When we think of what sends us to a hospital, it’s easy to imagine all the dramatic infections and wounds we might have experienced or seen throughout the years. However, it’s often the hidden issues that can cause us a lot more trouble. Here, we’re going to look at some of the most common, expensive, and dangerous chronic conditions that you should be more aware of and how to ensure you’re checking for them.
A blood sugar test can help you see whether you’re diabetic or pre-diabetic (which means that you may become diabetic shortly). Those who are overweight or over the age of 45 are at a greater risk of this chronic illness than most. Although it can be a scary diagnosis, there is plenty of medication to treat diabetes, and by eating healthily, exercising regularly, and monitoring blood sugars, diabetes can be managed effectively for the rest of your life.
High blood pressure
Heart disease, also known as the “silent killer” is one of the leading causes of preventable death in modern society. High blood pressure can be one of the earliest signs of it and also causes other issues like a stroke. With the right cardiovascular care, you can catch the warning signs of heart disease early and manage it over time. However, an annual blood pressure test is recommended for all people of all ages, though those who are older or overweight are at greater risk.
It can be hard to diagnose and harder to treat, but depression has also become an epidemic. Though little understood by the public at large, depression is more than simply feeling sad, it can make you feel genuinely unwell, with low energy levels, no motivation, sleep disorders, and more associated with it. You can take self-examinations to look for the signs of depression and talk to your primary healthcare provider about your options if you’re concerned it might be affecting you.
When it comes to little-understood health conditions, few are more frightening than dementia and Alzheimer’s. You can see signs of it in others and arrange a range of tests that can help diagnose it, such as neuropsychological tests and blood tests for poor thyroid function and vitamin B12 deficiency. Catching that deficiency early and using other preventative methods, such as maintaining a healthy lifestyle, can not just prevent Alzheimer’s but stop it from progressing too fast, too.
Osteoporosis and arthritis are both two of the most common chronic health concerns and, although not exclusive to them, they overwhelmingly affect women. When it comes to osteoporosis, having a bone density test as part of your annual exam is part of your best bet of catching it early. No test can prove arthritis, but if you’re suffering from joint pain or inflammation, blood tests can help determine it as a potential cause.
An annual physical with your doctor, checking your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar can help you catch the warning signs of most preventable chronic illnesses early. Being proactive is the only effective way to protect your health.