Health challenges people above 50 should know – The Sun Nigeria

One thing that is certain is that a person who is alive will get older as the years pass. And when the person attains 50, he or she will most likely be predisposed to certain chronic health challenges, whch in several instances would sneak up on the person. You may have one or more of them. But there are things you can do to live a healthier life. Learn more as you read on…

High blood pressure

As you age, your blood vessels get less flexible, and that puts pressure on the system that carries blood through your body. That might explain why about two out of three adults over 60 have high blood pressure. But there are other causes you can control. To do so, watch your weight, exercise, stop smoking, find ways to deal with stress, and eat healthy.

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Diabetes

About one in 10 adults have diabetes. Your chances of getting the disease go up as you get older. Diabetes can lead to heart disease, kidney disease, blindness, and other problems. Talk with your doctor about having your blood sugar checked.

Heart disease

Plaque buildup in the arteries is a major cause of heart disease. It starts in childhood and gets worse as age increases. In the 40-to-59 age group 6.3 per cent of men and 5.6 per cent of women have heart disease. Between ages 60 and 79, heart disease cases go up to nearly 20 per cent of men and 9.7 per cent of women.

Obesity

If you weigh a lot more than is healthy for your height, you could be considered obese – it’s not having just a few extra kilograms. It’s linked to at least 20 chronic diseases, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, and arthritis.

Osteoarthritis

At one time, doctors chalked up this disease of the joints to the wear and tear of age, and that is a factor. But genetics and lifestyle probably have something to do with it as well. And previous joint injuries, a lack of physical activity, diabetes, and being overweight can all play a part, too.

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis causes your bones to become weak and could lead to fractures. It affects millions of people who are 50 or older. A couple of things that can help include: a healthy diet rich in calcium and vitamin D (you need both for strong bones) and regular weight-bearing exercise, like dancing, jogging, or climbing stairs.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

This causes inflammation and blocks air from your lungs. It’s a slow-moving disease that you could have for years without knowing it. Symptoms usually show up when the person is in 40s or 50s. It can make you have trouble breathing, and you may cough, wheeze, and spit up mucus. Exercise, a healthy diet, and avoiding smoke and pollution can help.

Hearing loss

Maybe nothing says “You’re getting older” more than having to ask, “What did you say?” About two per cen of people in the age 45 and 54 have hearing loss that is “disabling.” That goes up to 8.5 pe cent for those ages 55 to 64. Loud noise, disease, and your genes all play a part. Some medications can cause hearing problems, too. See your doctor if you’re not able to hear as well as you used to.

Vision problems

That annoying blurriness when you try to read the small type on labels or menus isn’t the only threat to your vision as you age. Cataracts (which cloud the lens of your eye) and glaucoma (a group of eye conditions that damage your optic nerve) can harm your eyesight. See your eye doctor for regular exams.

Bladder problems

Whether you can’t go when you need to or you have to go too often, problems with bladder control tend to happen as we get older. They can be caused by nerve problems, muscle weakness, thickening tissue, or an enlarged prostate. Exercises and lifestyle modifications such as drinking less caffeine or not lifting heavy things, for example, often help.

Cancer

Age is the biggest risk factor for cancer. The disease affects young people, too, but your odds of having it more than doubles between ages 45 and 54. You can’t control your age or your genes, but you do have a say in things like or spending too much time in the sun.

Depression

Depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the United States among people 18 and over. Some people get down as they age, when health problems crop up, loved ones are lost or move away, and other life changes happen.

Back Pain

The older one gets, the more common this is. Lots of things can make you more likely to have it. These include being overweight, smoking, not getting enough exercise, or diseases like arthritis and cancer. Watch your weight, exercise, and get plenty of vitamin D and calcium to keep your bones strong. And strengthen those back muscles because you’ll need them.

Dementia

Alzheimer’s, a form of dementia, usually doesn’t pop up until 65 or so. Some risk factors (like age and heredity) are things you can’t control. But evidence suggests that a heart-healthy diet and watching your blood pressure and blood sugar might help.

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