October 18, 2021
Here’s a dismal statistic for you: Some type of chronic disease affects 9 out of 10 adults, and nearly 8 in 10 adults has more than one chronic disease! While it’s a fact of life that aging predisposes you to develop some type of illness, it’s not inevitable.
Here is a list of chronic problems that have a tendency to “sneak up” on you as you age and what you can do to prevent them:
High Blood Pressures (Hypertension) -As you age, your blood vessels tend to become less flexible and this increases the pressure in your circulatory system. While you can’t do anything about blood vessel flexibility, there are other things you can do to prevent you from developing hypertension.
Keeping your weight under control, eating a healthy diet, and getting regular exercise can all keep your blood pressure in the normal range. If you smoke, ask your health care provider for help with stopping, as nicotine raises your blood pressure.
Type Two (Adult Onset) Diabetes -Diabetes causes chronically high blood sugar levels, which leads to heart and kidney disease, difficulty fighting off infections, and even blindness. Keeping your weight under control is a major preventative factor. See your doctor to get your blood sugar checked.
Heart Disease - This condition, caused by a build-up of fatty plaques in the arteries leading to the heart, actually starts early in life and gets worse as you age. Weight control, regular exercise, and a proper diet can be preventative. See your doctor for advice, especially if you have a strong family history or you are having problems such as shortness of breath on exertion, chest pain, or palpitations.
Obesity -In spite of what the “politically correct” may try to tell you, being overweight or obese is not healthy. Nearly two dozen chronic diseases are closely linked to being obese and these include diabetes, heart disease, cancer, stroke, and arthritis. If you have tried to lose weight and have not been successful, see your health care provider for advice.
Osteoarthritis - Some “wear and tear” arthritis is likely inevitable as you age. Genetics also plays a part. But so do environmental factors so don’t despair! Maintaining a healthy body weight, proper nutrition, regular exercise and using marine collagen daily helps to keep keep osteoarthritis pain at bay.
Osteoporosis - Before the age of 30 your body builds more bone than it breaks down. By the age of 35 the rate of bone breakdown is faster than build up and around menopause the rate of bone deterioration increases significantly, often leaving bones thin and weak as you age. People who suffer from osteoporosis are at greatly increased risk of fractures if they fall. 90% of the protein in our bones is collagen and it provides the scaffolding which makes your bones both strong and flexible. Studies show that daily supplementation with marine collagen can both improve bone density and reduce the rate of bone breakdown. It's also best to have a diet rich in calcium and Vitamin D as both are required for healthy bones. You should also participate in regular weight-bearing exercises such as walking, dancing, or climbing stairs.
Hearing Loss - This one can really sneak up on you and you may not notice until the loss becomes severe. Protecting your hearing from loud noises, even if you have hearing loss already, can preserve the hearing you have. Some medications can make hearing worse and genetics also has an influence here. Hearing loss can contribute to a sense of isolation and can also amplify anxiety and depression. See your doctor if you are having difficulty hearing.
Cancer - Age is one of the biggest risk factors for the development of cancer. While genetics can play a part and you can’t do anything about getting older, you can get regular cancer screenings to catch any cancer early so it can be effectively treated and hopefully, cured. It goes without saying that if you smoke you should quit and it’s also recommended that you limit alcohol consumption as well.
It sounds like old news to say that a healthy diet and regular exercise are good for your health, but the truth is that these two things either help you avoid or will mitigate the severity of a very large number of health problems that we might suffer from as we age.