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5 Illnesses That are Common Among Elderly

Common-Illnesses

As the national life expectancy increases, a whole host of illnesses and ailments become a looming possibility. With growing population of elderly people, it becomes more important to raise awareness about the most common illnesses that can affect the elderly and how to treat them.

Alzheimer’s Disease

This is the most common form of dementia which is unfortunately incurable. The most common symptoms include forgetfulness, confusion, memory loss, and losing the ability to recognise family or friends. There is no clear scientific understanding of why people contract Alzheimer’s, but it has been linked to unhealthy lifestyle choices, head traumas and hereditary illnesses. Although Alzheimer’s Disease is an irreversible condition, there are some medication available to manage the behavioural symptoms. Some experts also suggest that natural alternative therapies such as dietary supplements, herbal medications,  mind-body practices like yoga or meditation, music therapy, etc. can delay the progression of disease and also improve memory problems.

Arthritis

This is an auto-immune disease that causes inflammation in the joints of the sufferer. Arthritis of joints can be extremely painful and can prevent full flexibility and stiffness in the joints. The most frequently affected joints are the spine, hands and knees. There is no cure to complete the reverse Arthritis. However, pain medication can help to reduce the pain.  Ayurvedic treatment such as massage with herbal oil, kizhi, spine basti, kati basti, greeva basti, panchakarma, etc. are also known to be effective in easing the pain and make the condition more bearable on a daily basis.

Heart Failure

This is a long-term condition that worsens over time. Heart failure is incurable but with sufficient and correct treatment it can be sustained for a number of years. Symptoms to spot before it’s too late include breathlessness, feeling excessively tired, and swollen legs and ankles. Underlying causes include high blood pressure, conditions already concerning the heart, and also anaemia. Excessive alcohol consumption and high pressure in the lungs can also be culprits. Treatments include improving your lifestyle, medication or in extreme cases a device placed in your chest to regulate movements or surgical procedures.

Cancer

Simple healthy lifestyle choices can significantly reduce your chances of getting cancer, with researchers believing about only 10% of cancer is caused genetically. Cancer is a disease that involves abnormal cell growth throughout certain parts of the body, which can then mutate and grow, these cells, also known as malignant melanomas then destroy and inhibit good cells or even organs and so can then spread across the whole body in a process called metastasis. There are over 200 types of cancer a person can contract, from lung, liver, skin, breast and testicular to name a few. When caught early and with the right treatment cancer is treatable, however the older you become the more vulnerable you are as your immune system weakens. Symptoms of cancer depend on the area of the body affected although if you find differences occur in your bodily functions then seek medical advice.

Parkinson’s Disease

The cause for Parkinson’s is unclear and although no cure is known at the moment there are a number of treatments available to help ease the pain. These can include physiotherapy, occupational therapy, medications and in severe cases brain surgery.  This is a gradual deterioration of the brain, including motor skills, speech, memory and muscles reflex. Parkinson’s is often associated with uncontrollable shaking of different parts of the body. Psychological symptoms are also commonly experienced which are closely linked to implications such as anxiety and depression, erratic sleeping patterns, loss of balance and loss of sense of smell. Ayurveda offers treatment to manage the symptoms of neurological disorders that affect the brain and spinal nerves. Although these treatment may not totally cure the condition, it helps to manage the symptoms and help the person restore to normal activities.

Alice

 

Author Bio: Alice Porter is a freelance writer, who works closely with Grandcare to raise awareness for health conditions and the elderly.

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