YOUNG people can often feel invincible — but that doesn’t mean they’re exempt from dangerous health problems, doctors warn.
Deadly medical problems can strike at any age and it’s important to protect yourself early in life, according to myGP experts.
From high blood pressure to certain cancers, you don’t have to be close to retirement to be at risk of serious health problems, they say.
Making sure you eat well, exercise regularly, and cut down on smoking and drinking can be key to lowering your risk of developing this disease.
1. high blood pressure
About one in three Britons suffer from high blood pressure – the medical term for high blood pressure.
According to the British Heart Foundation, around 1.3 million of these are under the age of 45 and undiagnosed.
The disease often has no obvious symptoms, but is responsible for more than half of all strokes and heart attacks.
Doctors say it’s important to get your condition checked out by a family doctor or pharmacist, and also to watch your lifestyle.
dr Harriet Leyland, a myGP clinical advisor, said: “Apart from annual blood pressure checks at your GP or at many local pharmacies, lifestyle changes can also help.”
“For example, eating a healthy diet, including reducing salt and processed foods and increasing fiber intake, reducing alcohol consumption, getting regular exercise and — if you smoke — consider quitting.”
2. Type 2 diabetes
Another condition that young people can be at risk for is type 2 diabetes.
More than 5 million Britons are thought to be living with the disease, with cases doubling in the last 15 years.
The NHS spends at least £10bn a year on this – around 10 per cent of the total healthcare budget.
It causes blood sugar levels to rise too high because the body doesn’t produce enough of the hormone insulin, which breaks down glucose.
Among those under 40, rates have increased by about 23 percent over the past five years, and the number is expected to rise to 200,000 by 2027.
Doctors say it’s important to get checked up if you’re concerned about your blood sugar levels. The condition can be managed with treatments and lifestyle changes.
Regular exercise and more physical activity in general can help keep symptoms at bay, they say.
3. colon cancer
Colorectal cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK, with 42,000 people diagnosed each year.
Thanks to the Sun’s ‘No Time 2 Lose’ campaign, screening is now available to anyone aged 50+ in England, which was previously only available to those over 60.
However, experts warn that colorectal cancer can occur at any age and everyone should be aware of the symptoms.
These include blood in the stool, going to the toilet more often, and stomach pain.
The campaign was led by activist and Sun columnist Dame Deborah James, who was diagnosed with the disease in 2016 at the age of 35.
The mother-of-two spent five years urging people to educate themselves and raise awareness about the symptoms before she died last June at the age of 40.
Scientists aren’t sure of the exact causes, but it’s believed that too much alcohol and not enough fiber could play a role.
myGP advises everyone to eat more plant-based foods, eat less processed meat and limit alcohol consumption.
Weak bones are often associated with older people.
However, osteoporosis can occur as early as the age of 20 and is particularly common in women.
Hormone changes can lead to a decrease in bone density, making you susceptible to this condition.
From the age of 35 everyone starts to lose their bone density. Therefore, it is important to minimize the risk of osteoporosis.
dr Leyland advises getting enough vitamin D through sun exposure and consuming dairy, fish, and eggs.
Regular physical activity and weight-bearing and resistance exercises can also be extremely beneficial, she said.