Age comes with many benefits, such as experience, knowledge, financial and personal stability, and many more. However, it also has many drawbacks, and health problems are probably the toughest to deal with. As you grow older, you will face many challenges – and the earlier you know about them, the more likely you are to avoid them or deal with them successfully.
In this article, you will learn about 9 health issues that appear with age and ways to prevent and treat them. Our list includes cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, cancer, osteoarthritis, diabetes, and osteoporosis, among others. Read on and make sure that you know everything about aging health concerns.
Dementia is a broad term used to describe any type of long-term or progressive brain disorder that interferes with memory, thinking, and behavior. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia, accounting for up to 60% of cases. It affects more than 5 million individuals in the United States and has no cure. Dementia is not a normal part of aging; however, it often develops in older adults due to chronic medical conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure, or due to injuries to your head. In most cases, older adults will require family support, or another option is to live in care services which specialize in dementia and know how to prevent it from deteriorating rapidly.
Cardiovascular Diseases (CVD)
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a group of diseases that affect the heart and blood vessels. The most common diseases are coronary artery disease, stroke, heart failure, and peripheral vascular disease. CVD is the leading cause of death in developed countries. In the United States, more than 600,000 people die from CVD each year.
The main risk factors for CVD are high blood pressure (hypertension), smoking, elevated cholesterol levels, obesity and physical inactivity.
Hypertension (also known as high blood pressure) is a common condition that occurs when your blood pressure rises to unsafe levels. It is one of the most important risk factors for cardiovascular disease and stroke, and it can lead to other serious health problems such as kidney disease.
Hypertension is usually defined as systolic blood pressure higher than 140 mm Hg or diastolic blood pressure higher than 90 mm Hg. However, you don’t have to be diagnosed with hypertension to have high blood pressure. Some people experience no symptoms at all. A simple test at your doctor’s office can show whether you have high blood pressure or not.
To keep your pressure normal, you may need to consult with your doctor to receive required prescription medications. Apart from drugs, you should change your eating habits to healthier ones that do not include and have less salt. Daily physical activity and keeping fit will help you control your high blood pressure.
Cancer is a leading cause of death in the world today, and it is also among the most feared diseases. Despite great progress in recent years, cancer remains a major cause of death and disability across the world. Some types of cancer are linked to aging, but they can be prevented or effectively treated if detected early enough. There are a couple of types of cancer treatment, and the most effective one should be advised by your doctor.
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that affects millions of Americans. It usually affects joints that are used most often, such as the knees, hips, hands, and spine. Osteoarthritis is caused by wear and tear of cartilage (a smooth tissue that covers the ends of bone). When the cartilage wears away, bone rubs against bone causing joint pain and stiffness. Osteoarthritis is not currently curable, but it can be managed with medication and/or lifestyle changes to slow down the progression of the disease and reduce pain.
Diabetes (also known as diabetes mellitus) is a disease in which your body either does not produce enough insulin or cannot effectively use the insulin that it produces. Insulin helps your cells absorb sugar (glucose) from your bloodstream so that your cells can use it for energy.
When there isn’t enough insulin or when your body is resistant to its effects, sugar builds up in your bloodstream instead of going into your cells. This causes damage to many of your body’s organs including your eyes, kidneys, and nerves. Diabetes can lead to kidney failure, heart attack or stroke, blindness and amputation of limbs. It is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Some of the treatments include insulin therapy and medication, among others.
Osteoporosis (also known as osteopenia) is a condition characterized by low bone density and deterioration of bone tissue leading to increased risk of fracture. The primary cause of osteoporosis is decreased production of estrogen after menopause in women and after age 50 in both men and women. Other causes include lack of exercise, inadequate intake of calcium and vitamin D, certain medications and smoking cigarettes.
Obesity increases the risk of osteoporosis as well because it leads to an imbalance between bone building and breaking. Bone fractures are painful and can cause disability or even death in severe cases. That’s why it is important to prevent them by taking action against osteoporosis. As for the treatment, your doctor can prescribe you medication and advise to change your lifestyle.
Cataracts are probably the most common cause of blindness in the world today. They are usually caused by aging, but they can also be present at birth or develop later in life as a result of injury or infection. Cataracts are a clouding of the lens of your eye that makes it difficult to see. They usually start as small spots on the lens and progress over time. In most cases, treating cataracts with surgery improves vision significantly.
Incontinence refers to the involuntary loss of urine or stool. It is more common among women than men and it is often associated with prostate disorders in men. Incontinence is more common with age because it results from many different factors including changes in hormone levels, particularly estrogen, as well as age-related changes in the bladder and sphincter muscle. Treatment options for incontinence include medication and physical therapy. However, surgery may be necessary in some cases.
It is natural to be afraid of aging, but the key is to be prepared. The earlier you know about the possible health problems that come with age, the more likely you are to deal with them in time. If you have been doing everything right up until now, your chances of living a healthy and fulfilling life at any age are very good.