Here are the top 7 health problems of baby boomers and some steps you can take to prevent the onset of these debilitating conditions.
With more than 70 million people about to reach retirement age, the healthcare industry is gearing up to meet the challenges that increased medical care demands will bring. The good news is that you can prevent several common age-related diseases by making some simple and sensible lifestyle changes.
Here are the top 7 health problems of baby boomers, and some steps you can take to prevent the onset of these conditions.
Osteoporosis is the reason why women above 50 years of age are more susceptible to breaking bones even with the slightest of falls. Osteoporosis causes a reduction in your bone mass as well as your ability to absorb calcium from food.
Speak to your doctor if you are above 40 and start taking a good calcium supplement. Eat a diet rich in calcium, exercise, and do consume alcohol in excess.
Though this disease is more common in people above 65 years of age, the symptoms might be noticeable as early as your 40s. Currently, there is no cure or preventive treatment for Alzheimer’s, but according to The Alzheimer’s Association, maintaining cardiovascular fitness along with consuming a nutritious diet could help. With a strong cardiovascular system, your brain will never be short of nutrient-enriched blood.
In America alone, more than 6 million people get affected by depression. Usually wrongly perceived as a normal part of aging, depression needs to be recognized as a health problem and treated accordingly. It is not inevitable that you get depressed as you age. The right treatment at the appropriate time can help patients get rid of negative feelings and look at their lives in a meaningful way.
Exercise, connecting with people, and improving your emotional skills are all good to keep negative thoughts at bay.
Cardiovascular diseases are considered to be a leading cause of death among people above 60. After 45 years of age, you are at higher risk for developing it. The leading cause of heart attacks is coronary artery disease, which causes blockages in the arteries which carry blood to your heart.
Adopting measures like quitting smoking, taking up regular exercise to keep blood-pressure and cholesterol under control, switching to healthy eating habits (low-sodium, low-fat) and keeping a check on your body weight is very important to reduce your risk of heart diseases.
Arthritis is a condition which causes the cartilages cushioning the bones at your joints to wear out, resulting in the bones rubbing against each other. You may notice pain, stiffness or unusual swelling of the affected joints. One of the most common problems linked to aging, arthritis could also happen when years of rigorous physical activity causes damage.
Your doctor may first put you on medication to reduce the pain, but if the problem persists, you may need a joint replacement surgery. Being physically active, and protecting your joints when you engage in work around the house or exercise can help reduce the risk.
Problems of the eyes
As you grow older, you might not just experience poor vision, but also other problems of the eyes like cataract or even blindness caused by macular degeneration. For cataract, you may need surgery – present day cataract surgeries are faster, safer, more precise and don’t need a long recovery period. You may in fact, experience better vision after surgery than what you had before.
Regular eye exams are your best bet to detect and treat vision problems. Macular degeneration can be somewhat contained with proper treatment.
Aging is linked with many cancers like those of the breast, colon and lungs. Vitamin D and vitamin K can protect you against breast cancer.
The easiest way to get your dose of vitamin D is to stay outdoors without sunscreen for not more than 15 minutes every day. For vitamin K, load your plate with leafy greens – spinach, kale and parsley. Cauliflower and broccoli are also good sources of vitamin K. You can also try vitamin supplements, but don’t go overboard. You need plenty of exercise as well. With nutritious, antioxidant-rich food choices and adequate exercise, you can significantly reduce your breast cancer risk.
You may need to start adopting these changes consciously at first, until they become your habit. After a couple of months, waking up a little early for jogging, swimming, or dancing may become something that you look forward to every day. You will not only stay fit and prevent many age-related diseases, but also feel good about yourself.