When we are young, we think that we are invincible. We think that if we eat decently and move a bit that chronic diseases are something we will never have to face. Unfortunately, some of the scariest and health-threatening diseases are happening younger and younger. There are six in particular that women need to be concerned about regardless of how many candles are on your birthday cake. Know what these are, what the risks are and the preventative measures for them. It could save your life.
We usually do not start think about breast cancer until we are in our mid-to-late 40s, but this cancer can strike as early as the teen years, though it is rare. My aunt actually had breast cancer at 29 years old. This is why it is so critical to perform self-breast exams every month and to start these as early as puberty when breasts start developing. It is also important to maintain a healthy diet and exercise. You also want to get mammograms as often as your doctor suggests. Early stage breast cancer is highly treatable for most women.
This skin cancer is striking women as young as young adulthood when most don't start to worry about it until middle age. It is critical to avoid tanning beds and the sun between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Wearing sunscreen everyday that has a minimum of SPF 15 and applying it as necessary - generally every two to three hours when you are not sweating - is also important because sunscreen does wear off, and in turn, the protection is not nearly as effective.
Type 2 Diabetes
When we think of Type 2 diabetes, we think of a woman who has spent at least four decades not making the most healthy of food choices. However, this disease is being seen more frequently in children and young women because of sedentary lifestyle and poor eating habits. Our diets and exercise habits are directly associated with whether we develop this disease or not. Yes, there is believed to be a small genetic component, but for the most part, if we treat our bodies right, we will not have to worry so much about this disease.
This is not just something that your grandmother has to worry about anymore. We are seeing this occur in those as young as their 20s and 30s. Cigarette smoking and obesity are the major risk factors with stroke. Also, if your blood pressure is high, work with your doctor to get it to a healthy level. You also need to be on high alert if you have Type 2 diabetes or high cholesterol.
I am 28 and my bones are not nearly as healthy as they should be due to nutrient deficiencies and medications. Women in their 50s, and in more rare instances younger, are getting this diagnosis now. Get your vitamin D and calcium levels checked and keep these nutrients at healthy levels. Eat right, exercise and do not smoke. These will help fend off this disease.
Again, this is not something only seen in our grandparents. This is being diagnosed in women as young as their 40s. Workout your mind. When you brain is in good shape, you lower your risk of this disease. Things like learning to play an instrument or learning a new language are incredibly helpful. You also want to stay in shape and keep your blood pressure and cholesterol at healthy levels.