As we head towards the new year and we make New Year resolutions to take steps towards a healthier lifestyle it’s worth remembering some of the common health concerns that affect older people. Pharmacist, Krishma Patel provides details of the top ailments.
In the UK, around 26 million individuals are living with a long-term medical condition. This is almost half of those aged 65-74 and two-thirds of those over 85. With the aging population, these numbers are set to rise over the years – experts anticipate that 7 million people aged 65 and above will have a long-term health issue or illness by 2030.
Let’s explore some of common age-related diseases that affects people at 50 and over in the UK.
Although a person can get diabetes at any age, older adults are more at risk of developing this chronic health condition. Moreover, diabetes in the elderly is considered to be more lethal as the patients cannot feel any pain. Some of the most common factors influencing the onset of diabetes in elderly patients are obesity, hereditary, and a sedentary lifestyle. The symptoms of diabetes often vary from one individual to another, but the most common ones are unintentional weight loss, blurred vision, extreme hunger and thirst, and increased urination. It is advised that regular check ups reduce the risk of complications.
A small amount of fungus lives in your body, which is normal. However, when this amount increases, it could lead to a yeast infection. Oral thrush is a yeast infection that occurs in your mouth. Men and women both can get this infection, but thrush in men is rare than in women.
High Blood Pressure
Also known as hypertension, high blood pressure is a common chronic health condition caused by the changes in the body’s blood vessels. With age, your arteries tighten so raising blood pressure. Adopting a healthier lifestyle or taking medications will help the condition. High blood pressure could lead to serious cardiovascular diseases, kidney problems, vascular dementia, and eye problems. There are no symptoms for high blood pressure, but routine check-ups can help you detect the problem in its early stage.
Along with high blood pressure, high cholesterol is another common health problem that contributes to causing cardiovascular problems. Although it might not be the only factor to cause death due to heart disease in older people. Like blood pressure there are no symptoms indicating you suffer from high cholesterol. Only a blood test can provide the results. The NHLBI (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute) recommends getting a cholesterol screening done once every year for men between 45 to 65 and women between 55 to 65.
Arthritis has to be one of the most common health problems for older people in the UK. It comes with inflamed, stiff, and tender joints along with restricted movement. A person suffering from arthritis is in constant joint pain, leading to sleeplessness and depression. This also decreases quality of living. Patients suffering from this health condition are recommended to get advice and avoid anything that that can increase the problem.
Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)
Chronic kidney disease is a common age-related disease in the UK among older adults where kidneys don’t work the way they should. It can worsen to the point where your kidneys might even stop working, although this occurrence is uncommon. In its early stages, you won’t be able to see any symptoms; however, a urine or blood test can confirm any problems. The symptoms of CKD can show up in its advanced stage. They might include blood in your urine, tiredness, feeling of being sick, or swollen hands, feet, or ankles.
When to See a Doctor?
As you grow older (when you reach your fifties), you should make it a point to visit your doctor for regular body check-ups to understand your health condition. It’s always better to prevent conditions before they turn into something serious, and getting regular health check-ups is one step towards a better quality of life in old age.