Common health problems begin slowly and progress slowly. Your brain and body might slowly lose some of their driving forces, and you might find yourself more and more dependent on others.
But that’s no reason to give up. You can still reclaim your independence. You just have to know the most common health problems in your 70s, and what you can do about them.
- Arthritis. Arthritis is inflammation of one or more of your joints. It can cause pain, stiffness and swelling, and you may have to change the way you move. Pain medications can alleviate the symptoms, but doctors encourage you to keep exercising to keep muscles and joints limber and supple.
- Heart disease. Heart disease can be hereditary, so it’s important to talk to your doctor if you’re concerned about heart disease in your family. Early detection is essential, since untreated heart disease can lead to death.
- Cancer. Cancer is the most common disease in men and women, according to the American Cancer Society. But your chances of getting cancer can be greatly reduced by staying healthy. Exercise, don’t smoke, and don’t overeat.
- Diabetes. Diabetes can lead to serious health problems, including nerve damage, blindness, and kidney failure. A healthy diet can help you avoid diabetes in the first place, but if you do get it, exercise can help control it.
- Memory loss. As your brain ages, it can lose some of its power over your mind and body. Memory loss is a common symptom of Alzheimer’s, a neurological disease that slowly destroys brain cells. You can slow its progression by exercising regularly and following a balanced diet.
- Depression. Depression is a mental illness and one of the most common health problems in older people. It can lead to other health problems, like diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Depression can also lead to suicide. It is treatable with medication or therapy.