It’s no secret that your wellbeing is paramount, and you probably try your best to stay happy and healthy. From coughs and colds to eye infections and earaches, you might consider yourself a pro when it comes to dodging the most common health problems. But what about the risks that aren’t on your radar? From STIs to high blood pressure, this post takes a look at the issues you might not be quite up to speed with.
When it comes to your sexual health, you might think you have it sussed. However, aside from using contraceptives to prevent unwanted pregnancies, how clued up are you on sexually transmitted infections (STIs)? STIs can be passed from one person to another during unprotected sex, and it’s not always obvious if you’ve been infected.
For example, chlamydia is the most common STI in the UK yet most people don’t experience any symptoms at all. If you have chlamydia, you may be able to spot some of the signs. For example, chlamydia symptoms in women can include a painful or burning sensation when urinating, bleeding during or after sex or a vaginal discharge. In men, it can cause a painful feeling when urinating, tenderness in the testicles and an unusual discharge.
If left untreated, some STIs can lead to long-term health problems including infertility, so if you’ve had unprotected sex, it’s a good idea to get yourself checked out. You can get tested at a number of places, such as your local sexual health clinic or GP surgery. To avoid speaking to someone face-to-face, you could even arrange your testing through an online pharmacy.
2. Type 2 diabetes
It could be that you’ve heard of diabetes but you don’t consider yourself to be at risk. However, did you know that there are currently over four million people in the UK living with this health condition? There are two different types – type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes – but it’s thought that the latter is by far more common. In fact, 90% of adults in the UK with diabetes have type 2.
Diabetes causes a person’s blood sugar level to become too high, and type 2 specifically refers to when the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin or the cells in the body don’t react to it. As a result, glucose remains in the blood and stops being used as fuel for energy.
The most common symptoms of diabetes include feeling thirsty, fatigue, weight loss and passing urine more often than usual. If left untreated, diabetes can get progressively worse and cause long-term problems, such as vision loss and kidney failure, so if you think you might have it, it’s important to see your GP. To prevent this condition developing, you should stick to a balanced diet and maintain a healthy weight, as well as cutting back on alcohol and giving up smoking.
- High blood pressure
Also known as hypertension, high blood pressure is a health risk you might not have ever given any thought to. As it’s name suggests, this condition refers to when a person’s blood pressure is considered higher than what is deemed ideal. Unfortunately, high blood pressure rarely has any symptoms, meaning it can often go unnoticed. It’s thought that one in four adults in the UK has high blood pressure, many of which won’t even realise it. If left untreated, high blood pressure can increase your risk of developing a number of serious problems, such as heart attacks, strokes and kidney disease.
It can be difficult to pinpoint exactly what causes high blood pressure, but it’s thought that factors such as being overweight, not doing enough exercise, smoking, drinking too much alcohol and eating an unhealthy diet can increase your risk. So, to keep yours under control and reduce your chances of getting high blood pressure. You can have your blood pressure checked at places such as your GP surgery and some pharmacies.
Do you go out of your way to make healthy lifestyle choices?