Common Health Problems Among the Elderly

Changes in physical and mental health are obvious among older adults. Our body wears out or degenerates as we get older. Old people are more sensitive to the mental issues; they become very easily upset, moody and anxious. Our body organs typically begin to degenerate at age 30 onwards. Therefore, maintaining good health at a young age will help reduce the risk for health problems when you get older.

Older adults experience a great deal of digestive system disorders due to loss of teeth and less saliva produced, resulting in difficulty swallowing and digesting. Besides, our bodies naturally start to produce fewer digestive enzymes as we get older and this leads to poor digestion and can contribute to other problems such as bloating and degeneration of liver and pancreas. Moreover, constipation can occur when they move less or get less exercise.

In older persons, emotional and mental changes are the result of having too much free time after retirement. Retired adults feel lonely, depressed and less valued. When these feelings combine with illness or physical problems they are likely to get moody, angry, irritable, resentful, and angry very easily, and they tend to face many health issues at the same time.

The most common health problems, both physical and mental, among older adults include:

1. Obesity
2. Diabetes
3. Ischemic heart disease
4. Hypertension
5. Hypercholesterolemia
6. Osteoarthritis
7. Digestive problems such as bloating and constipation
8. Eye problems such as glaucoma cataract
9. Dementia and Alzheimer's disease
10. Anxiety, insomnia and obesity are more common in the elderly, which may lead to other diseases and conditions.

Anxiety, insomnia and obesity are more common in the elderly, which may lead to other diseases and conditions.
Malnutrition is another important thing that cannot be ignored. Seniors are particularly vulnerable to malnutrition due to degeneration of the body, especially digestive system and nutrient absorption. Changes in lifestyle such as less social gatherings are also causes of depression in the elderly. Loss of appetite is also a common issue for seniors as their ability to taste and smell becomes impaired when they grow older.

"Malnutrition in the elderly The most common symptoms of poor nutritional status and malnutrition in the elderly include an extremely low body weight which is the result of less efficient gastrointestinal tract and digestive system and deficiency of vitamins, minerals and protein due to inadequate food intake. Seniors often have low levels of important vitamins, especially vitamin C because of low intakes of fruit and vegetables.

Anemia is also a common problem in elderly individuals which is caused by iron deficiency. Another major problem in older people is osteoporosis caused by inadequate intakes of calcium, protein, vitamin D and vitamin C. The right diet and adequate intake are especially important for older people in order to prevent the risk of malnutrition and obesity."

Regular exercise, adequate sleep, regular health check-up, family and friend gatherings, new activities and hobbies are important in promoting the physical and mental health of older adults.

It is projected that there will be an increasing number of citizens aged 60-65 who stay healthy, both physically and mentally. Key to overcome nutritional and eating problems for seniors is healthy diet that supplies all the nutrients our bodies need. Weight control is also necessary to help prevent chances of developing illness and diseases related to obesity.

Credit : http://www.108health.com/108health/topic_detail.php?mtopic_id=302&sub_id=6&ref_main_id=2#ixzz2FkwYNP7k

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