“Age is just a number,” some might say. But when it comes to personal health, the facts disagree. As a person’s body gets older, their immune system tends to weaken. Thus, otherwise normal activities and circumstances may begin to rapidly deplete a person’s quality of life. It’s a story that happens too commonly to elderly loved ones, but young people sometimes forget that they are aging as well.
Millennials owe it to themselves and the people who love them to practice good physical and mental self-care. While exercising, eating well, getting quality sleep, and natural health remedies are beneficial, more direct preventative measures should be taken too. Regular checkups and health screenings are crucial for young people to ensure they’re healthy as they move through life.
Three common health issues that are relevant to young people are sexual health, mental health, and their susceptibility to cancer and terminal illness. It’s important to be aware of what negative health could look like in these areas and when to consult professionals about them. The earlier, the better, because it just might save a life. Here are three health screenings to get now rather than later.
Sexually transmitted diseases and infections know no age. The way sexually active individuals take care of themselves is important. Yet, despite the fact that they are having less sex than other generations, STD/STI rates among millennials are rising. Experts believe this is due to them being “selectively cautious,” meaning they are negligent regarding certain sexual infections and diseases.
It’s important to know the signs of these ailments, but even when they aren’t visible, they may still be there. Doctors diagnose STDs and STIs with blood tests, urine samples, and fluid samples, and many of them are curable. Examples of these diseases include:
Notably, young people are the largest demographic to have chlamydia. Because the symptoms may not be widely publicized or visible, it’s good to get tested after every new partner.
Regarding incurable diseases, however, treatments are improving and it’s important to get diagnosed to know how to handle them. For instance, there is now a drug that makes HIV undetectable and unpassable in the carrier’s body called the undetectable viral load. But the terminal nature of diseases like these mean you need to get tested immediately if you think you might have them. Terminal STDs and STIs include:
- Hepatitis B
- Genital herpes
Specific HIV tests can be ordered from a doctor, and HPV tests may be recommended after an abnormal Pap test. There are several hepatitis B blood tests, and the most accurate type of test for it is the PCR test. Sexually active people should utilize these and get tested regularly, even if they are only sexually active with a single long-term partner.
Mental Health Analyses and Treatments
The arena of public discussion is very focused on mental health right now, and rightfully so. Millennials have been described as “the most anxious generation.” Though some of the details surrounding mental illness are still being researched, it may be important for you to get screened if you feel that a mental health issue is affecting your life.
If you are screened and are diagnosed with a mental illness, there are many benefits to therapy. If you don’t have the money or time for it, there may be options for you through telemedicine. If your insurance does end up covering an in-person therapist and you’re able to give the proper time to it, consider learning more to see if it’s the right step for you.
Know that, in addition to prescription medication, there are many natural means of handling mental illness. People are finding that physical activity, a good night’s sleep, and eating well all have positive effects on their mental health. It’s important to consult your doctor before making any changes, but there are also some natural substances that may help. While still being researched, medicines like CBD are being used effectively for anxiety and depression by millenials. This is vital, considering the fact that depression in millennials was up 47% in 2018.
Though the risk for cancer increases with age, cancer can still happen to anyone. Preventive cancer measures can be taken daily, such as wearing sunscreen or abstaining from tobacco. Additionally, being aware of early symptoms can help to treat different kinds of the disease. For instance, certain types of gut complications such as abdominal pain, constipation, and cramping can be signifiers of colon cancer early on.
The fact is, nobody knows exactly what causes most forms of cancer. We do know correlational factors, and these should be watched for. It’s important to know that different demographics are more prone to different types of cancer, as well. For women, it’s also extremely important to regularly be checking for breast cancer and cervical cancer, both of which are quite common. They can be treated early if diagnosed by going to a medical health professional. The importance of screening for cancer cannot be understated, and it’s better to find out as soon as possible.
Taking Steps To Get Screened
Insurance may cover a large portion of screening costs. If you’re getting checked up, try talking to your doctor about it. If you do not have insurance, look into free screening clinics for STDs and STIs, as well as for mental health. If there are cancer resources in your area, try seeking them out to see if they have any options available for you. With access to healthcare resources, you’ll be able to get preventative health screenings and take greater control of your health.
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