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4 Common Medical Conditions that Affect the South Asian Community the Most in the UK

by in Health Tips, Healthy Foods, Lifestyle, Nutritional Benefits, Wellbeing, Wellness 24th September 2020

Your heritage and cultural background shouldn’t matter, but when it comes to certain medical conditions, it might put you more at risk. In the UK, the South Asian community has 4 common medical conditions that are popping up in record numbers. If you’re Asian or South Indian living in the UK, you have a much higher risk for the following 4 conditions.

1. Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes occurs when your body can’t control its blood sugar levels and they get too high. This chronic condition is one you should really watch out for because it can lead to other severe health problems.

It doesn’t just come on suddenly though. Usually, poor lifestyle habits over time lead to a condition known as prediabetes. At this point, your blood sugar will be higher than normal, but you can still prevent it if you get treatment. 

Since type 2 diabetes doesn’t just happen overnight, the symptoms you experience may be so subtle, you might miss them. You should keep an eye out to see if you’re urinating more frequently, especially at night. Also, increases in both thirst and hunger are another clue. People that have type 2 diabetes usually feel hungry no matter how recently they’ve eaten something. 

With type 2 diabetes, you’ll find your energy levels are always low. Your vision may be blurry in one or both eyes, sometimes coming and going. Without treatment, the damage to your blood vessels could result in permanent vision loss. 

When blood sugar levels are high, it can also lead to nerve and blood vessel damage. You might notice any small cuts and wounds take quite some time to heal (such as weeks or months rather than days). Even worse you may experience neuropathy which feels like tingling, numbness, or pain in your hands or feet. Other things you may see are dark patches of skin where your skin creases and yeast infections.

Keep an eye out for these symptoms and if you notice any of them, it’s time to get a blood test to be sure so you can prevent your health from getting worse.

2. Obesity

Obesity is a dangerous medical condition that affects the South Asian community simply because it can lead to other ones that will significantly shorten your life span. You can determine whether or not you’re obese by taking your weight in kilograms and dividing it by your height in meters squared. This will give you your body mass index (BMI). If the number you get is 30 or higher, you are obese.

Generally speaking, if you are overweight, you might be obese. Calculating this number will help you know for sure. If your BMI is above 30, you’ll want to work on changing your lifestyle immediately to eat nutritiously and exercise. You may want to engage a nutritionist or health expert to help you along to your goals. Left untreated, obesity can lead to type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, several types of cancer, osteoarthritis, asthma, and stroke. 

3. High Cholesterol 

The condition of having high cholesterol is called hyperlipidaemia. Your body makes cholesterol, a type of fat, but you’ll also find it in highly processed foods. The older you are, the more you must watch your cholesterol levels.

While it’s true that poor diet and lack of exercise contribute to high cholesterol levels, your genes also play a role. The South Asian community is greatly at risk because of it. Unfortunately, you can’t spot any symptoms of high cholesterol. Most people are unaware they have it, making it all the more dangerous. It’s important to get your cholesterol checked out to keep it at the right levels.

Neglecting to do so can cause hypertension, which is when your blood pressure gets too high. It will build up in your blood vessels and can cause clots that lead to heart attack or stroke..

4. Heart Disease

Heart disease or cardiovascular disease refers to a variety of conditions that have narrowed or even blocked your blood vessels. It’s often called the silent killer because people tend to ignore the symptoms until things get too severe and present in the form of heart attack or stroke.

To make things more complicated, symptoms present themselves differently in men and women. Men will usually have chest pains while women will usually experience extreme fatigue, shortness of breath, and even nausea. Don’t ignore chest pain, tightness, pressure, or discomfort. If you have shortness of breath when you’re at rest or feel pain in your neck, throat, jaw, back, or upper abdomen, you should seek immediate medical attention.

There are different forms of heart disease too. By far, coronary artery disease (CAD) is the most common. While you might not know you have it, taking steps to manage your health now can greatly reduce your chances of complications. You should monitor your blood pressure regularly, eat a healthy diet, get plenty of exercise, and minimize your stress.

What You Can Do for Your Health in the South Asian Community

Rather than live in fear and worry which only adds more stress that will complicate any condition, you should take steps to manage your health. It can be scary, but you don’t need to do it alone.

Wellness coaching can help you learn to make the right changes to your lifestyle so you can feel better. Aiverley Wellness can help you online in the comfort of your home by teaching you what to eat while still enjoying eating and getting into healthy habits that will ensure your health for years to come. Get the guidance you need today!

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