Common Diseases in Old Age

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As we age, the capabilities of our body start declining. The organs and tissues begin to age, thus leaving us vulnerable to diseases and other health-related issues.

Over here let’s look at some of the common diseases and conditions that affect older adults:

1. Arthritis

Older people often suffer from joint pain. In most of the cases, people have the tendency of developing arthritis after the age of 40. It is a condition resulting from the continuous wear and tear of the cartilage. Very soon it reaches a point where the cartilage becomes extremely thin. As a result, the bones rub against each other causing pain, inflammation, and difficulty in moving the joint.

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2. Osteoporosis

As people age their bones become weak and brittle. The bones become so brittle that even mild stress (such as bending and coughing) or a fall can cause a fracture. Fractures related to Osteoporosis commonly occur in the wrist, spine, and the hip. The bone tissues are constantly broken down and then replaced. Osteoporosis occurs the pace of formation of new tissues cannot match up with the loss of old ones. The condition affects both men and women.

3. Congestive Heart Failure

A heart failure does not necessarily mean that the person’s heart isn’t functioning. It means that the pumping power of their heart is lower than normal. A heart failure means the blood moves through the heart and the entire body at a much slower rate. This increases the pressure on the heart. As such, the heart is not able to pump adequate oxygen and nutrients to different body tissues. There are several reasons that may cause heart failure which include:

  •    Coronary artery disease: This condition affects the arteries that deliver blood and oxygen to the heart. It decreases the blood flow to the heart muscle.
  •    Heart attack:  A heart attack occurs when there is a blockage in the coronary artery, thus, stopping the blood flow to the heart muscle.
  •    Cardiomyopathy: This is the damage to your heart muscle from causes other than issues related to blood flow and the artery. Certain infections, drug abuse or alcohol can be some of the reasons.

4. Gout

Gout is caused when there’s a build-up of urate crystals (which form when the level of uric acid in your blood is high) in the joints. Uric acid is produced when the body breaks down the organic chemical compounds present in food items and drinks. In normal conditions, the uric acid enters the bloodstream and passes through the kidney which removes it from the body through urine. For people suffering from gout, either the kidney fails to excrete uric acid or the body produces too much of it. Either way, uric acid builds up and forms little urate crystals in the join which cause severe pain.

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5. Urinary Incontinence

This is a condition where one cannot hold or control the urine flow. The most common symptom is when they sneeze or laugh a small amount of urine leaks out. Urinary incontinence is caused when the sphincter muscle controlling the urine flow weakens. One of the common ways of resolving this condition is by using adult diapers Doctors also prescribe a few exercises for strengthening the muscles.

6. Depression

Older adults are often susceptible to depression. It’s mainly due to the changes in their lifestyle, isolation caused by loss of loved ones, or disability caused by illness. Prolonged depression can cause memory impairment, lethargy, fatigue, and other physical problems.

7. Diabetes

This is a metabolic disease where the person has high blood sugar. This is caused when the body does not produce enough insulin or doesn’t respond to insulin. This condition can be controlled with changes in lifestyle and diet and by taking medication.

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