Are you approaching the big 5-0? You probably notice some gray hairs and maybe see a few facial lines that weren’t there a few years ago. Just as your physical appearance is changing as you age, your body systems are aging as well.
You’re approaching the age when chronic conditions begin to surface. By the time adults reach the age of 65, 80% have at least one chronic health problem. Dr. Mark Rosenberg, DO, primary care physician with Macomb Medical Clinic, focuses on preventive care through regular checkups and screening tests. He can catch precursors of heart disease, diabetes, and other health problems and treat them before they get to an acute stage.
The top five chronic health conditions diagnosed after age 50 are as follows:
1. High blood pressure
Genes play some role in having elevated blood pressure, but your environment is a deciding factor. The health consequences of years of habits that are less than healthy begin to surface as you get into your 50s. One-third of adults aged 40-59 have high blood pressure. The following lifestyle choices can produce hypertension:
- Consuming too much salt
- Not engaging in regular exercise
- Being overweight or obese
- Living with stress
- Smoking cigarettes
- Drinking too much alcohol
Aging exacerbates the problem. Arteries tend to become stiff as you age, raising your blood pressure. Dr. Rosenberg treats your high blood pressure and monitors you at intervals. He recommends lifestyle changes that can help you reduce your blood pressure.
One-third of adults aged 45-65 have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis. By the time you reach age 65, it becomes one out of every two adults overall, but women are more at risk than men.
At age 50, you may start to feel pain in your wrist or thumb from repetitive motion of swinging a racquet if you’re a tennis player. You may develop knee pain or back pain from arthritis.
Your joints are complex mechanisms where bones connect. At the ends of your bones, you have tough tissue called cartilage. As you age, your cartilage can become very thin through wear and tear. This causes friction as you move your joint, resulting in pain, stiffness, and/or swelling. Taking preventative steps which Dr. Rosenberg outlines can help control your symptoms and delay the progression of the disease.
3. Type 2 diabetes
If you’ve been overweight or obese for a long period of time, as you approach age 50, you may develop insulin resistance. You may have prediabetes and are at risk of developing full-blown diabetes.
Your physician monitors your A1C blood levels regularly to determine your blood glucose over the past couple of months. He may recommend medication in addition to lifestyle changes.
Macomb Medical Clinic works in partnership with Dr. Arthur Lieberman, who specializes in medical weight management. He provides personalized care in helping you to change your eating habits which can result in reducing your medication or eliminating it.
You may not have realized that your bone is living tissue. Your body is constantly shedding old bone and producing new bone tissue. Until age 50, your bones stay strong because your body produces bone at the same pace as it breaks down. After 50, the scales tip, and bone loss occurs faster than your body can produce new bone.
If you don’t receive treatment, your bone density decreases significantly, and you may develop osteoporosis. The risk of osteoporosis dramatically increases for women in the years after menopause. On average, menopause occurs around age 51. Then the loss of estrogen leads to rapid bone loss.
5. Heart disease
Heart disease is the number one cause of death in adults in the U.S. High cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes (along with being overweight, smoking, and lack of exercise) are the top causes of heart disease.
The most common type of heart disease is coronary artery disease, in which your arteries are clogged with plaque, and a buildup of fats, cholesterol, and other materials. Other types of heart disease include congestive heart failure and arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats) like atrial fibrillation.
Most heart attacks occur after age 45 in men and age 50 in women. Dr. Rosenberg provides screening tests that can show the precursors of heart disease. He develops individualized treatment for your circumstances.
Call Macomb Medical Clinic today for an appointment for your next annual physical exam and for all of your health care needs.