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Protect Yourself from These 5 Age-Related Health Risks

December 24th, 2023

Getting older is inevitable.

Aging, on the other hand, is a medical condition. Actually…it’s a number of medical conditions.

This article highlights five common health issues associated with aging, as well as what you can do to minimize or prevent those issues.

  1. Hormone Imbalance
  2. Hormones regulate everything in your body from metabolism to mood. But as people age, hormone production declines.

    Progesterone and testosterone levels diminish as women move through perimenopause. Progesterone and estrogen production stops entirely once women reach menopause. Testosterone production in men begins to drop as early as the late 20s, and deficiencies are often accompanied by imbalances in estrogen levels. Both men and women will also experience declines in hormones like thyroid, DHEA, and growth hormone.

    These imbalances can cause symptoms like fatigue, weight gain, brain fog, mood swings, reduced muscle mass, decreased bone density, low libido, and more.

    Fortunately, age-related hormone imbalances are treatable. Lab testing and an inventory of symptoms can help to establish which hormones are out of balance, and properly administered hormone replacement therapy can restore hormones to optimal levels.

  3. Type 2 Diabetes
  4. Type 2 diabetes has become increasingly common among Americans as they get older.

    With age, your body may utilize insulin less efficiently (a phenomenon known as “insulin resistance”). When people are insulin resistant, it means their bodies aren’t as sensitive to the production of insulin as they should be.

    The result can be spikes in blood sugar, which can lead to type 2 diabetes. If left untreated, type 2 diabetes can cause serious medical issues such as cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, cancer, problems with circulation, dementia, and vision impairment.

    You can reduce your chances for developing type 2 diabetes with the following lifestyle changes:

    • Limit your intake of refined sugars and simple carbohydrates.
    • Focus on eating lean protein, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats.
    • Exercise regularly and with sufficient intensity.
    • Maintain a healthy weight.
    • Have your blood sugar levels checked regularly.

    If your blood glucose is chronically elevated, your doctor may prescribe medications like metformin or semaglutide to normalize levels. These medications can also be helpful for weight loss.

  5. Sleep Apnea
  6. Sleep apnea causes interruptions in sleep, and the risk for developing this condition increases as people get older. Apart from causing fatigue, sleep apnea can put a strain on the heart muscle.

    Obesity and hormone imbalances increase risk factors for developing sleep apnea. You can reduce your risk by maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, and keeping your hormones balanced to optimal levels.

    Snoring and/or waking up gasping for air are common symptoms of sleep apnea. If either of these apply to you, your primary care physician may recommend that you have a sleep study done. If a sleep study confirms a diagnosis of sleep apnea, your PCP may recommend lifestyle adjustments (e.g., losing weight) or a device such as a CPAP machine or mouth guard to keep your airway open during sleep.

  7. Cardiovascular Disease
  8. Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death among older adults. This is in part because aging adults are more susceptible to weight gain, elevated cholesterol, and high blood pressure.

    You can strengthen your cardiovascular system and improve your heart health by adopting the following lifestyle habits:

    • Exercise with an appropriate amount of intensity 4-5 times per week. This includes cardiovascular exercise and resistance training.
    • Avoid simple carbohydrates and foods that contain unhealthy fats. Focus on a diet that consists of lean protein, vegetables, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats.
    • Have your lipid levels checked annually. Your risk for heart disease increases if your LDL (low density lipoprotein) or triglyceride levels are high.
  9. Dementia
  10. Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia can pose a significant risk to quality of life as people age.

    Research has yet to identify a specific smoking gun when it comes to cognitive decline, but likely culprits include family history and lifestyle issues.

    You can help to preserve your cognitive health in a number of ways:

    • Challenge your brain regularly. Take classes, read, play games, and keep trying new things.
    • Get regular exercise. Exercise improves blood flow to your brain and promotes neuron growth.
    • Stay socially connected. People who are isolated are at a greater risk for experiencing cognitive decline.
    • Make sure your diet includes antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids. Research indicates that these nutrients may support brain health.

Age Less as the Years Pass

More and more, medical experts see aging as a medical condition, rather than an inevitable part of life. Proactively addressing these five major health risks can go a long way toward promoting longevity and preserving quality of life.

Renew Youth is here to help you fight the effects of aging. To schedule your free consultation, call Renew Youth at 800-859-7511 or use our contact form.

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