight. If the result is even above 30, this is a strong indication of obesity. However, one must criticize the BMI because it only considers the body weight and not the weight distribution, i.e. the ratio of body fat to muscle mass. This is because, although particularly muscular people weigh more than others, they are by no means overweight or obese. Therefore, a useful, further indicator of overweight is the Waist circumference, see table.

GenderincreasesExtremely elevated
male> 94> 102
female> 80> 88
Waist circumference in cm for the diagnosis of overweight

Consequences of obesity and improper nutrition

Diet-related diseases such as overweight and obesity primarily increase the Risk of secondary diseases. These include type 2 diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, cancer, gout, blood clotting disorders, gallstones, non-alcoholic fatty liver, sleep apnea, skeletal and musculoskeletal disorders, fertility disorders, skin disorders, reduced mobility and endurance, and psychosocial problems. Phew, that's quite a list, but fortunately there are things you can do about it.

Dealing with overweight and obesity

The treatment of overweight and obesity lies in reversing the cause. When diseases are caused by an inappropriate lifestyle, they can be treated with an appropriate lifestyle. Specifically, this means a change in diet to one that is wholesome, plant-based diet, with appropriate caloric intake, as well as the Reduction of processed food such as sugar or white flour.

The change of diet should be accompanied by a Increase the level of activity can be combined by the patient starting to move more. You don't even have to start with sports: Climbing stairs instead of taking the elevator, going for a walk, or riding a bike to work instead of taking the car are also good first steps.

2. diabetes mellitus (type 2)

Diabetes type 2 as a result of diet

Another diet-related disease is diabetes mellitus type 2. In this disease, formerly also known as "senile diabetes," patients suffer from pathologically elevated blood glucose levels.

Notice: Only type 2 is due to insulin resistance caused by an unbalanced diet. Diabetes mellitus Type 1 is not a diet-related disease, but is probably due to genetic and environmental factors.

Nutritional development of diabetes

The cause of the pathologically elevated blood glucose level is insulin resistance. This is caused by overeating and the increased storage of abdominal fat. Accordingly, the main factors are Overweight, malnutrition and lack of exercise to the risk factors.

Diagnostic options for diabetes

There are several measurements that can be used to diagnose this diet-related disease. The Blood glucose values can be measured either in the morning as fasting blood glucose or in the course of the day as casual blood glucose. The HBa1Cc value is considered a long-term parameter and shows the average blood glucose concentration over several weeks. Accordingly, this value is optimal for diagnosing diabetes.

Risks and secondary diseases of diabetes

Late damages that can occur with diabetes are atherosclerosis, neurological disorders, diseases of the retina, and inflammation and vascular changes in the kidneys.

Prevention and therapy

Since diabetes mellitus type 2 is a disease resulting from an unbalanced diet, a major contribution to preventing the disease lies in changing eating behavior and - in general - also lifestyle. Just as with obesity, this means increasing physical activity in combination with a wholesome diet with adequate calorie intake.

A vegan whole food diet can be beneficial in type 2 diabetes because of the increased fiber content, the Reduction of saturated fatty acids, as well as the absence of the Risk factor meat not only preventive, but even therapeutic effect.

3. high blood pressure

Heart disease as a diet-related disease

Diseases of the Cardiovascular system represent the most common cause of death worldwide at around 30 percent. In Germany alone, a total of 331,211 people died of cardiovascular diseases in 2019. Despite increasing life expectancy in Western countries, the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease is growing. The most common diet-related diseases of the cardiovascular system are hypertension and atherosclerosis.

Hypertension, also known as hypertension, is a modern civilization disease with which about 44 percent of Germans live. On average, men are somewhat more susceptible to hypertension than women. Hypertension is a major risk factor for other diet-related secondary diseases.

Wrong diet leads to high blood pressure

Nutritional risk factors for high blood pressure are obesity, a high intake of saturated fatty acids, and the consumption of meat, fish and eggs. Other factors are stress, nicotine, alcohol and increased consumption of table salt, as well as increased age.

Hypertension diagnosis

Blood pressure is measured in mmHg, and officially one is considered hypertensive at a value of 140 over 90 or higher.

Notice: In recent years, the threshold values for blood pressure have been lowered further and further. In 1980, the limit value was still 160 to 100, whereas in the meantime one speaks of first-degree hypertension at 140 to 90. This lowering of the limit values ensures that far more people are considered "ill" and that the sales figures for blood pressure lowering drugs provide high profits for the pharmaceutical industry. The exciting SWR documentary "In the Land of Lies" shows that this occurred similarly for diabetes thresholds. Nevertheless, high blood pressure can be a serious disease risk.

Risks due to high blood pressure

High blood pressure leads to atherosclerotic changes and can promote diseases of the kidney, atherosclerosis, and heart attacks or strokes.

Proper nutrition for hypertension

Here, too, the key lies in the reversal from an unhealthy to an healthy lifestyle. A plant based diet With sufficient Fruit and vegetables, unsaturated fatty acids and a appropriate calorie intake form the basis for prevention and therapy. Especially a high intake of fruits and vegetables works wonders, as they provide the beneficial minerals Potassium, Magnesium and Calcium in high quantities. The intake of saturated fatty acids and trans fatty acids, on the other hand, should be reduced.

In addition to natural treatment, drug therapy can also help by decreasing blood volume and thus reducing the tension in the vessels.

Tip: At Prevent heart disease you will receive further valuable health tips!

4. atherosclerosis

In the case of atherosclerosis, one speaks of a Calcification of the blood vesselsThese become clogged and lose their elasticity due to the deposition of excess substances. The risk increases with age and on average men are affected more often than women.

Malnutrition and atherosclerosis

Atherosclerosis is mainly caused by an unhealthy diet, resulting in impaired glucose tolerance, poor blood lipid levels, and overweight and obesity. Other diet-related factors include elevated lipoprotein, diabetes mellitus, and elevated homocysteine levels. Risk factors that cannot be influenced are genetic predisposition, gender, and increasing age.

Diagnosis of atherosclerosis

Blood lipid levels are a first indication of atherosclerosis. If the values are poor or one belongs to the risk group, the blood vessels can be examined with an ultrasound, electrocardiogram or cardiac catheterization.

Potential consequences of atherosclerosis

The deposits in the blood vessels increase the blood pressure on the one hand, on the other hand it can lead to serious Blockages of the vessels come. Rather harmless consequences of this are Lack of blood circulation or Numbness. Blockages directly at the heart are problematic, as these can lead to the Heart attack lead. Atherosclerosis is thus a particularly dangerous diet-associated disease.

Healthy diet for atherosclerosis therapy

Nutritional therapy for atherosclerosis proceeds in almost the same way as for hypertension. In addition, however, an increased intake of Omega-3 fatty acids recommended, as they are considered anti-atherosclerotic.

5. cancer

In the case of cancer, there is increased cell growth or tissue formation, which in the worst case can lead to death.

Improper diet and cancer

The breeding ground for cancer often lies in lifestyle and an unbalanced diet. Excess weight, animal proteins, too little fiber and many grilled, cured and smoked foods increase the risk of cancer. The exact Share of the diet in the development of cancer is difficult to study, but is likely to be around 30 to 35 percent and should therefore be weighted more heavily than nicotine or alcohol consumption.

Cancer prevention through vegan diet

Sick from food? Vegan diet as a healthy alternative

A vegan diet offers many benefits in terms of cancer prevention. It contains No animal proteins and is less likely to lead to obesity. Instead, fruits and vegetables, dietary fiber and various secondary phytochemicals, as well as Selenium the risk of developing cancer.

Tip: Especially many Dietary fiber are in Legumes, like Chickpeas, beans or lentils contain.

6. osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is often also Bone loss often develops insidiously and results in an increased risk of bone fractures. In fact, the body is constantly building up and breaking down bones. However, these processes are also dependent on certain nutrients and physical activity, among other things.

Development of osteoporosis due to wrong lifestyle

Risk factors that favor the development of osteoporosis are lack of exercise, alcohol, caffeine and nicotine consumption, a too low Vitamin D-levels and, above all, diet. Diet-related factors include a high consumption animal proteins, to little calcium, fruits and vegetables, as well as a high supply of Phosphate and Table salt.

Detection of osteoporosis

To diagnose osteoporosis, bone density in critical areas is examined with a weak X-ray. This procedure is called the DXA method and determines the so-called T-value. Its reference values are shown in the following table.

Normal value> -1,00
Osteopenia (precursor)-1.01 to -2.49
Osteoporosis< -2,5
Reference values for the T value in the DXA method

Nutrition-based osteoporosis therapy

Nutritional therapy for osteoporosis includes appropriate Calcium intake of at least 525 mg/day, sufficient fruits and vegetables, and supplementation of Vitamin Das this is needed for calcium absorption. Soy products also seem to have a positive effect, which is possibly due to Soy isoflavones lies.

Optimally, nutritional therapy is supplemented with muscle-building training and balance exercises to strengthen the muscles and minimize the risk of falls.

7. gout

Gout is a Purine metabolic disease, in which painful swelling and inflammation result from the deposition of uric acid crystals on the joints. Since purines are absorbed through food, gout is a diet-related disease.

Wrong diet leads to gout

Uric acid is an end product of purine breakdown - and if the kidney fails to excrete sufficient uric acid, the crystallization process occurs. Thus, purine-rich foods, such as meat, sausage, offal, fish and marine products are avoided. In fact, low purine intake can lower the uric acid level so that uric acid is excreted by the kidney and the crystallization process does not occur.

However, it is exciting to note that plant sources of purine, compared to animal sources, do not show a comparable increase in uric acid.

Detection of gout

To diagnose gout, the uric acid level is measured. The reference range for men is 3.4 to 7.0 mg/100 ml and for women between 2.4 and 5.4 mg/100 ml.

Proper diet for gout

A whole-food, plant-based diet can work wonders for gout. By feeding hardly any purines, the uric acid level drops and no further crystallization occurs. The body can gradually break down existing crystals and the symptoms disappear. Furthermore, it is recommended to avoid alcohol and isolated fructose.

Prevent diseases through plant-based nutrition

8. diarrhea

Diarrhea can have various causes. In secretory diarrhea, the underlying cause is a bacterial or viral infection. The body then tries to eliminate the bacteria and viruses as quickly as possible, so drug treatment to hold back the diarrhea is critical. A safe alternative to this is the Moro carrot soup (also Moro soup The long cooking of the carrots results in the formation of so-called acid oligogalacturonides, which dock onto the germs in the intestine so that they are eliminated more quickly.

It is also particularly important that the body receives sufficient fluids so as not to become dehydrated. After a diarrheal illness, it makes sense to rebuild the body with prebiotics and probiotics. Prebiotics are virtually the "food" of the probiotic bacterial cultures.

"In the gut lies the origin of health or disease."

Chinese proverb

9. constipation

Constipation or constipation is considered to be a subjectively perceived inadequate defecation. According to the official definition, constipation is when one eliminates less than three times per week or less than 35 grams per day.

There are various causes of constipation, such as the Life circumstances and psychological factors. Accordingly, there is no general form of therapy, but it must be adapted to the exact cause. In general, it can be said that laxatives should only be used for a short period of time, because if they are taken for a longer period of time, the intestines become sluggish and work less.

Simple means are physical activity, stress reduction and a Adjustment of the diet. In case of diarrhea, eat less animal products, instead increase the intake of fiber, fluids, fruits and vegetables. Psyllium husks can be particularly helpful.

Tip: A diet rich in fruits and vegetables leads to diversity of intestinal flora. In vegans come more protective and anti-inflammatory bacteria in the intestine than in people with a mixed diet. Due to the increased fiber intake in the plant-based diet, more short-chain fatty acids are metabolized and the pH value in the stool becomes more acidic. This reduces the number of pathogenic putrefactive bacteria.

10. metabolic syndrome

The metabolic syndrome consists of four indicatorswhich together form a major risk factor for fatal cardiovascular diseases. For this reason, the metabolic syndrome is often also called deadly quartet called. These include:

  • abdominal obesity
  • Hypertension
  • poor blood lipid levels or lipometabolic disorders
  • Increased blood glucose level or insulin resistance

Metabolic syndrome can also be classified as a diet-related disease, as all four conditions are due to poor nutrition. The good thing is that with the right diet, you can reverse the symptoms.

Diet-related diseases are preventable!

Sick from food? It doesn't have to be. With a balanced, plant-based diet, you can do a lot for your health - both prevent and cure disease. Of course, this doesn't apply to every disease, but you can reverse many diet-related illnesses with a change in lifestyle.

Do you have questions, tips or your own experience with diseases as a result of a bad diet? Then feel free to write me a comment.

All the best,

Julian from CareElite

P.S.: If you want to know even more about healthy living, I recommend the articles on Barefoot running, Yoga, Cold showers and more energy in everyday life. Have fun!

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Julian Hölzer

Hi, my name is Julian and I am a trained vegan nutritionist. In 2016 I started to get involved with veganism and quickly learned how big an impact our diet has on the environment and how diverse plant-based diets can be. That's why I want to inspire you to get involved with veganism too.

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