Most common disorders in the elderly

When people reach the stage of elderly, they also begin a time to enjoy life and relax, or have recreational activities. However, the elderly are a group at risk for certain diseases and conditions typical of the elderly. For this reason, we must keep them in mind, recognize, and help our seniors, to attend the specialist required in each case.

Arthritis: It is the presence of inflammation in the joints, and is presented in various ways, although most are inflammatory. Occasionally, joint swelling may also appear in degenerative diseases such as osteoarthritis.

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Osteoarthritis: Osteoarthritis is a degeneration of articular cartilage by the passage of time, reflected in motor and joint pain with movement difficulties. From the 75 years, virtually all people have osteoarthritis in any joint. However, it is a disease that affects more women than men, and suffer predisposing factors include age, obesity, and lack of exercise.

The treatment of this condition, helps improve mobility and reduce pain by NSAIDs or steroids infiltration, in addition to rehabilitation exercises.
Fortunately, only in extremely serious cases you can resort to surgery, which is to replace joints with artificial prosthesis.

Arteriosclerosis of the extremities: It happens when the elderly affected begin to notice pain in the legs, tingling, ulcers and even gangrene in his feet.
It is a syndrome that infiltrates deposits and lipid substances (fat) in the walls of arteries of medium and large size. This causes a decrease in blood flow that can cause damage to nerves and other tissues.

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Alzheimer: Due to the aging of the brain, a progressive loss of memory and mental abilities generally occurs. As the nerve cells die, different areas of the brain are atrophied. For this reason, the disease is classified as neurodegenerative central nervous system, leading to dementia even people over 60 years.
Unfortunately, Alzheimer’s is incurable, and even a solution that is possible in the short term is sought.

Parkinson: This neurodegenerative disease is caused by the loss of neurons in the substantia nigra of the brain. Usually Parkinson is classified as a movement disorder, but we must consider also triggers changes in cognitive function in the expression of emotions and autonomic function.
The main risk factor for this disease is age, why it occurs frequently among the elderly.

Colds and flu: Although they are common discomforts, lasting between 3 and 7 days in the case of the elderly can be complicated and require hospitalization for respiratory problems. Thus, it is extremely important to prevent the cold, and vaccinated each year against influenza for the elderly.

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Deafness: Often, it is considered logical and normal hearing loss, by wear and tear of aging ear. However, there are effective solutions such as hearing aids, which can largely optimize the quality of life of the elderly.

High blood pressure: High blood pressure usually has no symptoms, but can cause serious problems such as heart failure, stroke, heart attack and kidney failure. For this reason, you should regularly monitor the blood pressure of the elderly, and convince them to adapt healthy lifestyle habits that reduce risks associated problems.

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Prostate Hypertrophy: This is a very common disease among men over 60 years .In this case, the prostate grows excessively and, therefore, increased frequency of urination, irritation and obstruction occurs. All this can be complicated and lead to urinary tract infections and kidney stones. This hypertrophy is diagnosed by prostate biopsy and renal touch, which can also detect cancer symptoms.
As a treatment, patients should decrease fluid intake before bedtime, moderate consumption of alcohol and caffeine, and if the problem is well advanced, should be performed prostatectomy (surgery indicated for prostate cancer).

Malnutrition: Because in some cases, older adults often lose taste for eating, they can drastically reduce the intake of protein and vitamins needed to maintain a healthy old age. Thus, this gap leads to serious complications such as dehydration, anemia, vitamin deficiencies (B12, C, thiamine, etc.), potassium imbalance, anorexia, atrophic gastritis, among others.
If the specialist thinks it fits, you can use mineral supplements and vitamins. In addition, a diet high in protein and nutrients is important to prevent possible irreversible problems.

Visual problems: it is recommended, at least, an eye review once a year, to detect the most common visual problems and specific treatment. The most common vision problems in older people are myopia, presbyopia, cataracts, macular degeneration of the eye, glaucoma and eye strain, each with its corresponding treatment.

Senile Dementia: The first symptoms are usually understanding difficulties, problems with motor skills, personality and behavior changes, and even reaching depressive or psychotic features. Thus, they are progressively lost cognitive function due to damage or brain disorders unresponsive to normal aging. It manifests itself with problems in the areas of memory, attention, spatiotemporal orientation or identity and problems solving.
Some types of dementia are Alzheimer’s disease, Pick’s disease, vascular dementia, arteriosclerotic dementia, Binswanger’s disease, among others.

Osteoporosis: In this condition, decreases the amount of bone mineral, since the absorptivity, for example ,of calcium is lost. Thus, older adults become brittle and susceptible to fractures. It is especially common in women after menopause due to hormonal deficiencies, calcium and vitamins deficiencies or malnutrition. Extra calcium intake is recommended (and exercise before menopause, to prevent).

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Brain vascular accident (stroke): A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries blood to the brain bursts or is clogged by a blood clot or other particle, which causes the body to deteriorate and not work. Therefore, older adults may be totally or partially paralyzed, may lose motor skills and speech, or even death may occur within a few minutes.
One of the main factors increasing the risk for this condition, is age. After 55 years, lived every decade doubles the risk of suffering a stroke, so you have to be aware of the following symptoms:

-Sudden strength loss in the face, arm or leg on one side of the body.
-Sudden vision loss, partial or total, in one or both eyes.
-Sensation of intense vertigo, unsteadiness, disequilibrium or sudden unexplained falls.
-Sudden speech alteration, inarticulate language or costing articulate language.
-Sudden sore, intense and unexplained headache.

Heart attack: It is considered the leading cause of death in the elderly. Keep in mind that the risk factors are multiple, and within high cholesterol, hypertension, smoking, obesity, diabetes and low or no physical activity. In some older adults, the disease can also occur atypically with dyspnea, which is the sensation of breathlessness, tiredness or fatigue, dizziness and syncope.

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Note that, if the above symptoms appear, you should seek medical care immediately, going to the emergency services, where the diagnosis may be confirmed and appropriate treatment may be initiated.

Let us remember that we must not neglect the elderly. The important thing is making sure they have the best possible quality of life and feel loved and valued because, as we have seen, many ailments are related to the brain and moods that surround the older person.

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