Unfortunately, we can’t stop aging, and so with every passing year our health is put at risk. From vision loss to hearing troubles, these are just some aspects of health that naturally get worse with age. On the other hand, although aging puts you at risk for some health problems, you can actively try to prevent them through healthy lifestyle habits, such as regular exercise, eating well, not smoking, and, of course, getting yourself checked out so you know what your risks are.
Here are six of those preventable health conditions that you don’t have to let your age dictate.
Hypertension and coronary artery disease (CAD)
Our hearts can become weaker over the years, especially with ever-changing hormones. Women especially are at high risk for heart-related problems as their estrogen plummets after menopause.
As cholesterol levels begin to change so can your blood pressure, and high blood pressure is a known risk factor for many heart-related conditions. Therefore, it’s important you get your cholesterol and blood pressure numbers in check in order to reduce your risk of coronary artery disease.
Our metabolisms just aren’t quite the same the older we get, which can mean added pounds even if you haven’t changed your diet. Obesity is another risk factor for health problems contributing to cardiovascular disease, sleep apnea, hypertension, and even type 2 diabetes.
Even if you haven’t changed your diet, you may find that you require additional exercise in order to ward off extra weight.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis which affects the cartilage in-between the joints. This can lead to swelling, pain, and stiffness. Women are more likely to develop osteoporosis compared to men, but both genders still hold a risk.
Gout is the buildup of uric acid in-between small joints – commonly the big toe. Diet plays a large role in gout as many of the foods we eat contain purines that turn into uric acid. You can better prevent gout by reducing your red meat and alcohol consumption.
Gout can also be a sign of poor kidney function, so if you display the symptoms, speak with your doctor to get checked out.
After the age of 50, your risk of gum disease doubles and it doesn’t just affect your oral health. Periodontal disease has been also linked to cardiovascular complications, so it’s important you take good care of your teeth and gums. Ensure you are still visiting your dentist regularly.
A fading memory is becoming a common occurrence of aging, but it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s normal. Symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia can present themselves as early as the age of 50. Alzheimer’s disease has also been shown to run in families, so if you know of a close relative who had it, let your doctor know of your risk.
Many studies have shown the benefits of exercise in warding off dementia, so if you’re not exercising regularly, you may wish to pick up some form of it.
As you can see, although many of these health problems are more common in age, they are not inevitable. Spot the signs early and speak to your doctor about your risk in order to prevent them.