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Turning 50? Things you should know.

Updated on December 5, 2016

Can you buy good health? The answer is yes!

Sufficient vitamins are by definition "essential to good health."
Sufficient vitamins are by definition "essential to good health." | Source

An ounce of prevention, or is it milligrams?

Better now than late.
Better now than late. | Source
For many there is no shortage of help available.
For many there is no shortage of help available. | Source
Generalista and Specialists, the latter are usually more expensive to you or your insurance.
Generalista and Specialists, the latter are usually more expensive to you or your insurance. | Source
Oncology (Cancer) is widespread enough that there are even clinics just for it.
Oncology (Cancer) is widespread enough that there are even clinics just for it. | Source
Most hospitals in the USA have specialists on hand or on call 24/7.
Most hospitals in the USA have specialists on hand or on call 24/7. | Source
Don't wait until you health is in emergency mode!
Don't wait until you health is in emergency mode! | Source
If you observe symptoms of a stroke, don't delay.  Get help immediately.  Seconds can make a difference.
If you observe symptoms of a stroke, don't delay. Get help immediately. Seconds can make a difference. | Source
You can stay around for many more birthdays and holidays, but it takes action on your part, so the parts keep functioning properly.
You can stay around for many more birthdays and holidays, but it takes action on your part, so the parts keep functioning properly. | Source

First Step: Know your health.

Do you know what condition your condition is in?

When was the last time you saw your doctor, your dentist, your eye specialist?

You can say, "I see great. Why should I see an 'eye specialist'?"

The simple answer is another question: "You don't want to go blind, do you?"

Glaucoma, increasing pressure within the eyes is a danger a simple, regularly scheduled test can detect and be dealt with. No test, no prevention or correction will result, and you might be slowly going blind.

The next time you see a dentist, let's hope it's not because you have a terrible toothache. The fact of the matter is: poor dental health affects more than just the health of your pearly whites. Gum disease may hurt far less than a toothache, but has been tapped as the cause of other diseases including damage to your heart. A regular cleaning and exam can tackle potential problems while they are not yet a pain in the chest, or a pain in the neck.

For the rest of that aging body, having made it to at least halfway to 100, your medical professionals should be asked to tell you how that heart is doing right now, as well as how your colon, liver, and thyroid are doing at the mid-centennial milepost.

Your colon can be harboring silent killer polyps that early detection can eliminate through an in and out exam. Schedule one and leave that exam knowing you have accomplished something that may have just improved your quality of life, and lengthened life itself. The same doctor who helped you may also encourage you to get a FOBT (fecal occult blood test) done every year to warn you, if you might need another colonoscopy sooner than age 55 or 60. That test is simply lab work and doesn't require a visit to the doctor unless the results are positive.

Another silent killer looking to put men six feet under is cancer of the prostate, and its sister cancer in women is ovarian cancer. There are tests for both, along with mammograms to test women (and men) for that one. Why bother with those? Caught early before those killers get a home where they should be unwelcome, the odds against their killing you off are fantastic. Ignored? You will need friends and family wishing you "Good luck!" The numbers would not be in your favor, especially if you have had a close family relative tested positive for one of these silent killers.

Your liver and your thyroid are not things you can check yourself. If you haven't been having your thyroid checked at 35, 40, and 45 years of age, you are seriously overdue, and the need to get it checked is even greater, if you are constantly feeling tired and can't shed your extra pounds. The test you want to ask for is simple, the thyroid hormone test.

As for your liver, you want to ask for a liver enzyme test as part of any lab work, and do so at least every three years, more frequently if you are a heavy alcohol imbiber, or have worked around toxins that have a history of damaging the liver. If you couldn't be bothered to keep track of your liver's health, start saving up for dialysis and transplant surgery (if a donor liver can be found) or a coffin.

Ask your health professionals to set up a schedule for these and other screenings they may suggest after thoroughly reviewing a candid discussion of your lifestyle and habits.

What else can you do to live longer, healthier, and happier? Talk about the stresses in your life, your family's history of disease among close relatives, smokers in the family, and other factors that might present some concern.

Two other considerations come to mind. Your largest organ is your skin. Schedule a visit with a dermatologist to get the real skinny on your skin. Also do regular self-exams of any changes in your skin and point them out during the exam. This exam is important for everyone, and especially important if you are light skinned, spend a lot of time outdoors, or live and work at higher elevations.

Secondly, if you already have medical conditions or a heightened risk for one or more medical conditions, you will want to be especially careful to follow qualified medical advice in regularly monitoring your health.

Second Step: Do what you need to do.

One gift you can give yourself this holiday season is a clean bill of health. Keeping it that way is also not a bad New Year's resolution for 2017 and all the years to come.


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© 2016 Demas W. Jasper All rights reserved.

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    • Perspycacious profile image
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      Demas W Jasper 8 months ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      What changes are ahead in health insurance? We don't know yet. What we do know is what we have now and what it provides for. What comes later may not be as generous. Take this list seriously and get the tests done now.

    • Perspycacious profile image
      Author

      Demas W Jasper 9 months ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      MsDora - If the New Year's Resolutions make a separate listing on a checklist of each of these important checkups, and they get checked off one by one as they are taken care of, the "resolute" reader will enjoy not only a healthier 2017, but a healthier and longer life of good health. You and I can hope so, but only the individual reader can see it through for the health they deserve.

      If, as Eric has pointed out, they have adequate "preventive care" insurance now, it IS the time to finish the checkups.

    • Perspycacious profile image
      Author

      Demas W Jasper 9 months ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      Dear Eric, Changes are coming in Medicare and we will be joining the ranks of those shopping for insurance coverages. That will make preventive care so much more important for the young and the "less young." If the young can still learn from their elders, it might not be so bad. Certainly not as bad as it still can become, if the young cling to the idea that their mortality is not mortal.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 9 months ago from The Caribbean

      Great advice both for those going on 50 and for those who like to make New Year's Resolution--for everyone really. Thanks for telling it like it is.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 9 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      This a good one Demas. After a good bout with a fatal disease all this stuff, except the colonoscopy is more of an every year deal. But mine is overkill. Two spots in my lungs, a hernia that does not bother me, some funky vertebra all defects of age that do not matter. I hope people listen to you here.

      Hey, on another note -- my health care plan covers almost all preventative procedures without even a co-pay. They know what keeps me from needing expensive repair, so I should pay attention.