Many people associate old age with symptoms such as pain and weakness. Although the passing of time does indeed take a serious toll on the body, not all unpleasant symptoms are a normal part of aging.
We asked our medical specialists at Casa de Salud about aging. They pulled together this information about some of the most common conditions found in the elderly and what you can do to prevent them or improve your quality of life.
Osteoporosis occurs when the body doesn’t produce enough new bone cells to replace old ones. Symptoms include back pain, poor posture, and fragile bones. Patients who suffer from osteoporosis are at increased risk of experiencing bone fractures.
Causes of osteoporosis include low intake of the vitamins and minerals needed for healthy bones, such as calcium and vitamins D and K, and a sedentary lifestyle. Weight-bearing activities such as walking and lifting weights put pressure on your bones and help keep them strong.
2. Hearing loss
Most people experience some form of hearing loss as they get older. Presbycusis, the most common form of hearing loss, is characterized by the inability to hear high-pitched sounds.
Some people may develop hearing issues due to other comorbidities such as diabetes. According to some research, patients with high blood sugar levels may be twice as likely to develop hearing loss.
3. Heart disease
Heart disease is the biggest health threat to the elderly, as it’s the number one killer in the United States.
Fortunately, there are ways you can decrease your chances of developing heart disease, including eating a diet that’s mostly whole foods, staying active, not smoking, and drinking alcohol only on special occasions.
Type 2 diabetes is a condition in which the body has difficulty processing carbohydrates from foods, and it can go undiagnosed for years.
Older people suffering from diabetes are at a higher risk for stroke, heart attacks, and kidney failure. Your chances of developing Type 2 diabetes may be higher if you live a sedentary lifestyle, smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol on a regular basis, or consume a diet high in sugar.
5. Cognitive issues
Dementia is an umbrella term that refers to a gradual deterioration of memory, judgment, and mood regulation. Causes of dementia include neurological disorders, vascular strokes, long-term alcohol and drug use, and buildup of fluid in the brain.
Experts predict the number of dementia cases in the world will rise to 82 million in 2030. However, research indicates that there are several ways you can prevent dementia.
Physical activity, a healthy diet, intellectually engaging activities, and social interaction may decrease your chances of developing dementia.
Getting medical help in your golden years
Our geriatricians at Casa de Salud are trained to prevent and treat a large number of conditions that occur in the elderly. If you or a loved one are experiencing troubling symptoms, contact one of our Los Angeles offices to schedule an appointment. Our specialists can provide you with a diagnosis and a customized treatment plan.