Death, it’s certainly a taboo topic- at least in the part of the world we live in. Unlike some other cultures that celebrate the departing of life, we tend to shy away from it. It scares us, we don’t like talking about it or even thinking about it too much. Even the simple act of making a will or discussing funeral plans can be upsetting for many of us. However, whatever your feelings are on the matter, one fact remains clear- there’s no escaping it. Each and every one of us will come to the end of our lives at some point. It makes no sense to fear death, but of course, none of us want to welcome it either and so living a life that’s as healthy and long as possible is important. Your religion or spirituality might suggest that you’ll come back again, but the truth remains that no one really knows. We really might just get this one shot at it and that’s it. Which is why, when you look a the leading causes of death in the US they’re almost all preventable. Meaning people are cutting their lives short, missing out on time spent with loved ones purely due to the decisions that they make. Here are some of the top causes of death, and what you can do if you’re at risk.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US. And in some cases, there’s not much you can do about your risk- some people are born with heart issues that they’re completely unaware of until it fails. However, the vast majority of heart disease causes are preventable. Alcohol, drug and cigarette use all contribute, and so does diet. Diets high in saturated fats, uncontrolled diabetes and obesity all add to the risk. Losing weight and exercising regularly (under the advice of your GP) is one of the most beneficial things you can do. A diet high in fibre is effective for preventing heart disease, and eating a balanced diet with plenty of fresh produce. It sounds simple but that really is all you need to do, and you could prevent heart issues that could cut your life short.
Again, with some cancers there really is nothing you can do about them. They can affect even the healthiest of people, they affect the young, the old and often there’s no real explanation for why some individuals get cancer and others don’t. But of course, many kinds of cancers are completely preventable, and by following a healthy lifestyle plan you can avoid them. Cancer screenings are really useful as they can detect changes either before cancer starts or at the earliest and treatable stages. So if your doctor invites you to a screening then it’s so worth going.
Type two diabetes is a result of the body not using insulin properly. It causes your blood sugars to be thrown out of whack, causing all kinds of issues with the body from foot ulcers to blindness, numbness and tingling in the body and can even lead to death. Being obese increases your chances massively, with over eighty percent of cases being in obese and overweight individuals. While it can be managed with lifestyle and medication, it can lead to all kinds of unpleasant effects in the body and many diabetics die each year as a result of complications with their illness. Keeping your weight down, and having your blood sugars checked annually can be useful in keeping diabetes at bay. If you’re shown to have elevated blood sugar levels then lifestyle changes could reverse this before it turns to the full blown illness. Since the symptoms are subtle (if any) at first, you might not even realise you have it until damage is done to your body.
Of course, no one plans to end up in an accident. And they’re just that- accidents, they’re not meant to happen. But while you can’t wrap yourself up in cotton wool all your life, there are things you can do to be sensible and prevent them where possible. Always wear your seatbelt in the car, don’t drink to excess, keep windows locked when you have children and be aware of things like drowning risks. Take sensible precautions where possible, it’s easy to think ‘it will never happen to me’ but you just never know.