You’re Too Young for Ignoring Health Checkups

If you are twenty to thirty years old, this one’s for you. Ignoring health symptoms in your twenties can lead to lifelong or terminal health issues. I just got morbid. Oops. Sorry. You’re not too young for a little morbidity. You are, however, too young to be at any risk. I was twenty-two when I found myself in an ambulance on the way to the hospital where a neurosurgeon performed an emergency lumber discectomy on a severely herniated disk. When I tried returning to normal life I had to explain to people where I had been.

“You’re too young for that,” was the standard response.Tell me about it, I thought.

Tell me about it, I thought.

I now live with Myofascial Pain Syndrome after twelve years of chronic back pain from two back surgeries. I never thought to ask about the pain I had in my leg for three years. I just thought my leg was haunted or something. Lorelei Gilmore would be jealous.




Matters of the Heart

Hypertension and high cholesterol are not just our dads’ concerns any longer. These can be an issue for those of us in our twenties and thirties. Heightened levels in blood
pressure and cholesterol, even mild ones, can be linked to heart problems, clogged  arteries, and can even impact your brain, eyes, and kidneys. Also, any unhealthy habits
like too much drinking, smoking, or drug use can increase these risks. According to WebMD, “the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Normal” blood pressure
is anything below 120/80, while numbers that fall in between “normal” and “high” are considered “pre-hypertension.” The study was done over a 25-year period of time and
the “new findings are based on 4,681 people from four U.S. cities who were between the ages of 18 and 30 when they entered the study in the mid-1980s.” Read the results here.
 Next time you see your doctor, mention any weird stuff going on inside your chest. If it’s not an alien, it may be something heart-related.
Abdominal Pain and IBS
Sometimes, persistent abdominal discomfort and symptoms that mimic Irritable Bowel Syndrome can be a sign of colon cancer. Colon cancer patients are getting younger all the time. Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor to refer you to a GP. If left undetected, it can become very advanced very quickly. Gastroenterologist, Dr. Cameron Bell says,“Young people have to realize that symptoms like bleeding, abdominal pain and change in their bowel habits could be something sinister and shouldn’t be ignored.” Good advice from the land down under, about what’s down under. Here are some facts to figure:
  • 1 in 12 people will develop bowel cancer
  • 1,091 people under the age of 50 are diagnosed each year
  • 90 percent of case can be successfully treated if found early


See Australian survey here. You can self-screen for this as well. Look at signs and symptoms as well as prevention methods from the Mayo Clinic here. This is not where they make the sandwich spread. It’s where they do serious medical things like help detect, treat, and prevent colon cancer.


 Sun Spots

There is a cost to being beautiful, and it’s not just cosmetic. Everyone is susceptible to changes in the skin due to UV rays. Yes, even at age twenty. Look for signs and
symptoms of melanoma at the Mayo Clinic website. On WebMD, “according to the American Cancer Society (ACS). It’s the leading cause of cancer death in women ages 25 to 30, according to the Melanoma Research Foundation.” Don’t ignore the signs or the warnings. It’s better to be pasty white like the Scandinavian/Irish gene-carrying girl that I am than to have skin cancer. That natural, suntanned glow could cost you a lot more than $8.00 for a bottle of the sunless tanning lotion I use to keep from glowing in the dark.
Weight Gain/Obesity
I’m not talking about the ten pounds you put on over the holidays or the Freshman fifteen. I’m talking about the unexplained, rapid weight gain that is boggling to you, and
that your family and friends are too polite to mention (if they have any sense at all). There can be several causes for this found here. But it’s also something you don’t want to become a long-term condition. Whether you have been overweight since your youth, or this is a new, unexplained occurrence, it ought to be addressed as it can foster such things as hypertension, diabetes, back pain, even cancer in the long term. It may not be your fault, but you do want to get help from a doctor as to what to do. Here are some facts to consider from EASO:
  • Worldwide obesity has nearly doubled since 1980.
  • In 2008, more than 1.4 billion adults, 20 and older, were overweight. Of these over 200 million men and nearly 300 million women were obese.
  • 35% of adults aged 20 and over were overweight in 2008, and 11% were obese.
  • 65% of the world’s population live in countries where overweight and obesity kills more people than underweight.
  • Overweight and obesity are the fifth leading risk for global deaths. At least 2.8 million adults die each year as a result of being overweight or obese.
  • 44% of the diabetes burden, 23% of the ischaemic heart disease burden and between 7% and 41% of certain cancer burdens are attributable to overweight and obesity

Sexually Transmitted Diseases

There are some sexually transmitted diseases, symptoms or no, that you just can’t ignore. They will come back to haunt you. 15 to 24-year-olds account for half of all new
STD infections. First, STD’s can be harmful to your unborn baby – sometimes to the point of brain damage or blindness. Not cool. At all. Here are five STDs you really don’t
want to get into bed with, literally. Some lead to infertility, sterility, cancer, and death. Morbid. I know. – I’m not your mom but pretend I am for a second. Be safe. Be smart.
Get tested. Okay. Speech over.
Back Pain
 There are three common causes for back problems: muscle strain, degenerative disk disease, and herniated disk. The number of younger people with back and leg pain(including myself) is on the rise. Matthew Mientka says, “Some 84 percent of young adults in the United Kingdom say they’ve suffered back pain during the past year, believed to be caused by poor posture from using mobile devices.” Here’s some advice:
  • Step 1: Finish this post
  •  Step 2: Get up and walk around, go DO something!


Follow the Mayo Clinic’s arrows to Causes and to When To See A Doctor.



  Self-Screening Discoveries.


We should all be self-screening for any lumps or bumps where there shouldn’t be lumps or bumps. I wonder if cellulite counts. For men, testicular self-screening is a good idea. It
is not extremely prevalent, representing only 1 percent of all cancer diagnoses, however, it is the most common form of cancer in men, ages fifteen to thirty-four. It usually affects men between the ages of 20 to 39 (See link above). Women should also be self-screening for breast cancer. Though equally not as common in younger women, one can never be too careful. It’s a good idea to start doing self-exams by age 20. See a list of the common areas breast cancer tumors are likely to form here. As young adults, it can be uncomfortable or pesky to think about important health
issues. But this is what our trusted medical professionals have dedicated their lives to. And, while different doctors may have different styles, this is their passion in life. To
practice medicine and to help people. Take advantage! You’re too young for this stuff. Now get up, move around, and make an appointment with your physician if anything in this post applies to you.



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