Four serious medical conditions you’re ‘never too young’ to experience – doct…

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A major risk factor for almost all health conditions is age – with most of us more likely to suffer from them the older we become.

This could create a false sense of “invincibility” for young people, believing they still have youth on their side.

However, one expert warned this is not necessarily the case. Doctor Harriet Leyland, clinical advisor at myGP, spoke exclusively with about four health conditions that could affect you no matter your age.

High blood pressure

“In the UK alone, about 7.6 million people suffer from heart and circulatory diseases,” she said.

“So, there is no hiding that it can affect individuals from all walks of life, no matter how old you are or if you have a clear family medical history.

“One of the most prominent conditions that can lead to heart-related problems is hypertension, which is more commonly known as high blood pressure.

“As blood pumps around the body, it pushes against the side of your blood vessels, and the intensity of this ‘pushing’ indicates your blood pressure. If it’s too high, it can strain both your heart and your arteries, increasing your risk of more serious health conditions.

“The trouble with high blood pressure is that it rarely comes with evident symptoms, meaning that it can often go unnoticed.

“In fact, according to the British Heart Foundation, about 1.3 million people under the age of 45 live with untreated high blood pressure.”

Dr Leyland advised checking your blood pressure levels at least once a year whatever your age.

She said: “As well as going for an annual blood pressure check-up at your GP surgery or in many local pharmacies, there are lifestyle changes that can help too.

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“For example, eating a healthy diet including cutting back on salt and processed foods and increasing your fibre intake, reducing alcohol consumption, exercising regularly, and – if you smoke – consider stopping.”

Bowel cancer

She explained: “Colorectal cancer, which mainly interests the large bowel (colon and rectum), is the fourth-most common form of cancer in the country.

“Every year, more than 42,000 people in the UK are diagnosed with it.

“Scientists are still trying to pin down the principal causes of colorectal cancer, but it is thought that substantial alcohol intake and a fibre-low diet may both have a negative, contributing effect.

“Some studies show that, alarmingly, more and more millennials are being affected by colon and rectal cancers.

“The Journal of the National Cancer Institute, for example, published research indicating that a person born in the 1990s has respectively double the risk of developing colon and quadruple the risk of developing rectal cancer than someone born in the 1950s.

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“Screenings for this type of cancer are generally offered to people aged between 50 and 59, but it is crucial to see your doctor if you detect worrying symptoms.

“These could be anything from increasing constipation and blood in your faeces to vague feelings of discomfort in your abdomen.

“Moreover, some of the best ways to prevent colorectal cancer is to consume more plant-based food, eat less processed meat, and limit alcohol consumption.”

Type 2 diabetes

“In the last five years, rates of type 2 diabetes in under-40s has increased by 23 percent, and the number of people aged 18 to 39 with this condition could shoot up to 200,000 by 2027,” Dr Leyland said.

“If left untreated, this illness can cause permanent damage in the body because of the consistent build-up of sugar in the blood.

“However, do not panic – with the help of a specialist, type 2 diabetes can be managed well. It is always worth keeping your own doctor informed too, as they can provide you with the right GP prescription and offer recommendations on how to cope with the condition.”

Some of its most noticeable symptoms are an increased need to urinate (especially at night), excessive thirst, and constant tiredness, and can in the long run lead to the development of eye, nerve, kidney, and heart issues.


She added: “Generally, bones are thicker in your early adult life and will be at their strongest until your late 20s.

“But as you reach the age of 35, they will inevitably start losing their density. This tends to happen to everyone, but the process will happen faster for those suffering from osteoporosis.

“This specific medical condition accelerates the weakening of your bones, making them more fragile and prone to fractures.

“While this health problem is usually more prominent in the over 50s, young adults can be affected too. This is especially the case for young, premenopausal women in their 20s, 30s, and 40s.

“This is because the hormone changes during menopause, including the hefty decrease in oestrogen levels, can have a negative impact on bone density.

“To minimise the chance of developing osteoporosis, make sure to get enough vitamin D through exposure to sunlight and consume dairy products, fish, and eggs. Regular physical activity and weight-bearing, resistance exercises can be extremely useful too.”

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