I have the privilege of having fellow blogger Emily Walsh give us some insight to health risks among former soldiers. Emily is a community outreach blogger for the the Methoselioma Cancer Alliance. Thanks Emily for being my host blogger!
In Advance of Veteran's Day, Understanding Former Soldier Health Risks
Soldiers make a tremendous sacrifice when they choose to serve. Their sacrifice does not end when they get sent home from war or when they leave the service. They continue to deal with many of the health risks associated with service. A smart veteran can do his or her part to counter these risks. By smartly going to the doctor often and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, veterans have an opportunity to live healthy lives for many years after service. The first step to living a healthy life is to understand and recognize the dangers that veterans face.
Mesothelioma and Other Cancerous Diseases
Mesothelioma is a disease that occurs when a person is exposed to asbestos. Though cases are much more rare today, this used to be a major problem for veterans and civilians alike. Today, veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are more apt to contract this disease. This is because of the nature of modern warfare. In modern war, older buildings are often destroyed. When those buildings are knocked down, all sorts of harmful things are expelled into the air. People who have served in these wars need to be careful if they want to preserve their health.
What can you do to reduce the risks associated with these diseases? First, you can be sure to visit the doctor at the first sign of trouble. The earlier you discover those things, the better chance you have of undergoing life-saving treatment. People who wait too long will have limited options for treatment. It might seem like a good idea to put things off. As a veteran, though, you should be proactive about these things. You have the opportunity to get some of the best care in the world if you are willing to take advantage of it.
Maintaining an Active Lifestyle
For too many soldiers, post-active life brings about health trouble. This trouble is often related to a change in lifestyle. Soldiers in active duty are required to uphold certain fitness standards. Though every branch is different, they all have minimum standards and physical fitness routines. This training helps to keep your body and heart in good shape. When you get out of the military, you would be wise to maintain some form of training. Good fitness can help to keep your heart in great shape going forward. You will stay away from stress-induced heart attacks and the terrible results of heart disease.
Don't Forget About Your Mental Health
As a veteran, you are probably aware of the effects of war on mental health. Most veterans feel that mental issues just won't happen to them. You should be aware of these risks and you should be willing to seek medical help if necessary. A study from the VA shows the clear link between military service and stress-related mental health issues. The support services are there for people who are willing to take them. Don't delay when your mental or physical health is on the line.