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As early as our 30s, most of us start to notice changes signaling that, whether we like it or not, the aging process has officially begun. What starts out innocently enough – an aching knee, trouble reading road signs – gradually intensifies over time. Before we know it, we’re looking and acting a lot like our parents, complete with reading glasses, a bad back and a medicine cabinet full of prescription bottles.
The “symptoms” of the aging process are more than just a reminder that our 20s have become a distant memory. They can also serve as the canary in the coal mine that is our overall health – early warning signs of potentially serious conditions that, if ignored or brushed aside, could develop into a full-blown health crisis down the line.
Trouble is, it can be difficult to distinguish between changes that are just part of getting older and those that could indicate a bigger health concern is brewing. In a 2013 survey, the most common reasons people cited for not seeking treatment for a medical condition were not thinking the problem was serious or thinking it might be too expensive to treat.