Threats to your health as you get older

There are many Threats to your health as you get older
Photo by CDC/ Judy Schmidt

While you are young (or even in middle age), it can be hard to foresee the many threats to your health as you get older. However, as your body breaks down in your elder years, you will become more susceptible to a variety of conditions that threaten to shorten your lifespan.

In the paragraphs below, we’ll cover a few common conditions that can be easily anticipated, allowing you to take action to avoid them as much as possible.

1) Blood clots (thrombus)

We put this one first because many people don’t consider blood clots to be as big a threat to their health as some of the other conditions listed in this article.

However, those caught unaware by the risks that blood clots or thrombus pose risk suffering a sudden medical event known as a pulmonary embolism.

Killing as many as 200,000 people in the United States every year, this potentially lethal event occurs when a blood clot breaks free from a vein in the leg or arm and find its way to the lungs, where it gets lodged in an artery or vein.

Here, it begins to cause respiration issues, shock can occur from a lack of oxygenated blood, and lung tissue can begin to die from lack of nourishment.

In the event of a pulmonary embolism, doctors use machines such as the EKOSonic to inject blood thinning drugs and bombard the blockage with ultrasound waves.

This has the effect of clearing the clot, thereby saving the patient’s life. If you find yourself developing blood clots (which announces itself through pain, redness, and swelling in the legs or arms), see your doctor as soon as possible so they can begin to put you on the course of blood thinning drugs.

2) Cardiovascular disease

One of the biggest health menaces in the western world today is cardiovascular disease. Modern diets are filled with excessive amounts of carbs and LDL cholesterol among other inflammatory agents.

Over time, these instigators cause the buildup of plaque in veins and arteries throughout the body, increasing blood pressure and stress on the heart.

Eventually, the passageways can get so narrow that chunks of plaque may get stuck in one of the coronary arteries, triggering a heart attack.

A similar events can happen in the brain, causing a stroke. The former event can kill within minutes or hours, depending on the severity of the incident, and sometimes the patient will get lucky as the blockage resolves itself.

Strokes can cause irreparable damage to a patient’s ability to move, speak, or Reason properly, among other negative effects. To avoid either of these outcomes, eat a healthy diet that limits the amount of food that inflames your arteries and veins, and get regular exercise.

3) Cancer

Taking on many different forms, cancer has become of the greatest scourges that humankind has faced in the modern era. Triggered by a variety of vectors from genetic predisposition to excessive exposure to the sun, one’s risk for this aggressive and multifaceted disease increases as one gets older.

This is due to the fact that cancer results from genetic mutations that occur as cells divide over time. Eventually, an error caused during DNA replication gives rise to a malignant cell that reproduces itself endlessly, swallowing up body resources and negatively impacting its function with every month that goes by.

Prognosis for long-term survival varies greatly depending on the type of cancer that is discovered, the treatment usually involves chemotherapy, improved lifestyle choices, and surgical intervention to remove malignant tissue that presently exists.

Like cardiovascular disease, prevention begins with a commitment to a healthy diet and a regular exercise regimen, but it can also involve things such as avoiding the sun at peak times of the day, reducing stress in one’s daily life, and regular check-ups if one has a family history of developing cancer.

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