Contrary to what most people think and believe, not all illnesses attack your body when you grow old. Some so-called old-age diseases can occur when you are very young, for example diabetes, arthritis, mental disorders, cancers, etc can afflict children, adolescents and young adults as well.
Then there are some old-age diseases that may not become a full-blown disease when you are young but start showing early signs and symptoms. You should be careful about these signs and take precautions to prevent or mitigate the threat you may face in old age. One of the best precautions is to buy critical illness cover for protection, so that even if you are unable to prevent the disease, you may get good medical treatment and care.
If you are not comfortable buying standalone critical illness insurance then you can buy term insurance with critical illness rider. That way, you can get both life and medical protection with a single policy.
Now, let’s explore the 5 common old-age diseases that show early signs and symptoms in your youth.
There is a popular misconception that arthritis only affects people in old age. But the truth is that there is no age barrier for this disease. If this disease shows signs in your youth, it will probably get worse as your age increases if you fail to take steps to prevent its growth.
Arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes the body’s immune system to attack the joints leading to painful, swollen and stiff joints. If your joints feel warm when touched for more than two weeks, visit a physician for a check-up.
If you are diagnosed with arthritis in your youth, you must maintain a physically active lifestyle and eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans and fish. Organic turmeric powder is very effective in fighting inflammation caused by arthritis.
High blood pressure
High blood pressure is not a disease but a symptom that indicates an underlying problem in your body. Though the negative impact of high blood pressure on your kidneys, heart and other parts of the body is only experienced with time, early symptoms are not difficult to notice.
Primary symptoms of high blood pressure or hypertension include:
- Severe headaches
- Fatigue and confusion
- Vision problems
- Chest pain
- Difficulty in breathing
- Irregular heartbeat
- Pounding sensation in the neck, ears or chest
Symptoms of high blood pressure in young adults may also indicate the threat of heart disease, kidney disorders and eye problems in old age. Obesity is one of the primary causes of high blood pressure in children and adults. Reducing weight, regular exercise, and cutting down junk food and salts can really help.
Alzheimer’s is a brain disorder that causes memory loss and is supposed to affect people over the age of 65 years. However, there are many below that age suffering from this disease today. Alzheimer’s in young people may show in the form of difficulty in remembering things, disorientation, problems with speech, depression, and changes in personality and behaviour.
Type 2 diabetes
Type-2 diabetes is a disease associated with obesity and was generally found in those over 40 years of age. However, today it’s a common condition among children and young adults. According to health ministry figures, nearly 30% of Indian teenagers are obese and obesity is directly linked to Type-2 diabetes. No wonder, India has a large number of young people suffering from Type 2 diabetes.
Symptoms of Type 2 diabetes include:
- Abnormal weight loss
- Extreme thirst
- Frequent urination
- Blurred vision
- Frequent infections
- Slow healing of sores
If your body has displayed signs of Type 2 diabetes when you are young, you need to be extremely cautious about your diet, lifestyle and physical activity, and immediately seek medical attention. Untreated Type 2 diabetes can lead to kidney failure, stroke, blindness or even limb amputation.
Cataract is an eye disorder where the crystalline lens in the eye begins to harden. It leads to blurry vision, lack of colour perception, and difficulty in vision during the night.
The primary symptoms of this disease include:
- Cloudy vision
- Difficulty seeing at night
- Extreme sensitivity to light
- Appearance of halos
You should include more leafy green vegetables, citrus fruits, nuts, cold-water fish and whole grains in your diet to avoid cataract.
These five illnesses can cause serious impairments in the long-term. Therefore, it's better to start treatment of these diseases as early as possible. With critical illness insurance, you will be well-protected against such disorders. Term life insurance provides life protection but it’s also important to have financial protection if you are diagnosed with critical illness. Therefore, it’s a good idea to buy term insurance with critical illness rider to secure your life and those of your loved ones.