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5 Diseases Where Age Doesn’t Matter

Even though age is considered to be a predisposing factor in acquiring chronic diseases, one should never be too complacent when it comes to keeping oneself fit and healthy. According to a recent study, an increasing number of young adults are now developing diseases which are characteristically age-related. More often than not, these disease conditions are likely to be more fatal when it hits you at a younger age than in later life.
Here are five chronic illnesses that you should be protecting yourself from at any point in time.

1.      Colorectal Cancer

Aside from having a genetic component to colorectal cancer risk, there are certain modifiable factors that contribute to the likelihood of contracting this disease. Diet and lifestyle are the major role players in this condition. Excessive alcohol consumption, increased intake of red and processed meat, smoking, obesity and inactivity can increase your risk of having colorectal cancer.
Even though the ideal age for colorectal cancer screening is at age 50,  according to research, younger people particularly the children of the 90s are at record-high risk of developing colon and rectal cancer. For any changes in bowel habits such as persistent diarrhoea or constipation, blood in the stool and abdominal pain, it is best to have them checked by your doctor to address them appropriately.

2.      Diabetes

It is a given that Juvenile Diabetes (Type 1) is a disease condition affecting children where your immune system is destroying beta cells (responsible for making insulin) in the pancreas. However, more and more people in the younger generation are becoming affected with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus due to potential genetic and environmental factors alongside dietary habits inactivity and obesity.

3.      Heart Disease

Conditions related to the cardiovascular system are mostly related to lifestyle routines and diet. A recent study has shown significant evidence of millennials being at higher risk for having heart diseases due to stress, being overweight and the comorbidity of having Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.
Moreover, heart attack and ischemic strokes are likely to happen to women younger than 45 years old as found in a research published in Neurology in 2013. Hence, it is important to monitor cholesterol levels and blood pressure at least once a year to promptly identify risks and be addressed properly with the help of your doctor.

4.      Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

This is a chronic inflammatory disease frequently occurring in women starting at childbearing age where the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues and cells. Although symptoms can be hard to identify, its signs would include a butterfly shaped rash across the face, extreme fatigue, sensitivity to sun or light and painful or swollen joints. There has been an increase in the mortality rate of affected individuals especially women younger than 40 years of age.

5.      Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) like Crohn’s disease is commonly seen in patients aged 15-25.  IBD involves inflammation of all or part of the digestive tract and it includes ulcerative colitis and autoimmune diseases which affects the intestine and can result to complications such as obstruction, abscess formation and malnutrition.

For most people who develop IBD, risk factors are non-modifiable like age, ethnicity and family history.  This disease condition increases the risk of colon cancer and can present similar signs and symptoms like weight loss, bloody stool and gastrointestinal distress. Therefore, patients with IBD are advised to undergo screening for colon cancer beginning 8 to 10 years after diagnosis.

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